03-08-2021

tbtbangla

tueSday

DhAkA: August 3, 2021; Srabon 19, 1428 BS; Zilhaj 23,1442 hijri

www.thebangladeshtoday.com; www.bangladeshtoday.net

Regd.No.DA~2065, Vol.19; N o. 102; 12 Pages~Tk.8.00

international

Millions under virus

lockdown as China

battles Delta outbreak

>Page 7

SPortS

Isner beats Nakashima

to capture sixth

ATP Atlanta title

>Page 9

art & culture

Poet Rezauddin

Stalin wins

int’l award

>Page 10

Zohr

oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccination has resumed in the country after a two-month shutdown due to

a supply crisis. More than 1.5 million people were waiting for the second dose of the vaccine. photo : Star Mail

Dengue spike

287 more

hospitalized

in 24 hrs

DHAKA : A total of 287 fresh dengue

cases were reported in Bangladesh in

the last 24 hours till Monday morning ,

the highest number in single day so far

this year, reports UNB.

The outbreak of dengue fever -over

100 dengue patients reported daily for

more than a week-has sparked new

worries as the country's health services

are already overburdened with growing

Covid cases and fatalities.

Of the new dengue cases, 279 were

reported in Dhaka while only eight from

outside the capital, said the Directorate

General of Health Services (DGHS).

According to the (DGHS), 978

patients are currently receiving treatment

at different hospitals across the

country. Some 3,182 patients have been

admitted to different hospitals with

dengue since January and 2,200 of

them have been released after they

recovered.

To eradicate dengue larvae in Dhaka

South City Corporation (DSCC) areas a

control room will be opened from

Monday, said DSCC mayor Barrister

Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh.

Sheikh Taposh said that the control

room of Dhaka South City Corporation

will be opened from August 2 to eradicate

the source of dengue larvae.

The mayor said this at Nagar Bhaban

on Sunday while addressing the meeting

regarding measures to control

dengue. Dengue fever was first reported

in Bangladesh in 2000, claiming 93

lives that year. In the years that followed,

the country learned to deal with

the disease much better.

The fatalities had almost fallen to zero

at one stage, before surging again in

2018, leading to the severe outbreak the

following year.

04:08 AM

12:10 PM

04:42 PM

06:45 PM

08:05 PM

5:28 6:41

Govt to permit some IPTVs

this month:Hasan Mahmud

DHAKA : Information and Broadcasting

Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Monday

said approvals will be given to some

Internet Protocol Televisions (IPTV) within

this month, reports UNB.

"We did not give any permission to any

IPTV yet. We have asked the authorities

concerned to apply for registration and

some 600 applications have been submitted.

We will give approval of some IPTV

within this month after scrutiny," he said.

The Minister came up with the information

while talking to reporters at the

Secretariat.

"It is known to all that according to the

broadcast policy an IPTV can't present any

news and allegations have been brought

against some IPTV," said Hasan.

Replying to a question, the Awami

League joint general secretary also said

"The government has announced the

mass inoculation drive following the

roadmap, but BNP is trying to mislead

people as they did in the past."

Referring to the Gonoshasthya Kendra

founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury's

remark about the government's wrong

policy, Hasan said "Knowing everything

about the global situation, Dr Zafrullah is

also misleading people. His statement is

Covid in Bangladesh

nothing but misleading." Dr Zafrullah on

Sunday said the country's health system

has collapsed due to the 'wrong' policy of

the government as it is suffering from 'dependency

syndrome'.

"The Covid death rate has increased in

the country because of the government's

wrong policy. The government has been

walking on a wrong path for which the

health system has completely collapsed,"

he said while speaking at a press conference

at Gonoshasthaya Kendra.

"The government has taken all steps to

stem the Covid-19 from the beginning and

we were able to tackle the first wave of

Covid-19 successfully under the leadership

of the prime minister," Hasan said.

He said that the government has already

declared that 10 crore doses will come

within this year and one crore people will

be vaccinated in one month.

To a query about the reopening of

export-oriented factories amid strict

lockdown and sufferings of workers, the

minister said the demand to reopen the

export-oriented factories came from the

businessmen. The decision to reopen

factories was not made by any secretary

or person, it was the decision of the government.

Seniors far more likely

to face the worst

DHAKA : Elderly people, aged 60 years or

above, make up around 7.5% of

Bangladesh's total population, but they

account for around 80 percent of Covid

fatalities due to comorbidities and weakened

immune systems, say health experts,

reports UNB.

As the government is set to embark on a

special drive to vaccinate one core people

in a week from August 7, they said a strategy

should be there to immunise the senior

citizens on the top priority basis to

reduce the growing Covid death rate in the

country. The analysts also said community

engagement and mobile vaccination

teams are crucial to ensure the vaccines for

elderly people, especially in rural areas, as

they are less aware of the vaccines while

many of them are sick and unable to go to

the vaccination centres.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque on

Sunday said one crore doses of Covid-19

vaccines will be administered among people

in a festive mood across the country on

August 7-14. Talking to UNB, Robed

Amin, spokesman of the Directorate

General of Health Services (DGHS), said

the percentage of people aged over 60

infected with the coronavirus is relatively

low, but the mortality rate in this group is

very high as they suffer from various critical

diseases. He said the senior citizens are

mostly getting infected by young people

while 80% of them are dying from the

virus infection. "As per our data, around

80% of Covid deaths in our country are

among people in their 60s or older."

Prof AKM Nurun Nabi, founder

Chairman of Dhaka University's

Population Sciences department, said elderly

people aged 60 years and above constitute

around 7.5% (12.5 million) of the

country's total population. "Elderly people

are usually vulnerable to any disease as

they lose their resistance power and suffer

from various chronic and critical diseases.

So, the mortality rate of aged Covid-19

patients is very high all over the world."

Dr Robed said the government will give

priority to senior citizens in providing the

vaccine doses during the upcoming mass

vaccination drive.

Covid kills 246

more in BD

TBT RepoRT

DHAKA : The rapid rise in cases and

fatalities, driven by the Delta variant,

shows the worst days of the pandemic

are far from over in Bangladesh as the

country added 246 fatalities to its

national tally Monday.

The country has been shattering the

records of daily cases and deaths almost

every other day, reporting over 200 single-day

fatalities for the last nine days.

The Covid-19 infections are at their

peak now, with 14,241 new cases reported

on average each day, plunging the

country into uncertainty.

Bangladesh recorded 15,989 new

cases Monday after testing 53,462 samples,

up from13,862logged on July 30.

The country reported the highest daily

Covid-19 fatality number - 258 - on July

27 and 16,230 infections the next day.

There have been 1,280,317 infections

and 21,262 coronavirus-related deaths

here since the pandemic began, according

to the Directorate General of Health

Services.

Meanwhile, the daily test positivity

rate fell to 29.91% from yesterday's

29.97%, while the World Health

Organization (WHO) recommends a

5% or below rate.

However, the recovery rate rose to

86.60% and the case fatality remained

unchanged at 1.65% compared to the

same period.

HC seeks govt decision

on Covid jabs to

pregnant women

DHAKA : The High Court on Monday

asked the government to let the court

know within 72 hours its decision about

providing Covid jabs to pregnant

women, reports UNB.

The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur

Rahim passed the order after hearing a

writ petition seeking steps to provide

Covid jabs for pregnant women on priority

basis.

It also asked the attorney general to

contact the health and family welfare

ministry, Directorate General of Health

Services and National National

Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC)

in this regard.

On July 31, four lawyers filed a petition

seeking necessary steps from the

government to provide Covid vaccine to

expectant women on priority basis.

The High Court also said the government

is needed to take a specific decision

within 72 hours. The Court also

asked the attorney general to contact the

authorities concerned as they declared

the decision formally within this period.

"We do not provide any formal order

as our health minister said that they will

take decisions about the pregnant

women.

Repatriation is the only

solution, not integration

FM about Rohingya crisis

DHAKA : Foreign Minister Dr AK

Abdul Momen on Monday reiterated

the government position against any

long-term programme by the World

Bank for the integration of Rohingyas

into Bangladesh but indicated some

adjustments on the proposal.

He said there might be some adjustments

with the World Bank proposal

with Bangladesh

giving its priority

to repatriation of

the Rohingyas.

"We've dropped

all ideas (from

WB proposal)

that don't match

with our own philosophy

that's

repatriation," Dr

Momen told

reporters, adding

that there will be

an MoU if the WB

agrees with the

Bangladesh proposal.

The Foreign Minister said the WB has

taken a long-term programme for 16

countries which are hosting refugees

and they will provide money from a Tk-

2000 crore fund.

"Rohingyas are not refugees here.

They're persecuted and displaced people

...they're taking shelter here on a

temporary basis," Dr Momen said.

Earlier, the Foreign Minister told

UNB that the government has taken a

very strong stance against the idea floated

by the World Bank that apparently

suggests integration of Rohingyas into

Bangladesh giving them all the rights

like Bangladesh citizens.

"We took a very strong stance. We

didn't like it and we opposed it strongly.

We conveyed it," said Dr Momen.

The World Bank came up with a programme

as part of its Refugee Policy

Review Framework globally for refugee

host countries through the Economic

Relations Division (ERD).

The Foreign Minister said integration

of Rohingyas in Bangladesh is not the

solution but they will have a better

future only when they are repatriated.

"They should go back. That's the only

way-out."

Owners want to reopen hotels,

restaurants after Aug 5

DHAKA : The owners of hotels and restaurants

want to reopen their business places

after August 5 following the health safety

guidelines. If it is not possible, Bangladesh

Restaurant Owners Association wants to

keep open their hotels and restaurants after

August 5 keeping half of the seats empty or

in 50 percent sitting arrangements.

They said during the ongoing countrywide

restrictions to curb the spread of

COVID-19 infection rate, only 2 to 3 percent

of the overall restaurants could only remain

open their online or take away service.

On the other hand, around 80 percent

of the countrywide restaurants remained

shut for which the concerned entrepreneurs

as well as the staffs are passing

through a tough time.

Secretary General of the Bangladesh

Restaurant Owners Association Imran

Hasan read out a written statement highlighting

the demands of the Association at

the Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) auditorium

in the capital. Imran said the hotels

and restaurants are the worst affected sector

during this pandemic as those could

hardly remained operational only through

online or take away service or through limited

sitting arrangements as per the directives

of the government. "But, it is not possible

to run the business only through take

away service," he added.

The Association leaders said some 30

lakh officials and staffs and some 2 crore

people are directly or indirectly involved in

some 60,000 restaurants, but they are now

passing through a miserable life as around

80 percent of the countrywide restaurants

remained shut due to the restrictions.

Under the circumstances, the Association

leaders placed a six-point demand before

the government.

A very important border road of Tabalchhari-Taindang in Matiranga Upazila of Khagrachari Hill

Tracts has been abandoned for more than a decade.

photo: pBA


TuesDAY, AugusT 3, 2021

2

BSKM distributes rice

among 60 jobless

people in Panchagarh

RANGPUR: Bangabandhu

Shishu Kishore Mela (BSKM)

distributed 10 kgs of rice among

each of the 60 jobless and

distressed people in

Panchagarh on Sunday as

humanitarian assistance,

reports BSS.

The Panchagarh unit of

BSKM distributed the rice in a

function arranged strictly

abiding by the health directives

on Sadar upazila parishad

premises in Panchagarh town

to assist the jobless people in

tackling the Covid-19 pandemic

situation.

Additional Deputy

Commissioner (General) of

Panchagarh Azad Jahan

distributed the rice in the

function as the chief guest.

District Relief and

Rehabilitation Officer Novendu

Narayan Chowdhury, Sadar

upazila chairman Amirul Islam,

Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer

Arif Hossain, President of

Panchagarh unit of BSKM

Abdul Rahim, among others,

were present.

Appreciating the initiative of

BSKM, the chief guest said the

government is conducting

massive relief activities as

livelihoods of the jobless, poor,

distressed and unemployed

people have been affected

during the lockdown amid

Covid-19 pandemic.

"The government has stood

beside the needy, jobless,

destitute, unemployed and

helpless people with

humanitarian assistance of the

Prime Minister to help them

during the epidemic situation,"

he said.

S(21)(231)

GD-1158/21 (5x4)

GD-1160/21 (6x4)

Rows and rows of palm trees are spreading beauty in Naogaon. Photo: M R Rocky

Palm trees spreading

beauty in Naogaon

M R Rocky, Naogaon Correspondent

Rows and rows of palm trees are spreading

beauty in Naogaon. Nearly 5,000 palm trees

spread over a distance of 3 km in the village

of Mohadevpur in Naogaon have become a

recreation center along with protecting the

environment. Entertainment-loving people

are coming from far and wide to enjoy the

beauty of the clear air and the huge rhythm

empire.

Locals say that these palm trees planted 30

years ago are also playing a major role in

preventing lightning. The upazila

administration has assured the development

of infrastructure including protection of this

marginal palm garden.

There are rows and rows of palm trees

along the 3 km stretch of the 12 km

connecting road at Kayar Para in Khanjur

Union, Mohadevpur, Naogaon. As the palm

trees of Nibir are whitewashed on both sides

of the road, when seen from a distance, a

unique image of rural atmosphere emerges.

The green environment of the wide green

fields on all four sides and the open air are

spreading a different atmosphere. During

Corona and Lockdown, people of all ages are

coming from far and wide in the morning and

afternoon to see the beautiful scenery of the

palm garden. The visitors spent a short time

to take the essence of pure nature. They

demand to build some additional

infrastructure to retain the beauty of the

palm trees empire.

A voluntary service organization is working

locally to highlight the role of conservation

and environment in this palm garden. Faisal

Hossain, chief engineer of the organization,

said, "Today, we want to show the

consciousness of Khitish, the creator of the

palm garden, to the new generation as well as

the delight for the palm garden."

Md. Belal Hossain, chairman of the local

Khajur Union Parishad, said he would work to

build more palm gardens like the late Khitish

to avoid natural calamities. Mahadevpur

Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md. Mizanur Rahman

assured to provide all possible cooperation in

protecting the environment of the sight

garden of palm tree garden.

25.07.2021 wLªt|

Five die, 160 more test positive for COVID-19 in Bhola

BHOLA: A number of 160

more

persons were diagnosed with COVID-

19 positive in the last 24 hours in the

district after testing 402 samples at

Bhola 250-bed General Hospital

COVID-19 laboratory, reports BSS.

Among the new positive cases, 90

are in Sadar upazila, 21 in

Borhanuddin upazila, 21 in

Lalmohan upazila, 12 in

Charfashion upazila, two in

Tajumuddin upazila, six in Manpura

upazila and eight in Daulatkhan

upazila of the district, civil surgeon of

1,400 farmers get

agro-incentive in

Jamalpur

JAMALPUR: Department of

Agricultural Extension (DAE)

distributed agro-incentive

among 1,400 farmers in five

upazilas of the district to

cultivate late variety Aman

paddy this current season,

reports BSS.

Aiming to increase food

production, the DAE

distributed Aman seeds free

of cost under the incentive

programme among the

farmers.

According to the DAE, each

of the farmers got fivekilogram

of seed for

cultivating Aman paddy on

one Bigha of land.

Of the farmers, 450 got the

seed in Dewanganj upazila,

400 in Islampur, 250 in

Melandah, 150 in Sarishabari

upazila and 150 farmers got

the incentives in Madarganj

upazila.

Parachute Advanced offers

consumers chance to win

personalized picture on

Friendship Day

Parachute Advansed Hair Oil,

country's popular hair oil

brand by Marico Bangladesh

Ltd, has launched a campaign

to celebrate International Day

of Friendship. The hair oil

brand in collaboration with

prominent actresses

Mumtaheena Chowdhury

Toya and Masuma Rahman

Nabilalaunched the

campaignwith the motto

"Strong Hair, Strong Bonds".

'Parachute Advansed

Strong Hair Strong Bond

Friendship Day Campaign'

was announced by eminent

celebrities and actresses

Nabila and Toya on behalf of

the brand. As a part of the

campaign, Toya claims to

have found the perfect

surprising gift from

Parachute Advansed for her

friend Nabila. The gift is a

digitally curated photo of

Toya and Nabila with a

special message on behalf of

Parachute Advansed.

Likewise, the participants of

the campaign can share their

images with their friends in

Parachute Advansed's

Facebook page's inbox or in

the campaign announcer

static image section to get a

chance to wina personalized

picture and the opportunity

to be featured on the brand's

Facebook page along with

their friends, a press release

said.

Ashish Goupal, Managing

Director of Marico

Bangladesh Ltd, said,

"Parachute Advansed stands

for strong bonds and this

campaign has been launched

specially to showcase the

strong bonds of friendship.

The campaign has created a

platform which will

encourage friends to celebrate

such strong bonds of

friendship."

Regarding the campaign,

Nabila said, "It feels amazing

to be a part of such an

initiative. I genuinely want to

congratulate Parachute

Advansed for such a brilliant

effort. This friendship day

campaign highly resonates

with the strong bond of

friendship and will inspire

everyone to celebrate

friendship each and every

day."

Expressing her feelings

about the campaign, Toyasaid,

"I am so delighted to have been

associated with Parachute

Advansed over the years.

the district Dr. K M Shafiquzzaman,

told BSS last afternoon.

Meanwhile, five persons have died

with coronavirus infection in the last

24 hours in the district, he said.

The total number of infected people

in the district stood at 4,062 while the

number of recovery cases at 2,492, the

civil surgeon said.

Meanwhile, a total of 48 patients

recovered from COVID-19 in the last

24 hours in the district.

A total of 40 persons have so far

died of COVID-19 in the district, he

GD-1159/21 (8x3)

added. Dr. K M Shafiquzzaman said

infected 76 persons are now

undergoing treatment at Bhola 250-

bed General Hospital, rest of the

infected persons are now undergoing

treatment at home quarantine under

the supervision of doctors from their

respective upazila health complexes.

The health expert of the district

urged all to follow the health rules

strictly and use masks to prevent the

spread of the lethal virus.

He urged everyone to be more aware

to prevent this lethal infection.


TueSDAY, AuGuST 3, 2021

3

On Monday, staffs of various institutions and projects of the Health and WASH sector of Dhaka Ahsania

Mission completed the online orientation on the gender policy of the organization. Photo : Courtesy

Staffs of DAM Health and

WASH Sector complete

online orientation on

‘Gender Policy’

On Monday, staffs of various

institutions and projects of the Health

and WASH sector of Dhaka Ahsania

Mission completed the online

orientation on the gender policy of the

organization. Dr. SM Khalilur Rahman,

General Secretary of Dhaka Ahsania

Mission and Chairman of Gender Cell

of Dhaka Ahsania Mission gave a

welcome speech on the objectives of the

Orientation Program and Gender

Policy. In his welcome address, he said

that this orientation is a commendable

initiative of the health sector of Dhaka

Ahsania Mission. Dhaka Ahsania

Mission is always aware of gender and

is working for its further development. I

believe that today's orientation will take

this work further. The orientation

program was conducted by Focal Md.

