Global Covid-19 death toll exceeds 1.5 million, cases 6.51mn

The global death toll from Covid-19 pandemic surged past 1.5 million on Friday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

The global caseload stood at 6.51 million with the US recording most cases (14,124,678).
Coronavirus cases were first reported in China in December last year and it was declared a pandemic in March.
Death toll in the US has reached 276,148 and health experts warn that cases in the county could rise further.
In neighbouring India, the number of cases neared 1 million (9,534,964) with 138,648 deaths, the JHU data showed.
Bangladesh, which reported its first cases on March 8 and the first death on March 18, has seen a spike in cases in recent days. On Thursday, the health authorities reported 2,316.
The country also recorded 35 more coronavirus-related deaths, pushing the fatalities to 6,748.
A study by the UNDP warned that an additional 207 million could be pushed into extreme poverty. UN economists said the pandemic is likely to cause the worst economic crisis in decades among least developed countries.
Coronavirus vaccines are being developed. Pfizer and BioNTech last week said they won permission for emergency use of their vaccine in Britain, the world’s first coronavirus shot that’s backed by rigorous science.
The US and the European Union are also vetting the Pfizer shot along with a similar vaccine made by competitor Moderna Inc.
But for Bangladesh, availing of benefits from the two vaccines is a big challenge due to its existing poor cold chain.
Last week, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved in principle a proposal of the Health Services Division to procure Covid-19 vaccine directly from any organisation through negotiations without following any bidding process.
The government has said that it will initially provide 30 million free doses of vaccine to the citizens of the country selecting the recipients following the protocol of the World Health Organisation.
It plans to procure the doses of Oxford-AtraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India. – AP/UNB