The Covid-19 pandemic continues to devastate countries across the world. In fact, the overall number of corona cases is fast approaching 166 million.
The total caseload and fatalities stand at 165,881,422 and 3,438,678, respectively, as of Saturday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
Some 1,599,442,473 vaccine doses have so far been administered across the world, as per the university data.
The US, which is the world’s worst-hit country in terms of cases and deaths, has logged 33,084,800 cases and 589,222 deaths to date.
India has so far registered 26,031,991 cases with 291,331 fatalities, according to the country's Health Ministry.
Brazil has the world's second highest Covid-19 death toll, after the United States, and the third-largest caseload after the United States and India.
The country on Friday reported 2,215 more deaths from Covid-19 in 24 hours, raising the national count to 446,309, the Ministry of Health said.
The ministry said that 76,855 more infections were detected during the period, raising the nationwide tally to 15,970,949.
Situation in Bangladesh
Bangladesh on Friday reported 26 more deaths in 24 hours, taking the country's fatality count to 12,310.
The daily infection rate rose to 8.22% from Thursday's 7.50%, said the Directorate General of Health Services.
Meanwhile, 1,504 people were reported positive in 18,294 tests carried out over the same period, taking the country's caseload to 786,698.
"The fatality number, recorded so far, is lower compared to the number of positive cases. This warrants conduction of genomic sequencing to see if any new but less virulent variant is in the offing," Dr AM Zakir Hussain, former director of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research, told UNB.
Meanwhile, the fatality rate remained unchanged at 1.56% while the recovery rate stood at 92.67%.
Bangladesh launched its vaccination drive on February 7 with Oxford-AstraZeneca doses acquired from India's Serum Institute.
The administration of the first dose has remained suspended since April 26. Also, the country, the prime recipient of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, has suspended the registration for Covid-19 jabs due to an acute shortage amid a delay in the timely arrival of shipments from India.
Vaccine supply update
The government signed an agreement with Serum for 30 million doses. But a record number of cases in India has now made the delivery of the doses uncertain.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen Friday reached out to global media to let the world know that Bangladesh is desperately looking for vaccines and ready to accept any shipment from any country, including the US.
"A large number of people in Bangladesh, who took the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, could not get the second dose because we have run out of supplies," the minister said.
Also, Dr Momen said he had requested the US government to send vaccines to Bangladesh at the earliest.
"They have agreed. However, the US Food and Drug Administration is taking much time to approve the export of AstraZeneca jabs," he said.
The minister Thursday said the government was making its best efforts to get vaccines from multiple countries – the US, China, Canada, Russia and the UK – apart from its continuous request to India to meet Bangladesh's urgent needs.
Bangladesh received five lakh China's Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine doses as a gift on May 12. The administering of the shots will begin by May 25-26, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque.
Also, the country would receive a minimum of 106,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine under the COVAX initiative, Zahid Maleque said on Tuesday.
Besides, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs Wednesday approved a proposal of the Health Services Division to import the Sinofarm Covid-19 vaccine.