COVID-19 ‘Immunity’ in Dhaka Slums: Do Genes Matter?

21 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2021

See all articles by Syed Abul Basher

Syed Abul Basher

East West University

Jobaida Behtarin

East West University

Mohammad Riad Uddin

Innovations for Poverty Action

Salim Rashid

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 9, 2021

Abstract

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

Basher, Syed Abul and Behtarin, Jobaida and Uddin, Mohammad Riad and Rashid, Salim, COVID-19 ‘Immunity’ in Dhaka Slums: Do Genes Matter? (January 9, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3762870 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3762870

Syed Abul Basher (Contact Author)

East West University ( email )

Aftabnagar Main Road
Plot No. A-2
Dhaka, 1219
Bangladesh

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/view/syedbasher

Jobaida Behtarin

East West University ( email )

43-45 Mohakhali C/A
Dhaka, 1212
Bangladesh

Mohammad Riad Uddin

Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )

1731 Connecticut Ave, 4th floor
New Haven, CT 20009
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.poverty-action.org/

Salim Rashid

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics ( email )

1206 South Sixth Street
309 Commerce West, mc 706
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
217-333-7388 (Phone)
217-333-7388 (Fax)

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