Title : Challenges in Tracking the Risk of COVID-19 in Bangladesh: Evaluation of A Novel Method

Authors : Enamul Hoque, Md Shariful Islam, Arnab Sen Sharma, Rashedul Islam, Mohammad Ruhul Amin

Abstract : Identifying actual risk zones in a country where the overall test positive rate (TPR) is higher than 5% is crucial to contain the pandemic. However, TPR-based risk zoning methods are debatable since they do not consider the rate of infection in an area and thus, it has been observed to overestimate the risk. Similarly, the rate of infection in an area has been noticed to underestimate the risk of COVID-19 spreading for the zones with higher TPR. In this article, we discuss the shortcomings of currently available risk zoning methods that are followed in the lower-middle-income countries (LMIC), especially in Bangladesh. We then propose to determine a risk zone by combining the rate of infection with TPR and effective reproduction number, R_t in a distinct manner from existing methods. We evaluate the efficacy of the proposed method with respect to the mass-movement events and show its application to track the evolution of COVID-19 pandemic by identifying the risk zones over time. Demo website for the visualization of the analysis can be found at: http://erdos.dsm.fordham.edu:3000/.

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