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11 Covid deaths, 1,865 new cases

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Amid the spike in Covid-19 cases in different parts of the world, Bangladesh registered 11 more deaths and 1,865 new cases of Covid-19 in 24 hours till Wednesday morning.

The daily tally of Covid-19 fatalities showed a downtrend on Wednesday, after showing it 26 for two consecutive days — Tuesday and Monday, reports UNB.

With the latest figures, the Covid-19 fatalities climbed to 8,608 while the total infections to 562,752, according to a handout released by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

The daily infection rate slightly fell to 7.68 percent from Tuesday’s 8.29 percent, but the daily number of infected people — 1,865 – is the highest this year. And the mortality rate remained static at 1.53 percent for the last five days which was 1.54 percent in the past few weeks, the DGHS said.

The virus infection rate had come down to below 5% on January 19 last. It even had come down to below 3 percent. However, the infection rate soared again on February 9 as it increased to 5.13%.

The infection rate was 5.98% on February 10 while 5.82 percent on February 11, 6.62% on February 12 and 6.26% on February 13.

However, 1,510 people recovered from the virus infections during the 24 hours. So far, 515,989 patients (91.69 pc) have recovered, according to the DGHS.

Bangladesh reported its first cases on March 8, 2020 and the first death on March 18 in the same year.

Authorities have so far tested 4,328,269 samples, including 24,275 in the past 24 hours.

Govt strengthens precautionary measures

The government is taking a tougher position to fight Covid-19 transmission, Health Minister Zahid Maleque announced on February 15.

The ministry has sent letters to districts, directing the officials concerned to levy fines on people flouting Covid protocols, he said.

“Educational institutions were scheduled to reopen on March 30, but the closure will be extended if the infection keeps surging at the present rate,” the minister said.

“We’re concerned as the infection and the death rates of Covid-19 suddenly hiked,” he added.

Vaccination drive in Bangladesh

Bangladesh launched its nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive on February 7.

By Tuesday, 4,580,391 people received the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The second dose has to be taken between 8 and 12 weeks of the first one.

The government is providing the vaccine for free. It signed an agreement with India’s Serum Institute for acquiring 30 million doses of the vaccine.

The institute will provide five million doses every month between January and June. Those who are 40 or above can register for getting the jab at www.surokkha.gov.bd as the on-spot registration system has been revoked.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque has said the age limit for getting the vaccine will be revised when more doses will be available in the country.

Concern over vaccine use

Bangladesh does not plan to suspend its rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine, despite a cascading number of countries doing so over reports of some recipients developing dangerous blood clots.

Md Abdul Mannan, Secretary, Health Care Division, while noting the suspension in some European countries, said no unusual side effects have been reported after taking the vaccine in Bangladesh.

“So far those who have taken the first dose of the vaccine are all in good health. So, Bangladesh has no plan to halt its vaccine drive,” he said, before adding: “I don’t see why some countries have chosen to suspend its use.”

Global Covid-19 situation

The global death toll from the virus reached 2.67 million on Wednesday.

While the death toll from Covid-19 climbed to 2,670,056, the total cases surged to 120,656,989, according to the latest data released by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

The US remains the world’s worst-hit country, with 536,887 deaths and 29,547,242 cases, as per the data.

The Covid-19 death toll in the US topped 500,000 on February 22.

The US toll is by far the highest reported in the world, accounting for 20 percent of the nearly 2.6 million coronavirus deaths globally, though the true numbers are thought to be significantly greater, in part because many cases were overlooked, especially early in the outbreak.

Brazil registered 2,841 Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours till Tuesday, a new record daily increase, raising the death toll to 282,127, according to the Ministry of Health.

The ministry also reported 83,926 new cases, bringing the national count to 11,603,535.

India has so far registered 11,409,831 cases and 158,856 deaths, followed by Mexico which has reported 195,119 deaths.

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