China on Saturday reported nearly 60,000 deaths in people who had COVID-19 since early December, offering hard numbers for an unprecedented surge that was apparent in overcrowded hospitals and packed crematoriums, even as the government released little data about the status of the pandemic for weeks. Those numbers may still underestimate the toll, though the government said the “emergency peak" of its latest surge appears to have passed. The toll included 5,503 deaths due to respiratory failure caused by COVID-19 and 54,435 fatalities from other ailments combined with COVID-19 since Dec. 8, the National Health Commission announced. It said those “deaths related to COVID” occurred in hospitals, which means anyone who died at home would not be included in the numbers. The report would more than double China’s official COVID-19 death toll to 10,775 since the disease was first detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019. China has counted only deaths from pneumonia or respiratory failure in its official COVID-19 death toll, a narrow definition that excludes many deaths that would be attributed to COVID-19 in much of the world. China stopped reporting data on COVID-19 deaths and infections after abruptly lifting anti-virus controls in early December despite a surge in infections that began in October and has filled hospitals with feverish, wheezing patients. Hospitals in Beijing across the country have been overwhelmed with patients, and funeral homes and crematoriums have struggled to handle the dead. Read more: Bangladesh sees 10 more Covid cases, zero death The World Health Organization and other governments appealed for information after reports by city and provincial governments suggested as many as hundreds of millions of people in China might have contracted the virus. Infection numbers now appear to be falling based on a decline in the number of patients visiting fever clinics, said a National Health Commission official, Jiao Yahui. The daily number of people going to those clinics peaked at 2.9 million on Dec. 23 and had fallen by 83% to to 477,000 on Thursday, according to Jiao. “These data show the national emergency peak has passed,” Jiao said at a news conference. Whether China truly has passed a COVID-19 peak is hard to assess, said Dr. Dale Bratzler, chief COVID officer at the University of Oklahoma and head of quality control at the university’s hospital. “That’s difficult to know,” Bratzler said. “China quarantined people indoors, there are many people unvaccinated, the people are vulnerable.” Dr. Albert Ko, an infectious disease physician and professor of public health at the Yale School of Public Health, said the number of COVID-19 deaths China is reporting may be a “significant underestimation” because of how they define them. “They’re using a very narrow case definition for (COVID) deaths,” Ko said. “They have to have respiratory failure ... in order to be counted as a case you have to be at a place where they can say you fulfilled all the requirements, and that’s at a hospital.” Hospitals in China, Ko said, are located mostly in large cities where COVID outbreaks have been reported, not in isolated rural areas. “This is the Lunar New Year, people are traveling, going to the countryside where the population is vulnerable,” Ko said. “We’re really worried about what’s going to happen in China as this outbreak moves to the countryside.” Read more: China halts visas for Japan, South Korea in COVID-19 spat For nearly three years, China had kept its infection rate and deaths far lower than those of the United States and some other countries at the height of the pandemic with a “zero-COVID” strategy that aimed to isolate every case. That shut down access to some cities, kept millions of people at home and sparked angry protests. Those rules were suddenly eased in early December after some of the largest shows of public dissent against the ruling Communist Party in more than 30 years. That set off new problems in a country that relies on domestically developed vaccines that are less reliable than others used globally, and where older people — those more susceptible to dying from the virus — are less likely to be vaccinated than the general population. The Health Commission said the average age of people who died since Dec. 8 is 80.3 years, and 90.1% are aged 65 and above. It said more than 90% of people who died had cancer, heart or lung diseases or kidney problems. “The number of elderly patients dying from illness is relatively large, which suggests that we should pay more attention to elderly patients and try our best to save their lives,” said Jiao. The United States, South Korea, Japan and several other countries have imposed virus testing and other controls on people arriving from China. Beijing retaliated on Wednesday by suspending issuance of new visas to travelers from South Korea and Japan. This month, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said agency officials met with Chinese officials to underline the importance of sharing more details about COVID-19 issues, including hospitalization rates and genetic sequences.
