Medical &Health

Covid-19: Bangladesh sees 41 deaths in 24 hours, lowest in 39 days

Amid the declining trend in Covid-19 infections and fatalities after an alarming surge in April, Bangladesh registered 41 coronavirus-related deaths in 24 hours until Thursday, pushing up the total fatalities to 11,796.

This is the lowest number of Covid deaths in the country after March 28 this year. Bangladesh saw 35 deaths on March 28.

However, 1,822 new cases were detected during the period after the test of 21,585 samples.

The mortality rate remained static at 1.53 percent, said the Directorate General of Health Services in a handout.

The number of Covid deaths came down to 50 after over a month on Wednesday as the country saw 50 deaths on April 1 and it had kept rising since then.

Manwhile, the daily infection rate fell to 8.44 percent from Wednesday’s 8.59 percent, according to the data provided by DGHS.

The latest figure pushed up the caseload to 7,69,160.

The body count soared to over 100 during April 16-19 and on April 25 but the daily fatalities have been falling gradually since then.

Until now, the country has tested 55,82,263 samples.

In the last 24 hours, 3,698 patients recovered from Covid-19, putting the recovery rate at 91.29 %.

Bangladesh reported its first cases on March 8 last year, before confirming the first death 10 days later.

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 and new registration for Covid-19 jab has remained suspended since April 26.

However, DGHS DG Prof ABM Khurshid Alam assured that Bangladesh will get 2.1 million doses of vaccines by early May.

In the last 24 hours, 43 people have received the first dose and 102,915 have received the second dose of Covid vaccine, a figure which is exactly the same of yesterday, according to the DGHS handout.

So far, a total of 72,48,829 people received vaccines where 33,13,424 people managed to complete their second dose.

Vaccine stock dwindling

The DGHS on Wednesday said the stock of the Covid-19 vaccine is running out in Bangladesh as there are only 14 lakh jabs in government hands with no sign in sight to get a fresh consignment of it from India.

Speaking at a virtual press briefing, DGHS spokesperson Dr Robed Amin said, “We had around one crore and two lakh vaccines in our hands…around 88 lakh jabs have already been administered as the first and second doses. Now we’ve some 14 lakh doses in stock.”

He said there will be a vaccine crisis if a fresh consignment does not arrive in the country before the existing stock is exhausted.

Drive intensified to get vaccines from US

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday said the government has intensified its efforts to have vaccine jabs from the United States (US) as it will share up to 60 million doses of its Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine with other countries.

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.

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).

Lockdown extended until May 16

The government has issued a notification extending the ongoing lockdown until May 16 with six fresh directives alongside the existing ones to contain the spread of Covid-19.

According to the notification issued by the Cabinet Division, the officials of all government, semi-government autonomous and private organisations, banks and financial institutions have been asked to remain at their respective workstations during the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr holidays.

Shops and shopping malls will remain open from 10 am to 8 pm maintaining health guidelines. If any kind of deviation and violation are seen, the shopping malls and shops will be closed instantly, says the notification.

Inter-district transport services will remain closed while only intra-district transport services will operate ensuring health guidelines from Thursday.

However, launch and train services will remain off.

Source: United News of Bangladesh