Bangladesh begins vaccination against COVID-19

Bangladesh begins vaccination against COVID-19

Runu Veronica Costa, a senior nurse of Kurmitola General Hospital, received the first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina virtually inaugurated the pilot vaccination programme.

State-run BTV telecast the event live. ‘I’m glad that we have succeeded in collecting the vaccines and hope we could protect our people with the vaccination against coronavirus,’ said Hasina as she officially inaugurated the vaccination.

She also expressed her condolence at the loss of lives due to COVID-19. ‘Please work and help us to make the vaccination campaign a success,’ PM said.

While inaugurating the programme Hasina asked Runu if she was afraid and the nurse replied in the negative. ‘You are so courageous to receive the vaccine first.

We are proud of you,’ Hasina complimented her. Followed by Runu, KGH doctor Ahmed Lutful Moben, Directorate General of Health Services additional director general Nasima Sultana, police officer Didarul Islam of Dhaka Metropolitan Police and Brigadier General Emran Hamid of Bangladesh Army received the jab, which prime minister witnessed.

Bangladesh plans to begin the mass vaccination on February 7, after vaccinating about 500 healthcare providers in four other hospitals in the capital.

The vaccinated healthcare providers will be observed for a week. Bangladesh has so far secured 70 lakh doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India.

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Worldwide coronavirus cases surpassed 90 million on Monday

Worldwide coronavirus cases surpassed 90 million on Monday

Worldwide coronavirus cases surpassed 90 million on Monday, according to Reuters tally, as nations around the globe scramble to procure vaccines and continue to extend or reinstate lockdowns to fight new coronavirus variants.

The new Covid-19 variants discovered initially in the United Kingdom and South Africa are rapidly spreading globally.

The novel coronavirus has picked up pace in the past few months with about one-third of total cases registered in the last 48 days, according to a Reuters tally.

Europe, which became the first region to report 25 million cases last week, remains the worst-affected area in the world, followed by North and Latin Americas with 22.4 million and 16.3 million cases respectively.

Europe has reported around 31 per cent of about 1.93 million coronavirus-related deaths globally. The United Kingdom, the worst-affected European country, crossed 3 million cases last Friday.

The nation is on course to have immunized its most vulnerable people against Covid-19 by mid-February and plans to offer a shot to every adult by autumn.

To control the spread of new coronavirus variant, countries across the globe have started to extend movement and business restrictions.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel and state premiers last week agreed to restrict non-essential travel for residents of hard-hit areas all over Germany for the first time, after a lockdown decreed in December failed to significantly reduce infection numbers.

French authorities imposed a stricter evening curfew in Marseille after authorities said the new variant of the Covid-19 virus initially found in the UK had been discovered in the Mediterranean city.

The United States, world’s worst-affected country, reported its highest death toll on Wednesday, with over 4,000 fatalities in a single day. The nation has recorded more than 22 million cases since the pandemic started, reporting on average 245,000 new infections a day over the last seven days, according to a Reuters analysis.

In Asia, India crossed 150,000 deaths last Tuesday, becoming the third nation to reach the grim milestone. The south Asian nation has approved two Covid-19 vaccines and will start its vaccination drive from January 16 with priority given to about 30 million healthcare and frontline workers.