A total of 10,858 people were killed and 12,875 others injured in 7,617 road, railway and waterway accidents across the country in 2022, said Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity, a passengers’ welfare platform, on Monday. Of them, 6,749 road accidents left 9,951 people dead and 12,356 others injured which are the highest figures in the last eight years. Md Mozammel Haque Chowdhury, general secretary of the platform, presented their new report at a press conference in the capital. Read more: Mother, daughter among 3 killed in Faridpur road crash Deaths in road crashes saw a rise by 27.43 percent in 2022 than that of 2021, it said. In the just-concluded year, 550 people were killed and 201 others injured in 606 railway accidents while 262 accidents on waterways claimed lives of 357 people, and left 318 others injured and 743 more missing. The report shows that 52.02 percent of the total accidents last year were on regional highways, 27.70 percent on national highways and 11.88 percent on feeder roads. Besides, 5.67 percent of the total accidents in the country occurred in the capital, 1.71 percent in Chattogram city and 0.99 percent in rail crossings. Read more: Road crashes claim 5 lives in 3 dists Common causes of road accidents Reckless driving, risky overtaking, dilapidated roads, unfit vehicles, unskilled drivers, using mobile phones or headphones while driving and lack of awareness among road users were cited as main reasons behind road crashes. The platform alleged that the number of road accidents and deaths is increasing due to irregularities, corruption and lack of accountability of the agencies responsible for ensuring road safety. It also stressed the need for modernisation of the traffic system, ensuring fitness of vehicles to keep pace with the developed world. Read More: Cinematographer Zahid Hossain killed in road accident
With three more deaths reported from dengue in 24 hours till Tuesday morning, the official death toll from the mosquito-borne disease rose to 281 this year. This is the highest ever dengue fatalities recorded in a single year in Bangladesh. The previous record of 179 deaths were reported in 2019. Read more: Bangladesh reports 49 more dengue cases During this period, 62 more patients, including 35 in Dhaka city, were hospitalised, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). A total of 395 dengue patients, including 203 in the capital, are now receiving treatment at hospitals across the country. Read more: Dengue: Another death, 108 cases reported in 24 hrs The DGHS has recorded 62,189 dengue cases and 61,513 recoveries so far this year.
At least 31 people died and 20 others were hospitalized in serious condition after allegedly drinking tainted liquor sold without authorization in eastern India, a top elected official said Thursday. The deaths occurred Tuesday and Wednesday and the victims belonged to three villages in Saran district of Bihar state where the manufacturing, sale and consumption of liquor are prohibited. The deaths were reported in a district government-run hospital where the sick were brought by their families for treatment, said Dr. S.D. Sinha, the hospital chief. Sale and consumption of liquor were prohibited in Bihar state in 2016 after women's groups campaigned against poor workers splurging their meager incomes on drinking. Police officer Santosh Kumar said several of the 20 hospitalized have lost their eyesight. Several opposition parties, including the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, held protests Thursday outside the state legislature building to demand the state's liquor ban be scrapped and some monetary compensation provided to the bereaved families. Read more: 28 people dead, 60 sick in India from drinking spiked liquor Sushil Modi, the state BJP leader, said more than 1,000 people have died after drinking tainted liquor since the ban was imposed six years ago. The BJP is in opposition in the state. Nitish Kumar, the state's top elected official belonging to the socialist party Janata Dal, rejected their demands and said the ban on the sale of liquor was “not my personal wish but a response to the cries of the women of the state.” Three people have been detained for questioning for allegedly selling spiked alcohol in the area, he said. Saran district is nearly 60 kilometers (40 miles) north of Patna, the Bihar state capital. Deaths from illegally brewed alcohol are common in India, where illicit liquor is cheap and often spiked with chemicals such as pesticides to increase potency. Illicit liquor has also become a hugely profitable industry across India, where bootleggers pay no taxes and sell enormous quantities of their product to the poor at a cheap rate. At least 28 people died and 60 others became ill from drinking tainted liquor in the western Indian state of Gujarat earlier this year. Gujarat is another Indian state where the manufacturing, sale and consumption of liquor are prohibited. Read more: 39 die, dozens sick in India from drinking spurious liquor In 2020, at least 120 people died after drinking tainted liquor in India’s northern Punjab state.
