Bangladesh’s Covid-19 fatalities soared to 7,849 on Thursday as the health authorities confirmed 16 more deaths and 813 new cases in 24 hours.
The national caseload stands at 525,723 with 470,405 recoveries, according to a handout from the Directorate General of Health Services.
As per the latest data, the daily infection rate dropped to 4.9 percent.
The country recorded 8.29 percent infection on January 10, 7.52 percent on January 4, and 8.18 percent on January 1.
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The overall infection rate stood at 15.38 percent, the DGHS said, noting that 89.48 percent of the patients have recovered till date.
So far, 3,418,114 tests have been carried out – 16,608 in the last 24 hours.
The mortality rate is 1.49 percent, according to the handout.
Bangladesh reported its first cases on March 8 and the first death on March 18.
Covid-19 global situation
Over 1.97 million people have died of Covid-19 globally as of Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University. New infections have also set fresh highs, with the global tally surpassing 92 million.
To be precise, the Covid death toll and the total caseload stood at 1,976,509 and 92,091,033, respectively, as per the latest data released by the university.
The US remained the worst-hit country, with 384,604 deaths and 23,067,796 cases. In fact, according to an Associated Press report, Covid deaths in the US hit another one-day high at over 4,300, with the country’s attention focused largely on the fallout from the deadly uprising at the Capitol.
The North American nation’s overall death toll from Covid is closing in fast on the number of Americans killed in World War II, about 407,000.
Confirmed infections have topped 22.8 million. Arizona and California have been among the hardest-hit states. The country is now in the most lethal phase of the outbreak yet, even as vaccines are being rolled out.
Brazil has the world's second-highest Covid death toll, after the US, and is experiencing a second wave of outbreaks, with cases and deaths on the rise since December.
The country’s Covid death toll reached 205,964 on Wednesday, after 1,274 more people died of the novel coronavirus disease in 24 hours.
According to the Ministry of Health, in the same period, tests detected 60,899 new cases of infection, bringing the number of confirmed Covid cases in the country to 8,256,536.
It was the second day in a row to see more than 1,000 Covid deaths and more than 60,000 infections, after 1,110 deaths and 64,025 infections were registered on Tuesday.
Last week, Brazil set a new record with 87,843 daily cases and saw 1,524 deaths in a day, the second-highest number since the onset of the pandemic.
India's Covid tally rose to 10,495,147 on Wednesday, as 15,968 new cases were registered in the past 24 hours, said the latest data from the federal health ministry.
According to the data, the death toll mounted to 151,529 with 202 new deaths.
There are still 214,507 active cases in the country, while 10,129,111 people have been discharged from hospitals after medical treatment.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Thursday said the government not only contained militancy but also working to bring the militants to normal life.
“Bangladesh doesn’t patronize militancy and we never said that we have eradicated militancy but we say that we have been able to contain militancy,” said the minister while addressing the surrender programme of some militants held at the Rab Headquarters.
“Many people in different countries have asked me how we are tackling militancy. In reply, we said the people of the country do not support militancy that’s why we have been able to control militancy,” he said.
“Those who adopted the wrong path have returned to their parents, which brings smiles to the faces of the parents,” said Asaduzzaman.
Alongside the development, Bangladesh is now becoming a role model in controlling militancy and chances have been for the militants and extremists to return to normal life.
“Besides, we have also taken steps for their rehabilitation,” said the Minister.
Nine militants surrendered at the event are—Jannat Asma, Mohamamd Hossain alias Hasan Gazi, 23, Mohammad Saifullah, 37, Saiful Islam, 31, Mohammad Al Mamun, 26, Saidur Rahman, 22 and Abdur Rahman Sohel, 28.
Besides, a couple identified as Shaon Muntaha Ibne Shawkat, 34, and Nusrat Ali Juhi, 29 also surrendered before the Home Minister at the Rab headquarters.
Shaon, a resident of Sylhet, got involved in the activities of Hizbut Tahrir, a militant organization while studying at a public university. He married Nusrat, a medical student, in 2011.
The couple along with two children got detached from their parents four years back in 2017 as they got involved in militancy.
Asma, who surrendered at the program said, “I passed the SSC exam in 2019 and got married to one through social media. After that, I got involved in militancy. I was alone and took the path wrongfully.”
At least 435 houses were gutted in a fire at Nayapara Registered Rohingya Camp in Teknaf upazila of Cox’s Bazar district early Thursday.
Abdul Hannan, in-charge of the camp, said the fire broke out at a house in the camp under E-block around 3 am and spread soon.
The fire spread fast as most of the residents use gas cylinders in the camp for cooking, he said.
On information, two fire fightings units rushed in and extinguished the blaze with the help of Rohingya people.
Around 20 people sustained injuries in the fire that also burnt down 432 houses, one community center of UNHCR, and two dwelling houses of local people.