Amir Hossain, Co-Focal- SammiaSakin

and Mahfida Dina Rubaiya of Gender

Committee of Health Sector and WASH

of Dhaka Ahsania Mission. Director of

Health and WASH Sector Iqbal Masud

was present at the closing ceremony. In

his concluding remarks, he said,

"Dhaka Ahsania Mission has been

working relentlessly since its inception

to ensure equal rights not only for men

and women but in all fields. Today's

initiative is a part of it."

A total of 36 officials from the health

and wash sectors were present at the

orientation.

Week-long breastfeeding

week begins

ASRAFUL ISLAM ASRAF

Weekly Breastfeeding Week has started

through the National Nutrition Service

of the Public Health Nutrition Institute

under the Ministry of Health and

Family Welfare. This week will be

celebrated from 2nd August to 7th

August this year. Health and Family

Welfare Minister Zahid Malek MP

inaugurated the week-long

Breastfeeding Week by taking part in

the online zoom app on the morning of

August 2. Speaking as the chief guest at

the meeting, the health minister said,

"Children are the future of the nation. A

nation that cares about children cannot

be very developed. And if we want to see

the future generation of the country in a

better position, we have to ensure the

health protection of today's and future

children. There is no substitute for

breast milk to ensure the health of

children. "

Highlighting the data of various

surveys, the Health Minister further

said in the meeting, "Breastfeeding

within 1 hour of birth reduces the death

rate by 31 percent. And only

breastfeeding (not even a drop of water)

up to 6 months of age reduces the risk of

infant death by a further 13%.

Therefore, in order to prevent infant

mortality and physical and mental

development, breast milk should be

given within 1 hour of birth, only breast

milk till full 6 months of age and from

the age of full 6 months to 2 years of age

along with extra home-made food.

Breastfeeding rates are still very low

worldwide. Worldwide, only 43 percent

of newborns are breastfed within 1 hour

of birth, and 41 percent of infants are

exclusively breastfed until they are 6

months old. In Bangladesh, the rates are

currently 69 percent and 65 percent,

respectively. The rate of breastfeeding

till the age of 24 months is now 87%,

although by 2025, the target is to

increase the rate of breastfeeding to 50

per cent by the age of 6 months and

Bangladesh has already achieved that,

he said.

It may be mentioned that in the

inaugural ceremony of World

Breastfeeding Week in 2009, as per the

instructions of Hon'ble Prime Minister

Sheikh Hasina, World Breastfeeding

Week has been celebrated on 1-7 August

every year since 2010. At present, there

are a total of 43 day-care centers

including 25 in Dhaka city, 5 in the

divisional city and 13 in the district town

for safe breastfeeding. There are also 15

day-care centers with 30 seats in each of

Dhaka, Chittagong, Manikganj, Gazipur

and Narayanganj for the children of

women working in garments. The

allowance for poor pregnant and

lactating mothers has been increased

from 500 / - to 800 / taka. Maternity

allowance is being planned to be

increased from 2 years to 3 years. This

year's theme is: "Protect Breastfeeding:

A Shared Responsibility".

DPS STS School Dhaka, Community Club has initiated Project Rong to make a difference in these tiring

times of pandemic.

Photo : Courtesy

DPS STS Community Club initiates project Rong

Amid the challenges posed by the novel

coronavirus pandemic, businesses,

governments, and civil society

organisations are battling to save lives

and support families. During such

unfortunate circumstances, the role of

NGOs has become paramount in

combating COVID-19 and its impact on

society's most vulnerable populations. To

assist the underprivileged, DPS STS

School Dhaka, Community Club has

initiated Project Rong to make a

difference in these tiring times of

pandemic, a press release said.

On this occasion, Dr. Shivananda CS,

Principal, DPS STS School Dhaka, said,

"During these unprecedented times, it is

our responsibility to support the

community at our fullest potential.

Hence, the DPS STS Community Club

decided to initiate Project Rong to

liberate children's creativity through

pencil and paper. We believe that helping

organizations and supporting vulnerable

populations in the wake of the pandemic

is of utmost importance."

Under the project, unused paints,

colours, crayons, and other stationery

items were collected from people by the

volunteers. The school then distributed

three big cartons of these stationeries to

Families for Children (FFC), a non-profit

organization that fulfils the needs of

homeless children and specially-abled

young adults. After the stationeries were

handed out at the orphanage, the

children expressed gratitude with heartwarming

smiles and handmade cards.

Now, more than one hundred children

of FFC can make use of the stationeries

for their educational purposes. Moreover,

accumulating unexploited stationery

items for reuse also effectively reduces

wastage. The members of the Community

Club will keep dedicating themselves to

community service to extend their

support for the betterment of the less

fortunate populations.

DIU student

Marsha obtained

full-funded CCIP

scholarship in USA

Marsha Ahmed, a student of

Tourism and Hospitality

Management Department of

Daffodil International

University (DIU) has

achieved the prestigious

Community College

Initiative Program (CCIP)

Scholarship to study at

Jamestown Community

College, New York in the

USA for the academic year

2021-2022.

This full-funded

scholarship is sponsored by

the U.S. Department of State

and almost every year one or

more DIU students secure a

position for this prestigious

scholarship to study in the

community colleges of the

USA for two semesters,

experiencing professional

development training to

explore different fields with

practical experience through

internships, contributing to

community engagement

activities, and learn

American culture, social

services, and more.

International Affairs, DIU

is glad to guide the student

throughout the process of

achieving scholarship like

this always even during this

epidemic to gain

multidimensional global

knowledge. And we are

delighted that, Bangladeshi

students could prove

themselves and have been

honored with this

achievement to make them

the best fit for community

development in this

prevalent situation of the

world.

Lockdown breaches

303 arrested,

Tk 4.4 lakh fined

on 10th day

DHAKA : Police arrested 303

people in Dhaka for violating

lockdown restrictions on the

10th day of the 14-day

countrywide strict lockdown

on Sunday.

The arrestees failed to show

any valid reason for coming

out on the streets, said DMP

Additional Deputy

Commissioner (media)

Iftekharul Islam.

Meanwhile, mobile courts

collected Tk 1,16,100 as fines

from 103 people.

Besides, the Traffic Division

collected Tk 4,45,500 as

penalties from 183 vehicles for

failing to comply with

coronavirus lockdown

restrictions.

As mills and factories

reopened on Sunday

following the government's

announcement, public

transports were seen on the

roads till noon carrying

workers and staff to the city.

Those who had left the

capital for Eid-ul-Azha and

did not return due to the

closure of factories were seen

entering the city on foot amid

the lockdown.

Good number of buses and

other vehicles were seen

around Abdullahpur Tongi

Bridge, Ashulia Bridge,

Aminbazar Bridge, Gabtoli,

Babubazar Bridge and

Postogola Bridge.

Shimulia ferry terminal in

Munshiganj also saw a huge

crowd as people from south

western districts were coming

back to the capital to join their

work.

However, the streets in

Dhaka saw a lower number of

CNG autorickshaws and

private vehicles.

‘Digital Bangladesh’ changing

Bhola district's picture rapidly

BHOLA : The picture of the

country's largest island

district Bhola is changing

rapidly as the government is

facilitating its people with all

sorts of digital services as

part of transforming the

country into a 'Digital

Bangladesh' by this year.

The implementation of the

vision 'Digital Bangladesh'

has simplified the public life

in the central-southern

district as they are now

getting various digital

services like e-mutation, e-

filing, e-tender, internet

connectivity and e-court

easily.

According to officials,

broadband internet

connection has been

provided to all levels of

government offices in the

district under the second

phase of the Info

Government Project, while

17 unions have been linked

under the third phase.

Acting programmer of the

district office of Information

and Communication

Technology (ICT)

Department Md Arifur

Rahman said the availability

of the internet services is

helping the rural people to

communicate with any part

of the world easily.

He said the internet

connection will be given to

29 more unions soon under

the 'Connect Bangladesh

Project', and the service will

be provided for business

purposes.

Arifur said that 49 Sheikh

Russel Digital Labs have

already been set up at

different secondary and

higher secondary-level

A 15 members committee of

BTCLF has been announced

NAKIBUL AHSAN NISHAD; JNU

schools and madrasahs in

the district under the first

phase of a flagship project of

the government, adding 70

more such labs will be set up

under the second phase.

Along with strengthening

the institutional capacity

ensuring the quality of

education with digital

facilities, including

multimedia classrooms and

powerpoint presentation,

through the optimum use of

ICT, he said different

institutions can also avail the

facilities for training.

A total of 240 government

officials of the district have

been imparted special

training on operating Digital

Nothi, Arifur said, adding

that the digital service has

lessened the public

sufferings in getting the

government services.

"Now the people don't

have to move from one table

to another to receive any

service. There is no scope for

any kind of corruption or

injustice ... everything is

being done as per the rules,"

the official said.

Along with reducing

sufferings, Arifur said, the

digital services are also

saving both time and money

as well as ensuring

transparency and

accountability in the

government service.

Additional Deputy

Commissioner (ADC

education and ICT) of the

district Sangkar Kumar

Bishwas said that there are

83 UDCs in the district from

where the rural people are

receiving all kinds of digital

services regularly.

A 15 members committee has

been announced for the year

2021-2022 to increase the

organizational activities of the

Bangladesh Torun Colum

Lekhok Forum and to make

the organizational activities

more dynamic and

prosperous.

Later, considering the

organizational skills and

responsible activities of the

members, a full committee of

18 members will be

announced.

Dhaka University students

Marjuk Raina and Anarul

Islam are the selected

president and general

secretary of this organisation.

On Monday (August 2)

Marjuk Raina, president of

the Bangladesh Torun Colum

Lekhok Forum and Anarul

Islam, general secretary are

jointly approved the

committee for one year in

2021-2022 in an office order.

Also, Shahidul Islam and

Nigar Sultana Supti, students

of Dhaka University, are the

vice-presidents and vicegeneral

secretaries of the

organization. Ashikur

Rahman, a student of Islamic

University, is the organizing

secretary of the organization.

Momena Akhter Mukta, a

student of Shahjalal

University of Science and

Technology, is the coorganizing

secretary. Besides,

Rashed Ahmed, a student of

Islamic University is the

finance secretary And Saiful

Islam, a student of Rajshahi

University, is the co-finance

secretary. National University

student

AshrafuzzamanShaon is the

office secretary of the

organization and Dhaka

College student Sayem

Ahmed is the deputy office

secretary. Rajshahi University

student Arafat Shaheen is the

training secretary.

Besides, JoynulHaq, a

student of Jagannath

University, is the publicity

secretary of the organization.

Sadia Afrin Kumu, a student

of Bangabandhu Sheikh

Mujibur Rahman University

of Science and Technology

and Tanvir Ahmed Russell, a

student of Comilla University

are the editors of literature

and information technology.

Marjuk Raina, president of

the organization, said, "My

warm congratulations and

"e-Mutation service has

been launched at our land

offices, and it helps the

people to collect their land

record through online

service staying at their

respective homes," he said.

Mentioning that Bhola is

in the forefront in managing

Digital Nothi, Sangkar said

the district administration is

trying to make the

government officials and

employees more efficient by

bringing them under

training.

Highlighting the benefits

of digitization which the

people of Bhola are enjoying,

the ADC said there is no

scope for tender

manipulation as the tenderrelated

activities are now

being conducted by

maintaining cent percent

transparency through e-

tender.

The youths of the district

are earning foreign

currencies through

outsourcing which would

play a vital role in the

country's economy by

removing unemployment

problems, he added.

Bhola Sadar Upazila

Assistant Commissioner of

Land (AC Land) Md Abu

Abdullah Khan said about

5,000 people have received

e-Mutation service from his

office in the current fiscal

(2020-21).

Different steps, including

launching a help desk, have

been taken to make the

people aware about the

digital land services and

encourage them in receiving

the services digitally, he

added.

best wishes to all the members

of the committee."

Considering the sincerity,

sense of responsibility,

organizational activities and

skills towards the forum, I

hope that all those who have

been entrusted with the

responsibility will fulfilltheir

respective responsibilities.

Everyone will strive to

maintain the dignity of the

beloved organization and

maintain the success. My call

to all in charge is to refrain

from all anti-state activities

while respecting the

constructive work and the

constitution.

In this regard, Anarul Islam,

General Secretary of the

organisation

said,

"Considering the responsible

attitude and organizational

skills of the members of the

organization, I hope all those

who have been given

responsibilities will sincerely

fulfill their responsibilities

from their respective

positions."

It is to be mentioned that

'Bangladesh Torun Colum

Lekhok Forum' started its

journey with 5 members on

23 July 2016 at Dhaka

University. In addition to the

18 public universities in the

country, the organization is

working to motivate students

from different educational

institutions to write.

Bangladesh Navy divers have recovered the body of a man who fell into the

river Buriganga at Lalkuthi Ghat in Sadarghat area. The deceased was


TUSedAy, AUGUST 3, 2021

4

Ensure survival of rivers to protect the environment

Acting Editor & Publisher : Jobaer Alam

e-mail: editor@thebangladeshtoday.com

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Do we understand Covid-19

any better today?

18 months ago, ophthalmologist Li Wenliang was the first to

share information about a SARS-type lung infection with

colleagues in Wuhan, China. Researchers have learned a lot

since then. Here are the most important points. Li Wenliang, who

gave an early warning on the coronavirus. He worked at the Wuhan

Central Hospital, was the first to share information about suspected

SARS-type lung infections in the city in Central China on December

30, 2019. Here's an overview of what has been discovered about the

virus to date, and how far medicine has progressed in the fight

against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus :

When the existence of the virus was announced, the first infection

of a human by a vertebrate animal had apparently already occurred

several weeks earlier.Initially, Chinese authorities seemed to have

tried to suppress any evidence. To this day, it's not exactly clear

when and where the virus jumped from animal to human hosts.

Chinese virologists deciphered the genetic information of the virus

in record time. On January 21, they published the genome structure,

and three days later they released a detailed description of the virus.

This enabled physicians and microbiologists worldwide to begin

developing drugs and vaccines.

A typical feature of the virus is the spike proteins (ACE-2) located

on its surface. These are crucial for binding to the host cell. That is

why a large part of drug and vaccine development has been focused

on binding or blocking this protein, or rendering it ineffective in

some other way.

In the meantime, a study carried out by virologists in the city of

Heinsberg, one of the first hotbeds of the disease in Germany, has

established that the virus is particularly prevalent in the throat and

lungs. The greatest danger of infection - besides by coming into

direct contact with an infected person or touching a contaminated

surface, known as smear infections - is through aerosol

transmission. The virus can spread particularly well through airconditioning

systems, such as those used widely in the meat

industry. Closed rooms with many people in them are very

dangerous. That's why lockdown measures, the closure of

entertainment establishments and the cancellation of trade fairs

and major events were very effective in containing the disease. The

largest chains of infection could be traced back to so-called

superspreader events.

The use of mouth-and-nose protection, i.e., face masks,has now

become established in almost all countries of the world. However,

many medical professionals initially questioned whether most

people were capable of using masks in everyday life in such a way as

to help prevent potential virus transmission.What is most

important is for people to wash their hands, keep their distance

from others and air rooms thoroughly.

Even if some pets, such as cats, ferrets and golden hamsters, can

become infected by humans, they have not been found to play a

significant role in infection chains. However, infections in mink

farms in numerous countries have caused great concerns among

veterinary doctors. Authorities have subsequently ordered the

culling of millions of animals. Initially, it was thought that the new

virus was no more dangerous than the seasonal flu. Now, however,

physicians know better: The disease poses a threat similar to that of

the devastating Spanish flu of 1918. Although many people can get

a SARS-CoV-2 infection without symptoms, others become very ill

with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Some groups of people are more often affected than others:

People with previous illnesses, elderly people, people with blood

type A and men are more at risk.Pathologists who have examined

COVID-19 victims have been able to confirm that high blood

pressure, diabetes, cancer, kidney failure, liver cirrhosis, asthma

and cardiovascular diseases are among the most dangerous

preexisting conditions. In fact, however, a severe case of the disease

can affect anybody, including young people.

Mild forms of COVID-19 can present like a cold. Typical

symptoms are a sore throat, breathing problems and a loss of sense

of smell and taste.In severe cases, however, a life-threatening multiorgan

disease can occur.This often leads to sepsis - a frequently fatal

overreaction of the immune system that attacks the infected

person's own tissue and organs.

The severity of the disease depends, to a large extent, on how

strongly a person's immune system reacts to the pathogen. It has

not been proven that the face masks seen above can effectively

protect you against viral infections. That said, these masks are

probably able to catch some germs before they reach your mouth or

nose. More importantly, they prevent people from touching their

mouth or nose (which most people do instinctually). If you are

already sick, such masks may keep you from infecting others.At the

beginning of the pandemic, many patients with severe courses of

the disease received artificial respiration (intubation) at an early

stage and died all the same.

Now, however, physicians working in intensive care units have

moved away from standard ventilation, because lung specialists

have stressed that artificial respiration under positive pressure can

do more damage than good to the lungs.As long as patients are able

to breathe on their own, they now receive oxygen without being

connected to a respirator. Intubation is used as an option only in an

extreme emergency. In many cases, when the kidneys are severely

damaged by COVID-19, dialysis is also necessary. Intensive care

units are now also taking other damaged organs into account. The

healing process can be accelerated in specialized clinics by the

administration of antibodies from the blood of cured COVID-19

patients. These antibodies take up the fight against the virus in the

body of the patient who receives the donated blood.

As a rule, COVID-19 patients must undergo lengthy, individually

tailored rehabilitation measures after their medical treatment.

These must also take into account their specific previous illnesses

and possible organ damage.

Remdesivir is one of the few pharmaceutical drugs that have been

shown to shorten the course of the disease. This is why it was hotly

contested on the market. But it is not a miracle cure. It shortens the

healing process by a few days in patients who receive oxygen, but it

does not improve their chances of survival. Meanwhile, the World

Health Organization has advised against remdesivir for hospitalized

COVID-19 patients. Doctors are also trying to use other drugs that

are already on the market to combat the coronavirus. These include

the anti-inflammatory dexamethasone, which has been approved

in Great Britain after a trial showed the drug to reduce the risk of

death in hospitalised patients who require oxygen by about one

third. Others include the RNA polymerase inhibitor Avigan and the

malaria drug hydroxychloroquine. The efficacy and safety of the

first has not yet been conclusively proven, while

hydroxychloroquine has been shown to be ineffective and may even

be dangerous.