Two people, including a nine-year-old girl, were burnt to death in a fire that broke out at their house in Goalundo upazila of Rajbari on Sunday night. The deceased were identified as Boro Bibi, 90, and Tasmia Aktar, residents of the upazila. The fire broke out at their tin-shed house in Beparipara village around 9 pm following gas cylinder blast while Boro Bibi and Tasmia were asleep, said Swapan Kumar Majumder, officer-in-charge (OC) of Goalundo Ghat police station. On information, a team of Goalunda fire service doused the fire after an hour, said leader of Goalunda fire station Sabekul Islam. The fire fighters also recovered two charred bodies from the house, he added.
Six more Covid-linked deaths and 718 fresh cases were recorded in Bangladesh in 24 hours till Monday morning. With the new numbers, country's total fatalities rose to 29,359 while the total caseload to 2,022,408, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). The daily case test positivity rate declined to 13.58 per cent from Sunday’s 12.96 per cent as 5,288 samples were tested. Read: Bangladesh’s Covid-19 death toll stands at 2,668 The latest deceased included three men and three women. Of them, two each were from Dhaka and Barishal divisions and one each from Chattogram and Rajshahi divisions. The mortality rate remained unchanged at 1.45 per cent while the recovery rate declined to 97.08 per cent respectively. In August, the country reported 32 Covid-linked deaths and 6,689 cases. Bangladesh registered its highest daily caseload of 16,230 on July 28 last year and daily fatalities of 264 on August 10 the same year.
Flash floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains across much of Pakistan have killed nearly 1,000 people and injured and displaced thousands more since mid-June, officials said Saturday. The new death toll came a day after Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif asked for international help in battling deadly flood damage in the impoverished Islamic nation. The monsoon season, which began in June, has lashed Pakistan with particularly heavy rains this year and rescuers have struggled to evacuate thousands of marooned people from flood-hit areas. The crisis has forced the government to declare a state of emergency. Also read: Pakistan seeks international help for flood victims In northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, flooding destroyed the gates of a major water control system at the Swat River, leading to flooding in the districts of Charsadda and Nowshera, said Sania Safi, a top administrator in Charsadda. “We preempted the situation and warned and forced hesitating residents to leave their homes for safety and move to relief camps established at government buildings in safe places,” she said. Safi said there was concern of further rising of the Swat and Kabul rivers, adding to the misery of residents who have already suffered the loss of lives and property. In Nowshera district, local administrator Quratul Ain Wazir said flood waters submerged streets before the gushing waters headed toward low-lying areas. Also read: Official: Flooding in eastern Afghanistan kills at least 9 “Our administration has evacuated many people and taken others to relief camps where government provided beds and food in safe buildings," she said. ... "We will use police to force those hesitant to leave their homes.” Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb said soldiers and rescue organizations were helping people to reach safety in many districts of southern Sindh, northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, eastern Punjab and southwestern Baluchistan provinces. “Government has sanctioned sufficient funds to financially compensate the affected people and we will not leave our people alone in this tough time,” she said. Aurangzeb asked wealthy people and relief organizations to come forward with aid to help flood-affected Pakistanis. In response to Sharif's appeal for international aid, the United Nations planned a $160 million flash appeal for donations, according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Asim Iftikhar. He said in his weekly briefing Friday that the appeal will be launched Aug. 30. The picturesque Kalam Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is one of the areas most affected by the rains and flooding. Waters from overflowing rivers swept away entire buildings, including an iconic hotel. “The situation is pretty serious as we don't have any road link left with the rest of the province, we don't have electricity, gas and communications network and no relief is reaching here,” said Muzaffar Khan, whose grocery store was swept away along with many other shops. Thousands whose homes were swept away now live in tents, miles away from their inundated villages and towns, after being rescued by soldiers, local disaster workers and volunteers, authorities said. In Baluchistan, Asadullah Nasir, a spokesperson at the provincial disaster management authority said all 34 districts of the impoverish province were badly affected due to the heavy rains and subsequent flooding. He said road networks were destroyed and bridges washed away and relief is possible only with helicopters, which are not often able to operate because of bad weather. He said provincial officials have confirmed 235 deaths but the number was expected to increase significantly after communications are restored. The National Disaster Management Authority in its latest overnight report said 45 people were killed in flood-related incidents from Friday to Saturday. That brought the death toll since mid-June to 982 with 1,456 injured. Monsoon rains were expected to continue this week, mainly in the south and southwest. The season usually runs from July to mid September in Pakistan. Heavy rains and subsequent flash floods have damaged bridges, roads network across Pakistan, disrupting the supply of fruit and vegetables to markets and causing a hike in prices.
