POST TIME: 20 September, 2021 02:56:36 PM
Global Covid-19 update: Vaccines put the brakes on pandemic's advance
UNB, Dhaka

Global Covid-19 update: Vaccines put the brakes on pandemic's advance

While the global caseload for Covid-19 obviously keeps burgeoning, but as we reported yesterday, the pandemic is on the decline globally, which can be gleaned from the rate at which new cases are being reported. That tells us the number of new cases is now declining in most countries of the world, including those that have been worst-affected.

Experts agree that vaccination is the key to beating the pandemic, and the relative paucity of any alarming outbreaks or unusual spikes for a number of weeks now can be directly related to a substantive proportion of the world population now having received at least one jab of a Covid vaccine.

As of September 19 (Sunday), 5.92 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered globally. Different reporting standards or even definitions mean we don't really know how many are fully vaccinated, but Our World in Data, the data visualisation project run out of Oxford University, does report that 43.1% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccine doses are being administered (jab) at an impressive clip of 30.04 million per day (global average). If this pace is maintained, and assuming the total number of jabs needed to fully vaccinate the world or at least reach global herd immunity is 14 billion, it will take another 9 months to complete the global vaccination drive.

However there is no hiding from the fact of vaccine inequality, that may complicate the completion of the drive in the days and months ahead. Nearly 80 percent of the 5.92 billion shots that have gone into arms worldwide have been administered in high- and upper-middle-income countries. Only 0.4 percent of doses have been administered in low-income countries.

Africa has the slowest vaccination rate of any continent, with some countries yet to start mass vaccination campaigns.

The total caseload and fatalities from the virus stand at 228,497,223 and 4,691,285, respectively, as of Monday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

The US has logged 42,087,282 cases and 673,763 deaths to date, according to JHU data. But with 64% of the population of the country having received at least one shot of the vaccine, and 54 %, including vast majority of at-risk groups fully vaccinated, most of the 50 states in the union are slowly returning to normalcy.

Brazil currently has the world's second-highest pandemic death toll after the United States and the third-largest caseload after the United States and India.

The country has recorded 21,239,783 cases with 590,752 fatalities so far, according to its health ministry.

India's COVID-19 total tally rose to 33,448,163 on Sunday, as 30,773 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours across the country, showed the federal health ministry's latest data. Besides, as many as 309 deaths due to the pandemic since Saturday morning took the total death toll to 444,838.

The country however recorded a 15% drop in fresh Covid-19 detected in the week ending Sunday, the lowest weekly count in more than six months, with Kerala numbers declining by a steep 21%.

India reported over 2.14 lakh new cases in the week (September 13-19), down from 2.51 lakh in the previous seven days. This was the lowest number of cases reported in 27 weeks since March 8-14 (for weeks ending Sunday).

It was also the second consecutive week of a substantial decline in Covid numbers. Last week, cases in the country had seen a 13% drop, while in the previous seven days, numbers were mainly flat with a drop of just 0.6%.

Situation in Bangladesh

Covid-19 claimed 43 more lives in 24 hours till Sunday morning and caused 1,383 new infections across the country, said the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

The latest cases were detected after testing 24,623 samples logging a decline in the daily case positivity rate to 5.62 per cent from Saturday’s 6.04 per cent.

The case positivity rate is lowest in around six months as the country last recorded 5.13% daily case positivity rate on March 9 this year.

The new deaths took the country’s total Covid-19 toll to 27,225, while the caseload mounted to 1,542,683.

Meanwhile, the fatality rate remained static at 1.76 per cent, said the DGHS.