Bangladesh reported its cases on March 8 and the first death on March 18. UNB file photo
Bangladesh is seeing a sharp decline in the number of new Covid-19 cases over the past week.
The health authorities announced the detection of 569 new cases in 24 hours until Sunday morning.
During this time, 23 more coronavirus deaths were recorded, pushing up the country’s death tally to 7,906. The mortality rate now stands at 1.5 percent, according to a handout from the Directorate General of Health Services.
The confirmed cases of coronavirus globally surpassed 94.4 million with over 2.02 million deaths till Sunday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
The US remained the worst-hit country, with 395,650 deaths and 23,743,788 cases.
In late 2020, the coronavirus pandemic entered its deadliest phase yet in the United States, according to an Associated Press (AP) report.
The number of daily confirmed cases continued to race out of control, rising above 200,000 and then creeping closer to 300,000. Daily deaths sometimes surpassed 4,000. By mid-January, the total American death toll had crossed 375,000, with no immediate improvement in sight.
Cities and states sought to scale up their vaccination operations, opening centers designed to inoculate thousands of people a day in a single location. Some of the sites offered drive-thru injections. In New York City, the centers were scheduled to be open around the clock, the AP report says.
The pandemic, which had been tamed in some places over the summer, came roaring back in the final months of last year.
Brazil registered 1,050 deaths from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 209,296, its Ministry of Health reported on Saturday.
Additionally, another 61,567 cases were registered in the last 24 hours, bringing the national total to 8,455,059.
Hospitals in Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas, are overwhelmed. Since Thursday, they have reported a shortage of oxygen tanks. Family members of patients have had to take to the streets in search of oxygen.
India’s total caseload reached 10,542,841 while the death toll surpassed 152,093 as of Sunday morning.
Bangladesh in vaccine race
On January 7, the government approved the emergency use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
The approval will allow Beximco Pharmaceuticals to bring doses from the Serum Institute of India, which is manufacturing the vaccine, Mohammad Salahuddin, deputy director of the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA), said.
On December 28, Bangladeshi pharmaceutical company Globe Biotech got approval from the DGDA for manufacturing Covid-19 vaccine for clinical trials.
Dr Mohammad Mohiuddin, Manager of Globe Biotech Limited (Head of Quality Operation), said after completing the trials, they would start supplying vaccines following protocols.
“Hopefully, we will be able to begin clinical trials in January. It will take five months to finish. The vaccine will be available by June if we can begin the clinical trials this month.”
Bangladesh approves Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine
Bangladesh approved the emergency use of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on Jan 7.
This will allow Beximco Pharmaceuticals to bring doses from the Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd, which is manufacturing the vaccine.
The government signed an agreement with Serum Institute on December 13 for procuring the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Under the deal, Bangladesh will import 30 million doses of the vaccine in the next six months.
“If everything goes well, then we’ll get the vaccines in mid-January,” Health Minister Maleques said.
Health minister Zahid Maleque on Thursday reassured the people that there won’t be any problem in storing and distributing Covid-19 vaccines.
“Bangladesh currently has the capacity to store up to 150 million vaccines. So, there won’t be any issues when 40-50 million doses come from India,” he told the media after a meeting of the ministry on vaccination and distribution.
Minister Maleque is fully prepared for the vaccination drive. “Vaccination will be carried out from the public hospitals,” he said.
“Each government hospital has been prepared to preserve 425,000 doses. Another 71,000 doses can be stored in the five-six ice freezers at the hospitals,” the minister said.