The river is the gift of nature and part

of our environment. However,

some of our daily activities are

destroying and occupying these rivers in

different areas. If the rivers on all four

sides of Dhaka are free from pollution and

get free navigability, it will protect our

climate.

Many projects should be undertaken

from various ministries, directorates or

agencies for the development of the

capital, including freeing the river,

preventing pollution, and increasing

navigability. Many departments of the

Bangladesh government have already

taken up many projects. However, there

should be commission to check and select

multiple projects to not overlapping for

the same work in the project.

Ninety percent of these rivers are

occupied, and in some places, there are

mosques, temples, and religious

institutions, causing minor complications.

However, it will be resolved soon.

Moreover, preventing pollution and

increasing navigability related activities of

the rivers has slowed down during the

Covid-19 epidemic.

The canals and drainage systems have

been officially handed over from Dhaka

WASA to the two city corporations. A

memorandum of understanding has been

signed between Dhaka WASA and two

city corporations in this regard. As a

result, the two city corporations now

assume the full responsibility of

eliminating waterlogging in Dhaka.

Earlier, Dhaka WASA used to fulfil the

lion's share of this responsibility. Through

Tokyo 2020: Why Arab athletes lag

behind in Olympics

The Arab world encompasses 22

countries that straddle two great

continents - Africa and Asia. It

stretches from the Western Sahara and

Mauritania in the west to Oman on the

east lower tip of the Arabian Peninsula.

More than 405 million people make

these lands their homes and for many of

them the Tokyo Olympics being held this

year, albeit a year delayed due to the

COVID-19 pandemic, is a welcome respite

from the heat and the daily humdrum of

life. In a region that has witnessed

increasing turmoil in recent years due to

wars and conflict, sports on the global

front seems to offer a break.

Some undoubtedly would be cheering

hard for their countrymen participating in

this international event. Others would be

following the sports of their interest,

watching some athletes garner the glory

and the gold, while others come so close

but leave empty-handed. Athletes from 17

Arab countries are competing in this 32nd

Olympiad. Arab participants include 14

females aged between 12 and 35 years old.

Among the notable female athletes are

Yasmeen al-Dabbagh, Saudi Arabia's

fastest woman, who is representing the

Kingdom. Coming from a country that

only recently opened the floodgates for

female athletic participation, hers would

indeed be a challenge. She is slotted for

the women's 100-meter race, and hopes

for a stand on the victors' podium is a tall

order considering the competition of

this, in my opinion, the drainage of rains

and floods in Dhaka city will get more

dynamic. Illegal constructions on both

sides of the canal will also have to be

removed, re-excavated to increase water

holding capacity, embankments to be

greened, walkways and bicycle lanes to be

constructed. The road that is being

discussed along the Balu river must be

'elevated'.

There are about 100 canals in Dhaka. If

the channels of these canals become

active, there will be no waterlogging in the

capital. To the extent waterlogging has

affected the people of Dhaka cannot be

overstated. If it rained a little, there would

be water in key avenues of the capital,

which has cause daily miseries to the

people. While Dhaka WASA has the

primary responsibility to resolve this, the

City Corporation also plays an important

role. Bangladesh Water Development

Board, RAJUK, Cantonment Board, and

private housing companies are also

involved.

Dhaka WASA maintains and operates

26 canals (about 60 km) and about 365

more seasoned and well-traveled

veterans.Another female Arab athlete of

note is Hend Zaza, a 12-yr old girl from

Syria. Although she lost her first-round

match 4-0 to a Chinese-born Austrian

veteran, Zaza maintained her

sportsmanship to the delight of the small

crowd of reporters gathered on the

sidelines and expressed her intent to come

back stronger at the next Olympics after

the match.In her preparations for Tokyo,

Zaza had to deal with constant power cuts

that forced a number of her training

sessions to be postponed. The indoor

facilities she practised on would certainly

not be the envy of any athlete as they were

a room with four rundown tables and a

rickety floor. In spite of that, her zeal for

competition was not marred. She will not

stop until she does indeed stand on the

victor's podium one day.

Yusra Mardini, a Syrian refugee and one

of the 29 athletes of the Refugee Olympic

Team, entered the Olympic games hoping

to win a swimming medal. Fleeing the

Md. SHAFIqUl ISlAM

TArIq A. Al MAeenA

AnITA HAUGen

km of large drains and four pump stations

in the city to remove waterlogging. The

people do not seem to have benefited from

its management. Hatirjheel and

Dhanmondi Lake were once connected

through the Rajabazar canal.

The Rajabazar canal is no more today,

but a detailed plan must be taken for how

Hatirjheel, Dhanmondi Lake, can be

reconnected. Some people think that most

of the canals in Dhaka are occupied and

filled with garbage. To alleviate

waterlogging, the original Buriganga

channel must be rescued, the navigability

of the rivers around Dhaka must be

increased, and boundary pillars must be

erected. However, there are allegations of

corruption in the border pillars because

the pillars are not built at the river's exact

boundary at the time of installation.

However, this should not have happened

in any way.

In many parts of Dhaka, it is difficult to

breathe; there is a bad smell come from

drains. Therefore, it is imperative to clean

the drains in Dhaka and make them

suitable for human habitation. I think

civil war in Syria 2015, the 23-year-old

had to swim for three hours to the Greek

island of Lesbos after the engine of the

inflatable boat that was carrying her along

with other Syrians failed. Although she

failed to get past the qualifying rounds in

Tokyo, she was proud to be included in the

Refugee Team. "That is how special this

team is because they carry a message of

hope to people that you can go through

something really tough and still go

forward," she said.

As of this writing, the Arab World has

garnered barely a handful of medals

among the competing nations. Their total

comes to a meagre count of fewer than 10

medals. Japan, a country of 125 million

people, and a country that was literally

decimated during World War 2, is leading

the charge for gold at the Olympic games

with 15 gold medals while the USA has a

combined total of 37 medals.

Undoubtedly in the next few days, the

Arab World will pull in a few more

medals, but the numbers do not do justice

people will have the opportunity to live in

a healthy environment. The canals and

drains in Dhaka city do not seem to be

under anyone's responsibility; one

authority thinks it is another authority's

work. When the City Corporation is in

charge, the people are very optimistic

about the role of mayors.

All the significant buildings that have

been constructed daily in Dhaka city

should be constructed through

environment-friendly plans. The

concerned department will have to

expeditiously implement the court order

to clear the canals, ditches, and

surrounding rivers in Dhaka.

The National River Protection

Commission should be further

strengthened to resolve coordination with

other concerned agencies and institutions

until the reformation of current law so

that the rivers free work can move forward

as expected. The City Corporation is

making significant efforts to

decontaminate various rivers and canals. I

am very hopeful that this time people will

breathe in the beautiful and pure air.

Above all, the eviction of illegal structures

around Turag, Buriganga, Shitalakshya,

Balu rivers, drains, and canals are

significant to free water flow.

The writer is a faculty of

Department of Accounting &

Information Systems, Jatiya Kabi

Kazi Nazrul Islam University,

Bangladesh and Ph.D. Fellow,

Zhongnan University of Economics

and Law, Wuhan, China.

to the size of their entire population. This

should wake up many of our sports

federations across the Arab world from

their slumber. The culture of sports has

fallen to the wayside in many of the

countries facing unrest in spite of the

clandestine efforts of a few of their

athletes who train under duress in the

hopes of carrying their nation's honour.

The Arab World is full of youth who

would be real gold medallists if only sports

are given the proper attention they

deserve. Europeans, Americans, and Far

Eastern countries put a lot of resources

into training athletes, unlike our

countries. Sports teach kids, leadership,

teamwork, discipline, and pride. Sports

are looked at as a win or lose event and not

as a teaching medium, character

development, and for the improvement of

society in many Arab nations.

Billy Bowden, a renowned Australian

cricket umpire once remarked that a

society without sports is like wearing your

clothes without underwear. Indeed,

something would be surely missing.

Sports should be part of our being and

our culture just like reading and writing,

and once a generation is afforded this,

only then will we see more gold, silver, or

bronze.

Tariq A. Al Maeena is a Saudi

sociopolitical commentator. He

lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Twitter: @talmaeena?

How Iraq water feud highlights Iran's stranglehold

Years of aggression by Iran toward its

western neighbor Iraq have

culminated in the outright theft of

the country's natural resources.

For the last several weeks, reports in

international media have drawn attention

to Iran's systematic rerouting of Iraq's

vital waterways.

Despite persistent demands from Iraqi

officials, Iran has been actively

obstructing feeders of the most important

rivers in Mesopotamia, the Tigris and the

Euphrates, from which Iraq gets more

than 90% of its fresh water.

"The Iranians have not shown any

[positive] response and still cut off water

from the Sirwan, Karun, Karkheh and

Alwand rivers and streams, causing severe

damage to the residents," said Iraqi Water

Resources Minister Mahdi Rashid al-

Hamdani.Upstream dams in Iran can

shrink the tributaries flowing into Iraq.

Cutting off this flow can cause major

water shortages across the border. The

Iraqi residents to whom Hamdani was

referring, who live in the eastern part of

the country, rely completely on water

emanating from Iranian territory.

Iran's actions affecting the region's

rivers have been devastating for Iraq. In

May, Turkey was compelled to increase

the amount of water released into the

Tigris and Euphrates to help Iraq account

Many projects should be undertaken from various ministries, directorates

or agencies for the development of the capital, including freeing

the river, preventing pollution, and increasing navigability. Many departments

of the Bangladesh government have already taken up many projects.

However, there should be commission to check and select multiple

projects to not overlapping for the same work in the project.

As of this writing, the Arab World has garnered barely a handful of

medals among the competing nations. Their total comes to a meagre

count of fewer than 10 medals. Japan, a country of 125 million

people, and a country that was literally decimated during World

War 2, is leading the charge for gold at the Olympic games with 15

gold medals while the USA has a combined total of 37 medals.

for its water crisis.

With no recourse and an unresponsive

Iran, Iraqi officials are seriously

considering lodging a complaint with

United Nations entities for breach of

international laws and for inflicting

damage by cutting off cross-border rivers.

Even prior to Iran's current reduction

measures, Iraq had been suffering serious

water shortages for years. A major factor

in this is the disrupting habit of its

regional neighbors, Turkey and Iran, of

building massive dams.

These dams give both countries the

ability to withhold water and even direct it

to other projects, like Iran's attempts to

revive Lake Urmia in its northwest.

Tehran's propensity for dam projects

also has many Iranians concerned. Major

construction companies, all of which are

strongly affiliated with the powerful

Revolutionary Guard Corps, have been

building dozens of dams for years, often

without any careful study of their impact

on water supplies and the environment.

At the same time the water crisis is

escalating, the shortage affecting Iraqis

has brought to the fore the much bigger

problem of Iranian influence in the

country at all levels. The Iranian

conspiracy to wrest control of the Iraqi

nation has been going on for years.

The first step in Iran's exertion of

control in Iraq started early in the US-led

As water shortages were reaching their peak in late June, the conglomerate

of Iran-aligned Shiite militias known as Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq

(PMF) decided to conduct a major rally near Baghdad.Tanks, boats and

ammunition were on display in the Saturday parade, held to mark the seventh

anniversary of the PMF, an umbrella group formed after a 2014 call to

arms by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the leading Shiite cleric in Iraq.

Iraq war of 2003. Tehran developed an

aggressive program to support Shiite

militias in the country. Their support

came in the form of weapons, funding,

logistical assistance and training.

These militias have been operating with

Tehran's assistance for well over a decade,

and Iranian support over that period has

amounted to at least $16 billion, according

to US government sources.

But beyond deploying its armed proxies

in Iraq, Tehran has also succeeded in

cultivating and promoting pro-Iranian

policymakers, many of whom succeeded

in taking office and since then have held

political power in Iraqi institutions for

years.

This plan has been a leaf straight out of

Tehran's old playbook, and in essence a

repeat of how Iran infiltrated the

Lebanese government with its loyal proxy

Hezbollah.As water shortages were

reaching their peak in late June, the

conglomerate of Iran-aligned Shiite

militias known as Popular Mobilization

Forces in Iraq (PMF) decided to conduct a

major rally near Baghdad.

Tanks, boats and ammunition were on

display in the Saturday parade, held to

mark the seventh anniversary of the PMF,

an umbrella group formed after a 2014

call to arms by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-

Sistani, the leading Shiite cleric in Iraq.

The event came in the midst of a bitter

stand-off between the paramilitary force

and the government following the arrest

of the force's commander, Qassim

Musleh, in early June on terrorism

charges.

Anita Haugen is an Oslo-based

security adviser with a focus on

Asian and MENA affairs.


tUeSDAY, AUgUSt 3, 2021

5

Science key to food system overhaul

DAnn okoth

Science and innovation must be at the

centre of global food system

transformation to drive sustainable

agricultural productivity and ensure

food security and better nutrition for

all, a UN meeting has heard.Speakers

at the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit in

Rome, Italy, this week also called for

more political goodwill towards

adopting science-based, pro-poor

policies for tackling challenges in the

global agri-food sector to avert an

imminent global food crisis.

Commenting from the sidelines of

the summit on Wednesday, Claudia

Sadoff, managing director of research

delivery and impact at global research

organisation CGIAR, said food systems

must not only produce enough to feed a

growing population, but also address

rising levels of malnutrition with

increasingly scarce natural resources.

"We must move food systems from a

carbon source to a carbon sink, while

also providing decent livelihoods for

farmers, producers and all actors

across the value chain," Sadoff said.

"Science and innovation can help

realise the vision of global food futures

that resolve the complex and

interconnected challenges we face

today - including climate, conflict and

COVID-19."

She added that "we are already

making progress in this direction",

citing the recently launched One Health

Research, Education and Outreach

Centre in Africa. OHRECA brings

A farmer showing off results of a poor harvest of maize due to drought.

together science and research spanning

human, animal and environmental

health to address issues such as food

safety, foodborne illnesses and

sustainable livestock.

This week's talks from 26 to 28 July

are a precursor to the main UN Food

Systems Summit in September - called

in 2019 by UN Secretary-General

Antonio Guterres with the aim of

encouraging action towards the

Sustainable Development Goals

(SDGs) and driving collaboration to

transform the way the world produces,

consumes and thinks about food.

While the UN pledged to put science

Photo: Pablo tosco

at the centre of any summit outcomes,

more than 300 global civil society

organisations of small-scale food

producers, researchers and indigenous

communities boycotted the three-day

event, and held an alternative presummit

in tandem. They say the UN

event has been compromised by a "topdown

exclusion of many food systems

actors", claims that organisers have

strongly denied.

The discussions take place in the

backdrop of the UN's grim State of

Food Security and Nutrition in the

World report, published this month,

which says that up to 811 million people

people globally are undernourished -

with rising hunger levels exacerbated

by COVID-19, conflicts and climate

change.

According to Loretta HieberGirardet,

chief of the risk knowledge, monitoring

and capacity development branch at

the United Nations Office for Disaster

Risk Reduction (UNDRR), there is an

urgent need to adopt novel and

innovative approaches in tackling

disaster risk, especially in the agri-food

sector.

Addressing a session on the theme of

"climate, food security and COVID-19,

challenges and opportunities",

HieberGirardet said the world was

faced with unprecedented uncertainty,

complexity and volatility, adding: "It is

against this backdrop that the food

systems need to be transformed to be

agile so that they can be resilient."

To this end, she said, better

management of disasters and climate

risk is at the core of achieving food

systems transformation towards 2030.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark

reminder that disastrous events are not

confined to one sector, location and

community, but can rapidly transform

into cross-border disasters with global

long-lasting effects on social, ecological

and economic systems, HieberGirardet

added.

Agriculture is disproportionately

impacted by disasters, with the sector

absorbing 23 per cent of all damages

from natural disasters, said Girardet,

citing UN agency data. This rises to 26

per cent in case of climate change and

up to 80 per cent in case of drought.

"There is need for a radical shift in the

way we perceive, manage and prevent

disasters and climate risk in our food

systems," she added."A good place to

start would be to implement the Sendai

framework, which is the global

blueprint for disaster risk

management. Unfortunately, we are

not on track to meet the goals, just as

we're not on track to implement the

Paris agreement or the SDGs."

Science and innovation were also

singled out as the tools to transform the

livestock sector, which is often vilified

as being unsustainable and a

contributor to global warming.

Peter Vadas, national program leader

at the US Department of Agriculture's

Agricultural Research Service, says

more innovative ways to sustainably

produce livestock and livestock

products were increasingly being

deployed.

"Innovation is key in animal

agriculture," he said. "And increasingly,

scientific methods are being applied to

ensure feeds and pasture are produced

more sustainably, and fewer antibiotics

and inputs are used."

UN summit aims to tackle food

insecurity following COVID-19

South Africa's President cyril ramaphosa joins healthcare workers to receive j&j coronavirus

vaccination in February.

Photo: gcS

COVID-19 vaccine acceptance

higher in poor countries

SAnjeetBAgcchi

People in low- and middle-income

countries (LMICs) appear more willing

to take a COVID-19 vaccine than those

living in richer countries such as Russia

and the US, according to a study

published in Nature Medicine.

An international team of researchers

from countries including the US, UK,

Germany, India, and Sierra Leone, say

the findings suggest that prioritising

vaccine distribution in poorer countries

would be an effective way to expand

global immunisation coverage.

Cases of COVID-19 are surging in

many parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin

America, as vaccination rates lag far

behind those in the global North. Many

African countries have not yet

vaccinated two per cent of their

populations, official figures show.

"Over 3.5 billion vaccines have been

distributed globally, but more than 75

per cent of those have gone to just ten

countries," WHO director-general

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the

World Trade Organization last week.

The study, which looked at 44,260

people, is based on surveys carried out

between June 2020 and January 2021,

in 10 LMICs in Africa, Asia, and South

America, as well as Russia and the US.

The average vaccine acceptance rate

in the LMICs was around 80 per cent,

compared to 65 per cent in the US and

30 per cent in Russia, the study found.

NiccoloMeriggi, study co-author and

country economist for the International

Growth Centre (IGC), Sierra Leone,

said: "We believe the study is

particularly important in informing the

global strategy for vaccine distribution.

If we want to maximise global coverage,

we should prioritise sending more

vaccines to low- and middle-income

countries where vaccine acceptance is

higher."

Personal protection against COVID-

19 infection was the most cited reason

for being willing to take a vaccine in

LMICs (91 per cent), as well as in the

US (94 per cent) and Russia (76 per

cent). In many countries, concern

about side effects was commonly cited

as a cause for vaccine reluctance.

Vaccination campaigns, say the

researchers, now need to focus on

translating stated vaccine acceptance

into actual uptake of vaccines.

