Exclusive Stories

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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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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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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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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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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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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ICC, WHO to work jointly for fighting COVID-19 pandemic

ICC

MNA Editorial Desk: The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has reached an unprecedented agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO) to mobilise ICC private sector network to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, ICC and the WHO issued a joint statement on Wednesday outlining key elements, which include: disseminating the latest and expert advice to businesses, forging collaboration between the private sector, UN and WHO country teams; and providing business insights to help international COVID19 crisis management efforts. Meanwhile, ICC Chair Paul Polman and Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO have written an open letter to the Saudi ...

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US researchers test first coronavirus vaccine

coronavirus

MNA Editorial Desk: US researchers gave the first shots in a first test of an experimental coronavirus vaccine Monday, leading off a worldwide hunt for protection even as the pandemic surges. With careful jabs in the arms of four healthy volunteers, scientists at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle began an anxiously awaited first-stage study of a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed in record time after the new virus exploded out of China and fanned out across the globe. “We’re team coronavirus now,” Kaiser Permanente study leader Dr Lisa Jackson said on the eve of the experiment. “Everyone wants ...

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14-day quarantine mandatory for returnees from abroad

quarantine

MNA Editorial Desk: The government has announced a 14-day mandatory quarantine for any person arriving in Bangladesh from abroad as coronavirus cases rose in the country. The order was issued from the cabinet meeting led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office on Monday, said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam, report bdnews24.com and UNB. “Whoever arrives from overseas must undergo a compulsory 14-day quarantine. There’s no exemption to it,” he said. “Otherwise, the returnees will face legal action,” the cabinet secretary added. Bangladesh on Monday announced the detection of three new coronavirus patients and confirmed that the virus has ...

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PM for constructive talks among SAARC countries to battle coronavirus

coronavirus

MNA Editorial Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina welcomed her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi’s proposal on strategies to battle coronavirus in SAARC region and said will look forward to a constructive dialogue with other heads of states of the region as well. “I hope this conference will show a new path to all of us in tackling the coronavirus,” added Sheikh Hasina. She also said the health ministers and secretaries can also have a similar conference to discuss the technicalities of the response to the coronavirus. Hasina made the remarks at a video conference with SAARC member countries to chalk out ...

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Countries close borders, restrict travel to prevent coronavirus spread

quarantine

MNA Editorial Desk: Countries around the world on Saturday continued to close borders, impose strict entry and quarantine requirements and restrict large gatherings in efforts to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, reports Reuters. Apple Inc (AAPL.O) said it will close all its retail stores worldwide, outside Greater China, until March 27. Apple reopened all 42 of its branded stores in China on Friday as the spread of the virus on mainland China slowed dramatically. Countries have shuttered museums, tourist attractions and sporting events to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission, with more than 138,000 people worldwide infected and ...

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Follow instructions to fight coronavirus: PM Hasina

coronavirus

MNA Editorial Desk: Noting that the government is making its best efforts to fight coronavirus, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged the people of the country to properly follow the awareness-raising instructions over the virus. “We’ve been trying our best to resist Covid-19 or Coronavirus… the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) is regularly providing instructions to raise awareness over the virus. All will have to follow these instructions regarding awareness,” she said while addressing a function at her official residence Ganobhaban. The Prime Minister said this inaugurating the countrywide cleanup campaign under the ‘Clean Village-Clean Town’ ...

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Govt allocates Tk 500m to tackle coronavirus

coronavirus

MNA Editorial Desk: The government has allocated Tk 500 million for health services to prevent the spread of coronavirus after the detection of the first cases in Bangladesh. The finance ministry informed the Directorate General of Health Services about the allocation on Wednesday in response to the directorate’s request for Tk 1 billion. The money from the fund set aside for unexpected expenditure management in the revised budget of 2019-20 will be used to launch or extend coronavirus-related health services. Most of the fund, over Tk 455 million, is for purchase of equipment. The rest will be used to raise ...

