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A systematic assessment on COVID-19 preparedness and transition strategy in Bangladesh

30, July 2020 | Bangladesh


Biswas R.K. Huq S. Afiaz A. Khan H.T.A.


Rationale, aims, and objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has overpowered the most advanced health systems worldwide with thousands of daily deaths. The current study conducted a situation analysis on the pandemic preparedness of Bangladesh and provided recommendations on the transition to the new reality and gradual restoration of normalcy. Method: A complex adaptive system (CAS) framework was theorized based on four structural dimensions obtained from the crisis and complexity theory to help evaluate the health system of Bangladesh. Data sourced from published reports from the gov- ernment, non-governmental organizations, and mainstream media up to June 15, 2020 were used to conduct a qualitative analysis and visualize the spatial distri- bution of countrywide COVID-19 cases. Results: The findings suggested that Bangladesh severely lacked the preparedness to tackle the spread of COVID-19 with both short- and long-term implications for health, the economy, and good governance. Absence of planning and coordination, dispropor- tionate resource allocations, challenged infrastructure, adherence to bureaucratic delay, lack of synchronized risk communication, failing leadership of concerned authorities, and incoherent decision-making have led to a precarious situation that will have dire ramifica- tions causing many uncertainties in the coming days. Conclusions: Implementation of response protocols addressing the needs of the com- munity and the stakeholders from the central level is urgently needed. The develop- ment of mechanisms for dynamic decision-making based on regular feedback and long-term planning for a smooth transition between the new reality and normalcy should also be urgently addressed in Bangladesh.