COVID-19 claims 16 more, infects 369 in Bangladesh

COVID-19 killed 16 more people and infected 369 others in Bangladesh in the past 24 hours ending at 8:00am Sunday while global toll from the novel coronavirus rose to 22,19,793.

With the figures, the country’s COVID-19 death toll has reached 8,127 and the number of cases 5,35,139, according to the Directorate General of Health Services.

The health agency in its daily update on Sunday said that 12,225 samples were tested across the country in the 24-hour period and 3.02 per cent of them were found COVID-19 positive.

Bangladesh on March 8 past year reported its first three coronavirus cases and on March 18 its first death from the virus.

The country on Sunday entered the 48th week of its COVID-19 outbreak.

In recent weeks, both COVID-19 cases and deaths witnessed falls.

The overall COVID-19 positivity rate is now 14.65 per cent and the overall fatality rate 1.52 per cent.

The daily test positivity rate was initially low but   started to increase from mid-May past year.

Towards the end of that month the rate went above 20 per cent and remained so until the third week of August.

Since then the test positivity rate has been on a decline and now it has been between 4 and 5 per cent for days.

According to the DGHS update, 11of the fresh deaths were reported from Dhaka division while one each was from Khulna, Rajshahi, Barishal, Sylhet and Rangpur divisions.

Fourteen of the deceased were aged above 60 years while one was between 51 and 60 years and another between 41 and 50 years. 

So far, 4,79,744 COVID-19 patients have recovered, including 447 in the past 24 hours.

Agence France-Presse adds: The novel coronavirus has killed at least 22,19,793 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Sunday.

At least 10,25,14,200 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 6,21,82,600 are now considered recovered.

These figures are based on daily tolls provided by health authorities in each country and exclude later re-evaluations by statistical organisations, as has happened in Russia, Spain and Britain.

On Saturday, 13,683 new deaths and 5,11,755 new cases were recorded worldwide.

Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were the United States with 3,130, followed by Mexico with 1,495 and Brazil with 1,279.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 4,39,536 deaths from 2,60,75,103 cases.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 2,23,945 deaths from 91,76,975 cases, Mexico with 1,58,074 deaths from 18,57,230 cases, India with 1,54,274 deaths from 1,07,46,183 cases, and the United Kingdom with 1,05,571 deaths from 37,96,088 cases.

Europe overall has 7,35,831 deaths from 3,32,94,313 cases, Latin America and the Caribbean 5,95,569 deaths from 1,88,57,593 infections, and the United States and Canada 4,59,451 deaths from 2,68,49,171 cases.

Asia has reported 2,40,102 deaths from 1,52,01,467 cases, the Middle East 97,426 deaths from 47,24,476 cases, Africa 90,469 deaths from 35,55,504 cases, and Oceania 945 deaths from 31,685 cases.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have issued a sweeping order requiring the wearing of masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19 on virtually every form of public transportation throughout the country.

The order, issued late Friday, extends to travel on airplanes, trains, buses, taxis, ride-shares, subways, ferries and ships.

It expands on one of the first executive orders signed by president Joe Biden, which required masking for interstate travel as part of a larger strategy to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The new order, which also covers intrastate travel, takes effect at 11:59pm Monday (0459 Tuesday GMT).

‘Wearing masks on our transportation systems will protect Americans and provide confidence that we can once again travel safely even during this pandemic,’ the order states.

‘Therefore, requiring masks will help us control this pandemic and aid in reopening America’s economy.’

The CDC order covers passengers and transportation operators both during travel and while waiting in transportation hubs.

It says operators must make ‘best efforts’ to enforce mask-wearing, and if necessary should disembark anyone refusing to comply.

It says, without providing much detail, that enforcement will ultimately be the responsibility of the federal Transportation Security Administration, as well as of ‘cooperating state and local authorities.’

Noncompliance will constitute ‘a violation of federal law,’ according to the order.

Exemptions to mask-wearing are allowed for people eating, drinking or taking medication, as well as those communicating with the hearing-impaired. Masks can also be briefly removed during identity checks.

The United States has the world’s worst COVID-19 statistics, but the numbers of cases and hospitalisations have declined for the past two weeks, with some experts partly crediting improved adherence to masking and social-distancing measures.

One of Biden’s first official acts after his inauguration January 20 was to order mask-wearing on federal property. He has said consistent mask-wearing could save 50,000 American lives by April.

But former president Donald Trump frequently mocked the practice — and was rarely seen wearing a mask — making enforcement of the new standard more problematic in some parts of the country.

French president Emmanuel Macron has gambled by not imposing a third national lockdown to contain COVID-19 — against expectations and the advice of his most senior scientific advisers.

The 43-year-old leader opted to tighten existing restrictions on travel and shopping at a cabinet meeting on Friday after a week in which his government appeared to be preparing the public for new stay-at-home orders.

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