The Directorate General of Health Services on Wednesday said that in the past 24 hours, the number of COVID-19 deaths in the country was eight, the lowest daily deaths in the past eight months and a half, while global toll from the novel coronavirus rose to 20,58,226.
Bangladesh earlier recorded single-digit daily deaths of eight on May 9, 2020.
The DGHS in its daily update on Wednesday said that with the eight new deaths, the country had so far tallied 7,950 deaths.
A total of 656 new cases were detected across the country after testing 15,410 samples in the past 24 hours ending at 8:00am on Wednesday.
The test positivity rate during the period was 4.26 per cent.
The country has so far recorded 5,29,687 cases.
Bangladesh confirmed its first three cases of COVID-19 on March 8, 2020 and the first death from the disease on March 18, 2020.
The country is now in the 46th week of the outbreak.
The numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths have decreased in recent weeks.
The overall COVID-19 positivity rate is now 15.13 per cent and the overall fatality rate is 1.50 per cent.
The daily positivity rate had remained over 20 per cent till the third week of August in 2020 from the end of May in 2020 after remaining at a relatively lower level since the beginning of the outbreak.
The positivity rate has been in gradual decline since August 2020 with the rate hovering around 4-6 per cent in the past few days.
The DGHS said that among the eight people who died in the past 24 hours seven were from Dhaka division and one was from Chattogram division.
Five of the victims were above 60 years of age and one each was in the age groups of 51-60 years, 41-50 years and 31-40 years. So far, 4,74,472 COVID-19 patients have recovered in the country.
Agence France-Presse adds: The novel coronavirus has killed at least 20,58,226 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally from official sources at 1100 GMT on Wednesday.
More than 9,61,44,670 cases of coronavirus have been registered.
Over Tuesday, 16,132 new deaths and 6,35,378 new cases were recorded worldwide.
Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were United States with 2,482, followed by United Kingdom with 1,610 and Mexico with 1,584.
The United States is the worst-affected country with 4,01,777 deaths from 2,42,54,284 cases.
After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 2,11,491 deaths from 85,73,864 cases, India with 1,52,718 from 1,05,95,660 cases, Mexico with 1,42,832 from 16,68,396 cases, and the United Kingdom with 91,470 from 34,66,849.
Europe overall has 6,73,461 deaths from 3,10,75,580 cases, Latin America and the Caribbean 5,56,362 deaths from 1,75,70,526 infections, and the United States and Canada 4,20,008 deaths from 2,49,72,772 cases.
Asia has reported 2,32,321 deaths from 1,47,27,049 cases, the Middle East 94,297 deaths from 44,57,288 cases, Africa 80,832 deaths from 33,09,904 cases, and Oceania 945 deaths from 31,560 cases.
China confirmed Wednesday that it had detected the UK variant of the coronavirus, joining at least 60 other countries, as US incoming administration committed to rejoining the World Health Organisation.
The arrival of mass inoculation drives in the United States, Europe and Asia had brought hope that the end of the epidemic was in sight.
The latest good news on that front came from India, which on Wednesday exported its first batch of locally produced coronavirus shots.
The ‘Pharmacy of the World will deliver to overcome the COVID challenge’, foreign minister S Jaishankar tweeted, as India promised supplies to several other countries in the region.
More than 51 million vaccines have now been given out around the world, according to an AFP count, but the WHO has warned that rich countries are hogging most of the doses.
Israel has vaccinated the highest percentage of its population by far, while the United States has administered the most shots, followed by China and the UK.
But the WHO warned Wednesday that more than 60 countries were now grappling with the UK strain — and that 23 countries and territories had reported the South African variant, both of which are believed to be more infectious.
The number of new deaths worldwide climbed to a record high of 93,000 over the previous week, it added, with 4.7 million new cases reported over the same period.
Concern over the new variants has triggered governments around the world to toughen constraints on restriction-weary populations as officials grapple with how to slow infections until vaccines become widely available.
In the US, by far the worst-hit nation with more than 4,00,000 deaths, Biden focused on healing at a memorial for victims on the eve of his inauguration.
‘Let us shine the lights in the darkness along the sacred pool of reflection and remember all who we lost,’ Biden said at Washington’s National Mall reflecting pool, where lights were turned on as a memorial to those who have died.
On Wednesday Biden’s aides said his administration would immediately reverse Trump’s decision to leave the WHO.
Jeff Zients, the new president’s point-man for fighting the pandemic, said Biden would also establish an office of COVID-19 response inside the White House.
‘America’s withdrawal from the international arena has impeded progress on the global response and left us more vulnerable to future pandemics,’ Zients said.
He added that leading US coronavirus expert Anthony Fauci will lead a delegation to take
part in the WHO Executive Board meeting on Thursday.
In China, 1.6 million residents were banned from leaving Beijing on Wednesday as two COVID-19 cases linked to the UK virus variant were found in the capital.
The country is battling its largest resurgence in nearly a year, although the official figures are startlingly low compared to the rest of the world: just seven cases were reported in Beijing on Wednesday.
Authorities ordered residents of the southern Beijing district of Daxing — which covers one of the city’s two international airports — to remain indoors.
But in Wuhan, the city of 11 million people now synonymous with the coronavirus, wet markets thronged with shoppers, elderly dancers rehearsed in the parks, and bars sold ‘Wuhan Stay Strong’ craft beer.
‘Wuhan had a tough year in 2020,’ Wang Chen, a 20-year-old resident, said outside the exhibition, adding that China ‘handled the crisis very well.’
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