Covid-19 variants seem to be spreading around the world like wildfire, even with mass inoculations underway. The overall number of coronavirus cases has now topped the grim milestone of 142 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The total case count and fatalities stand at 142,642,783 and 3,041,541, respectively, as of Wednesday morning, as per the university data. The US, India and Brazil are the worst-affected countries in terms of confirmed cases, followed by France, Russia and the UK.
The US has registered 31,792,013 cases as of Wednesday morning, while the death toll from the virus has now climbed to 568,460, according to Johns Hopkins statistics.
Neighbouring India, which has been logging more than two lakh new cases daily for the past several days, on Tuesday recorded a whopping 15,321,089 cases and 180,530 fatalities in 24 hours, the country's government said.
In Brazil, the total caseload has reached 14,043,076 while 378,003 people have died from the virus so far. France has recorded 5,401,305 cases, while Russia and the UK have registered 4,665,553 and 4,408,644 infections, respectively, to date.
Situation in Bangladesh
After recording over 100 daily Covid-19 deaths for four consecutive days, Bangladesh registered 91 more fatalities in 24 hours till Tuesday morning, showing a marginal fall in the fatality figures.
Besides, 4,559 people got infected by the deadly virus during the period, said a Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) handout.
On Monday, the country broke all the previous records of Covid-19 deaths, registering 112 fatalities. The latest figure pushed up the death tally to 10,588, with a mortality rate of 1.45 percent.
Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus cases on March 8, 2020, and the first death on March 18 that year. Health authorities have so far confirmed 727,780 cases. Among them, 628,111 people -- 86.31 percent of all patients -- have recovered.
A ‘strict’ lockdown is currently underway across the country, but people still seem to be apathetic towards health guidelines and safety rules. The government has extended the ongoing lockdown by another week from April 22 in an effort to bring the Covid-19 situation under control.
Cause of concern
Concerns about the spread of more contagious and deadlier variants of the virus have been raised by experts. A research suggests that the South African variant has accounted for 81 percent of the positive cases in Dhaka since the third week of March this year.
That is not good news for Bangladesh because the country has managed to procure only the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine so far, which offers as little as 10 percent protection against the South African variant, according to researchers.
Although Bangladesh is yet to receive its March consignment of five million doses, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said the jabs will arrive as promised by India.