COVID-19 claims 18 more, infects 399 in Bangladesh

Staff Correspondent | Updated at 11:55pm on February 23, 2021

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COVID-19 killed 18 more people while 399 new cases were detected in the country in the past 24 hours ending at 8:00am on Tuesday.

With the new figures, the country’s COVID-19 death toll reached 8,374 and the number of cases rose to 5,44,116, according to the Directorate General of Health Services.

A total of 12,748 samples were tested across the country in the past 24 hours and 3.13 per cent of them were found positive for COVID-19, the DGHS said in its daily update on Tuesday.

The daily positivity rate remained above 3 per cent in the past two days, although the rate had dropped below 3 per cent in previous few days.

The overall COVID-19 positivity rate is now 13.70 per cent and the overall fatality rate 1.54 per cent.

Bangladesh confirmed the first cases of COVID-19 on March 8, 2020 and the first death on March 18 in the year.

The country is now in the 51th week of the outbreak.

The DGHS said that among the people who died in the past 24 hours, two died at home.

The department recorded 756 deaths outside hospitals, including 722 at home and 34 on the way to hospitals.

Among the new deaths, 12 were reported from Dhaka division, two from each of Chattogram and Rajshahi divisions and one each from Khulna and Rangpur divisions.

Ten of the deceased were above 60 years of age while two were between 51 years and 60 years, one was between 41 years and 50 years, four were between 31 years and 40 years and another was between 21 years and 30 years.

So far, 4,92,887 COVID-19 patients have recovered, including 828 in the past 24 hours.

Globally, the novel coronavirus has killed at least 24,74,437 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 11,16,41,390 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 6,85,52,400 are now considered recovered, reports Agence France-Presse.

On Monday, 6,595 new deaths and 2,84,765 new cases were recorded worldwide.

Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were the United States with 1,297 new deaths, followed by Brazil with 639 and Spain with 535.

The United States remains the worst-affected country with 5,00,313 deaths from 2,81,90,622 cases.

An emotional US president Joe Biden calls the milestone of more than 5,00,000 US deaths from the virus ‘heartbreaking’ and urges the country to unite against the pandemic.

Asia has reported 2,52,667 deaths from 1,59,49,216 cases, the Middle East 1,02,728 deaths from 53,15,547 cases, Africa 1,01,675 deaths from 38,38,878 cases, and Oceania 947 deaths from 32,072 cases.

India’s Serum Institute, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, despatched on Tuesday its first batch of vaccine shots for the Covax global inoculation programme.

The global vaccine procurement and equitable distribution effort aims to secure vaccines for at least the most vulnerable 20 per cent in every country.

Covax, led by the World Health Organisation and the GAVI alliance, has struck agreements with manufacturers for two billion doses in 2021 and has the option for another billion.

This includes 1.1 billion doses from the Serum Institute, which is producing the AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines.

WHO Southeast Asia tweeted photos of the first shipments being loaded onto a truck at Serum’s manufacturing facility in Pune in western India.

Serum has already supplied the Indian government with millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine as well as other poorer nations.

The company’s head Adar Poonawalla on Sunday urged other countries to be ‘patient’, saying it had been instructed to prioritise its home market over exports.

The Czech Republic is reaching capacity in intensive care wards as infections keep soaring in the EU’s worst-hit country, its health ministry says.

The country tops the world’s per capita infection table over the last 14 days and is second after neighbouring Slovakia for deaths, according to an AFP tally.

Afghanistan launches a vaccination campaign aimed at administering doses to hundreds of thousands of people, as the war-weary nation reels from near-daily attacks by insurgents. 

Strict virus restrictions imposed by North Korea could force the World Food Programme to suspend operations in the country, where chronic malnutrition is rife, a report on the UN organisation’s website says.