When it comes to guidance on

immunisation, health workers are

counted as the most trusted sources,

according to the study. "Messages

highlighting vaccine efficacy and safety,

delivered by healthcare workers, could

be effective for addressing any

remaining hesitancy in the analysed

LMICs," it said.

Lawrence Gostin, professor of global

health law at Georgetown University in

the US and director of the World

Health Organization (WHO)

Collaborating Center on National and

Global Health Law, believes highincome

countries should immediately

donate large quantities of COVID-19

vaccines - not just excess vaccines - and

pledge vaccines for the future.

"We should stop trying to vaccinate

young healthy people or seek boosters

until health workers and the vulnerable

are fully vaccinated in LMICs," said

Gostin.In the US, 49.6 per cent of the

population is fully vaccinated, while in

Russia the figure is 13.7 per cent,

according to Our World in Data. Both

countries have seen the continued rise

of vocal anti-vaccination movements

during the pandemic.

Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the

Johns Hopkins Center for Health

Security, in the US, says the antivaccine

movement is much more

prevalent in high income countries

where "people have the luxury of not

seeing people dying from vaccinepreventable

illnesses".

"In developing countries, vaccines

literally mean life or death and people

see that on a day-to-day basis," said

Adalja, whose work focuses on

emerging infectious diseases.

A "Global Dashboard" on COVID-19

vaccine equity, developed jointly by the

WHO, the United Nations

Development Program and the

University of Oxford, estimates that if

low-income countries could keep up

the same COVID-19 vaccination rate as

high-income countries, they could add

$38 billion to their GDP forecast for

2021.

However, according to a WHO

statement: "richer countries are

projected to vaccinate quicker and

recover economically quicker from

COVID-19, while poorer countries

haven't even been able to vaccinate

their health workers and most at-risk

population and may not achieve pre-

COVID-19 levels of growth until 2024."

Lulu Bravo, professor emeritus of

pediatric infectious and tropical

diseases at the University of the

Philippines Manila, believes that

leaders from both rich and countries

can always find ways to encourage

people to accept the vaccines.

"The conditions prevailing in

different countries are never the same.

It may take more people working

together to educate and explain why

vaccination can save lives and end the

pandemic," she said.

FionA Broom

A UN summit which aims to tackle food

insecurity has become the scene of

controversy and disagreement, with

one group of scientists joining a parallel

event in protest.The United Nations

Food Systems Summit will begin three

days of "pre-summit" discussions

starting today (Monday), with the main

talks coming later on in September.

The summit, announced in 2019 by

the UN Secretary-General António

Guterres, says it aims to spur action

towards the Sustainable Development

Goals and drive collaboration to

transform the way the world produces,

consumes and thinks about food.

It follows a multi-agency UN report

earlier this month, which found that

millions more people from the world's

most vulnerable communities have

been pushed towards acute food

insecurity as a result of COVID-19,

existing conflicts and climate change.

The summit will involve UN agencies,

governments and non-government

organisations, while the advisory

committee includes members of major

food security and nutrition

organisations.

However, over 300 global civil society

organisations of small-scale food

producers, researchers and indigenous

communities will boycott the three-day

event, instead holding a tandem,

alternative pre-summit which started

yesterday (Sunday).

They say the UN event has been

"deeply compromised by a top-down

exclusion of many food systems actors

and an impoverished view of whose

food system knowledge matters".The

groups are concerned about the makeup

of a scientific panel which has been

instrumental in setting the agenda for

the UN summit.

The scientific group, chaired by

German economist Joachim von Braun,

has been established to ensure "the

robustness, breadth and independence

of the science that underpins the

summit and its outcomes", according to

the UN.

Yet in a briefing note on the

governance of food systems, the wellrespected

independent International

Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food

Systems (IPES-Food) said the group

was "imbalanced in its composition and

biased in its perspectives and sources of

knowledge" and said the selection

process for members was unclear.

The authors of the briefing note

include current and former members of

the High-Level Panel of Experts on

Food Security and Nutrition, the

science-policy interface of the UN

Committee on World Food Security

(CFS).

The CFS, an intergovernmental

platform, was established in 1974 and

reformed in 2009. It holds an annual

plenary session in Rome.Nine members

of the UN summit scientific group have

backgrounds in economics, which

IPES-Food says indicates a lack of

scientific diversity.

SciDev.Net requested details of how

many of the nearly 30 members of the

group were indigenous, from a youth or

producer organisation, civil society or

the private sector. Yet in a 1,200-word

emailed statement to SciDev.Net,

summit deputy to the Special Envoy

Martin Frick did not supply this

information, instead saying that

members were drawn from universities,

publicly funded research institutes,

multilateral bodies and regulators.

Frick said the scientific group was

appointed by the UN Secretary General

and it engaged with networks of

scientists and experts during the

preparatory process. "Scientists

worldwide continue to be invited to

A displaced South Sudanese woman cooking food at a refugee camp in Uganda.

submit research papers and findings to

the scientific group," he said.

The make-up of the science group is a

major issue, according to IPES-Food, as

"the scientific group leadership is

effectively the arbiter of what counts as

science for the Food Systems Summit".

Summit Special Envoy Agnes

Kalibata, president of the Alliance for a

Green Revolution in Africa, has said the

summit is seeking systemic

transformation of food systems. Science

has been flagged as a key pillar of this

food system transformation.

The food policy argument has centred

on the specific fields of science that are

being brought in to discussions.Food

systems are complex and sprawling,

and the range of views on how they

should be governed are as diverse as the

world's farming communities. Critics

say the summit is focused on

technology-driven agricultural

approaches and excludes key actors in

food systems, such as small-scale

farmers.

In a series of recommendations to the

summit organisers, Michael Fakhri, the

UN special rapporteur on the right to

food, argued that the summit was

dominated by 'sustainable intensive

agriculture' perspectives, at the cost of a

more ecological viewpoint.

"Sustainable intensive agriculture

recognises the importance of

responding to the social and ecological

dimensions of food production but does

so as part of an effort to reduce and

eliminate intensive agriculture's

harmful effects," says Fakhri. "Whereas

agroecology is a practice committed to

avoiding harmful effects all together."

A petition, signed by more than 150

scientists who support the approach of

agroecology, where ecological concepts

are combined with farming techniques,

calls on researchers to boycott the

summit.

Photo: Bertha Wangari


TueSDAY, AuGuST 3, 2021

6

'Cholo Shopno Chui' is working tirelessly to help the helpless people in Pirgachha upazila.

Photo: M Khorshed Alam

‘Cholo Shopno Chui’ helping the helpless

M KHORSHeD ALAM, PIRGACHHA CORReSPONDeNT

In the month of December 2018,

suddenly one night, there was a

disabled woman in front of Dila

Bhaiya Supermarket, who has no one

and was very helpless. Can we

cooperate with him? That night I

talked to 2/3 of my friends and ran to

the woman. After listening to her

sorrows we came forward to help her.

Then the experience began to work

on the side of helpless disadvantaged

people. At one time along with some

of the friends we started the social

organization 'Cholo Shopno Chui'.

Muhtasim Abshad Jisan, a

visionary of helpless people, is

working tirelessly for the helpless,

disadvantaged people to fulfill his

dreams. He is the grandson of

famous doctor of Pirgachha upazila of

Rangpur Samsul Haq and elder son

of Abu Hana Md Shahnawaz Fuadar.

Jisan is a student of Khulna

University. In addition to studies he

has created 'Cholo Shopno Chui' to

help the helpless.

He started the journey with thirty

members, but now there are more

than 450 members. They are working

on five projects of SDG. Under these

projectors, on Pohela Boishakh of

2019, the members of the

organization distributed educational

materials, provided new clothes and

distributed food to 67 children. On

the other hand, those who have no

husband, no parents and leads a life

alone, 'Cholo Shopno Chui' takes

their full responsibility. In addition,

some orphaned children of Hafzia

Madrasa and poor helpless people

were provided with winter clothes

during the winter season. At the time

of Karan, 55 families were provided

with essential food items and

financial assistance for 10 days,

distribution of various awareness

leaflets, spraying of disinfectants in

the neighborhoods and provided eid

items among middle class families

who could not earn due to lockdown.

Muhtasim Abshad Jisan, one of the

leading figures in the Corona

pandemic, was awarded the Indian

Humanitarian Award by the Indian

Book of Records. And in recognition

of this work of the helpless

organization of the society, 'Cholo

Shopno Chui' is recieved DYC

International Brewery Award, Covid-

19 Diamond Award and Karana

Warrior Peacock Gabal Award.

One held

with huge

wine in

Dinajpur

RANGPUR: Members of

Rapid Action Battalion

(RAB) arrested a

presumed drug trader and

seized 16.95 litres of

locally produced wine in

31 bottles from Chalk

Bazar village in Sadar

upazila of Dinajpur

district on Saturday

afternoon, reports BSS.

The arrested was

identified as Manti

Kumar Gupta, 30, of

Dinajpur district.

"On a tip-off, an

operational team of RAB-

13 from its Rangpur

battalion headquarters

conducted a raid in the

area and arrested the man

with the wine," said a

press release issued by

Assistant Director

(Media) of RAB-13 Flight

Lieutenant Mahmud

Bashir Ahmed.

The seized 31 bottles of

Carew brand wine,

packed in a metallic box,

included 14 bottles of

Carew-750 ml, 13 bottles

of Carew-375 ml and four

bottles of Carew-180 ml.

During primary

interrogation, the

arrested person admitted

his involvement in drug

trading for a long time in

connivance with his other

associates.

"After filing a case in

this connection, the elite

force handed over Manti

Kumar to Dinajpur

Kotwali Police Station,"

the release said, adding

that investigation

continues to nab other

cohorts of the arrested

drug trader.

RMP intends to strengthen

beat policing activities

RAJSHAHI: The Rajshahi

Metropolitan Police (RMP)

is intended to strengthen the

activities of beat policing

through ensuring

community participation to

make the society free from

drug-addiction, terrorism

and militancy, reports BSS.

RMP authorities revealed

this while addressing a viewsharing

meeting with the

beat officers of beat policing

offices of RMP held at its

police lines in Rajshahi city

on Saturday afternoon.

With RMP Commissioner

Abu Kalam Siddique in the

chair, the meeting was

addressed, among others, by

Additional Commissioners

Sujayet Islam and Mazid Ali

and Deputy Commissioners

Rashidul Hassan and Sazid

Hossain.

The discussants opined

that integrated efforts by the

police and the public in

general, including the young

generation, could help root

out the abuse of drugs along

with its illicit trafficking and

trading.

elaborating his zerotolerance

stand against the

abuse of drugs and its

trafficking and trading, Abu

Kalam Siddique asked the

beat officers to expedite their

activities to attain the

'Robber' killed in 'gunfight'

with Rab in Gazipur

GAZIPUR : A suspected robber was killed in a 'gunfight' with

members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) at Satchungipar in

Sreepur upazila of Gazipur district early Sunday. The deceased

was identified as Parvez Ahmed, ringleader of inter-district

robber gang.

Pervez was wanted in 23 criminal cases, said Mushfiqul

Rahim Tushar, assistant director of Rab-1 (media), reports

UNB.

Tipped off, a team of Rab-1 conducted an anti-narcotics drive

in the area around 1 am. Sensing the presence of the Rab

personnel, Parvez and his two associates opened fire on Rab

men, forcing them to fire back. At one stage, Pervez was caught

in the line of fire and died on the spot while the two others

managed to flee the scene. The elite force members recovered

one pistol and some Yaba pills from the spot Later, the body was

taken to Shaheed Tajuddin Medical College and Hospital.

Covid patient in Chandpur ‘attempts suicide'

CHANDPUR : A Covid-19 patient, undergoing treatment at

Chandpur General Government Hospital, reportedly attempted

suicide by jumping off the second floor of the hospital on Saturday,

reports UNB.

Witnesses said Beauty Begum, 35, wife of Khokon Mia of Algi

village in Haimchar upazila, has been undergoing treatment at

the isolation ward of the hospital for the past 11 days.

When Beauty's mother-in-law who was attending her went to

the toilet around 6 PM, she jumped off the second floor of the

hospital, injuring her right leg and backbone, said its medical

officer, Omar Faruk.

Though she is still Corona positive, Beauty was doing well,

Faruk said, adding that she is now being treated for her bone

injuries.

cherished goal of the beat

policing.

.He said the metropolitan

police had intensified the

activities of beat policing to

prevent crimes.

RMP Commissioner

Kalam Siddique also sought

all-out cooperation of the

communities to make the

war against drugs a total

success.

He stressed the need for

boosting the relationship

between the police and

common people and for

exploring the opportunities

of beat policing for lasting

peace everywhere in the

society.

Covid-19: 18

more lives lost

in Kushtia

KUSHTIA : eighteen more

Covid-related deaths were

reported at Kushtia General

Hospital in 24 hours till

Sunday morning amid a

devastating virus situation

across the country.

"All the deceased were

Covid-19 patients," said Md

Mejbaul Alam, statistics

officer of the hospital.

Besides, 181 people have

tested positive for the virus in

the district in the past 24

hours and 533 samples were

tested during the period, he

said, reports UNB.

The positivity rate currently

stands at 33.95%.

Meanwhile, 243 people with

Covid symptoms are currently

undergoing treatment at the

leading medical facility.

So far, 14,416 people have

been infected with the virus in

the district while the death toll

from Covid topped 584. On

the other hand, 10,795 people

have recovered from Covid to

date.

Sunday's view of Satkhira district town. People are trying to come out from home showing different

excuses.

Photo : Motiar Rahman Modhu

One dies, 55 test positive for

COVID-19 in C'nawabganj

CHAPAINAWABGANJ: One

more person died of Covid-19

during the last 24 hours

raising the total number of

deaths to 140 in the district,

reports BSS.

The total fatalities included

the highest 94 in Sadar

upazila, 28 in Shibganj

upazila, 10 in Gomastapur

upazila, six in Nachole

upazila and two in Bholahat

upazila in the district.

On the other hand, the

number of Covid-19 cases

climbed to 5,001 as 55 more

people were detected positive

after testing 168 samples in

the district during the last 24

hours while the infection rate

is 32.73 percent, Civil

Surgeon Office sources

confirmed. Among the newly

detected patients, 35 persons

are from sadar upazila, four

from Shibganj upazila, one

from Nachole upazila and 15

from Bholahat upazila.

Of the total detected

patients, 2,773 are from

Sadar upazila, 860 from

Shibganj upazila, 657 from

Gomastapur upazila, 374

from Nachole upazila and

337 from Bholahat upazila.

At present there are 400

Covid-19 patients in the

district and of them, 62 are

undergoing treatment in

dedicated Covid hospital and

others at home.

Meanwhile, 4,461 patients

with 153 new have recovered

from the disease here, the

sources added.

Police providing ambulance,

oxygen support in Gaibandha

GAIBANDHA : Police are providing ambulance service and

oxygen support to the corona infected patients of seven upazilas

in the district, reports BSS.

As the corona situation is worsening in the district and many

of the corona patients have been facing breathing difficulties for

want of oxygen, the district police took the initiative to ensure

ambulance service and oxygen support free of cost to the corona

patients.

Superintendent of Police Muhammad Towhidul Islam after

inaugurating the programme at his office on Saturday said the

district police took the initiative as part of the social

responsibility.

In the past, during natural calamities like flood, cold wave the

police stood beside the affected people of the district and helped

them with relief materials and warm clothes to mitigate their

sufferings, he also said.

The district police stood beside the corona infected people

with ambulance service and lifesaving oxygen support, he

added.

If anyone calls us for oxygen support or ambulance service, we

will provide the services immediately, the SP said.

2 members

of Dumki

Press Club

expelled

MD.NAeeM HOSSAIN, DUMKI

(PATUAKHALI) CORReSPONDeNT:

Two members of Dumki

press club named S M

Zakir Hossain Hawlader

and K M

Anwaruzzaman Chunnu

have been expelled for

their involvement in

anti-constitutional and

anti-organizational

activities.

The information has

come from a press

release signed by the

convener of the

organization Syed Fazlul

Haque and joint

convener Kazi Belal

Hossain Dulal.

Confirming the matter,

Joint convener of

Dumki press club Kazi

Belal Hossain Dulal

said, the two members

have been expelled from

all posts of Dumki Press

Club as they were found

to be involved in

conspiracy against the

organization.

Noakhali's Chaumuhani General Business Association has provided oxygen cylinders for corona

patients.

Photo : Manik Bhuyan

Locals have arrested a thief named Rubel Ali (28) for stealing from a grocery store in Baraigram,

Natore. He is the son of late Jan Mohammad of Mahila Kolejpara area of Bonpara village. Later he

was handed over to police.

Photo : Sheikh Tofazzol Hossain


tuesDAY, August 3, 2021

7

China is trying to contain its largest coronavirus outbreak in months.

Photo : AP

Millions under virus lockdown

as China battles Delta outbreak

BEIJING : Millions of people were

confined to their homes in China

Monday as the country tried to

contain its largest coronavirus

outbreak in months with mass testing

and travel curbs.

China on Monday reported 55 new

locally transmitted coronavirus cases,

as an outbreak of the fast-spreading

Delta variant reached over 20 cities

and more than a dozen provinces.

Local governments in major cities

including Beijing have now tested

millions of residents, while cordoning

off residential compounds and placing

close contacts under quarantine.

The central city of Zhuzhou in

Hunan province ordered over 1.2

million residents on Monday to stay

home under strict lockdown for the

next three days as it rolls out a

citywide testing and vaccination

campaign, according to an official

statement.

Poland steps up

security at vaccination

centres after attacks

WARSAW : Poland on

Monday said it was stepping

up security at vaccination

points following two arson

incidents overnight in a

single town and an attempt

by anti-vaccine activists to

break into another.

"These incidents are

recurring unfortunately,"

Prime Minister Mateusz

Morawiecki told reporters.

"They will all be severely

punished in accordance with

current regulations and we

will also carry out activities

aimed at increasing the

security of all these centres,"

he said.

Police chief Jaroslaw

Szymczyk said arsonists had

set fire to a mobile

vaccination centre and an

office used by the local

epidemiological agency in

the town of Zamosc in

eastern Poland.

There were no casualties

from the fires.

He called the incidents

"extremely shocking" and

said there would be "around

the clock" security at

vaccination points.

Afghan airstrikes kill

15 Taliban militants

in northern

Samangan province

AYBAK, Afghanistan : A total

of 15 militants were confirmed

dead as fighting planes struck

Taliban hideouts and positions

in parts of Hazrat-e-Sultan

district of northern Samangan

province on Sunday, army

spokesman in the northern

region Mohammad Hanif

Rezai said Monday.

Fifteen more insurgents

sustained injuries in the sorties

launched Sunday afternoon,

the official said.

