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Bangladesh kicks off nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive

Bangladesh kicks off nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive

Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka, 7 February: The Bangladesh government rolled out a countrywide mass COVID-19 vaccination programme on Sunday. Health minister Zahid Maleque inaugurated the nationwide inoculation programme through a video conference from the Health Directorate.

The vaccine will be administered at 1005 centers across the country.

Some 3.28 lakh people got registered to receive a shot until 2:30pm on February 6, said a handout of Directorate General of Health Services.

All the preparations, including the arrangements of equipment and booths, have been taken across the country for carrying out the vaccination drive.

Healthcare workers have been working to implement the vaccination drive.

The health ministry rolled out the inoculation drive at five government hospitals in Dhaka on January 28, a day after prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

On January 27, prime minister Sheikh launched the COVID-19 vaccination programme at Kurmitola General Hospital through a videoconference.

At the inaugural event, five people were vaccinated in the virtual presence of the prime minister. Runu Veronica Costa, a senior staff nurse at Kurmitola General Hospital, was the first to get the shot in the country.

Health minister Zahid Maleque has said 70 lakh doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are currently available in Bangladesh.

‘The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is the safest in the world. The treatment facilities are there in case any side-effect of vaccination is seen,’ the minister said on Wednesday.

Bangladesh first received two million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India as a gift and then imported five million more doses from the Serum Institute of India directly.

For getting a shot, people will have to register on www.surokkha.gov.bd.

Bangladesh reported eight new COVID-19 deaths until early Saturday, including five in Dhaka, taking the national tally to 8,190.

The mortality rate stood at 1.52 per cent, the Directorate General of Health Services said in a handout.

Bangladesh had a daily infection rate of 2.51% with 305 new cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the caseload to 537,770.

On January 1, the daily infection rate was 8.18%.

So far, 3,736,608 tests, including 12,135 new ones, have been carried out since the first cases were reported on March 8.

The overall infection rate stood at 14.39 per cent. However, 482,841 patients — 89.79 per cent — have recovered so far, the DGHS said.

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