Two more people died from dengue, and 53 people were hospitalised with the viral infection in the 24 hours to Sunday morning as cases are creeping up again in Bangladesh. All the deceased were from Cox's Bazar. Thirty-five new patients were admitted to the hospitals of Dhaka and 18 outside it, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). Two hundred and twenty-two dengue patients, including 170 in the capital, are now receiving treatment at hospitals across the country. This year, the DGHS has recorded 1,723 dengue cases and 1,498 recoveries so far. Up to now, the directorate has reported three deaths from the mosquito-borne viral disease. On June 21, the DGHS reported the first death of the season from dengue. Read: Dengue situation under control, says LGRD Minister Dengue – a leading cause of serious illness and death in some Asian and Latin American countries – was first reported in Bangladesh in 2000 and claimed 93 lives. In three years, the fatality number almost fell to zero. However, 105 dengue patients, including 95 in Dhaka division, died in 2021. About 4 billion people, almost half of the world's population, live in areas with a risk of dengue, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each year, up to 400 million people get infected with dengue while approximately 100 million get sick from infection, and 40,000 die from severe dengue, it says. "There is no specific treatment for dengue or severe dengue. Early detection of disease progression associated with severe dengue, and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates of severe dengue to below 1 percent," according to the World Health Organization.
Two more people died from Covid, and 1,051 tested positive for the virus in the 24 hours to Friday. While the country's total fatalities reached 29,225, the new number took its caseload to 1,994,433, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). However, the daily case positivity rate fell to 11.55 percent from Thursday's 11.89 percent as 9,130 samples were tested. The mortality rate remained unchanged at 1.47 percent. The recovery rate rose to 96.32 percent from Thursday's 96.28 percent. In June, the country reported 18 Covid-linked deaths and 20,201 new cases, according to the DGHS. Read: Global Covid cases top 565 million Bangladesh reported its first zero Covid death on November 20 last year since the pandemic broke out here in March 2020. The country registered its highest daily caseload of 16,230 on July 28 last year and daily fatalities of 264 on August 10 in the same year.
The overall number of Covid cases has surpassed 554 million amid a rise in new infections in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe. According to the latest global data, the total case count mounted to 554,031,239and the death toll from the virus reached 6,360,788 Sunday morning. The US has recorded 89,522,328 cases so far and 1,043,308 people have died from the virus in the country, the data shows. The UK has recorded 22,741,065 cases so far and 180,417 people have died from the virus in the country, it said. With 16,103 new cases during the past 24 hours, India recorded 43,502,429 covid cases, data released by the country's federal health ministry showed on Sunday. Besides, 29 deaths due to Covid since Saturday morning took the total death toll to 525168. READ: Global Covid cases top 553 million Covid in Bangladesh Bangladesh registered six more Covid-linked deaths with 1,105 new cases in 24 hours till Saturday morning amid an upward trend of infections. The fresh cases took the country's total caseload to 1,976, 787 and the total fatalities to 29,160, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). The daily case positivity rate dropped to 13.22 from Friday’s 15.31 per cent as 8,177 samples were tested during the period, said the DGHS. Of the deceased, three were men and three women. Of them three were from Dhaka division, two from Chattogram and one from Mymensingh division. On Friday, the country recorded 5 more Covid deaths with 1,897 cases. The mortality rate remained unchanged at 1.48 per cent. The recovery rate declined to 96.52 per cent from Friday’s 96.56 per cent as 233 patients recovered during this period. In June, the country reported 18 Covid-linked deaths and 20,201 new cases, according to the DGHS. The country reported its first zero Covid death in a single day on November 20 last year, along with 178 cases, since the pandemic broke out here in March 2020. On January 28, Bangladesh logged its previous highest positivity rate of 33.37 per cent. The country registered its highest daily caseload of 16,230 on July 28 last year and daily fatalities of 264 on August 10 in the same year.