Medical &Health

Global Covid cases near 122 million

The global Covid caseload is fast approaching 122 million, despite high rates of vaccination.

To be specific, the total case count mounted to 121,731,658 while fatalities reached 2,689,940 on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The US has registered 29,665,203 cases and 539,662 fatalities as of Thursday morning, according to the latest data released by the university.

Deaths per day in the US have plunged to an average of just under 1,300, down from a high of about 3,400 two months ago. New cases are running at about 55,000 per day on an average after peaking at more than a quarter-million daily in early January, reports AP.

With the US closing in on President Joe Biden’s goal of injecting 100 million coronavirus vaccinations weeks ahead of his target date, the White House announced Thursday that the nation is now in a position to help supply neighbours, Canada and Mexico, with millions of lifesaving shots.

With a record number of daily Covid-19 cases, Brazil has registered 11,780,820 Covid-19 cases and 287,499 deaths till Friday.

The South American country has the world's second-highest Covid-19 death toll and caseload, only next to the US.

Brazil is one of the countries hardest-hit by the pandemic, experiencing another wave of infections.

According to official data, the death toll in India mounted to 159,216 while the total caseload stood at 11,474,605 on Friday morning.

Situation in Bangladesh

Bangladesh registered 16 more Covid-19-related deaths and 2,187 new cases in 24 hours till Thursday morning, as the deadly virus keeps spreading fast.

With the latest figures, the Covid-19 fatalities have climbed to 8,624 and the total infections to 564,939, according to a handout released by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

The daily infection rate jumped to 10.45 percent from Wednesday’s 7.68 percent. Both the infection rate and the number of daily cases –2,187– are the highest in the current year.

However, the mortality rate remained static at 1.53 percent for the last six days which was 1.54 percent in the past few weeks, the DGHS said.

The virus infection rate came down to below 5% on January 19 last. It even had come down to below 3 percent. But, the infection rate soared again on February 9 as it increased to 5.13%.

The infection rate was 5.98% on February 10 while 5.82 percent on February 11, 6.62% on February 12 and 6.26% on February 13.

However, 1,534 people recovered from the virus infections in the 24 hours. So far, 517,523 patients (91.61 pc) have recovered, according to the DGHS.

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

Authorities have so far tested 4,349,194 samples, including 20,925 in the past 24 hours.

Precautionary steps strengthened

The government has taken a tougher stance to fight Covid-19 transmission, Health Minister Zahid Maleque announced on February 15.

The ministry has sent out letters to districts, directing the officials concerned to levy fines on people flouting Covid protocols, he said.

“Educational institutions were scheduled to reopen on March 30, but the closure will be extended if the infection keeps surging at the present rate,” the minister had said.

“We’re concerned as the infection and the death rates of Covid-19 suddenly hiked."

Vaccination drive in Bangladesh

Bangladesh launched its nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive on February 7.

By Thursday, 4,687,824 people received the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The second dose has to be taken between 8 and 12 weeks of the first one.

The government is providing the vaccine for free. It signed an agreement with India's Serum Institute for acquiring 30 million doses of the vaccine.

The institute will provide five million doses every month between January and June.

Those who are 40 or above can register for getting the jab at www.surokkha.gov.bd as the on-spot registration system has been revoked.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque has said that the age limit for getting the vaccine will be revised once more doses are available in the country.

AstraZeneca vaccine drive to continue

Bangladesh does not plan to suspend the use of thr AstraZeneca vaccine, despite a cascading number of countries doing so over reports of some recipients developing dangerous blood clots.

Md Abdul Mannan, Secretary, Health Care Division, while noting the suspension in some European countries, has said that no unusual side effects have been reported after taking the vaccine in Bangladesh.

“So far those who have taken the first dose of the vaccine are all in good health. So, Bangladesh has no plan to halt its vaccine drive,” he said. “I don’t see why some countries have chosen to suspend its use.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh