Author Archives: News Desk

Don’t worry, remain prepared for tackling any situation: PM

coronavirus

MNA National Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon the people not to worry and remain prepared to face any situation in the wake of the outbreak of coronavirus across the globe. “I’ll tell all that they shouldn’t worry, rather they’ll have to remain prepared for tackling any situation that has risen due to outbreak of the novel coronavirus,” she said. The prime minister came up with the statement while receiving donation for her relief and welfare fund from various government and private organisations through a videoconference from her official Ganabhaban residence in Dhaka on Sunday afternoon, reports BSS. ...

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Malaria drug biggest hope against coronavirus: Novartis CEO

malaria

MNA Editorial Desk: Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said his Sandoz generics unit’s malaria, lupus and arthritis drug hydroxychloroquine is the company’s biggest hope against the coronavirus, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported on Sunday. Novartis has pledged to donate 130 million doses and is supporting clinical trials needed before the medicine, which US President Donald Trump also has been promoting, can be approved for use against the coronavirus, reports Reuters. Other companies including Bayer and Teva have also agreed to donate hydroxychloroquine or similar drugs, while Gilead Sciences is testing its experimental drug remdesivir against coronavirus. “Pre-clinical studies in animals as ...

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Coronavirus pandemic hits hard flow of foreign funds to BD

funds

MNA Business Desk: The coronavirus pandemic has hit hard the flow of aid from foreign donors who cleared 14 per cent less money in the eight months to February than the same period last fiscal year. The amount they pledged in the July-February period has almost halved year-on-year. The government had to repay 10 per cent more to the lenders than it had done during the same period last fiscal year. The pandemic started to hit Bangladesh’s development work in January, especially those involving experts from China and some other countries, Economic Relations Division secretary Fatima Yasmin told the news ...

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Virus prevention measures turn violent in some African countries

coronavirus

MNA International Desk: Police fired tear gas at a crowd of Kenyan ferry commuters as the country’s first day of a coronavirus curfew slid into chaos. Elsewhere, officers were captured in mobile phone footage whacking people with batons. Virus prevention measures have taken a violent turn in parts of Africa as countries impose lockdowns and curfews or seal off major cities. Health experts say the virus’ spread, though still at an early stage on the continent, resembles that of Europe, adding to widespread anxiety. Cases across Africa were set to jump above 4,000 on Saturday, reports AP. Abuses of the ...

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Bangladesh confirms five more coronavirus cases

IEDCR

MNA NAtional Desk: The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) on Thursday confirmed five more coronavirus cases, taking the total to 44 in Bangladesh. The death toll from the disease has remained unchanged at five, IEDCR Director Meerjady Sabrina Flora said while revealing the latest coronavirus figures at an online media briefing this afternoon, report bdnews24.com and UNB. However, four more patients have recovered from the disease. With this, a total of 11 people have already made recovery from the coronavirus. Meanwhile, the global death toll from the coronavirus has leapt to 21,283 globally as of Thursday. It ...

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Refugees, daily wage earners at overwhelming risk: Amnesty

daily wage earners

MNA Editorial Desk: The spread of the novel coronavirus has left the vulnerable and marginalised in grave peril as daily wage earners, people displaced by conflict, health workers and prisoners face huge risks in the face of this calamity. The pandemic is poised to break into thousands of cases in South Asia as more governments across the region this week imposed strict lockdowns and curfews amid fears the virus will strike densely populated areas, overwhelming woefully inadequate healthcare facilities and devastating livelihoods across a region where more than 600 million people already live in poverty, reports bdnews24.com citing an Amnesty ...

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Putin announces paid leave for all Russians next week

Russia

MNA International Desk: Russian President Vladimir Putin declared on Wednesday that all Russians would receive paid leave next week as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All necessary institutions and establishments, including hospitals, pharmacies, shops, banks, transport and government bodies at all levels, will continue their work, Putin said in a televised address to the nation. He proposed to postpone the referendum on constitutional amendments on April 22 and the new date will be set after consulting experts, reports AP. “Now it is extremely important to prevent the threat of the rapid spread of the disease,” the ...

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Coronavirus crisis could destroy far more than 25m jobs: ILO

ILO

MNA Business Desk: The number of jobs lost around the world due to the coronavirus crisis could be “far higher” than the 25 million the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated just a week ago, a senior ILO official said on Thursday, reports Reuters. The United Nations agency said on March 18 that, based on different scenarios for the impact of the pandemic on global economic growth, estimated the global ranks of jobless would rise by between 5.3 million and 24.7 million. However, Sangheon Lee, director of the ILO’s employment policy department, told Reuters in Geneva on Thursday that the scale ...

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Independence Day today

Independence Day

MNA Feature Desk: The Independence and National Day of Bangladesh is today (Thursday). In the wake of the deadly novel coronavirus, the government has suspended all programmes of the day. On the eve of the day, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave separate messages extending heartfelt greetings and warm felicitations to the countrymen living both at home and abroad. Paying tributes to the martyrs and veterans of the War of Liberation at the national mausoleum at Savar has been suspended. Usually on that day, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina place wreaths early ...

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Tk 50.0b stimulus package for export-oriented sectors to pay wages: PM Sheikh Hasina

Sheikh Hasina

MNA National Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced a Tk 50.0 billion stimulus package for export-oriented sectors to pay wages to the workers amid the crisis of coronavirus outbreak. “The fund can be used only for paying wages and allowances to the workers and other employees,” the prime minister said in her televised address to the nation on the eve of Independence Day, reports bdnews24.com. “Our production and exports can be impacted. Therefore, we took some emergency measures,” said Hasina. Bangladesh Bank already took some business-friendly initiatives, including the decision not to declare any customer a loan defaulter until ...

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Khaleda reaches Gulshan residence

Khaleda Zia

MNA Editorial Desk: BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, who was released from jail for six months following an executive order, reached her Gulshan residence, ‘Firoza’, on Wednesday afternoon after two years, one month and 16 days. After walking out of the prison cell of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) where she has been undergoing treatment since April 1 last year, Khaleda started for her Gulshan residence around 4:20 pm. Though the roads were almost empty, it took her nearly an hour to reach Firoza as huge party leaders and activists escorted the vehicle carrying her up to Karwanbazar. The government ...

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UNCTAD backs call to keep ships moving, ports open globally

UNCTAD

MNA Business Desk: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has extended its support to a call to keep maritime trade moving by allowing commercial ships’ continued access to ports worldwide. Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, extended the support on Wednesday in an opinion piece. The piece, titled “Coronavirus: Let’s keep ships moving, ports open and cross-border trade flowing” has appeared at the web-portal of the UN agency. “As the world battles the coronavirus pandemic, the global maritime transport industry is playing a critical role in the response,” he said. “A call by the industry to all governments ...

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Indians scramble for supplies as three-week coronavirus lockdown begins

Indians

MNA International Desk: Indians crowded grocery stores and chemists on Wednesday in a struggle for essential items after prime minister Narendra Modi ordered a total lockdown for three weeks to fight a coronavirus pandemic, one of the toughest such measures worldwide. India’s tally of 536 cases and 10 deaths is dwarfed by China, Italy and Spain, but Modi and health experts have warned that the nation of 1.3 billion people faces a tidal wave of infections if harsh steps are not taken. People in the key cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru rushed to stock up after Modi decreed the ...

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Rail services, except freight trains, suspended indefinitely

coronavirus

MNA National Desk: The government shut down all passenger train services, except freight trains, from Tuesday to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Bangladesh. Railway Minister Nurul Islam made the announcement in a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon, report bdnews24.com and UNB. Meanwhile, according to UNB, Bangladesh Railway Director General Shamsuzzaman, “The services will remain closed until further notice,” he said, adding that intercity train services will be shut down gradually. Bangladesh government on Monday declared general holidays from March 26 to April 4, aiming to prevent its transmission. Besides, the armed forces will remain in the field in the ...

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Myanmar reports first cases of coronavirus

Myanmar

MNA International Desk: Myanmar reported its first confirmed cases of coronavirus in two men who had recently travelled to the United States and the United Kingdom. The Southeast Asian nation had been the most populous country in the world to say it had no cases, despite sharing a long and porous border with China, where the virus originated in the city of Wuhan. The health ministry said a 36-year-old travelling from the United States and 26-year-old returning from Britain, both Myanmar nationals, had tested positive. “Investigation is ongoing on history of people who have been in contact with these two ...

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Bangladesh reports fourth coronavirus death

IEDCR

MNA Editorial Desk: Another person has died from coronavirus in Bangladesh, taking the total death toll to four, said the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR). Besides, five more people have been diagnosed with coronavirus as the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country has increased to 38. IEDCR Director Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora revealed the latest coronavirus figures at a press briefing through online on Tuesday. The dead person was around 70 years old who had been receiving treatment for the last few days, UNB reported. The global death toll from coronavirus or Covid-19 reached ...

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Factory owners against production halt amid virus threat

coronavirus

MNA Business Desk: Industry leaders do not want to shut down factories as a measure to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, so they are waiting for government directives on workers and factories. On Monday, the government declared the shutdown of all government and private offices and courts from March 26 to April 04 amid mounting fears of the coronavirus that infected 33 people and killed three in Bangladesh. The workers are flooding out of cities towards their homes after the announcement. Whether this will fuel the spread of the virus has been brought into question. Some owners said ...

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Covid-19: Altering the global dimension & threats for BD

coronavirus

MNA Editorial Desk: The global coronavirus crisis has taken a leap into the lives of all the people in the world as already 189 countries of the world has been affected. Around 0.35 million people are officially affected by this deadly COVID-19 virus while around 15,000 already lost their lives and the scenario is expected to go worse. According to experts, millions of lives will be lost within the next few months. Bangladesh is also facing this crisis. It is hard to concretely tell how many people are already contaminated by this virus and how many actually died. Bangladesh is ...

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Govt and private offices closed from March 26 to April 4

coronavirus

MNA Editorial Desk: All government and private offices and courts will be closed from March 26 to April 4 to contain the spread of coronavirus, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam announced on Monday. The shutdown will not affect emergency services. Hospitals will be open Public transport will operate on a limited scale during the closure. Already 33 people were affected from COVID-19 virus and 5 people were declared dead. Amid this urgent pandemic scenario which has led many countries of the world to impose lockdown, the Bangladesh government has taken this decision. People all around Bangladesh is under the panic ...

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PM Hasina to address nation on March 25

March 25

MNA National Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will address the nation on March 25, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader has said. Quader was speaking to reporters at a briefing in Dhaka on Monday. According to a bdnews24 report, the premier is expected to issue directives on the coronavirus outbreak in her speech. Quader also said that the Awami League has cancelled all its programmes planned for March 26 due to the global pandemic. “We cannot take any impulsive decision now. We have to take comprehensive preparations and plan when to do what,” he replied when asked whether Hasina could ...

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UN plans global fund to support treatment of coronavirus patients

coronavirus

MNA International Desk: The United Nations will create a fund to support the treatment of coronavirus patients worldwide, Norway’s foreign ministry said on Monday. “A multi-donor fund under UN auspices will provide predictability for our partners and help to make the efforts more effective,” Norway’s Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said in a statement, reports Reuters. The purpose of the fund is to assist developing countries with weak health systems in addressing the crisis as well as to tackle the long-term consequences, the ministry added. A formal announcement could be made later this week, it said. Almost 340,000 people have ...

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COVID-19 threatens Bangladesh economy: ICCB

COVID-19

MNA Business Desk: The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic on March 11 this year, which has now spread to 170 countries and territories and infected over 330,000 people. This number does not adequately show the scale and magnitude of this global crisis, which is not only related to public health but also to the health of the global economy, said a press statement issued by the International Chamber of Commerce, Bangladesh (ICCB) on Monday afternoon. “Economists are grappling and trying to predict the aftermath of this massive disaster,” said the statement. “No ...

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Coronavirus: DSCC orders closing shops, restaurants, tea stalls

DSCC

MNA National Desk: The Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) authorities on Sunday directed to close all restaurants, hotels, tea stalls, bakery, confessionary, and roadside food carts following growing concern over a potential coronavirus outbreak in the country. These establishments will remain closed until further notice, DSCC said in a mass notification. However, hospitals, clinics, primary health service, medical stores, ATM booths, fruits stores, mobile recharge shops, and kitchen markets will remain open as usual, UNB reported. Legal action will be taken against anyone violating the directive, the notification said. Bangladesh on Saturday announced the second coronavirus death and detection of ...

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Islamic Foundation urges Muslims to pray at home on Shab-e-Meraj

Shab-e-Meraj

MNA Editorial Desk: The Islamic Foundation has urged all Muslims to say Shab-e-Meraj prayers at home in view of the threat of the coronavirus. The event will be observed across the country on Sunday night. On the occasion, Muslims around the world offer special prayers all night in mosques and homes seeking blessings of Allah for the welfare of the entire nation and the Muslim Ummah, bdnews24.com reports. “We have asked everyone who goes to mosques to offer prayers five times a day to perform ablution and Sunnah prayers at home and then head to the mosques to offer Fard ...

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Spain warns the ‘worst is yet to come’

coronavirus

MNA International Desk: The Spanish government said on Saturday it would do whatever was needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic and warned that “the worst is yet to come” after the national toll surpassed 1,300 deaths and reached close to 25,000 cases. The second-worst outbreak in Europe showed no sign of slowing as the death toll jumped by more than 300 from the previous day. Intensive care units are filling up in some hospitals. “We have yet to receive the impact of the strongest, most damaging wave, which will test our material and moral capacities to the limit, as well ...

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India curfew halts cargo flow through Petrapole

Petrapole

MNA Business Desk: Cargo handling at the Petrapole port on the India-Bangladesh border came to a halt on Sunday after India launched a 14-hour curfew to limit the fast-spreading coronavirus epidemic in the country, where 315 people have so far been found to have contracted the disease. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an address to the nation last week urged citizens to stay indoors, a move that he said would be a crucial test for a country to assess its abilities to fight the pandemic. “There’s a ‘people’s curfew’ going on across India from 7 am to 9 pm on ...

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Bourses cut one-hour trading due to virus scare

Stock

MNA Business Desk: Following the free-fall of stocks prices, Dhaka Stock Exchange and the Chittagong Stock Exchange have decided to cut by one hour trading time effective from Thursday. The decision was taken on Wednesday at meeting on the board o0f directors of the DSE. The CSE also will also follow the DSE decision, officials said. Trading at the bourses will begin at 10:30am and continue until 1:30pm instead of 2:30pm. The new schedule will be continued until further notice, DSE said in a statement on Wednesday. Normally, the capital market sees a four-hour trading from 10:30am to 2:30pm. “The ...

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