Roundup: Over 1.5 mln vaccine doses administered in Bangladesh as daily caseload declines

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DHAKA, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) — More than 1.5 million people in Bangladesh have so far taken the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine paving the way for the Asian country to contemplate re-opening educational institutions.

The Bangladeshi government is planning to administer COVID-19 vaccines to 16.9 million people from varied high-risk groups on a priority basis.

As of Thursday, officials said some 3 million people had registered on a designated website for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Bangladesh’s countrywide COVID-19 vaccination drive kicked off on Feb. 7, and on Wednesday, the total number of people receiving the first jab reached 1,586,368, showed official data on Thursday.

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) reported on Thursday 391 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 15 new deaths, bringing Bangladesh’s total tally to 542,268 with 8,329 deaths.

Meanwhile, the total number of recovered patients rose to 489,932 including 678 new recoveries, said the DGHS.

According to the latest data, the COVID-19 fatality rate in Bangladesh currently stands at 1.53 percent and recovery rate at 90.35 percent.

Although offices, businesses and transports resumed operation in Bangladesh last June on a limited scale after being suspended for about three months following the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, the educational institutions have remained closed with the extension of government-ordered closure in phases since March 17 last year.

The latest extension of closure was until Feb. 28.

Following declines in daily caseloads, the Bangladeshi government has said it is contemplating reopening educational institutions based on further improvement of the COVID-19 situation.

Bangladeshi Education Minister Dipu Moni said, “We’re still not sure whether educational institutions will be reopened in February or March. We’ll reopen schools only when we’re convinced that the risks are lessened.” Enditem

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