A huge quantity of arms and

ammunition of the militants

were also destroyed during the

air raids, according to the

official.

Taliban militants who are in

control of parts of the restive

Samangan province have yet

to make comments.

"The situation is still grim and

complicated," the Zhuzhou

government said.

Beijing has previously boasted of its

success in bringing domestic cases

down to virtually zero after the

coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan

in late 2019, allowing the economy to

rebound.

But the latest outbreak, linked to a

cluster in Nanjing where nine cleaners

at an international airport tested

positive on July 20, is threatening that

success with more than 360 domestic

cases reported in the past two weeks.

In the tourist destination of

Zhangjiajie, near Zhuzhou, an

outbreak spread last month among

theatre patrons who then brought the

virus back to their homes around the

country.

Zhangjiajie locked down all 1.5

million residents on Friday.

Officials are urgently seeking people

who have recently travelled from

Nanjing or Zhangjiajie, and have

urged tourists not to travel to areas

where cases have been found.

Meanwhile, Beijing has blocked

tourists from entering the capital

during the peak summer holiday

travel season.

Only "essential travellers" with

negative nucleic acid tests will be

allowed to enter after the discovery of

a handful of cases among residents

who had returned from Zhangjiajie.

Top city officials on Sunday called

for residents "not to leave Beijing

unless necessary".

The capital's Changping district

locked down 41,000 people in nine

housing communities last week.

Fresh cases were also reported on

Monday in the popular tourist

destination of Hainan as well as in

flood-ravaged Henan province,

national health authorities said.

Evacuations lifted as

progress made

against western fires

BLY, OREGON : Firefighters in Oregon

reported good progress in the battle against

the nation's largest wildfire, while authorities

canceled evacuation orders near a major

blaze in Northern California.

Containment of the Bootleg Fire in remote

southern Oregon was up to 74% on Sunday.

It was 56% contained a day earlier, reports

UNB.

"That reflects several good days of work on

the ground where crews have been able to

reinforce and build additional containment

lines," fire spokesman Al Nash said Sunday.

The blaze has scorched over 646 square

miles (1,673 square kilometers) since being

sparked by lightning July 6 in the Fremont-

Winema National Forest.

California's Dixie Fire covered nearly 383

square miles (992 square kilometers) in

mountains where 42 homes and other

buildings have been destroyed.

The fire was 32% contained Sunday, and

evacuation orders and warnings were lifted

for several areas of Butte and Plumas

counties.

The cause of the blaze, which ignited July

13, was still under investigation.

Authorities warned that with

unpredictable winds and extremely dry fuels,

the risk of flare-ups remained high.

In recent days, lightning sparked two

wildfires that threatened remote homes in

the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

Evacuation warnings remained in place

Sunday for communities along the Trinity

River.

In Montana, a wind-driven wildfire

destroyed more than a dozen homes,

outbuildings and other structures,

authorities said Sunday. Evacuations were

ordered after flames jumped a highway and

moved toward communities near Flathead

Lake in the northwestern part of the state.

Crews also battled major blazes in

northeast Washington and northern Idaho.

Nearly 22,000 firefighters and support

personnel were battling 91 large, active

wildfires covering 2,813 square miles (7,285

square kilometers) in mostly western states,

the National Interagency Fire Center said.

A historic drought and recent heat waves

tied to climate change have made wildfires

harder to fight in the American West.

Scientists say climate change has made the

region much warmer and drier in the past 30

years and will continue to make weather

more extreme and wildfires more frequent

and destructive.

The U.S. Drought Monitor reported last

week that while a robust monsoon has

delivered drought-easing rainfall to the

Southwest, critically dry conditions persist

across Northern California and the

Northwest, where there has been an

expansion of "exceptional drought," the

worst category.

Firefighters in Oregon reported good progress in the battle against the

nation's largest wildfire, while authorities canceled evacuation orders

near a major blaze in Northern California.

Photo : AP

Death toll in central

China floods rises

to 302, 50 missing

BEIJING : The death toll

from floods in central China

last month is at least 302

with dozens of people still

missing, officials said

Monday, after record

downpours dumped a year's

worth of rain on a city in just

three days.

Zhengzhou, the capital of

Henan province and the

epicentre of the record

flooding, was hardest-hit

with 292 people dead and 47

missing, according to a

provincial government press

briefing, as residents were

trapped in subway trains,

underground car parks, and

tunnels.

Images of passengers

inundated by shoulderheight

water went viral on

Chinese social media on

Line 5 of the city subway

where 14 people died, while

dozens of cars in a tunnel

were tossed aside by the

deluge, many with

passengers still inside.

"Thirty-nine people were

found dead in underground

carparks,"

Zhengzhou's

mayor Hou Hong told

reporters while updating the

toll, adding that six died in a

car tunnel.

Heavy downpours that

began July 17 affected

almost 13 million people,

damaged nearly 9,000

homes, and caused

economic losses in Henan

estimated at 53 billion yuan

($8.2 billion).

New Zealand opens

travel bubble to

Pacific workers

WELLINGTON : Seasonal

workers from selected Pacific

countries will be allowed into

New Zealand without

undergoing two weeks in

quarantine, Jacinda Ardern

said Monday.

The expansion of the travel

bubble will be restricted to

workers from Tonga, Samoa

and Vanuatu employed in the

horticulture and viticulture

industries where there are not

enough New Zealand-based

workers."This new one-way

travel policy will significantly

expand the potential

workforce available for those

experiencing labour

shortages," Ardern said.

"Our closed border has

been critical to keeping Covid

out and keeping our economy

running but... we know our

agriculture sector is

experiencing challenges," she

added.

"We've heard the call from

primary sectors and others to

bring in additional workers in

a safe way and we think that is

now possible."Tonga, Samoa

and Vanuatu have largely

kept Covid-19 at bay.

There have been four cases

in Vanuatu, three in Samoa

and none in Tonga.

New Zealand, which has

recorded just 26 Covid-19

deaths in a population of five

million, opened a trans-

Tasman travel bubble with

Australia in April.

MARMARIS : The European Union

sent help to Turkey on Monday and

volunteers joined firefighters in

battling a week of violent blazes that

have killed eight people and put

pressure on President Recep Tayyip

Erdogan.

The wildfires tearing through the

resort regions of Turkey's

Mediterranean and Aegean coasts have

destroyed huge swathes of pristine

forest and forced the evacuation of

panicked tourists from their hotels.

But they have also exposed Erdoganfacing

an election in two years that

could extend his rule into a third

decade-to a new round of criticism over

his seemingly sluggish and out-oftouch

response.

The Turkish leader came under

especially strong criticism over the

weekend for tossing bags of tea to

locals while touring one of the most

badly-affected regions under heavy

Pizza for shots: UK targets

young with vaccine incentives

LONDON : Restaurants, ride-hailing apps

and food delivery services are backing

Britain's COVID-19 vaccination drive,

offering discounts and even free slices of

pizza to persuade young people to roll up

their sleeves and get the shot, reports UNB.

The program, announced Sunday by the

Department of Health and Social Care, is

designed to boost the vaccination rate

among adults under 30 as Britain races to

inoculate as many people as possible before

colder weather arrives.

While more than 90% of adults in Britain

have received at least one dose of vaccine, the

rate for people between the ages of 18 and 30

is about 60%, according to government

statistics.

As he thanked businesses for helping out,

Health Secretary Sajid Javid urged people to

"take advantage of the discounts." Uber,

Bolt, Deliveroo and Pizza Pilgrims are

among the brands to offer incentives.

"The lifesaving vaccines not only protect

you, your loved ones and your community,

but they are helping to bring us back together

by allowing you to get back to doing the

things you've missed," he said.

Britain is not the only nation to try more

carrot - and less stick - to persuade the

reluctant to roll up their sleeves. U.S.

President Joe Biden this week called on

states and local governments to join New

York and Minnesota in offering $100

rewards, hoping a financial incentive will

spur the hesitant to be vaccinated as the

highly contagious delta variant sweeps

through parts of the country.

Britain is keen to increase vaccination rates

amid a surge in new infections as the

government seeks to fully re-open society.

Meanwhile, politicians are anxious to

bolster the economy as the national furlough

program, which guaranteed the wages of

millions of people who were unable to work

due to government restrictions, comes to an

end.

Treasury chief Rishi Sunak is urging Prime

Minister Boris Johnson to ease international

travel restrictions, arguing that Britain's

"draconian" rules are unnecessary given the

success of the vaccination program.

The Sunday Times reported that Sunak

wrote to Johnson to encourage him to let

people enjoy their summer holidays, while

expressing concern about the impact the

restrictions are having on tourism and the

hospitality industry.

Johnson's Cabinet will meet later this week

to review the current travel rules, which

require expensive COVID-19 testing for

people arriving from most popular holiday

destinations in Europe and force anyone

coming from France to self-isolate for up to

10 days.

Restaurants, ride-hailing apps and food delivery services are backing Britain's

COVID-19 vaccination drive, offering discounts and even free slices of pizza to

persuade young people to roll up their sleeves and get the shot. Photo : AP

Evictions expected to spike

as federal moratorium ends

BOSTON : Evictions, which have mostly

been on pause during the pandemic, are

expected to ramp up on Monday after the

expiration of a federal moratorium as

housing courts take up more cases and

tenants are locked out of their homes.

Housing advocates fear the end of the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

moratorium could result in millions of

people being evicted in the coming weeks.

But most expect an uptick in filings in the

coming days rather than a wave of evictions.

The Biden administration announced

Thursday it will allow a nationwide ban to

expire. It argued that its hands are tied after

the U.S. Supreme Court signaled the

moratorium would only be extended until

the end of the month.

House lawmakers on Friday attempted

but, ultimately failed, to pass a bill to extend

the moratorium even for a few months.

Some Democratic lawmakers had wanted it

extended until the end of the year.

"Struggling renters are now facing a health

EU sends help to Turkey as

wildfire toll reaches eight

police escort.

The government has also disclosed

that it had no firefighting planes in its

inventory and had to rely on foreign

help to battle the flames.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

thanked Brussels on Monday for

sending a plane from Croatia and two

from Spain.

The European Union said it "stands

in full solidarity with Turkey at this very

difficult time"-a message designed to

show goodwill after more than a year of

heated disputes. Firefighters on

Monday also battled local blazes on the

Greek island of Rhodes in the Aegean

as well as parts of Italy and Spain.

Fanned by soaring temperatures and

strong winds-with experts saying that

climate change increases both the

frequency and intensity of such blazes-

EU data show this year's fire season has

been significantly more destructive

than most. Erdogan's office at first

crisis and an eviction crisis," said Alicia

Mazzara, a senior research analyst at the

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

"Without the CDC's moratorium, millions

of people are at risk of being evicted or

becoming homeless, increasing their

exposure to COVID just as cases are rising

across the country. The effects will fall

heavily on people of color, particularly Black

and Latino communities, who face greater

risk of eviction and more barriers to

vaccination."

More than 15 million people live in

households that owe as much as $20 billion

to their landlords, according to the Aspen

Institute. As of July 5, roughly 3.6 million

people in the U.S. said they faced eviction in

the next two months, according to the U.S.

Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey.

Parts of the South and other regions with

weaker tenant protections will likely see the

largest spikes and communities of color

where vaccination rates are sometimes lower

will be hit hardest.

blamed the worst fires in Turkey in at

least a decade on arsonists that progovernment

media linked to outlawed

Kurdish militants waging a deadly

insurgency against the state.

But that theory appeared to vanish as

the number of fires grew, the toll

mounted and the days wore on.

Turkey's forestry directorate said 105

fires had been recorded in 35 towns

and cities across the country since

Wednesday.

It said seven-most of them not far

from the southern resort cities of

Antalya and Marmaris-continued to

burn on Monday.

An AFP team in Marmaris on the

Aegean Sea saw flames simmer across

the crests of forest-covered hills.

The night sky glowed amber and the

smoke-filled air was heavy and hard to

breathe in stifling heat of around 40

degrees Celsius (104 degrees

Fahrenheit).


TuesDAY, AugusT 3, 2021

8

Mercantile Bank Limited launched santahar and Dupchanchia sub-branch on Thursday (29.07.2021) maintaining

health protocol. Bank's Chairman Morshed Alam, M.P. virtually inaugurated the sub-branches as the chief guest.

A. s. M. Feroz Alam, Vice Chairman; Al-Haj Akram Hossain (Humayun), Chairman, executive Committee; M. A.

Khan Belal, Chairman, Mercantile Bank securities Ltd.; M. Amanullah, Md. Nasiruddin Choudhury and

Mohammad Abdul Awal, Directors of the bank spoke as the special guests. Mati ul Hasan, Managing Director &

CeO (CC) of the bank gave his welcome speech while shamim Ahmed, DMD & CAMLCO of MBL gave his vote of

thanks. Deputy Managing Directors Md. Zakir Hossain, Adil Raihan, Hasne Alam and Md. Mahmood Alam

Chowdhury along with invited guests and valued customers of the bank, two HOBs of controlling branch of the subbranches,

in-charges of the sub-branches and senior executives were connected virtually on the occasion. santahar

sub-branch is situated in Alta syndicate Palace, 302, Naogaon Road, Ward no.-3, Pourasava -santahar, Thana-

Adamdighi, Zilla-Bogura and Dupchanchia sub-branch is in Kamrun Nahar Plaza, 127, CO Office Road, Ward no.-

5, Pourasava-Dupchanchia, Thana- Dupchanchia, Zilla-Bogura. Photo : Courtesy

Millions of Americans

risk eviction as virus

cases spike

WASHINGTON : Millions of

Americans could find

themselves homeless

starting Sunday as a

nationwide ban on evictions

expires, against a backdrop

of surging coronavirus cases

and political fingerpointing.

With billions in

government funds meant to

help renters still untapped,

President Joe Biden this

week urged Congress to

extend the 11-month-old

moratorium after a recent

Supreme Court ruling meant

the White House could not

do so.

But Republicans balked at

Democratic efforts to extend

the eviction ban through

mid-October, and the House

of Representatives

adjourned for its summer

vacation Friday without

renewing it.

House Speaker Nancy

Pelosi said blocking the

measure was "an act of pure

cruelty... leaving children

and families out on the

streets," in a tweet late

Saturday. Several left-wing

Democrats had spent the

night outside the Capitol in

protest-calling out their

colleagues over the failure to

act.

With the clock ticking

down to Sunday, the country

was braced for a

heartbreaking spectaclefamilies

with their

belongings at the curbside

wondering where to go.

Luxury looks homeward

as Covid curtails travel

PARIS :The luxury sector has

flashed back from the Covid-

19 pandemic but the crisis is

still putting a crimp in travel, a

key part of the market.

Industry giants have

reported results that show the

world's well-heeled are

splurging on luxury goods as

sales surpass even prepandemic

levels.

LVMH-home to Louis

Vuitton, Moet, Fendi, and

Kenzo brands among otherssaw

first-half sales climb by 11

percent above their prepandemic

level to 28.7 billion

euros (34.1 billion) as it

reported a profit of 5.3 billion

euros, a whopping 64 percent

increase from 2019.

Rival Kering-which owns

the Gucci and Balenciaga

brands-bested its prepandemic

level by 8.4 percent

with a record 8 billion euros in

sales. Hermes reported a 29-

percent jump to 4.0 billion in

sales.

Both recorded profits of

more than a billion euros,

beating expectations.

The Swiss luxury group

Richemont-Cartier, Piaget,

and Montblanc-beat its prepandemic

level in the second

quarter by 18 percent, while

Italy's Prada bested 2019 firsthalf

sales by eight percent.

It is the "upper middle class,

the rich and ultra-rich

untouched by the crisis" who

could not travel or eat out and

instead bought luxury goods,

said Arnaud Cadart at asset

manager Flornoy.

The Chinese, "who

represent 35 to 40 percent" of

luxury customers, are still

crucial, he added.

But while Chinese buyers

previously made a lot of their

purchases while visiting

Europe, they are now making

them at home.

In fact, "what was

surprising was not so much

the recovery in China but the

violent rebound in the United

States," remarked Erwan

Rambourg a sector analyst

and author of "Future Luxe:

What's Ahead for the Business

of Luxury".

Compared with previous

crisis recoveries, after the

September 11 terror attacks or

the 2008 economic crisis for

example, "the feeling of guilt,

the idea that it is

inappropriate to buy luxury

goods, disappeared,"

Rambourg told AFP.

"There is a young

generation in the United

States that feels comfortable

with luxury purchases," in

particular among the African-

American, Hispanic and

Asian populations, he

explained.

Hermes chief executive Axel

Dumas told a telephone news

briefing: "We've seen a very

strong rebound in activity in

the United States from our

loyal clients as well as a new

clientele that came to us

thanks to digital" marketing

by the company.

Hermes's sales in the US

jumped by a quarter from

their pre-pandemic level.

Citigroup analyst Thomas

Chauvet noted that the fact

that a roaring US stock

market had made many

Americans more wealthy, on

paper at least, had also

provided an important

psychological boost to

consumption.

In Europe, the sector's

performance was better than

might be expected given the

absence of tourists who

normally generate half of

sales, because local clients

turned out.

"Europeans had to a

considerable extent deserted

this market" but this year the

trend was reversed, said

Flornoy's Cadart.

Rambourg added: "To

everyone's surprise, the

brands discovered that by

stimulating the local clientele"

via social networks "the

French, Italians, Spanish

turned out more than hoped".

Chauvet cautioned that "the

rebound in local demand

doesn't compensate for the

loss of tourists." The luxury

market will nonetheless

"remain dominated by local

buyers for at least another

year," Rambourg forecast.

EU banks can weather ‘harsh’

crises but with big losses

PARIS : European banks can

weather a severe economic

crisis with a sharp drop in

their financial reserves,

according to results from an

extensive stress test

published on Friday.

In the worst-case scenario,

described as "very severe"

and covering a period of

three years, the European

banking sector would suffer

a capital loss of 265 billion

euros ($314 billion) by 2023,

the European Banking

Authority said in a

statement.

While erosion of core

capital-which regulators use

to gauge a bank's financial

soundness-was within

acceptable limits,

shareholders in major

lenders including PNB

Paribas and Deutsche Bank

would be looking at big

losses, driven by bad loans.

"The assumptions made

were unbelievably harsh,"

grumbled one bank boss,

who declined to be

identified.

"This test has a somewhat

artificial side, where we

pretend, for example, that in

a 100-year crisis we would

continue to extend credit as

if nothing had happened."

The worst-case scenario

imagines starting from an

already weak economic

environment in 2020 and is

based on an extended

pandemic, a strong drop in

confidence and prolonged

low-interest

rate

environment.

