Medical &Health

Covid-19: Bangladesh records more 65 deaths, 1,739 new cases

Bangladesh reported 65 more coronavirus-related deaths in 24 hours until Monday morning, raising the death toll to 11,644 as the country’s grim battle with virus continues.

The health authorities recorded 1,739 new infections after examining 13,431 samples, according to data available at corona.gov.bd. A handout from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) put the number of tests at 19,431 including antigen tests.

Bangladesh has so far tested 55,18,410 samples, according to the health directorate.

There has been a steady decline in the number of tests since April 28 when 28,206 samples were tested. With a fall in tests, the number of new cases too went down gradually from April 26 (3,306) to May 2 (1,359) before a slightly upward curve.

Monday’s daily infection rate slipped to 8.95 percent from Sunday’s 9.6 percent but the mortality rate remained static at 1.52 percent.

Bangladesh has recorded less than 70 virus related deaths since Friday. The body count soared to over 100 during April 16-19 and on April 25 but since then the daily fatalities have been falling gradually.

With the latest figure, 7,63,682 cases have been recorded in the country so far, the Directorate General of Health Services said in a handout. This puts Bangladesh at 33rd in the list of countries with highest cases, according to Johns Hopkins University tally.

The number of recoveries now stands at 6,91,162 including 3,834 new one. Recoveries were on the wane since April 28 before jumping on Monday. So far, 90.50 percent patients have recovered.

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

21% of total deaths in April

Covid-19 claimed 2,404 lives in April alone, the deadliest month for the country since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.

Of all coronavirus-related deaths reported until the end of last month, April alone recorded 20.99 percent fatalities.

In the last month, 147,837 new cases were officially registered, according to DGHS.

In Bangladesh, 568 coronavirus-related deaths were reported in January, 281 in February and 638 in March.

Dhaka division remains the worst-hit region, registering most of the deaths – 6,784 or 58.26 percent.

Thirty-two of the 65 deaths reported today are from Dhaka division and 17 from Chattogram division.

Lockdown continues till May 16

The ongoing lockdown imposed on April 5 has been extended until May 16 but people are hardly following health safety rules.

They are still crowding shopping malls and markets ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest festival of the Muslims. Photos and videos shot by UNB correspondents show overcrowded shopping places and total indifference towards health guidelines.

There will hardly be any positive outcome if the people don’t follow health rules to protect themselves and others around them from coronavirus.

Meanwhile, intra-district public transport services will be allowed to resume from May 6.

Vaccination drive

Bangladesh kicked off its vaccination drive on February 7 with Oxford-AstraZeneca doses it purchased from the Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd.

Bangladesh signed an agreement with Serum for 30 million doses. But a record number of cases in India has made the delivery of the doses uncertain.

The administering of the first dose was announced of remaining suspended from April 26.

DGHS DG Prof ABM Khurshid Alam had assured that Bangladesh will get 2.1 million doses of vaccine by the first week of May.

In the last 24 hours, 53 people have received the first dose and 1, 30,547 have received the second dose of Covid vaccine, said the DGHS handout.

However, the registration process for receiving the vaccine jab remains shut.

Vaccine production

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on April 28 approved in principle a proposal for producing Russian and Chinese Covid-19 vaccines in Bangladesh.

The government on April 29 approved the emergency use of Sinopharm, a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine, a day after approving the emergency use of Sputnik V vaccine of Russia.

“We’ll get 5 lakh doses of the Chinese vaccine as gift within 7-10 days. Then we’ll start distribution. Then the government will start buying those on G2G basis,” Mahbubur Rahman, Director General of DGDA told reporters.

Incepta Pharmaceuticals, Popular Pharma and Health Care Pharma have the capacity of producing vaccines, and the Chinese vaccine could be produced locally, Mahbubur Rahman said.

On April 28, Dr Shahida Aktar, additional secretary of the Cabinet Division noted that the government will purchase vaccine technology from Russian and China through direct procurement method (DPM).

Source: United News of Bangladesh