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Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC)Shah Rezwan Hayat visited the spot.
An official at Teknaf Fire Station told UNB that two fire fighting units from Ukhiya and Teknaf Upazilas rushed to the spot at 2:15am and within two hours they brought the fire under control.
The firefighters wrapped up their work at 7:30am, he said adding that no casualty was reported.
The official said an investigation is going on to find out the source of fire.
The Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC), Nayapara Registered Camp in Charge (CiC), and law enforcement authorities also rapidly attended the scene.
It is suspected that the fire broke out from one of the individual shelters however a full investigation is ongoing by the local authorities.
Humanitarian partners have stepped in to respond to the incident with the support of trained safety unit volunteers (SUVs) and the wider local community.
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Shelter kits, non-food items, winter clothes, hot meals and medical care are being delivered to the affected families, and the refugee community is helping to clear the debris.
UNHCR’s Head of Operations Marin Din Kajdomcaj said, “We are on the ground since early morning hours, working with government authorities, partners, UN agencies, and Rohingya refugees in response to the devastating fire that ripped through the refugee camps at Nayapara last night. Primary focus remains on the emergency response and lifesaving assistance that are ongoing simultaneously.”
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The Government of Bangladesh, UN and NGO partners have implemented fire prevention measures to ensure the refugee community is trained and well-informed on fire safety practices, and that response mechanism are in place in case fires erupt, he said.
These measures include training, development of guidelines and community outreach.
Fires remain a hazard given the high density of the refugee camps.
Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader has tested positive for coronavirus or Covid-19, but he has no complication.
GM Quader, also the deputy opposition leader in parliament, has been in isolation at his Uttara residence as per his doctor’s advice, said party press release on Thursday.
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It said the Jatiya Party chief is doing well and healthy. “He’s taking medicines and normal diet as per the doctor's advice.”
He has no negative symptoms.
GM Quader received a positive corona test report on Tuesday night.
He urged all to pray for his speedy recovery.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged all to work from their respective positions alongside the government for the socio-economic development of people to build the country as golden Bangladesh.
"Not only the government but also everyone has to carry out some responsibilities from their respective positions for socio-economic development, find out those who are poor, or homeless or in trouble in their own localities," she said while inaugurating a programme virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.
The Prime Minister launched the programme on sending allowances and stipend money directly to different vulnerable groups under the social safety net through mobile financial services. The progamme was held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
Now the allowances for elderly people, widows and husband-abandoned women and physically challenged people as well as the stipend money for physically challenged students would reach the mobile accounts (Nagad and bKash accounts) of the beneficiaries.
Sheikh Hasina said if the vulnerable people are identified, the government will surely provide them with accommodation and other support.
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"If we work together, we'll definitely be able to make the country as a golden Bangladesh as dreamt by the Father of the Nation," she said.
She said the government has been working with a plan to make Bangladesh a hunger and poverty-free country.
Hasina said her government wants to celebrate the golden jubilee of the country's independence and the Mujib Borsho (announced marking the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) through ensuring housing for all homeless people as well as bringing cent percent people under the electricity coverage.
"We'll provide everyone with a house. We've been working with this goal. We'll light up every house with electricity (this year)," she said.
Talking about the social safety net, Sheikh Hasina said her government has long been working to send the allowances directly to the hands of the beneficiaries removing all middlemen in the disbursement process.
"We've long been trying so that "the social safety allowances would reach directly to the hands of the right persons (beneficiaries) properly and there is no middle man in the process. Their money will go to them and can spend the money as per their wish," she said.
The Prime Minister thanked all the Social Welfare Ministry, and other agencies concerned including the ICT Division, the Finance Ministry and banks for the introduction of the government-to-person (G-2-P) disbursement system of the social safety allowances.
"The allowances will be sent through Nagad and bKash services. All (the beneficiaries) will be benefited due to the system,” she added.
The Prime Minister said the beneficiaries should not depend on only the social safety allowances rather the capable persons should also work for their livelihoods.
The allowances are given so that any individual of the country doesn't think himself or herself 'worthless', she said.
She said her government formed in 1996 had taken initiative to bring elderly people, widows and husband-abandoned women and freedom fighters under the allowances.
The government also in 1997 started rehabilitation of landless and homeless people by providing them with houses under the Ashrayan project. Besides, a housing fund was formed to disburse loans among the homeless people to arrange their accommodation.
Later, the Prime Minister exchanged views with the beneficiaries and the local stakeholders at the Deputy Commissioner offices of Chandpur, Pirojpur, Lalmonirhat and Netrakona through videoconferences.
Social Welfare Minister Nuruzzaman Ahmed also spoke at the virtual function moderated by PM's Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus.
Social Welfare Secretary Mohammad Jainul Bari delivered the welcome speech.
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