Spread of Covid-19 in Bangladesh: Evidence from Reproduction Number

Susmita Dutta
Recent graduate, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet.

[The paper was presented at a webinar organised by Economic Research Group (ERG) on 29 June 2020.]


The study estimates time-dependent reproduction number of coronavirus in case of Bangladesh using incidence data from March 9, 2020 to June 25, 2020. The mean reproduction number is 1.40 (95% Cl 1.11, 1.73), which indicates expected continuation of outbreak in Bangladesh. People should maintain physical distance with own accord.


This study attempts to estimate initial and time-dependent (Rt) reproduction number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in case of Bangladesh. Reproduction number is a well-known indicator of disease transmissibility. It indicates number of secondary cases infected through per infected primary case. Reproduction number is interpreted in different way in literature, for example as a ratio or rate (1) but it is a dimensionless number.  It is divided mainly into two categories. One category distinguishes between whether reproduction number is estimated in the beginning of disease outbreak (initial reproduction number) or it is time-dependent (Rt) (2). Other category distinguishes between whether reproduction number estimates expected number of secondary cases produced by a typical primary case in an entirely susceptible population (basic reproduction number, R0) (1) or “actual average number of secondary cases per primary case” in population with immunity (effective reproduction number, R) (1,3).  Basic reproduction number shows disease transmissibility potential, whereas effective reproduction number shows actual transmissibility of disease.

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