DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh on Monday recorded the highest-ever single-day deaths and cases in the global pandemic, according to the latest government health report.

The overcrowded South Asian state of 166 million people registered 164 fatalities and 9,964 new infections in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 15,229, and caseload to 954,881.

Bangladesh has so far tested specimens from nearly 6.8 million people, including 34,002 over the past day, to detect the virus. The overall infection rate currently stands at 12.13%.

In the wake of an alarming spike in the virus, the country has been observing a nationwide stricter lockdown since July 1 that has been extended one more week to July 14.

Educational institutions across the country have been closed for more than one year and three months citing students’ safety, while the government has declared that until lowering the infection rate below 5%, educational institutions will remain closed.

Bangladesh has to date administered over 10 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, in addition to nearly 81,000 doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine.

Bangladesh on Saturday received 4.5 million more doses of coronavirus vaccines produced in the US and China.

The country started its pilot vaccination program on Jan. 27 this year and a nationwide program on Feb. 7, but on April 25, the government had to suspend its inoculation campaign as India stopped exporting the vaccines due to a record surge in cases and deaths there.

Head of the Directorate General of Health Services Dr. ABM Khurshid Alam on Monday told media that the country would resume COVID-19 vaccine registration this week.

The minimum age for COVID-19 vaccines has also been lowered to 35 so that more young people could be covered during the next inoculation drive.

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