General

Bangladesh’s daily Covid-19 infection rate drops below 4%

Bangladesh recorded a daily infection rate of 3.34% with 473 new cases reported until early Sunday.

The country saw a daily infection rate of 5.49% on January 18, 4.90% on January 14, 8.29% on January 10, 7.52% on January 4, and 8.18% on January 1.

Bangladesh has reported 531,799 cases so far. And the country’s fatality number rose to 8,023 and death rate to 1.51%, with 20 more Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, since the first fatality was reported on March 18.

So far, 3,555,558 tests, including 14,169 new ones, have been carried out. The overall infection rate stood at 14.96%, the Directorate General of Health Services said.

However, 476,413 patients – 89.59% – have recovered so far.

Covid-19 across the world

Confirmed Covid-19 infections around the world approached 99 million on Sunday.

And the death toll from Covid-19 continued its relentless march upwards, with more than 2.1 million people known to have died worldwide.

The worldwide number of Covid-19 cases reached 98,817,191 and fatalities rose to 2,122,179, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The US – the world’s worst-hit country – reported 24,995,419 cases and 417,441 deaths.

Meanwhile, India confirmed 10,654,533 cases and 153,339 deaths until early Sunday. And Brazil’s case tally reached 8,816,254 and fatalities stood at 216,445.

Bangladesh in vaccine race

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to launch Covid-19 vaccination drive at Kurmitola General Hospital in the capital on January 27.

Two million doses of Covid-19 vaccine “gifted” by India reached Dhaka on Thursday.

On January 18, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said Bangladesh would receive the first consignment of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine during January 25-26.

“As per the guideline of the World Health Organization, we will vaccinate those first who are working with risks. Also, elderly people will get more priority. People below the age of 18 will not get the vaccine,” the minister said.

“The government is also in talks with Russia, China and others to collect more vaccines.”

On January 14, Maleque said, “Bangladesh can now store up to 150 million vaccines. So, there will not be any problem when 40-50 million doses come from India.”

“Each government hospital has been prepared to preserve 425,000 doses. Another 71,000 doses can be stored in the five-six ice freezers at the hospitals.”

“The Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) will strictly monitor the vaccination process to prevent irregularities. A ‘vaccine bulletin’ will be published regularly by the health ministry,” the minister said.

“Around 42,000 health workers are being trained for vaccination and an app for vaccine registration and distribution is in the final stage of completion under the ICT ministry.”

On January 7, the government approved the emergency use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

The approval would allow Beximco Pharmaceuticals to bring doses from the Serum Institute of India, which is manufacturing the vaccine, Mohammad Salahuddin, deputy director of the DGDA, said.

Under the deal, Bangladesh will import 3 crore doses of SARS-Cov-2 AZD 1222 (Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine) from Serum in the next six months.

On December 28, Bangladeshi pharmaceutical company Globe Biotech got approval from the DGDA for manufacturing Covid-19 vaccine for clinical trials.

Dr Mohammad Mohiuddin, Manager of Globe Biotech Limited (Head of Quality Operation), said after completing the trials, they would start supplying vaccines following protocols.

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“Hopefully, we will be able to begin clinical trials in January. It will take five months to finish. The vaccine will be available by June if we can begin the clinical trials this month.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh