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Covid-19: World turning the corner, at last?

  • Published at 07:11 am September 19th, 2021
covid-19 field hospital
The 2,000 bed isolation unit for Covid-19 patients at Bashundhara International Convention Centre (ICCB) on Sunday, May 17, 2020 Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

The UK, on Friday, removed Bangladesh from its Covid red-list, reflecting a positive shift in the global pandemic situation 

The global Covid-19 caseload has surpassed 228 million, but there are some unmistakable signs that the pandemic is starting to wane finally, both globally and in Bangladesh.

With more and more people around the globe vaccinated, it should also be more difficult for the virus to gain transmission momentum today, than at any previous point since the novel coronavirus appeared in late 2019.

As of this, the 37th week of 2021, case numbers are falling in a majority of countries around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU) data analyzed by the European CDC. 

According to their analysis, although new case numbers have increased from the week before in 64 countries, there are now 108 countries in which they have decreased -- including the worst-affected countries like the US, India, Brazil, South Africa.

Bangladesh is among them.

Also Read - ED: Only by ensuring vaccine equity can we end this pandemic

There are also five countries -- mostly Pacific Island nations with small populations -- now that have not seen any new infections for four consecutive weeks. 

In eleven countries, case numbers are said to be holding steady from where they were a week ago. Of the majorly affected countries, the UK is in this category.

The shift is also being reflected in policy shifts. On Friday, the UK announced it would be moving Bangladesh (and 8 other countries) off its coronavirus red-list. 

The total caseload and fatalities from the virus stand at 228,113,556 and 4,685,144, respectively, as of Sunday morning, according to JHU.

So far, 5,883,069,259 Covid vaccine doses have been administered across the globe.

The US has logged 42,048,376 cases and 673,464 deaths to date, according to the JHU data.

Brazil, which has the world's second-highest pandemic death toll after the US and the third-largest caseload after the US and India, recorded 21,230,325 cases with 590,508 fatalities, as of Wednesday.

India's Covid-19 tally rose to 33,417,390 on Saturday, as 35,662 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours across the country, showed the federal health ministry's latest data.

Besides, 281 more deaths were also recorded since Friday morning, taking the death toll to 444,529.

Situation in Bangladesh

Bangladesh witnessed 35 more Covid-related deaths with 1,190 fresh cases in 24 hours till Saturday morning, said the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

It was the lowest single-day death toll from Covid-19 in three months. The country recorded the same number of fatalities on Wednesday.

The new cases were detected after testing 19,668 samples which again declined the daily case positivity rate to 6.04% from Friday’s 6.49%, said the DGHS.

Also Read - Covid-19: Daily infections in Bangladesh drops to lowest in more than 3 months

The case positivity rate fell below 6% on Thursday, for the first time in almost six months.

The fresh number of deaths took the country’s total deaths from Covid-19 to 27,182 while the caseload mounted to 1,541,300.

Meanwhile, the fatality rate remains unchanged at 1.76%, said the DGHS. The fatality rate has notably appreciated over the course of the second wave in Bangladesh, which mostly dominated 2021. At the end of 2020, the fatality rate stood at around 1.4% for Bangladesh.

Besides, the recovery rate continued to increase by reaching 97.23% on Saturday with the recovery of 1,645 more patients during the 24-hour period.

Vaccination of students

Vaccination of students aged between 12 to 17 years will begin within the next 20 days, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Saturday.

The minister announced this at a meeting at Manikganj municipality office premises.

The children will be inoculated with US-made Pfizer vaccine doses as it is suitable for them, he said, adding that all arrangements have been made to collect the vaccine doses.

So far, 14,390,957 people have been fully vaccinated in the country while 21,851,458 received the first dose.

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