Update November 27, 2020

Dhaka 3-19 pm, 26-September, 2021

Bangladesh reports 20 coronavirus deaths, 2,273 new cases

Online Desk

Bangladesh on Friday reported 20 coronavirus deaths and 2,292 new cases in 24 hours until morning amid apprehensions of another major virus outbreak in the winter months.

Currently, the country’s caseload stands at 458,711 with 6,544 fatalities. The mortality rate is 1.43 percent, according to a handout from the Directorate General of Health Services.

So far 81.46 percent of the patients (373,676) have recovered, including 2,223 between Thursday and Friday, the health authorities said.

Coronavirus cases were first reported in China in December last year. Bangladesh reported its first cases on March 8 and the first death on March 18.

The country has carried out 2,729,580 tests so far, including 16,378 new ones, and 13.88 percent of the patients turned out to be positive.

Data released by the government show that Dhaka division has recorded 3,487 deaths, followed by Chattogram with 1,253.

Global situation

The confirmed Covid-19 cases across the globe surpassed 61 million on Friday, according to data compiled by John Hopkins University (JHU).

A total of 61,026,993 people infected with the virus while 1,432,817 of them died so far.

Coronavirus is affecting 191 countries and territories around the world.

The United States has recorded 12,883,846 since the start of the pandemic followed by India and Brazil while the country’s death toll climbed to 263,455.

The country is averaging more than 1,650 deaths per day, reports AP.

Brazil has the world’s second-highest COVID-19 death toll with 171,460 deaths, after that of the United States while India occupied third place with 135,715 deaths.

With the number of deaths and infected cases rising again for the past weeks, specialists alert the start of a second wave.

Vaccine hope

Although results from Covid-19 vaccine trials by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna raised hopes, experts find big challenges for Bangladesh to avail of benefits from the two vaccines due to its existing poor cold chain.

Health Services Division Secretary Abdul Mannan said the government is not thinking about procuring the vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna as those are not suitable for Bangladesh due to temperature-related problems.

“Nine organisations in the world are in the final stage of producing Covid vaccines, and we’re in touch with six of them. we’ll buy any suitable vaccine from where we get it earlier,” he said.

The government has been saying that it will procure a vaccine as soon as one is available. It signed an MoU with the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bangladesh’s Beximco Pharmaceuticals to get three crore doses of the vaccine developed by Oxford University.

But in a statement last week, AstraZeneca and Oxford University acknowledged a manufacturing error that is raising questions about preliminary results of their experimental COVID-19 vaccine.

The developers of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine have proposed combining it with the vaccine of AstraZeneca when conducting trials to evaluate the increase in efficacy.

“Current full dose AstraZeneca regimen resulted in 62% efficacy. If they go for a new clinical trial, we suggest trying a regimen of combining the AZ shot with the Sputnik V human adenoviral vector shot to boost efficacy. Combining vaccine may prove important for revaccinations,” the developers tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Hetero, one of India’s leading generic pharmaceutical companies, have agreed to produce over 100 million doses per year of Sputnik V, the world’s first registered vaccine against coronavirus, in India.

They hope to start production early next year.

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