COVID-19 Disaster Management Study

Bangladesh started planning to bring back stranded citizens from Wuhan, China in late January, 2020. A chartered flight landed in Dhaka on 01 February 2020 with 312 passengers from Wuhan, and they were put in quarantine at a Hajj facility near the International Airport. That was the beginning of COVID-19 response in Bangladesh. Bangladesh adopted the Health-System led model of response. As the COVID-19 response required a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach, the health-sector is ill equipped to deal with the pandemic. Countries like India, Indonesia have been pursuing a Disaster-Management-System led model of response management. Bangladesh also has an elaborate institutional and regulatory framework for managing a large scale disaster.

In this context, this study aims to explore the framing of the COVID-19 problematique both at global and national levels. The Health-System led management model of the pandemic and their effectiveness will be critically examined. Attempts would be made to understand its impact on disadvantaged groups, particularly the poor and the elderly. The Disaster-Management-System led alternate management model would be explored. Drawing on lessons learned and insights, this study will recommend a more effective management model for future pandemics.