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Bangladesh

Pandemic takes toll on mental health in Bangladesh

Suspicion and fear of the coronavirus are causing a spike in stress and depression while straining family ties

Pandemic takes toll on mental health in Bangladesh

A man stands near a barricade in a neighborhood in Dhaka during the ongoing Covid-19 shutdown. Social distancing during the pandemic is taking a toll on social life and mental health, analysts say. (Photo: Stephan Uttom/UCA News)

Sojib Corraya has been employed as a cook in a restaurant in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka while his mother, wife and two children live in a village in northern Pabna district.

Once every three months, he goes home to visit his family and spend several days with them as well as with friends, relatives and neighbors.

During the ongoing nationwide shutdown due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Corraya’s restaurant closed down and he moved to his village in the first week of April. His time at home turned out to be a bitter experience. Within days, police accompanied by local government officials came in, marked the house with a red flag and ordered the family not to go outside.

“I had no symptoms of Covid-19 and I tested negative before I came home. Yet my house was put on lockdown and my friends, relatives and neighbors stopped visiting us, and even started looking at us with suspicion. This was frustrating and humiliating,” Corraya, 32, a Catholic, told UCA News.

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