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  • Niaz Mahmud Zafri

Identification of Risk Factors Contributing to COVID-19 Incidence Rates in Bangladesh

Updated: Feb 5, 2022

Full Title: Identification of risk factors contributing to COVID-19 incidence rates in Bangladesh: A GIS-based spatial modeling approach

Journal: Heliyon, Elsevier


  • Md Hamidur Rahman (Shared first author)

  • Niaz Mahmud Zafri (Shared first author)

  • Fajle Rabbi Ashik

  • Md Waliullah

  • Asif Khan

Abstract: Background: COVID-19 pandemic outbreak is an unprecedented shock throughout the world, which has generated a massive social, human, and economic crisis. Identification of risk factors is crucial to prevent the COVID-19 spread by taking appropriate countermeasures effectively. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the potential risk factors contributing to the COVID-19 incidence rates at the district-level in Bangladesh. Method: Spatial regression methods were applied in this study to fulfill the aim. Data related to 28 demographic, economic, built environment, health, and facilities related factors were collected from secondary sources and analyzed to explain the spatial variability of this disease incidence. Three global (ordinary least squares (OLS), spatial lag model (SLM), and spatial error model (SEM)) and one local (geographically weighted regression (GWR)) regression models were developed in this study. Results: The results of the models identified four factors: percentage of the urban population, monthly consumption, number of health workers, and distance from the capital city, as significant risk factors affecting the COVID-19 incidence rates in Bangladesh. Among the four developed models, the GWR model performed the best in explaining the variation of COVID-19 incidence rates across Bangladesh, with an R2 value of 78.6%. Conclusion: Findings and discussions from this research offer a better insight into the COVID-19 situation, which helped discuss policy implications to negotiate the future epidemic crisis. The primary policy response would be to decentralize the urban population and economic activities from and around the capital city, Dhaka, to create self-sufficient regions throughout the country, especially in the north-western region.


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