As the world witnesses the worst of the pandemic, the overall number of global Covid cases has now surged past 133 million. The death toll from the virus is also fast nearing the grim milestone of 3 million.
According to Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the total case count reached 133,808,161 while the death toll from the virus mounted to 2,901,072 on Friday morning.
The US has so far recorded 31,001,636 cases and 560,090 deaths, as per the university data.
In the US, nearly half of new coronavirus infections are in just five states -- a situation that is putting pressure on the federal government to consider changing how it distributes vaccines by sending more doses to hotspots, reports AP.
New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey together reported 44% of the nation’s new Covid-19 infections, in the latest available seven-day period, according to the state health agency data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 3,177 new cases, a figure below the state’s seven-day rolling average of 3,314 as computed by Johns Hopkins University researchers. That pushed the state’s pandemic total increased to 3,022,708 with the addition of 1,522 previously unreported Covid-19 cases. The state estimated 65,587 were active.
Researchers said the rolling average of daily new cases over the past two weeks held steady at 3,314 per day, and that 170 new Texas cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks ranked 38th in the nation for new cases per capita.
Brazil on Tuesday registered a record 4,195 deaths from Covid in a single day, taking the accumulated pandemic toll to 336,947, the Ministry of Health said.
In Brazil, 31,279,857 people have tested positive so far, with 345,025 fatalities.
Neighbouring India has recorded 12,928,574 cases and 166,862 deaths as of Friday morning, according to the data.
The coronavirus pandemic started 2021 in the midst of its deadliest phase yet. As the effects of unheeded holiday travel warnings set in and more contagious variants of the virus took hold, parts of North and South America, Europe and the Mideast saw record confirmed cases and deaths in January, reports AP.
Halfway through the first month of the year, the worldwide death toll reached 2 million. Virus-related deaths in the U.S. surpassed 400,000 four days later and hit 500,000 a little more than a month after that. National lockdowns and extended bans on international travel were reimposed as infections climbed again, replaying scenes from the early months of the crisis.
More than 47% of the 190 countries providing ongoing epidemiological data reported increases in the 7-day rolling average for new cases between the end of February and the beginning of March. More than one-third showed Covid-19 deaths on the upswing.
The pandemic, which had been tamed in some places over the summer before roaring back in the final months of last year, still could be more lion than lamb as spring approaches.
Nationalism also complicated the largest vaccination campaign in world history.
The AstraZeneca vaccine developed in Britain struggled to win full-throated endorsements elsewhere in Europe.
Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and vaccines made in China became instruments of geopolitics and tools in international diplomacy. Eager to secure shots for their citizens and to display industrial prowess, Turkey and India signed agreements to produce Sputnik V. The Balkan nation of Serbia jumped ahead in vaccinating its residents by securing both the Russian and Chinese vaccines.
As he prepared to take over the White House, Joe Biden made a commitment to administer 100 million shots during the first 100 days of his presidency. The Food and Drug Administration has authorised three vaccines for use in the US, all developed or co-developed by American companies --Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
Situation in Bangladesh
As Covid-19 continued its onslaught despite lockdown, Bangladesh registered 74 more deaths in 24 hours till Thursday morning, breaking all its previous records.
The number of new coronavirus cases dropped slightly to 6,854 after remaining over 7,000 for the past four days, said a handout issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
With the new 74 deaths, the Covid-19 fatalities rose to 9,521 while the mortality rate remained static at 1.43 percent.
The infection rate slipped to 20.65 percent from 22.02 percent on Wednesday.
During the reporting period, 3,391 patients recovered, raising the number of recoveries to 565,030, the DGHS said.