The modelling predicts a

fall in the European Union's

gross domestic product of

more than 3 percent over

three years, with the

economy shrinking in all

countries.

Following such a shock,

the average "tier one" capital

ratio, a key indicator of

financial soundness, would

fall from about 15 percent to

around 10 percent, a level

generally considered

acceptable by supervisors

after three years of stress.

The test, conducted jointly

with the European Central

Bank, was based on a sample

of 50 banks representing 70

percent of the bloc's total

banking assets.

Twenty of the 50 banks

would have seen core capital

fall below 10 percent at the

end of the three years,

according to the test.

The Italian bank Monte dei

Paschi di Siena, which has

been in difficulty for a long

time and is in the process of

being taken over by

UniCredit, would even be

facing negative capital of -

0.10 percent.

Moreover, some banks

would have suffered very

heavy losses by the end of

2021: BNP Paribas, 11 billion

euros; Deutsche Bank, more

than 10 billion euros; and

Spain's Santander, more

than 5 billion.

But in general, European

institutions are proving to be

"robust" and "have generally

passed the test well", ECB

Vice-President Luis De

Guindos said in an interview

with the German daily

Handelsblatt published on

Friday.

The test revealed

deterioration of capital

would be more marked

among institutions with little

international diversification

and for those with lower

interest income, said the

European Banking

Authority.

As in previous tests, bad

loans accounted for the bulk

of the capital deterioration.

The heaviest losses were

predicted in France, followed

by Germany and Italy.

The scenario examined

would also result in a

significant decrease in

profits, driven by the lower

interest income banks make

from lending.

Initially planned for 2020,

this test was postponed to

2021 because of the global

pandemic.

A meeting of the Board of Directors of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited was held on 31 July 2021,

saturday at virtual platform. Professor Md. Nazmul Hassan, Ph.D, Chairman of the bank presided

over the meeting. Md. shahabuddin, Vice Chairman, Dr. Areef suleman, foreign Director and representative

of Islamic Development Bank, other Directors, Mohammed Monirul Moula, Managing

Director & CeO and J.Q.M. Habibullah, FCs, Deputy Managing Director & Company secretary of the

bank attended the meeting. The meeting approved the second quarter unaudited financial statements

of the bank. The meeting also discussed about the business performance of the Bank and took

some important policy related decisions.

Photo : Courtesy

The 22nd Annual general Meeting (AgM) of standard Bank Limited was held on Thursday, the

29thJuly 2021 at 11:00 am through digital platform. The AgM was duly conducted through the use of

virtual medium as directed by the regulatory bodies instead of physical presence of the respected

shareholders and Directors in order to maintain safe social distancing against the backdrop of the

on-going nationwide corona virus pandemic. Kazi Akram uddin Ahmed, the Honorable Chairman of

the Board of Directors, immediate past International Director of Lions Clubs International & former

President of FBCCI presided over the meeting. Vice Chairman Ashok Kumar saha, Directors

Messers Kamal Mostafa Chowdhury, Ferozur Rahman, Md. Monzur Alam, s. A. M. Hossain,

Mohammed Abdul Aziz, Al-Haj Mohammed shamsul Alam, gulzar Ahmed, Md. Zahedul Hoque, Al-

Haj Mohd. Yousuf Chowdhury, Ferdous Ali Khan, KaziKhurram Ahmed, Md. Abul Hossain and

Najmul Huq Chaudhury, Managing Director & CeO Khondoker Rashed Maqsood, Additional

Managing Director Md. Touhidul Alam Khan, Deputy Managing Director Mohammad Rafiqul Islam,

a large number of shareholders and Partner of external Auditor of the Bank M/s shafiq Basak & Co.

shafiqul Islam FCA, Independent scrutinizer Iqbal Hossain FCA are joined in the meeting on virtual

platform.

Photo : Courtesy

Walton launches 64-megapixel penta camera phone

Bangladesh tech-giant Walton has

launched its new flagship smartphone

with 64-megapixel rear penta camera

(meaning a five-sensor camera) set-up.

Besides, there is a 32-megapixel selfie

camera on the front. The phone sports

many advance features including large

screen full HD+ display, gaming

processor, powerful RAM, ROM and side

mounted fingerprint.

SM Rezwan Alam, Chief Executive

Officer (CEO) of Walton Mobile, said that

the flagship model of Primo ZX4 has been

released in the market mainly

considering the taste and requirements of

users for devices with advanced features.

This affordable smartphone will satisfy

smartphone lovers with all ages.

He said, priced at 26,999 BDT, the

8.6mm slim phone has been released in

eye-catching charcoal black color. The

phone can be purchased from Walton's

online shop e-Plaza

(eplaza.waltonbd.com) during the

ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Customer can also buy the phone from all

Walton plaza, mobile brand and retail

outlets across the country if there is no

lockdown.

Habibur Rahman Tuhin, Marketing In-

Charge of Walton Mobile, said that the

Primo ZX4 is as durable as it is visually

appealing, because the phone is made

entirely of 3D glass panels. It has a 6.67-

inch full HD plus LTPS display with 20:9

aspect ratio entertaining screen

resolution 2400 by 1080 pixels. Using

different applications, watching videos,

playing games, reading books or

browsing the internet will be more

enjoyable with the phone.

Run by Android 11 operating system,

this Walton phone sports a powerful 2.05

GHz Helio G95 Octacore processor, ARM

Mali-G76 MC4 GPU with 8 GB

LPDDR4X RAM which will ensure high

speed. The phone comes with 128 GB

internal storage with 256 GB micro SD

card support. For adequate power

backup, the phone has a 4000mAh Li-

Polymer battery with 18 watt type-C fast

charging.

The phone has 5 rear camera setup

with LED flash. The main sensor of the

Penta camera is a 64-megapixel Sony

IMX682 whose aperture is 1.89. Having a

1/1.73" 6P lens which will ensure sharp

and colorful shots. It also has an 8-

megapixel 112 degree wide angle lens, a 5-

megapixel macro lens, a 2-megapixel

depth sensor and another 2-megapixel

mono portrait lens.

For attractive selfies, the phone has a

2.2 aperture PDAF technology 32

megapixel camera on the front. Special

camera features include 4K video

recording, AI scene detection, 4.0X

digital zoom, face detection, geo tagging,

self-timer, brand mark, touch focus,

white balance, fingerprint capture, front

mirror, volume key shot, slow motion,

portrait lapse, panorama, auto mode,

beauty mode, color tune etc.

Connectivity features include dual

band Wi-Fi, bluetooth version 5.0,

wireless display, LAN hotspot, USB Type-

C, OTA and OTG. Sensors include

proximity, orientation, magnetometer,

light (brightness), accelerometer (3D),

step detector, GPS, A-GPS Navigation etc.

Other features include face unlock, 4K

video playback and camcorder, built-in

screen recorder, split screen, suspended

button, smart gesture, private space &

Apps locker etc. Customers will get 30

day instant replacement facility with 1-

year regular warranty on the 'Made in

Bangladesh' tagged smartphone

manufactured in Walton Digi-Tech

Industries Limited's own factory.


TUESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2021

9

American John Isner won his sixth ATP Atlanta Open title on Sunday by defeating US teen Brandon

Nakashima 7-6 (10/8), 7-5.

Photo: AP

Isner beats Nakashima to capture

sixth ATP Atlanta title

SPORTS DESK

John Isner won his sixth ATP Atlanta

Open title on Sunday, firing 21 aces to

defeat teen Brandon Nakashima 7-6

(10/8), 7-5 in an all-American final,

reports BSS.

Sixth-seeded Isner captured his 16th

career ATP title and joined 20-time

Grand Slam winners Roger Federer,

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as

the only active players to win an event

six times.

"I can't believe I've won this

tournament six times. We'll see if I can

do it seven times next year,"Isner said.

"Today I was just a little bit luckier.

That's what it came down to."

It was 36-year-old Isner's first ATP

final since winning two years ago on

Newport grass.

"It was great to be back out here

playing on a Sunday again. It was

PSG would sell

Mbappé for 175

million Euros

SPORTS DESK

KylianMbappé is and will be

the talk of discussion in the

market this summer and

those to come. His potential

and youth make the price

increase in favor of PSG, but

the well-known decision not

to renew with the French

generates controversy.

The club has already made

several offers to continue with

him, being the cornerstone in

eleventh. Despite that, the

player's refusal seems to

remain. The same teammates

help the interests of the club,

but it seems to be in vain,

reports UNB.

According to information

from the web portal,

Transfers, Real Madrid is still

on the lookout for the player,

they know that bidding for

the attacker, at some point,

may be useful, despite the

fact that in Paris, they

refuse to let him go.

The attempts by the owner

of the equipment have been

millionaires, even declaring

that neither for sale nor for

free it will go away.

awesome,"Isner said. "It'll give me a lot

of confidence for sure."

Nakashima, the youngest-ever

Atlanta finalist at 19, reached his

second career ATP final and second in

as many weeks after falling to Britain's

Cameron Norrie last week at Los

Cabos.

He's due to leap from 115th in the

rankings into the top 100 for the first

time on Monday.

"It was a really good week this week,"

Nakashima said. "I'd like to

congratulate John. Winning this event

six times is an amazing achievement."

Nakashima, who beat Isner in a semifinal

last week in Mexico in their only

final meeting, is the first US teen to

reach ATP finals in back-to-back weeks

since 18-year-old Andy Roddick at

Atlanta and Houston in 2001.

"I'm twice your age, dude,"Isner told

Nakashima. "I don't know how many

times we'll get to play but it was very

special to me."

Isner, ranked 35th, had reached eight

of the prior 10 Atlanta finals before last

year's event was wiped out due to

Covid-19.

In the tie-breaker, Isner won a point

off Nakashima's serve for a 9-8 lead

then seized the lead on his fourth setpoint

opportunity.

Isner hit a backhand winner to jump

ahead 0-40 in the 10th game of the

second set, but Nakashima rescued

three match points and later denied

Isner on a fourth and held to pull level

at 5-5.

Isner thwarted Nakashima on two

break points with aces in the 11th game

and held, then forced a fifth match

point in the 11th game. Nakashima,

who had 12 aces, double faulted for the

third time to hand Isner the victory

after one hour and 56 minutes.

Domingo considers Shakib

as back-up opener

SPORTS DESK

Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo

said on Sunday that Shakib Al Hasan could

be promoted as an opener in the upcoming

T20I series against Australia only if their

regular openers missed the matches, reports

UNB.

The Tigers will be without their regular

openers Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das in the

five-match T20 series, starting on Tuesday in

Dhaka while Soumya Sarkar is still

recovering from a strain although he is

expected to be available in the series opener.

Shakib, who played the majority of his

T20I innings at number three and four

positions respectively, is yet to open for

Bangladesh in any format although he

opened for Gemcon Khulna a few times in

Bangabandhu T20 Cup last year.

"Firstly there is no major injury concern.

Soumya Sarkar is recovering from a mild

strain that is carrying from Zimbabwe but I

am pretty confident that he will be fit,"

Domingo told reporters in a virtual press

conference."We got a long batting order.

Obviously, Shakib is there, Shakib could

move into the opening spot while Mithun

(Mohammad) is a middle-order (batsman)

who can bat at the top as well," he added.

Both Bangladesh and Australia began their

preparation at the Sher-e Bangla National

Stadium on Sunday after completing their

three-day mandatory room quarantine in

the team hotel.

Domingo claimed that they are not getting

frightened by the presence of Mitchell

Starc and Josh Hazelwood as he believed

that his charges have the ability to play

these fast bowlers.

"Mitchell Starc and Hazlewood are quality

bowlers and we have looked at some of their

footage but at the end of the day, you will

play the ball not the man.

"End of the day they are humans and will

bowl some bad balls. We got to play with

mind clear and absolute clarity that we have

got to put away the bad balls.

"We know that Australia has a rich history

of cricket but the history that has been

created by the group of Australians is not

here at the moment. For us to compete

and win the series we have to be at the top

of our game.

"As a coach, I am confident that if we can do

the basics really well we can push Australia and

beat them here. I don't think psychologically it's

a massive issue," he said.

"I don't know how many series Bangladesh

have played against Australia before.

to these boys not many of them played a

proper series against them.

BCB announces

17-man squad for

Australia T20s

SPORTS DESK

Bangladesh Cricket Board

announced a 17-member

squad for the five-match

Twenty20 international

series against Australia on

Sunday midnight, reports

UNB.

The series will kick off on

August 3 and to be

continued till August 9 with

all the matches scheduled to

be held at the Sher-e-Bangla

National Cricket Stadium in

Mirpur.

A set of key players like

Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das,

Mushfiqur Rahim and

young leg-spinner Aminul

Islam is going to miss the

series due to injury and

personal reasons.

All of whom were part of

their recent Zimbabwe T20I

series but had to leave the

bio-secure bubble due to

injuries and personal

tragedies.

Squad: Mahmudullah ©,

Soumya

Sarkar,

Mohammad Sheikh, Shakib

Al Hasan, Nurul Hasan

Sohan, Afif Hossain,

Shamim Hossain,

Mohammad Saifuddin,

Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful

Islam, Nasum Ahmed,

Mahedi Hasan, Mustafizur

Rahman, Mohammad

Mithun, Taijul Islam,

Mosaddek Hossain and

Rubel Hossain.

West Indies, Pakistan

T20 series suffers

second washout

SPORTS DESK

Torrential rain which left a

sodden outfield resulted in

the abandonment of the third

Twenty 20 International

between the West Indies and

Pakistan at the National

Stadium in Guyana on

Sunday, reports UNB.

Just eight balls were bowled

at the start of the match with

the home side reaching 15

without loss off eight

deliveries before showers

drove the players off the field

and intensified to such an

extent that it left the ground

waterlogged in a matter of

minutes.

Extensive mopping up

operations by the ground staff

failed to have conditions

sufficiently improved for play

to resume.

The match was called off

ten minutes before the

scheduled cut-off time which

would have allowed for the

minimum requirement of a

five overs-per-side match.

Pakistan lead the series 1-0

going into the final match

scheduled for Tuesday at the

same venue. Babar Azam's

team prevailed by seven runs

in the only completed match

in the series so far on

Saturday at Providence.

Persistent showers also put

paid to the opening game of

the series in Barbados last

Wednesday.

'Just part of the team' -

McKeon humble despite

historic swimming haul

SPORTS DESK

A humble Emma McKeon Monday

downplayed her remarkable feats at the

Tokyo Olympics despite winning an

unsurpassed seven swimming medals to join

the all-time greats, reports BSS.

The 27-year-old Australian was the

undisputed queen in the Tokyo pool, with

her medal haul-four gold and three bronzesurpassing

the six won by East German

Kristin Otto (1952) and American Natalie

Coughlin (2008).

In all, she swam 13 races in nine days and

said it "still hasn't really sunk in yet".

"I feel just like everyone else up here, we

have done an amazing job," she said at a

press conference alongside fellow gold

medallists including AriarneTitmus, Kaylee

McKeown and Cate Campbell.

"The whole team has done an amazing job,

and I'm just wanting to be part of that team.

"I'm just grateful I could be here and that

Japan could allow us to go after our dreams."

McKeon matched the record for the most

decorated female athlete at a single Games

ever, tied with Russian gymnast Maria

Gorokhovskaya (1952).

Asked how it felt to be elevated onto such a

lofty pedestal, she said: "Honestly, I'm not

alone."I've got a whole team behind me, my

coach. Everyone up here (at the press

conference) is right there with me because

everyone here is an Olympic medallist and

that is incredible."

'Incredible unstoppable beast' -

McKeon won gold medals in the 50m and

100m freestyle, setting Olympic records in

each, and also claimed titles in the 4x100m

freestyle relay and the 4x100m medley relay.

Her bronze medals came in the 100m

butterfly, 4x200m freestyle relay and the

4x100m mixed medley relay.

Whether she will be in Paris in 2024 to

defend them remains to be seen.

McKeon was non-committal when asked,

as was veteran sprinter Campbell, who has

won eight medals over four Olympics,

including four gold.

"I have loved every minute in the pool and

loved being part of this team for many, many

years and seeing it grow and evolve into the

absolutely incredible unstoppable beast that

it became this week."

Olympic gold medalist Emma McKeon of Australia puts on her medal after

the final of the women's 50-meter freestyle swimming event at the Tokyo

Aquatics Centre on Sunday.

Photo AP

Camacho-Quinn delivers historic

Olympic gold for Puerto Rico

SPORTS DESK

Jasmine Camacho-Quinn won Puerto Rico's

first-ever Olympics athletics gold in the

women's 100 metres hurdles on Monday

while MiltiadisTentoglou became Greece's

first men's long jump champion, reports

BSS.Dutch distance runner Sifan Hassan

kept her bid for an unprecedented treble of

1500 metres, 5,000m and 10,000m alive

despite a dramatic fall in the 1500m heats.

Camacho-Quinn dominated the 100m

hurdles, not giving world record holder Keni

Harrison a sniff of a chance of ending her

major championship gold drought.

An emotional Camacho-Quinn said her

gold would mean a lot to the people of Puerto

Rico, which has a population of around three

million."For such a small country it gives

little people hope," she said. "I am just glad I

am the person to do that. Anything is

possible. I am really happy right now."

'I was shaking' -European champion

Tentoglou saved his best for last to snatch

long-jump gold from Cuba's Juan Miguel

Echevarria.

The 23-year-old produced a leap of 8.41

metres to equal Echevarria's best mark but

the Greek had a superior second-best jump

(8.15m to 8.09m).

"What an incredible jump, the last jump,"

said Tentoglou. "I wasn't able to get it right at

the start. But in the end I managed to pull

something out to get the medal.

"I am very lucky." Elaine Thompson-

Herah is halfway towards repeating her

Olympic sprint double from five years ago,

with gold already under her belt in the 100m.

The 29-year-old Jamaican eased into the

semi-finals, which take place in the evening

session at the Olympic Stadium.

American champion Gabby Thomas-who

became the second-fastest woman in history

when she won the US trials in 21.61 secondsfinished

second in her heat behind Namibia's

Christine Mboma.

Belarus athlete under protection

in Japan after forced flight claim

PSG would sell Mbappé for 175 million euros- French League.

Photo: AP

SPORTS DESK

A Belarusian Olympic athlete who

claimed her team was forcing her to

return home spent the night under

protection and may be seeking asylum,

officials said Monday, reports BSS.

Sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya, 24,

missed her chance of competing in

Tokyo when the 200 metres heats went

ahead without her in the Olympic

Stadium.

Japan's government spokesman

Katsunobu Kato said authorities

understood Timanovskaya had

"expressed a will to seek asylum", but

offered no further details.

Timanovskaya spent the night in an

airport hotel after seeking protection

late Sunday with Tokyo 2020 officials

to avoid getting on a plane, the

International Olympic Committee said.