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IEDCR requests elderly people to maintain self-quarantine

IEDCR

MNA Editorial Desk: Country’s state-run disease monitoring wing Institute of Epidemiology, Diseases Control and Research (IEDCR) has requested elderly people, along with foreign returnees, to maintain self-quarantine as it the most viable way to remain safe from coronavirus disease, COVID-19. IEDCR Director Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora came up with the statement at a press briefing at the auditorium of the institute in city’s Mohakhali area. IEDCR’s Principal Scientific Officer Dr ASM Alamgir was present at the briefing. Dr Flora said no new coronavirus case found in the country after confirming the initial three, and they (the affected persons) too are ...

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Biman reduces 50pc int’l flights due to coronavirus outbreak

Biman

MNA Editorial Desk: The Biman Bangladesh Airlines has reduced its international flight frequency to more than 50 per cent due to passenger’s scarcity as well as ban on flight operation in some destinations for global outbreak of novel coronavirus. “We have decided to reduce our total weekly flight (to and from) to 68 from 142 in our 10 international destinations due to mainly passenger’s scarcity amid the outbreak of coronavirus,” Biman’s managing director and CEO Mokabbir Hossain told newsmen on Monday in the capital. The national flag carrier operates international flights to Kuala Lumpur, Kathmandu, Kolkata, New Delhi, Bangkok, Singapore, ...

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IEDCR confirms first three coronavirus cases in Bangladesh

coronavirus

MNA Editorial Desk: The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) has confirmed three coronavirus cases for the first time in Bangladesh. IEDCR Director Professor Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora gave the information at a press briefing on Sunday, reports bdnews24.com. “Two men and a woman, aged between 20 and 35 years, have tested positive for the virus and they have been kept in quarantine,” the IEDCR director said. “Their condition is stable now,” she added. Among the three infected people, two returned from Italy recently, according to the government’s disease control agency. Samples from four people who came in ...

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Coronavirus infects 100,000-plus worldwide raising fierce alarm

coronavirus

MNA Editorial Desk: Twenty-one people aboard a cruise ship that was barred from docking in San Francisco have tested positive for coronavirus, US officials said on Friday, adding to the more than 100,000 cases of the fast-spreading illness across the world. Vice president Mike Pence, recently appointed as the US government’s point man on the outbreak, said the cruise ship Grand Princess will be brought to an unspecified non-commercial port where all 2,400 some passengers and 1,100 crew members will now be tested. “Those that need to be quarantined, will be quarantined. Those that require additional medical attention will receive ...

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Separate hospital if coronavirus case rises

coronavirus

MNA Editorial Desk: A separate hospital will be built in the country to control coronavirus outbreak if the number of patients rises at any place, informed the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research. “Isolation unit has been opened at the sadar hospitals in all districts for proving treatment to coronavrus patients. But, if the number of case rises anywhere, a separate hospital will be built there,” said IEDCR director Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora at a press briefing on Thursday. Informing that the situation in China is improving, she said the disease is spreading to other countries outside China. “Of ...

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NRC, CAA won’t affect Bangladesh: Shringla

foreign secretary

MNA Editorial Desk: Highlighting the “most extensive and integrated” relationship between the two countries, Indian foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Monday reiterated that the NRC and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will have no impact on Bangladesh. “These are purely internal to India,” he said while delivering the keynote speech at a seminar on “Bangladesh and India: A Promising Future” at Sonargaon Hotel in the city. Bangladesh Institute for International Studies (BISS) hosted the event. Prime minister’s international affairs adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi spoke as the chief guest highlighting the relationship between the two countries, UNB reported. He laid emphasis ...

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Modi an Indian citizen by birth, doesn’t need certificate

citizenship

MNA Editorial Desk: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has no citizenship certificate rather he is a citizen of that country by birth. Replying to a query by one Subhankar Sarkar, Indian Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) provided him with the information, reports Anandabazar Patrika on Sunday. On January 17 this year, Subhankar sought information about the citizenship certificate through the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Replying to the query, Indian PMO Secretary Parveen Kumar informed him– “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a citizen of India by birth in terms of Section 3 of the Citizenship Act 1955, and as such the ...

