Medical &Health

Bangladesh loses 43 more lives to Covid-19, toll crosses 13,000

Covid-19 claimed 43 lives in Bangladesh in the past 24 hours until Friday morning as the upward march of the virus took the country’s fatalities to 13,032.

The positivity rate which was 13.25% on Thursday – the highest in 46 days since April 25 this year – almost remained unchanged at 13.24%, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

The country logged 2,454 new cases after testing 18,535 samples as the administration of the first dose of the vaccine remains suspended here since April 26.

The new number took Bangladesh’s caseload to 822,849. However, the recovery rate and fatality rate remained unchanged at 92.59% and 1.58%.

Rajshahi division saw the highest fatalities during the period with the death of 11 people while Chattogram witnessed 10 deaths, Dhaka eight, Khulna seven, Rangpur four, Barishal two, and Mymensingh one.

So far, four vaccines – Oxford-AstraZeneca (Covishield), Sputnik-V, Sinopharm, and Pfizer-BioNTech – have got the approval for emergency use in Bangladesh.

The country, the prime recipient of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, has suspended the registration for Covid-19 jabs due to vaccine shortage amid a delay in the arrival of shipments from India.

However, Bangladesh will get some 10.8 lakh doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine soon under the COVAX facility, said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen Friday, adding that the COVAX has not mentioned the source of this supply of AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Bangladesh.

The country needs at least 15 lakh doses of AstraZeneca immediately.

2.5 million to be vaccinated each month

On June 3, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the government will vaccinate 2.5 million people each month with a plan to bring 80% of people of the country under the mass immunisation programme in phases.

“In the first phase, people with risks will be vaccinated and 2.5 million vaccines will be given each month,” the minister said while proposing the national budget for FY2021-22 in the parliament.

“Bangladesh will need vaccine doses for 80% of around 102 million eligible people, excluding the ones below the age of 18 years and pregnant or lactating women. This means 163.2 million doses for full vaccination of 81.6 million people – 80% of the eligible population as per the minister,” Dr AM Zakir Hussain, former director of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research, told UNB.

“But since about 5 million people have received a vaccine shot already and not everyone among the rest will probably take the jab, it will take about 4.5 years to inoculate the rest of the eligible people at the rate of 2.5 million vaccines per month.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh