Covid 19 – The reality in one of the World’s most densely populated countries

Posted by: on May 12, 2020 | No Comments

Social distancing, and lock down simply does not work for the millions living in counties like Bangladesh. Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated large country in the world. It does not have the capacity or infrastructure to carry out mass testing or a sufficient healthcare system to look after those infected.

A blind mother begs holding her baby

Current statistics show that there have been 239 Covid 19 related deaths in Bangladesh, but without any sort of proper testing, this is not a true figure. There are few tests so many deaths due to the disease will go unrecorded. There are also no records of deaths at all, so it is impossible to compare the number of deaths this time last year to this year so there is no way of measuring the impact of the pandemic.

Living in close proximity in a slum

Most Bangladeshis live in close proximity to each other. Families are large in number and live in small and cramped tenements, with several families sharing a single tap and toilet. It is impossible for them to social distance and therefore the spread of Coronavirus is likely to be rapid. With no testing for the disease however, there is little way of knowing how widespread the infection is becoming.

Queuing for the communal tap

The Government has imposed a lock down which is difficult for most but impossible for many. What of the hundreds of thousands who live on the streets in tents and under bits of tarpaulin? How do they lock themselves away?

Whilst locked away, just like the rest of the world, many people are unable to work. Vast numbers of workers earn a daily wage with no promise of regular work or income. If they cannot work on a particular day or are prevented from working, their income stops immediately. These people are now in dire need with no income and so no means of support.

Jaago foundation delivering food to daily wage earners suddenly left without an income

The Orphan Trust is helping these families alongside organisations such as the Jaago Foundation, by providing hot food and food parcels to those left without any way to pay for food.

The homeless though have nowhere to go. There is no government initiative to aid the homeless in Bangladesh. They are forced to sit on empty streets and station platform without any food.

This little girl sells stickers to earn money to eat whilst her mother labours on a building site

During this difficult time NGOs including many of our partners in Bangladesh have been providing food packages to slum areas and people in rural villages.

Delivering meals to the homeless at Sylhet train station

We have also been providing free meals to the homeless who do not have the means to cook or money to buy ingredients.

 

 

The long term impact of COVID 19 is unlikely to ever be fully unknown in Bangladesh, but given the death toll in developed nations like the UK Italy and the US,  there is no doubt it will be catastrophic. As the pandemic unfolds we need your help and support to continue supporting the most needy and vulnerable.

Please donate to help us continue to provide food for these most vulnerable people.

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