The Financial Express

Global coronavirus cases top 153 million

| Updated: May 04, 2021 16:49:03

File photo, (Collected) File photo, (Collected)

The global coronavirus (Covid-19) caseload surpassed 153 million on Tuesday morning, with the world literally struggling to contain the second outbreak of the virus.

According to Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the total case count and fatalities now stand at 153,185,370 and 3,209,657, respectively.

The US is the world's worst-hit country in terms of cases and deaths. The country is expected to authorise Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for youngsters aged 12 to 15 by next week.

The US has logged 32,470,823 cases, with 577,500 fatalities, as of Tuesday morning, reports UNB citing the university data.

India’s total Covid tally is fast approaching the 20-million mark, second after the US.

The total case count in the South Asian country has reached 19,925,604, while the death toll from the virus mounted to 218,959, according to the health ministry.

Brazil's Covid-19 death toll reached 408,622 after 983 more deaths were registered in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health said on Monday.

Meanwhile, tests detected 24,619 new infections during the same period, taking its nationwide tally to 14,779,529.

Brazil has the world's second-highest Covid-19 death toll, after the United States, and the third-largest outbreak, behind the United States and India.

Covid-19 situation in Bangladesh

Bangladesh on Monday reported 65 more coronavirus-related deaths in 24 hours, raising the death toll to 11,644.

The health authorities recorded 1,739 new infections after examining 13,431 samples, according to data available at corona.gov.bd.

A handout from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) put the number of tests at 19,431, including antigen tests.

Bangladesh has been recording less than 70 virus-related deaths since Friday. The body count soared to over 100 during April 16-19 and on April 25 but since then the daily fatalities have been falling gradually.

With the latest figure, 7,63,682 cases have been recorded in the country so far, the Directorate General of Health Services said. This puts Bangladesh at 33rd in the list of countries with highest cases, according to Johns Hopkins tally.

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

Lockdown continues till May 16

The ongoing lockdown, imposed on April 5, has been extended till May 16.

People, however, are hardly following health safety rules. They are still crowding shopping malls and markets ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest festival of the Muslims.

Photos and videos shot by UNB lensmen show overcrowded shopping places and total indifference towards health guidelines.

There will hardly be any positive outcome if  people don’t follow health rules to protect themselves and others around them from coronavirus, according to experts.

Meanwhile, intra-district public transport services will be allowed to resume from May 6.

Vaccination drive

Bangladesh kicked off its vaccination drive on February 7 with doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine it acquired from the Serum Institute of India.

Bangladesh signed an agreement with Serum for 30 million doses. But a record surge in Covid cases in India has made the delivery of the doses uncertain.

DGHS DG Prof ABM Khurshid Alam has assured that Bangladesh will get 2.1 million doses of the vaccine by the first week of May.

In the past 24 hours, 53 people have received the first dose and 1, 30,547 have received the second dose of the Covid vaccine, said the DGHS handout.

However, the registration process for receiving the vaccine jab remains shut.

Vaccine production

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on April 28 approved in principle a proposal for producing Russian and Chinese Covid-19 vaccines in Bangladesh.

The government on April 29 approved the emergency use of Sinopharm, a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine, a day after approving the emergency use of Sputnik V vaccine of Russia.

“We’ll get 5 lakh doses of the Chinese vaccine as gift within 7-10 days. Then we’ll start distribution. Then the government will start buying those on G2G basis,” Mahbubur Rahman, Director General of DGDA, told reporters.

Incepta Pharmaceuticals, Popular Pharma and Health Care Pharma have the capacity to produce Covid vaccines, and the Chinese vaccine could be produced locally, Mahbubur Rahman said.

On April 28, Dr Shahida Aktar, additional secretary of the Cabinet Division, said the government will purchase vaccine technology from Russia and China through direct procurement method (DPM).

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