Covid-19: Mapping the Numbers in Bangladesh

Country/area: Bangladesh

Organisation: Dataful

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 10 Oct 2020

Credit: Polash Datta, Shakil Ahmed, Mohammad Abu Bakar Siddique, Morshed Jahan, Romaprosad, Free Press Unlimited

Project description:

The data visual aims to provide a comprehensive and comparative view on distribution of deaths with Covid-19 symptoms across Bangladesh. The visual help readers to find information about: (a) difference in age range of people who died with Covid-19 symptoms in Bangladesh, (b) gender distribution among the people who died with Covid-19 symptoms, (c) identify places where more deaths occurred with Covid-19 symptoms.

Impact reached:

We curated data from more than 2,500 reports on deaths with Covid-19 symptoms from the websites of 08 Bangladeshi media outlets. The media outlets include all the major news portals in Bangladesh: Bangla Tribune, bdnews24.com, Daily Star, Daily Ittefaq, Daily Juganotor, Daily Kaler Kantho, Daily Prothom Alo, and Daily Samakal. We opted the media reports as source because of two reasons: (a) although there were reports of death with Covid-19 symptoms as far as we know noone was compiling them that could be used for further analysis or insights, (b) until now there has been no other open source that could be used for collecting data on deaths with Covid-19 symptoms.

The data ranges from 18th March to 31st August.

Findings of the data viz:

(a) The data viz shows that in Bangladesh the highest number of death (227) with Covid-19 symptoms occurred in Cumilla district which had less than 10,000 confirmed cases till 31st August 2020.

(b) According to official death tally percentage of people aged 0-20 years was 1.28% of total death until 31st August, 2020. On the other hand our data viz shows that the percentage for 0-20 years age range is 4.65 for deaths with Covid-19 symptoms.

(c) The data visual shows that 79% of the deceased with Covid-19 symptoms were male while 21% were female which resembles with official data for confirmed Covid-19 deaths. It should be noted that gender information was not available in 101 media reports.

Techniques/technologies used:

We gathered 12 types of information from 2,500 news report which are: (1) date of death, (2) division wher the death occured, (3) district where the death occured, (4) upazila wher the death occured, (5) name of the deceased, (6) age of the deceased, (7)gender of the deceased, (8) place of death, (9) source who confirmed the death, (10) if sample was taken from the deceased for Covid-19 test, (11) name of the media that reported the death, and (12) weblink of the published news.

We collected these data from 8 media reports seperately. Then we merged all 2,500 data in one single spreadsheet for cleaning and refining. As part of this we first sorted the data based on date, division, district and upazila. Then we checked the victims name and age against the date/district/upazila in order to avoid repetition. Finally the daat visual was developed with Laravel, html, css, Java Script, Google Chart.

What was the hardest part of this project?

As we were combining reports from 8 different media outlets on same issue the hardest part of the project was to clean the data ensuring no repetition occurs.

Until now there is no other resource in Bangladesh than our data viz where people could get a complete picture of the deaths with Covid-19 symptoms. Moreover the data viz even presents data on upazila level.

What can others learn from this project?

Information on death with Covid-19 symptoms for a specific area/region could be vital for decision makers, common people to learn about the Coronavirus situation. But the information will not have impact until it is converted into data. Journalists from aroudn the world could learn that developing data viz by converting news reports into data could be a useful method to unearth the pandemic situation in their area/region.

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