"The IOC and Tokyo 2020 spoke to

the Belarusian athlete Kristina

Timanovskaya directly last night," IOC

spokesman Mark Adams said Monday.

"She assured us and has assured us

that she feels safe and secure. She spent

the night at an airport hotel in a safe

and secure environment," he added.

Reports said the runner was seeking

to apply for asylum, possibly in Europe.

The IOC would be "talking again to her

this morning, to understand... what she

wants to pursue, and we will give her

support in that decision", Adams said.

He also said officials from the UN

refugee agency UNHCR were involved

in the case.

Japanese police and the foreign and

justice ministry in Tokyo declined to

comment on the case. UNHCR's Tokyo

office also had no immediate comment.

Kato told reporters that

Timanovskaya was speaking to the

IOC, organisers and "other relevant

organisations" about next steps.

"The government will continue

closely cooperating with relevant

organisations and will take appropriate

measures," he said.

Japan will handle the case "based on

the law", he added.

'I am under pressure' -Timanovskaya

alleged overnight that her team was

attempting to send her home after she

criticised Belarus's athletics federation

for entering her into a relay race in

Tokyo without giving her notice.

"It turns out our great bosses as

always decided everything for us," she

said in an Instagram story video that is

no longer available.

In a later Instagram post she added

that she wouldn't have "reacted so

harshly if I had been told in advance,

explained the whole situation and

asked if I was able to run 400 metres".

"But they decided to do everything

behind my back," she added.

Overnight, the Belarusian Sport

Solidarity Foundation (BSSF), a group

that supports opposition athletes, said

officials from the Belarus team had

tried to "deport"Timanovskaya.

And in a video the athlete appealed

to the IOC to intervene in her

case, warning.


TUesDAY, AUGUsT 3, 2021

10

BTV's month-long special

event in August

Poet Rezauddin Stalin

wins international award

TBT reporT

The architect of independent Bangladesh, the

best Bengali of a thousand years, Father of the

Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur

Rahman. This year the Bengali nation is

gratefully celebrating the birth centenary of

this great leader .

However, every

year the month of

August comes with

a sigh of grief and

sorrow in the heart

of Bengalis. The

whole nation

remembers this

great personality

with deep grief and

r e s p e c t . P a y i n g

homage to the

memory of the

Father of the

N a t i o n ,

B a n g l a d e s h

Television has

organized a

month-long event around this mournful

month of August, which will be broadcast from

1st August to 31st August.

There are also special programs on the

occasion of Sheikh Kamal's birthday on 5

August, Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa

Mujib's birthday on 8 August and National

Mourning Day on 15 August.

This was stated in a mail by the program

department of BTV.It is learned that the

programs 'Kando Bangali Kando' and

'Hiranmoy Bangabandhu' is aired every day

from 1st August to 14th August at 10:10 am

and 1:30 pm.From 13th August to 15th August

at 5:10 pm a special children's program with

songs and poems will be broadcast.

Every day from 1st August to 31st August,

there is a program 'Bajra kantha' on

Bangabandhu's speech at 5:35 pm and after

Bangla news at 7:40 pm and 8 pm, lessons

from Bangabandhu's unfinished

a u t o b i o g r a p h y

and Theprison

diary will be

broadcast.

From August 11

to 15 after 10 pm

English news,

'1975 Er 15

August - Kano Ai

N i s h o n g s h o t a '

will

be

broadcasted.This

month, every

Monday after the

10 o'clock news, a

special program

of 'folk music' will

be broadcast.On

the occasion of the birth anniversary of

Bangamata Sheikh FazilatunnesaMujib, there

will be a special program, documentary

program and discussion program on 8th

August.

To commemorate the National Mourning

Day, August 15, there are two musical

programs, two self-written poetry readings

and a documentary program.There are also

two special poetry recitation programs.There

is a special mourning day drama 'Doshte

Coffin o Ifraner Golpo' written by Iqbal

Khorshed and directed by Imam Hossain.

sHAfIQUL IsLAM (sHAfIQ)

Rezauddin Stalin, a powerful

poet with a global voice in the

Actress Prosun Azad ties knot with Farhan

Model, actress Prosun Azad has tied the

knot with her long-time friend Farhan

Gaffar in the presence of family members.

Their marriage was consummated by

eating dates at a mosque on Friday

afternoon. Prosun Azad said she

published the pictures on her social

handle. Prosun Azad and Farhan Gaffar

engaged in June this year. They were

supposed to get married on July 23,

however, it was not possible due to the

strict lockdown.

Prosun Azad's groom Farhan Gaffar is a

businessman by profession and owns a

farmhouse. According to Prosun's family,

no arrangements were made for the

wedding due to the COVID situation. As a

result, the marriage was completed at the

mosque in the presence of family members

from both sides. Prosun said the marriage

took place at a mosque in their home area.

Bengali language, hsa recently

received the Universal Poetic

Ethiopia Literary Award from

Mexico for his use of human

values, the integration of world

culture and new uses of Eastern

and Western mythology in

Bengali poetry. His poems have

been translated into 42

languages of the world.

Moreover, before he

received the Bangla Academy

Award, he received Michael

Madhusudan Award,

Sabyasachi of India,

Darjeeling Natyachakra,

DharaSahityaAsar, Khulna

Writers Club, UK Journalist

Association Awards, Los

Other formalities of marriage as per the

Bangla tradition are still going on. "Pray

for us. May we be happy," she added.

Earlier, Prosun Azad was married to

Muhaimin Sun, an expatriate from

Australia, in 2016. Their married life lasted

Angeles KG Talkies, Power Poet

Awards from China, Marktowen

Award America, Nigeria School

of Poetry and Art, Argentina's

Aesop Gladias Vega Harare,

Shakti Trust Award from

Rajkot, India, Ukraine Literary

Academy.

Besides, he has received

numerous awards and honors.

During his coronation, he has

been involved in writing and

media work as well as various

charitable work. His books

number in the hundreds.

for a year and a half. In 2012, Prosun Azad

started her career as the first runner-up in

the Lux Channel I Superstar competition.

Several movies including 'Manusher

Bagan' and 'Padmapuran' are awaiting

release.

Bollywood superstar Ajay Devgn is foraying into the digital space

with his first-ever crime-drama series 'Rudra-The Edge of darkness'

a remake of the Idris Elba-starrer successful British series 'Luther'.

Actress Raashii Khanna, known for her work in Telugu films, has

started shooting for the Hindi web series. She is thrilled to finally

start the shoot here.

Talking about starting the shoot, Raashii said, "I am really excited

and nervous at the same time. It's something I am really looking

forward to."

Actor Ajay Devgn shared the news on Instagram writing, "Happy

to announce the crime thriller of the year Hotstar Specials 'Rudra -

The Edge Of Darkness'. This one's going to be killer."

Directed by Rajesh Mapuskar, 'Rudra- The Edge of Darkness' also

Armas starrer

Marilyn's

biopic 'Blonde'

release in 2022

Ana de Armas-starrer 'Blonde', which is a

fictionalised telling of Hollywood star

Marilyn Monroe's life will now release in

2022.

Directed by Andrew Dominik, who also

adapted the novel by Joyce Carol Oates,

'Blonde' was one of the year's most

anticipated films by industry insiders and

consumers.

Specific release date in 2022 has not been

set yet and is slated to release on Netflix. In

development since 2010, actresses like

Jessica Chastain and Naomi Watts were

once attached to the project.

Cuban actor Ana de Armas has been a

rising star in Hollywood for the past few

years with memorable roles in 'Blade

Runner 2049' and 'Knives Out,' for which

she received a Golden Globe nomination.

The film will also star Oscar-winner

Adrien Brody, Emmy nominee Julianne

Nicholson and Emmy winner Bobby

Cannavale.

Netflix has an avalanche of projects

Raashii really

excited to be

part of Ajay led

'Rudra'

stars Atul Kulkarni, EshaDeol, Ashwini Kalsekar and Ashish

Vidyarthi. The series is billed as an engaging and dark new take on

cop stories by the makers.

The upcoming crime-drama series will also mark EshaDeol's entry

into the digital space. Talking about her digital debut she said, "I am

really excited to be back to work, especially alongside Ajay. We have

been co-stars in numerous movies and I am beyond thrilled to make

my digital debut with this series. There is a great comfort level

between us as actors, and it is exciting to work in a new format with

him. I am really charged up with the script and with my role in 'Rudra

- The Edge of Darkness', which is a humongous project by all means

and it also marks Ajay's debut in the digital world."

Besides this, Raashii will be seen in Raj and D.K.'s next webseries

alongside Shahid Kapoor, Tamil films 'Aranmanai 3', 'Methavi',

Telugu film 'Thank You', and Malayalam film 'Bhramam'.

'Rudra: The Edge Of Darkness' is produced by Applause

Entertainment in association with BBC Studios India a coming soon

on Disney + Hotstar.

Source: Times Of India

waiting in the wings for awards

consideration, many of which are undated

but expected to drop in the calendar year. It

includes the directorial debuts of Halle Berry

titled 'Bruised', Rebecca Hall's 'Passing',

Jeymes Samuel's 'The Harder They Fall' and

Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'Tick, Tick Boom!',

among many others.

Source: Indian Express

H o roscope

ArIes

(March 21 - April 20) : Sticks and

stones may break your bones, but

names will never hurt you, Aries. The

problem with today's energy is that there just may be

some sticks and stones tossed in your direction. Be on

the lookout for such airborne adversity. Powerful

forces are operating with emotional aggression. War

can break out if you aren't careful. Try to maintain the

peace. You may need to seek shelter.

TAUrUs

(April 21 - May 21) : Emotionally

speaking, things might get tense for you

today as others demonstrate a rather

selfish attitude, Taurus. Remember that selfishness isn't

always considered negative. Sometimes it's healthy and

necessary to take on a self-centered role. Remember

that you need to take care of number one at all times.

Don't try to pick a fight when other people also

demonstrate this behavior.

GeMINI

(May 22 - June 21) : You might

be quite stirred by the general

energy today, Gemini. "Stirred"

may be too light a word. Put on your armor and

get ready to do battle. Others may cower when

they see what's going on outside, but you will

want to jump into the fray. Strong emotions are

the weapons of the day. Everyone knows that you

have a strong arsenal in this department.

cANcer

(June 22 - July 23) : Move in

for the kill today, Cancer. Don't

stop until you succeed. Don't let

other people's insecurities become yours. Have

confidence in yourself and the way you act

around others. Just because someone else feels

sad, that doesn't mean you have to just to make

him or her feel better. The best thing you can do

is turn the situation around by exhibiting

happiness and a fun-loving attitude.

Leo

(July 24 - Aug. 23): Now is the

perfect time to say something you've

been meaning to say for quite a while,

Leo. Get it out in the open. Keeping it inside is only

eating away at your internal mechanisms. Stop

worrying about the consequences and make the

move. Today is a day to be bold and aggressive. Other

people might respond similarly, so if you dish it out,

be sure you can take it.

VIrGo

(Aug. 24 - Sept. 23): Your opinions

might be the focus of conversation all

day, Virgo. You have a very strong

will that you aren't afraid to express. You will get

that chance. Enlighten others with your wealth of

knowledge. Take control of the conversation and

accept the mental challenge of trying to win other

people over to your side. Whether you're successful

or not, you will have a good time trying.

LIBrA

(Sept. 24 - Oct. 23): Your sensitive

heart may be touched by anger today,

Libra. Don't be afraid of hurting other

people's feelings as you express this emotion. You'd

be doing yourself and other people a disservice by not

revealing the true scope of your emotions. The other

parties involved may not have all the facts necessary

to make the most educated decision. Aid this process

by revealing your perspective.

scorpIo

(Oct. 24 - Nov. 22): You might

feel a great deal of physical

power today, Scorpio. If

someone asks you to help move a couch,

you're likely to be able to pick the whole thing

up by yourself. Don't sell yourself short. You

have more internal strength than you reveal

to others. There's no need to hide it any

longer. Make use of this great power.

sAGITTArIUs

(Nov. 23 - Dec. 21): The train is

headed out, so you'd better hop on,

Sagittarius. People won't be too

sympathetic to your emotional sob story today, so

keep it quiet. Whining will most certainly get you

kicked off the train altogether. The energy of today is

teaching you to toughen up. Don't take it personally,

but realize that there are important lessons to learn.

One is to know when to be silent and obedient.

cAprIcorN

(Dec. 22 - Jan. 20): Jump into

action with energy today,

Capricorn. Order others around

and delegate tasks for a change. An aggressive

approach is what's needed, and you have the

ability to deliver the goods. Trying to do

everything yourself may seem like a great idea at

first, but you're better off enlisting help so others

can feel more involved and you can concentrate

on doing a better job on fewer tasks.

AQUArIUs

(Jan. 21 - Feb. 19) : Guard your

heart well today, Aquarius. It's a

prime target for the abrasive words

being tossed around. Your sensitivity leaves you

feeling alone and naked in the harsh atmosphere.

You might be better off staying in bed. If you

decide to go out, be prepared. Know your

weaknesses so you can use your energy resources

most efficiently.

pIsces

(Feb. 20 - Mar. 20) : A position

involving power and authority is

opening up, and you're the perfect

one for the job, Pisces. Today's astrological aspect

is helping you find the necessary confidence and

physical strength. You have the emotional and

physical boost you need to feel good about your

leadership abilities. This is a time to take control

of the situation.


TUeSDAY, AUgUST 3, 2021

11

Poddokhep provides

student scholarship

Cheque in Barlekha

Abdur Rob, Barlekha Correspondent

Poddokhep Unnayan

Sangstha provided cheque

worth Tk 24,000 among two

high school students in

Barlekha on Sunday.

Upazila Chairman Shoib

Ahmed was the chief guest at

the inauguration ceremony

held at the Upazila Parishad

Auditorium. UNO Khadkar

Mudassir Bin Ali was the

special guest at the occassion

which was chaired by

PoddokhepUnnayanSangstha

Manager Altaf Hassan.

Among others, Journalist

Mustafa Uddin, Poddokhep

Unnayan Sangstha Officer

Nabil Ahmed Khan, Tulsi Das

Mummy, Mitali Rani Das

were also present at the

ocassion.

5.9 magnitude quake

strikes off Indonesia's

Papua: USGS

JAKARTA : A 5.9 magnitude

quake struck off the coast of

Indonesia's easternmost

Papua region Monday, the

United States Geological

Survey said, but there was no

tsunami warning or

immediate reports of damage.

The quake hit at a relatively

shallow depth of 12 kilometres

(7.5 miles), about 180

kilometres northeast of Tual

city.

Shallow quakes tend to do

more damage than deep

tremors.

Indonesia experiences

frequent quakes due to its

position on the Pacific "Ring of

Fire", an arc of intense seismic

activity where tectonic plates

collide that stretches from

Japan through Southeast Asia

and across the Pacific basin.

In January, more than 100

people were killed and

thousands left homeless by a

6.2-magnitude quake that

struck Sulawesi island,

reducing buildings to a

tangled mass of twisted

metal and chunks of concrete

in the seaside city of

Mamuju.

A 7.5-magnitude quake

and a subsequent tsunami in

Palu three years ago left

more than 4,300 people

dead or missing.

Drug peddler

held with beer

in Araihazar

Shahjahan Kabir, Araihazar Correspondent

Members of Araihazar

police in Narayanganj are

arresting a drug dealer

named Monir Chowdhury

(37) along with 24 cans of

beer. He was arrested from

his own house in Kalyadi

Baliapara area of the upazila

late on Sunday night.

Assistant Sub-Inspector

(ASI) of Araihazar Police

Station Mabubul Alam said

the drug peddler was

arrested along with the beer

diring an operation.

Araihazar Police Station

OC Anichur Rahman Malla

said, a case has been filed

under the Narcotics Control

Act.

Poddokhep Unnayan Sangstha provided cheque worth Tk 24,000 among two high school students in

Barlekha on Sunday.

Photo: Abdur Rob

More than 700 saved from Mediterranean

this weekend: aid group

MARSEILLE : Rescue ships picked up more

than 700 people trying to cross the

Mediterranean in makeshift vessels this

weekend, mainly off the coasts of Libya and

Malta, a migrant aid group said Sunday,

reports UNB.

The latest figures came as UN migration

officials repeated their calls for a fairer

mechanism to share out the responsibility of

caring for them, rather than leaving it to the

Mediterranean countries.

SOS Mediterranee said that its vessel, the

Ocean Viking, had carried out six separate

operations in international waters since

Saturday.

In the last such intervention, it rescued 106

people off the Maltese coastline after being

alerted by German aid group Sea-Watch,

said the Marseille-based organisation.

"The youngest survivor rescued in this

operation is just 3 months old," SOS

Mediterranee tweeted. Overnight Saturday

to Sunday, the Ocean Viking joined vessels

Members of Araihazar police in Narayanganj are arresting a drug dealer

named Monir Chowdhury (37) along with 24 cans of beer on Sunday night.

Photo: Shahjahan Kabir

from Sea Watch and ResQship, another

German group, to help 400 people in

difficulty in the central Mediterranean, said

the group.

They were rescued from a vessel that was

taking in water, in what a spokesman for the

organisation told AFP was a particularly

perilous operation.

Those who were rescued were shared out

between the Ocean Viking and Sea-Watch3.

Ocean Viking alone has 555 passengers on

board from this weekend's operations,

including at least 28 women, two of whom

are pregnant. The organisation has yet to

determine at which safe port they will be able

to leave them.

Libya remains one of the main departure

points for tens of thousands of migrants

hoping to attempt the dangerous

Mediterranean crossing, despite the

continuing insecurity in the country. Most of

them try to reach the Italian coast, some 300

kilometres (190 miles) away.

Malaysia's Mahathir, Anwar

shelve rivalry to protest PM

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysian political

heavyweights Mahathir Mohamad and

Anwar Ibrahim put aside long-running

animosity and joined an opposition protest

Monday against the shutdown of parliament

and demand the country's embattled

premier resign.

The final day of a parliament session, due

to take place Monday, has been cancelled

after the discovery of several coronavirus

cases in the legislature.

But rivals accused Prime Minister

Muhyiddin Yassin of using Covid-19 as an

excuse to dodge a no-confidence vote that

could cause the collapse of his crisis-hit

government.

The parliament sitting, which began last

week, was the first this year after political

activities were suspended under a state of

emergency, ostensibly to fight a worsening

outbreak.

On Monday two-time former prime

minister Mahathir and Anwar stood side by

side at the head of a group of around 100

lawmakers before they tried to march on

parliament.

The pair's turbulent relationship has long

loomed over Malaysian politics, and it has

been rare to see them together since the

collapse of their coalition government last

year amid infighting.

