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Lack of information about COVID-19 and its spread may have contributed to excess mortality at the pandemic's onset. In April and May 2020, we implemented a randomized controlled trial with more than 3,000 households in 150 Bangladeshi villages. Our oneto-one information campaign via phone stressed the importance of social distancing and hygiene measures, and illustrated the consequences of an exponential spread of COVID19. We find that information provision improves knowledge about COVID-19 and induces significant behavioral changes. Information provision also yields considerably better health outcomes, most importantly by reducing the number of reported deaths by about 50% in treated villages.