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Healthcare worker attendance during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic: A longitudinal analysis of fingerprint-verified data from all public-sector secondary and tertiary care facilities in Bangladesh

14, December 2020 | Bangladesh

Authors:

Duy Do Malabika Sarker Simiao Chen Ali Lenjani Pauli Tikka Till Bärnighausen Pascal Geldsetzer

Abstract


The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed hospitals in several areas in high-income countries. An effective response to this pandemic requires health care workers (HCWs) to be present at work, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where they are already in critically low supply. To inform whether and to what degree policymakers in Bangladesh, and LMICs more broadly, should expect a drop in HCW at- tendance as COVID-19 continues to spread, this study aims to determine how HCW at- tendance has changed during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh. Methods This study analyzed daily fingerprint-verified attendance data from all 527 pub- lic-sector secondary and tertiary care facilities in Bangladesh to describe HCW attendance from January 26, 2019 to March 22, 2020, by cadre, hospital type, and geographic di- vision. We then regressed HCW attendance onto fixed effects for day-of-week, month, and hospital, as well as indicators for each of three pandemic periods: a China-focused period (January 11, 2020 (first confirmed COVID-19 death in China) until January 29, 2020), international-spread period (January 30, 2020 (World Health Organization’s dec- laration of a global emergency) until March 6, 2020), and local-spread period (March 7, 2020 (first confirmed COVID-19 case in Bangladesh) until the end of the study period).