General

Global Covid-19 cases top 148 million

The Covid-19 situation is worsening around the world with each passing the day, despite mass vaccinations. The overall number of corona cases has now topped 148 million.

As of Wednesday morning, the total case count and fatalities stand at 148,353,905 and 3,131,636, respectively, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

The US, which is the world's worst-hit country in terms of both cases and deaths, has logged 32,175,049 cases and 573,378 deaths to date, as per the university data.

Besides, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its guidelines Tuesday on the wearing of masks outdoors, saying fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to cover their faces anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers, reports AP. Those who are unvaccinated can go outside without masks in some situations.

Brazil's Covid-19 death toll on Tuesday reached 395,022 pushing the national count to 14,441,563, the country's health authorities said.

India has registered 17,636,307 Covid cases with 197,894 fatalities as of Wednesday morning, according to the country's health ministry.

Hospitalisations and deaths have reached record highs, overwhelming healthcare workers. Patients are suffocating because hospitals’ oxygen supplies have run out.

Desperate family members are sending SOS messages on social media, hoping someone would help them find oxygen cylinders, empty hospital beds and critical drugs for their loved ones. Crematoriums have spilled over into parking lots, lighting up night skies in some cities, reports AP.

Situation in Bangladesh

Bangladesh reported 78 more coronavirus-related deaths and 3,031 new cases on Tuesday morning, showing a downtrend.

The country witnessed over 100 deaths daily from April 16 to 19 and on April 25 as the second wave of the virus hit Bangladesh.

The daily infection rate slipped to 12.51 percent on Tuesday from Monday’s 12.82 percent while the mortality rate remained static at 1.49 percent.

So far, 751,659 cases and 11,228 deaths have been confirmed, the Directorate General of Health Services said in a handout.

Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus cases on March 8 last year and the first death on the 18th of that month.

Lockdown extended

A rapid rise in Covid infections prompted the government to enforce a lockdown from early April, but the restrictions failed to achieve the intended result.

Later, the government announced a complete lockdown from April 11 and extended it to April 28.

On Monday, State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain said the lockdown would be extended till May 5 "as there is no improvement in the Covid-19 situation".

However, shopping malls will remain open from 10am to 8pm during the extended period, he said.

Vaccination campaign

Bangladesh launched a vaccination drive on February 7 with Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doses it acquired from the Serum Institute of India.

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.

Source: United News of Bangladesh