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Energy regulator hikes retail power prices by 5.3pc

BERC

MNA Editorial Desk: The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) has hiked retail electricity prices by Tk 0.36 or 5.3 per cent, from Tk 6.77 to Tk 7.13 per unit, making the new rate effective from March 01. The BERC announced the decision from a media briefing in Dhaka on Thursday after holding a public hearing on a proposed increase in bulk electricity tariff. Meanwhile, the BERC increased the wholesale prices of power by 8.4 per cent, from Tk 4.77 to Tk 5.17 per unit. The cost of power transmission or wheeling charge has also been increased by 5.3 per cent ...

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Singapore’s Bangladeshi workers have eyes on home as coronavirus shakes community

workers

MNA Editorial Desk: With his shaggy grey beard, rose-coloured robe and a prayer cap that extends his tall frame, shopkeeper Tariqul Islam is an imposing figure on the stall-lined street that serves up home comforts to Singapore’s Bangladeshi community. He stands out even more now many of his customers have left the country or been told to avoid crowds after a coronavirus outbreak infected some Bangladeshi construction workers, thinning out the normally bustling thoroughfare. Unease over the virus has gripped groups of migrant workers across Asia – who often live in crowded, cramped conditions – and their families thousands of ...

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HC seeks report on Khaleda’s health condition

Khaleda Zia

MNA Editorial Desk: The High Court on Sunday asked Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Vice Chancellor to submit a report on BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s health condition by 5:00pm on Wednesday. The court also fixed February 27 for hearing on her bail petition in Zia Charitable Trust graft case. The HC bench of Justice Obaidul Hassan and Justice AKM Zahirul Huq came up with the directives on Sunday after hearing on the bail petition, reports UNB. The court asked the BSMMU VC to inform the court three things — whether Khaleda Zia allowed medical board to give her advanced ...

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Dozens of Rohingya face charges after attempt to flee Rakhine

Rohingya

MNA Editorial Desk: Dozens of Rohingya Muslims, including two children, appeared in court in Myanmar on Friday, the latest group to face charges after attempting to flee conflict-torn Rakhine state. The group of about 20 were among 54 people from the Rohingya minority arrested on Wednesday on the outskirts of the commercial capital Yangon while trying to leave for Malaysia, according to judge Thida Aye, reports Reuters. “The immigration officer submitted the case because they found no identification cards from these people,” she said. Some were barefoot, others clothed in colourful head-scarfs, as they were ushered into the small courtroom ...

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Air Quality Index: Dhaka ranks worst yet again

Dhaka

MNA Editorial Desk: Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka again ranked worst in the Air Quality Index (AQI) on Thursday morning. It had an AQI score of 287 at 08:18am. The air was classified as ‘very unhealthy’. Nepal’s Kathmandu and India’s Delhi occupied the second and third spots in the list of cities with the worst air quality with AQI scores of 190 and 188 respectively, according to a news agency report. When the AQI value is between 201 and 300, the entire population is more likely to be affected. The AQI, an index for reporting daily air quality, informs people how clean ...

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No possibility of militant attack on Feb 21: DMP chief

DMP

MNA Editorial Desk: Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Mohammad Shafiqul Islam on Wednesday said there is no possibility of any militant attack and act of sabotage centring the International Mother Language Day and Shaheed Dibosh on February 21. He, however, said a four-tier security arrangement will be there in place in and around the Central Shaheed Minar to smooth observance of the day. While talking to reporters after visiting the Shaheed Minar, the DMP chief said those who will come to pay tributes to the Language Movement martyrs will have to enter the Shaheed Minar premises through archways and ...

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HC directs authorities to set up breastfeeding corners at all factories

breastfeeding

MNA Editorial Desk: The High Court on Tuesday directed the authorities concerned to set up breastfeeding corners at all mills and factories across the country within two months. The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice M Mostafizur Rahman passed the order. Labour secretary and Chairman of Department of Labour were directed to submit report within 60 days on implementation of the order, said Advocate Israt Hasan, who filed a petition in this regard on October last. On October 24 last year, nine-month-old baby Umair Bin Sadi and his mother Advocate Israt Hasan filed the writ seeking a ...

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