General

Bangladesh’s daily Covid-19 infection rate stays below 6%

Bangladesh saw a daily infection rate of 5.57% with 762 new cases reported until early Friday.

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

Bangladesh has recorded cases 526,485 so far. And the country’s fatality number rose to 7,862 and death rate to 1.49%, with 13 Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, since the first fatality was reported on March 18.

So far, 3,431,792 tests, including 13,678 new ones, have been carried out. The overall infection rate stood at 15.34%, the Directorate General of Health Services said.

However, 471,123 patients – 89.48% – have recovered so far.

The country’s infection number reached the 500,000-mark on December 20. The first cases were reported on March 8. The death toll exceeded 7,000 on December 12.

Covid-19 across the world

The worldwide Covid-19 caseload crossed 93 million on early Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The global case count reached 93,201,362 while the death toll climbed to 1,996,256.

The US, the world’s worst-hit country, crossed the grim milestone of 20 million cases on New Year’s Day.

The country’s infection tally reached 23,314,238 and fatalities stood at 388,705 on early Friday.

By mid-December, five in every 100 Americans – more than 16 million – had been infected by Covid-19.

Those numbers testify to a historic tragedy. But they do not fully capture the multitude of ways, large and small, that the virus has upended and reconfigured everyday life in the US.

Meanwhile, India reported 10,527,683 cases and 151,918 deaths until early Friday. Brazil recorded 207,095 deaths and 8,324,294 infections.

Bangladesh in vaccine race

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

The approval will allow Beximco Pharmaceuticals to bring doses from the Serum Institute of India, which is manufacturing the vaccine, Mohammad Salahuddin, deputy director of the Directorate General of Drug Administration (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.

“If everything goes well, we will get the vaccines in mid-January,” Health Minister Zahid Maleques said.

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.

“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.”

Also, Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Thursday reassured people that there would not be any problem in storing and distributing Covid-19 vaccines.

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

“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.”

Initially, 7,344 teams, each with six health workers, have been prepared for vaccination drive, according to Maleque.

“The 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 its final stage of completion under the ICT ministry.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh