COVID-19 ‘Immunity’ in Dhaka Slums: Do Genes Matter?
21 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2021
Date Written: January 9, 2021
After coronavirus spread beyond China, many predicted that the virus would wreak havoc on low-income countries, especially those with overcrowded slums. And yet, nine months after the outbreak, the COVID-19 death toll in several of the world’s biggest slums is very low. This paper asks the question: Do Bangladeshi slum dwellers possess some form of immunity to the effects of COVID-19? To shed light on the problem, we undertook two rounds of a survey in three of Dhaka city's largest slums before and after a super spreader event, the Eid-al-Adha festival. The findings suggest very low or negligible COVID-19 fatality among slum households. We propose four explanations of the seeming immunity to coronavirus among Dhaka’s slum dwellers.
Note: Funding: The research was entirely done with private funds.
Declaration of Interests: The study involves no conflict of interests.
Ethics Approval Statement: We, (our surveyors), believe ethical guidelines were followed in that we asked for permission from respondents and gave no payment for the response. As it was privately funded, no outside review was sought.
Keywords: COVID-19, Slums, Public health, Herd immunity, Neanderthal genes
JEL Classification: I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation