Table 3

Country-level COVID-19 status, control measures and relief efforts (April–May 2020)*

April–May 2020BangladeshPakistanKenyaNigeria
Confirmed cases (WHO)15447 200200069 5005919001399900
Recorded deaths (WHO)166502615001632273
Containment measures initiated in all four countries included lockdowns/curfews, closure of non-essential services, travel restrictions, social distancing, quarantine and self-isolation08/03: First case detected49
26/03: lockdown initiated via 10-day nationwide holiday, then extended to 30/05: with ● closure of non-essential services. ● people strongly advised to stay at home, ● social distancing ●places of worship closed ● public transport limited ● face-masks compulsory during travel (only for work or emergency reasons) ● law enforcers deployed to ensure adherence.
Early/Mid-March: Media reports reveal ‘unethical’ hoarding and price hikes in masks and hand sanitizers. In response, law enforcement raids are carried out on shops and pharmacies across Bangladesh.50
Certain public hospitals are designated as COVID-19 treatment facilities51, reducing options of nearby low-cost non-COVID-19 hospital services for residents.
26/02: First case detected
13/03: All educational institutions closed
17/03: First death recorded
21/03: All international flights suspended
23/03: Lockdown initiated in Sindh Province (location of study site), with ● closure of public transport, market places, offices, resturants and public areas.
Mid-April: Gradual easing of lockdown with ● partial restart of low-risk industries/small retail shops (limited opening hours)
Lifting of travel restrictions ● Sealing of high-risk areas
Schools remained closed.
Media reports suggest that many people believe COVID-19 is a conspiracy or does not exist.52
19/02: Government states its preparedness to handle COVID-19. Urges people to observe preventive measures.53
13/03 First case detected.
Government restrictions on gatherings, ●social distancing ● closure of most non-essential social spaces ● implementation of COVID-19 19 measures in malls, public transport54 (reduced passenger capacity) ● sealing of epicentre areas, including Nairobi (sites 1–2), with movement allowed within but not beyond the city boundaries)55 (movement allowed within but not beyond boundaries) ● teleworking where possible ● restrictions on international travel (with 14-day quarantine for those returning from abroad) ● establishment of isolation facilities.
28/02: First case detected
30/03: Lockdown imposed in three major cities/states (site 3) 20:00–06:00 hours curfew elsewhere (sites 1–2). Lockdown included: ● ban on travel/movement of persons, ● shutdown of all of non-essential services, including schools, markets ● places of worship closed ● public transport highly restricted ● international/interstate travel restricted ● law enforcement agencies deployed to ensure adherence
14/04: Lockdown/curfew extended for 3 weeks ● ban on all interstate movement
04/05: Lockdown eased, with
curfew 22:00–04:00 hours
compulsory use of facemasks
social distancing
21/05: Partial lockdown lifted in some states, religious congregation permitted.
State-led relief efforts in all four countries included the development of COVID-19-related policies for healthcare, health infrastructure, increased testing services, financial and relief aid programmes for low-income groups, the establishment of national stimulus packagesEnd-March: COVID-19 preparedness and response plan: including expansion of existing cash transfer programme, Open Market Sale (OMS) programme—rice sales at 33% market price, district-level distribution of food supplies.
Protection for home remittances and garment exports.56
15/04: Further state relief announced including housing scheme for homeless (Tk. 21.3 billion), job losses (Tk. 7.6 billion), health insurance for at-risk government employees (Tk. 7.5 billion) and bonus pay for health workers treating patients with COVID-19 (Tk. 1 billion).
24/03: PKR1.2 trillion relief package: including PKR 75 billion in cash transfers to 6.2 million daily wage workers; and PKR 150 billion in cash transfers to over 12 million low-income families (PKR 1.5 billion for Sindh Province56 57 (location of study site).27/03: Ksh40 billion relief package: including social protection, food relief, cash transfers, health expenditure for isolation units, testing and laboratory services, communication, equipment and supplies.58Early-April: N500 billion COVID-19 crisis intervention fund established to upgrade health facilities.59
Lagos State: granted N10 billion (US$28 million) to support containment efforts
Contingency funds of N984 million (US$2.7 million) released by Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control, and additional N6.5 billion (US$18 million) made available for training of medical personnel, test kits, isolation centres.
16/04: N42.6 billion raised, including US$50 million grant from the European Union.56
Information and communicationUpdates and information disseminated regularly via mobile text/voice messages, television advertisements, radio, leaflets, loud-speakers, electronic and print media.
  • *In this table, we have highlighted certain containment measures and elements of relief packages as they might immediately pertain to residents in the study sites. However, we recognise that all of the countries have adopted wider fiscal and macro-economic plans which will affect the whole society, with long-term implications for equity and health in the sites and beyond.