Coronavirus risks pushing millions of Bangladeshis back into poverty

DHAKA/TOKYO — Shahidul Islam, a poor farmer in Bangladesh’s western district of Natore, called a hotline last month for a food handout. The request went down very badly when a senior local official — who also belongs to the ruling Awami League — took it as a personal smear. His response was to assault the peasant — a by no means isolated incident.

Bangladesh has not escaped the economically disruptive COVID-19 pandemic that has upended health care systems around the world and claimed over 280,000 lives. The South Asian country has had nearly 15,691 confirmed cases and 239 known deaths

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