"Even when people condemn

(Muhyiddin) he remains shameless and

refuses to step down," Mahathir, 96, told

reporters in a historic Kuala Lumpur

square.

Anwar said that Muhyiddin's government

had "lost its legitimacy", and he no longer

commanded majority support in

parliament.

"We are protesting today because we want

to protect the people," he added.

The MPs, chanting "step down

Muhyiddin", were stopped by police as they

attempted to reach parliament and

peacefully dispersed.

In the late 1990s, during his first stint as

premier, Mahathir sacked Anwar from

government, and he was subsequently jailed

for sodomy and abuse of power in a case

criticised as politically motivated.

They buried the hatchet to lead an

opposition alliance to a historic election

victory in 2018 -- only to fall out again.

Political tensions are escalating, with

Muhyiddin facing fresh calls to quit after the

king rebuked his administration for

misleading parliament and hundreds staged

a rare anti-government protest on Saturday.

Muhyiddin took power last year at the

head of a scandal-hit coalition but his

government is in crisis after allies withdrew

support.

The state of emergency officially ended on

Sunday, although a nationwide lockdown

remains in place.

No 'eureka moment':

the evolution of

climate science

PARIS : What if Earth's

atmosphere was infused

with extra carbon dioxide,

mused amateur scientist

Eunice Foote in an 1856

research paper that

concluded the gas was very

good at absorbing heat.

"An atmosphere of that

gas would give to our earth a

high temperature," she

wrote in the study,

published in the American

Journal of Science and Arts

and then swiftly forgotten.

The American scientist

and women's rights activist,

who only wrote one more

paper, could not have known

the full significance of her

extraordinary statement,

said Alice Bell, author of a

recent book on the climate

crisis-"Our Biggest

Experiment"-that features

Foote.

This was the decade that

the United States first began

to drill for oil. It is also the

baseline period of global

temperatures we now use to

chart the fossil fuel driven

warming of the planet.

Foote, whose work was

rediscovered in recent

years, is now seen as part of

a multi-generational

exploration, spanning some

200 years, unravelling the

mysteries of how the climate

works-and more recently

how human activities have

tipped it out of balance.

"There is no eureka

moment with one great

genius in climate change

science," Bell told AFP.

"Climate science is a

story of people over

centuries and different

disciplines, different

countries working

together, incrementally

learning more and more."

People have believed

human activities like

deforestation could alter

the local climate since at

least the ancient Greeks.

But in terms of the global

climate, the story of our

understanding of what we

now call the greenhouse

effect, arguably began in

the 1820s with French

scientist Joseph Fourier.

Chinese cities test millions

as virus cases surge

BEIJING : Chinese cities rolled out mass testing of millions

of people and imposed fresh travel restrictions as health

authorities battled Sunday to contain the country's most

widespread coronavirus outbreak in months.

China on Sunday reported 75 new coronavirus cases with

53 local transmissions, with a cluster linked to an eastern

airport now reported to have spread to over 20 cities and

more than a dozen provinces.

The outbreak is geographically the largest to hit China in

several months after the country's successes in largely

snuffing out the pandemic within its borders last year.

That record has been thrown into jeopardy after the fastspreading

Delta variant broke out at Nanjing airport in

eastern Jiangsu province in July.

Authorities have now conducted three rounds of testing on

the city's 9.2 million residents and placed hundreds of

thousands under lockdown, in an effort to curb an outbreak

Beijing has blamed on the highly-contagious Delta variant

and the peak tourist season.

Officials are now scrambling to track people nationwide

who recently travelled from Nanjing or Zhangjiajie, a tourist

city in Hunan province which has locked down all 1.5 million

residents and shut all tourist attractions.

Fresh cases were reported Sunday in Hainan islandanother

popular tourist destination-as well as Ningxia and

Shandong provinces, authorities said.

Successful three years journey

of Bogura Cyber Police unit

Azahar Ali, Bogura Correspondent

Cyber Police has solved more than two hundred

cybercrime since the last three years.Apart from

several housewives, the number of schoo land

college students is high among these

allegations. Besides, cyber police have

arrested criminals like spreading

rumors about Bangabandhu, Prime

Minister, parliament members, and

spreading rumors about Padma

Bridge.

Bogura Superintendent of Police

Md. Ali Asraf Bhuiyan said this on Sunday

(August1).It has been reported that the cyber

police activities started in Bogura in September

2018 on the initiative of Bogura Police Super.

Due to the huge response from the beginning on

24 January 2019, the DIG of Rajshahi Range, M

Khurshid Hossain inaugurated the official

activities of the "Cyber Police Bogura" unit at the

SP office of Bogura.

The cyber police unit became active in

suppressing cyber crimes including

spreading rumors on Facebook, antistate

propaganda, and militant

activities. The cyber police Bogura

unit gained public confidence after

cyber criminals were arrested. In

particular, women victims of cheating

through Facebook or various online

contacts have started bringing their complaints

to the cyber police. The cyber police solve the

problem by keeping their identities secret and

without informing the families of many. As a

result, many families are protected as well as

social values and dignity are protected.

GD-1157/21 (9x3)


Tuesday, Dhaka : August 3 , 2021; Srabon 19, 1428 BS; Zilhaj 23, 1442 Hijri

No Covid vaccine crisis in the

country, says Obaidul Quader

DHAKA : Awami League General

Secretary Obaidul Quader on Monday

said that the government has now

enough Covid vaccine in hand to start a

nationwide mass inoculation from next

Saturday, reports UNB.

At a briefing at his residence the AL

leader said there is no vaccine crisis in

the country and urged the people not to

heed any propaganda by vested interests.

"There is no crisis of the vaccine at

present, but a vested quarter is trying to

create panic that there is a vaccine crisis.

They are also trying to break the morale

of the people during the pandemic," he

said.

Quader said the government's plan is

to continue vaccination with the doses

available as more jabs will come.

Saying that "There is no room for

Two neo-JMB

militants remanded

over attack on police

DHAKA : A Dhaka court yesterday placed

two alleged members of banned militant

outfit neo-Jama'atul Mujahideen

Bangladesh (JMB) on five-day remand

in a case lodged over launching bomb

attack on a traffic police box in

Signboard area under Siddhirganj

Police Station.

The two accused are Shafikur Rahman

Hridoy alias Baitullah Mehsud alias

Captain Khattab and Md Khalid Hasan

Bhuiyan alias Afnan.

Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Asheq

Imam passed the order as police produced

the duo before the court and pleaded to

place them on 10-day remand in the case

lodged with Jatrabari Police Station under

anti-terror act.

The two men were arrested from

Jatrabari area on Sunday and 400 grams

of explosive substance, three butane gas

cans, one set remote control device, four

packets of bearing balls, 10 Christmas

bulbs, IED making manual and a motorcycle

were recovered from their possessions.

They were shown arrested in the

case lodged over the May 16 bomb attack,

targeting traffic police members in the

Signboard area.

Dengue alert

Lockdown breaches:Police

arrest 343 in Dhaka

DHAKA : Police arrested 343 people in Dhaka for violating lockdown

restrictions on the 11th day of the 14-day nationwide lockdown

on Monday, reports UNB.

These people were arrested as they failed to show any valid reason

for coming out of their homes, said DMP Additional Deputy

Commissioner (media) Iftekharul Islam.

Meanwhile, mobile courts realised Tk 1,89,800 as fines from 135

people in the capital. Besides, the Traffic Division collected Tk

8,24,500 as penalties from 366 vehicles for non-compliance of

coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Bangladesh has been under a fresh lockdown since July 23 last,

barring people from leaving their homes except for essential reasons.

But Dhaka witnessed the higher movement of vehicles on

the 11th day of the countrywide 'stringent lockdown' with the

reopening of garment and other export-oriented factories.

The reopening of banks after a three-day closure, including the

two-day weekly holiday, also contributed to a steep rise in movement

of people and private vehicles, reports a UNB correspondent.

After a reality-check at different parts of the capital, including

Uttara, Mohahali, Mirpur, Kalabagan, Biijoy Srani, Badda,

Farmgate, Shyamoli, Karwan Bazar and Bangla Motor, the UNB

correspondent saw an increase in the number of private cars and

CNG-run auto-rickshaws on roads.

During office hours, Dhaka almost returned to its usual chaotic

doubt about this," he further explained

that the vaccine will continue to come in

one direction as well as the vaccination

programme will continue.

Quader, road transport and bridges

minister, said the nationwide mass

immunization programme is starting

from August 7 and the government has

already made necessary preparations to

make the campaign successful through

proper coordination.

He urged the concerned people to follow

the vaccination protocol and be

patient in conducting the drive among

the villagers. Quader called upon the

administration to make inoculation

drive a success at with co-operation of

Awami League leaders at district, upazila,

municipality, union and ward levels. .

Mentioning that Awami League has

CU survey team finds Aedes

larvae at 15 spots in Chattogram

CHATTOGRAM : A survey team of

Chittagong University has detected Aedes

mosquito larvae at 15 spots of the port city

after examining samples collected from 99

localities, and suggested spraying mosquito

repellant medicines to eradicate Aedes.

Chittagong University Proctor Dr Rabiul

Hasan Bhuiyan, the convener of the

research team, disclosed it to UNB on

Sunday night, although the official results

of the survey which started on July 5 are

yet to be released.

Dr Rabiul , however, refused to name

the places where the larvae were found

before official submission of the survey

report to City Corporation authorities.

"We've also examined the effectiveness

of different medicines on the aedes mosquitoes.

In our report, we'll provide an

overall strategy on how to make anti-mosquito

drives more effective," he added.

Chattogram City Corporation authorities

said they will receive the survey report

on Monday (Aug 2) and an all-out mosquito

eradication drive will be initiated

been by the side of the people since the

beginning of the coronavirus outbreak,

Quader said that the leaders and workers

of the party will remain with the people

as per the instructions of Prime

Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Quader defended the re-opening of

garment factories even amid lockdown

saying it was done in the interest of the

economy. In this regard he attacked

BNP General Secretary Fakhrul Islam

Alamgir for his criticism of the government

move. Fakhrul speaks of workers'

interests, while at the same opposes reopening

the factories, he said adding this

is self-contradictory.

He said Vietnam has already overtaken

Bangladesh in garment exports and

this has happened due to Covid-induced

production disruptions.

based on that.

Meanwhile, Chattogram Civil Surgeon

Dr Sheikh Fazle Rabbi said six confirmed

dengue cases were found in the city so far

this year and two of them died.

He added that CCC too found the existence

of aedes mosquitoes in different

places of the city in its own survey.

Chittagong University Vice-Chancellor

Prof Dr Shirin Akhter formed the survey

team on March 24 to test effectiveness of

medicines applied to eradicate aedes mosquitoes

following the request of the City

Corporation authorities.

The team visited at least 99 areas of

Chattogram in July examining stagnant

water, under construction buildings, flower

tubs inside residential places and so on for

the purpose of the study and came to the

conclusion. Sources at the CCC said special

anti-mosquito teams will work from now

on in four to six wards every day.

Bangladesh started seeing an upward

trend in dengue cases from June with the

advent of monsoon.

Two suspected

members of the

banned militant

group Neo-JMB

were arrested

from city's

Jatrabari on

Sunday night

in a drive by

the Counter

Terrorism and

Transnational

Crime (CTTC)

unit of Dhaka

Metropolitan

Police (DMP).

Photo : TBT

look in these places with long tailbacks at times.

Reimposed at 8 am on July 23, the second round of strict lockdown

will be in force till August 5, unless extended further.

The government on Friday (July 30) allowed industry owners to

reopen all export-oriented factories from 1 August amid countrywide

stringent lockdown.

Brahman-breed cows: Writ

filed seeking their release

DHAKA : A writ petition was filed with the High Court seeking the

release of 18 imported Brahman-breed cows seized by customs

officials at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on July 5.

Barrister Mehedi Hasan filed the petition on behalf of Imran

Hossain, the owner of Sadek Agro in Mohammadpur, on Monday.

The seized cows are now at Savar Dairy Farm.

Defence counsel Barrister Ruhul Kuddus Kajol said: "We've

sought permission to release the cows and directives to hand over

those to their owner." The hearing on the writ petition will be held

at the bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim on Tuesday.

Customs officials on July 5 seized 18 Brahman-breed cows at

Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

The cows were later handed over to the Livestock Department.

"The cows were imported from the US and arrived on a Turkish

Airlines flight. We seized them as the import of Brahman-breed

cows is not legal in the country," Md Abdus Sadek, deputy commissioner

(preventive) of Dhaka Customs House said.

The market value of each cow is Tk 12-15 lakh.

A view of Tejgaon area of the capital city on Monday.

ICT division to digitize

73 libraries, says Palak

DHAKA : Information and Communication

Technology (ICT) Division will digitize 71

government and two private libraries

across the country, said ICT State minister

Junayed Ahmed Palak, reports UNB.

A virtual review meeting was held

between the ICT Division and Ministry of

Cultural affairs to discuss the details of

implementing this initiative on Sunday

night. He said the ICT division plans toturn

the traditional libraries into E-libraries to

meet the demands of the new generation by

expanding quality online services.

For each library a separate digital library

management system will be used for managing

the eBooks and each of them will

have a children and a Mujib corner, said

Palak. All the libraries are being designed

in a way so that using any type of mobile

set anyone can enter the e-libraries and

read their desired books, he added.

For digitalization ICT division will connect

the libraries with wireless LAN network,

IP phone and RFID technology will

be incorporated in divisional libraries.

Third consignment

of AstraZeneca jabs

from Japan to

reach Dhaka today

DHAKA : The third consignment of

AstraZeneca vaccine from Japan will

arrive in Dhaka on Tuesday, reports UNB.

A flight of All Nippon Airways (ANA),

carrying an amount of 6,16,780 doses of

AstraZeneca vaccine, left the Terminal-1,

Narita airport at 21:15 hrs on Monday.

The consignment is set to reach Hazrat

Shahjalal International Airport Dhaka on

Tuesday by Cathay Pacific cargo flight,

officials said.

With the third consignment, the total

number of dispatched vaccines from

Japan as of now stands at 16,43,300.

This delivery is part of Japan's commitment

of supplying over 3 million doses of

AstraZeneca vaccine under WHO-

COVAX mechanism. Officials, including

Syed Nasir Ershad from Bangladesh

Embassy in Tokyo, were present during

the vaccine dispatch at the Narita Airport.

Model Piyasha

and Mou placed

on 3-day remand

DHAKA : A Dhaka court on Monday placed

models Faria Mahabub Piyasha and

Mariam Akter Mou on 3-day remand each

for questioning over a large amount of

liquor, Yaba and lead found at their residences.

Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md

Asheque Imam passed the order after

police produced the accused before the

court and prayed for a 10-day remand in

separate cases filed with Mohammadpur

and Baridhara police stations under

Narcotics control act.

Detective Branch (DB) of the police

arrested model and presenter Faria

Mahabub Piyasa from her house in

Baridhara and another model Mariam

Akter Mau from Mohammadpur on early

hours Sunday. Police said they seized foreign

alcohol, shisha and yaba and other

narcotic substances from their residences

during the raid.

Lockdown in Dhaka: Surging

infections, soaring chaos

DHAKA : Bangladesh has been under a

fresh lockdown since July 23 last, barring

people from leaving their homes except for

essential reasons. Are the things really different

in Dhaka, the national capital, from

the normal life? Not at all!

Dhaka witnessed the higher movement

of vehicles on the 11th day of the countrywide

'stringent lockdown' with the reopening

of garment and other export-oriented

factories.

The reopening of banks after a three-day

closure, including the two-day weekly holiday,

also contributed to a steep rise in

movement of people and private vehicles,

reports a UNB correspondent.

After a reality-check at different parts of

the capital, including Uttara, Mohahali,

Mirpur, Kalabagan, Biijoy Srani, Badda,

Farmgate, Shyamoli, Karwan Bazar and

Bangla Motor, the UNB correspondent

saw an increase in the number of private

cars and CNG-run auto-rickshaws on

roads.

During office hours, Dhaka almost

returned to its usual chaotic look in these

places with long tailbacks at times.

The correspondents also observed the

presence of public transports on Dhaka

streets although their operations were

supposed to be suspended from Monday.

Rahela Begum, a resident of Moghbazar

area, said: "I see, from my balcony, 15

vehicles passing the main road in front of

my building every minute on average like

the pre-lockdown days. People are also

moving freely without masks. Is this lockdown

will be effective enough to bring

down infections and deaths?"

Talking to UNB, Jubayer Ahmed, a

Photo : TBT

working man, said, "Mills and factories

have been reopened amid the worsening

Covid situation. So, people's movement

has increased. It might worsen the situation."

Akhter Hossain, a traffic inspector at

Uttara Zon,e said," We saw the maximum

pressure of vehicles today after Eid. The

situation in the morning was almost like

pre-lockdown days."

Traffic Inspector Asaduzzaman

(Mohakhali), said: "The number of vehicles

is higher than the days before lockdown

as almost all industries have

reopened."

However, law enforcers were seen vigilant

on the streets as many were detained

or fined for wandering without any reason

or not abiding by health guidelines.

Even on Monday many workers of

export-oriented industries kept toiling

back to the capital like days in the past creating

a pressure on the entry points of the

capital.

While visiting Gabtoli, Syedabad, Tongi,

Babu Bazar Bridge, Demra Bridge,

Ashulia Bridge and other entry points,

UNB correspondents observed a mad

rush of people and transports trying to get

into the capital in buses, pickup vans,

trucks and even on foot.

Although restrictions on public transport

movement were supposed to return

after 6 am Monday, law enforcers showing

an open mind about the sufferings of

returning factory workers, allowing vehicles

to enter through checkposts till noon.

Reimposed at 8 am on July 23, the second

round of strict lockdown will be in

force till August 5, unless extended further.

Govt providing false info about

Covid cases, fatalities

DHAKA : BNP Secretary General Mirza

Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Monday

accused the government of giving people

false information about the number

ofCovid infections and fatalities in an

effort to hide its 'failure' to tackle the pandemic,

reports UNB.

"The government's statistics are not at

all accurate. As per their calculation, 12,

64, 328 people were infected till yesterday

(Sunday), which is a blatant lie.

People can't undergo tests for lack of

testing facilities," he said.

While virtually inaugurating a coronahelp

centre of their party in Lalmonirhat,

the BNP leader also said there is no

scope for Covid tests in upazilas while

people are facing difficulties in undergoing

tests in different districts.

"Even tests are being conducted for

only two hours in test centers in Dhaka

and thus they're screening out the real

situation. They're deceiving people by

giving them false statistics," he observed.

Fakhrul also said though the government

showed 20,914 Covid fatalities in

the country, the real figure can never be

less than one lakh as many virus-infected

people are dying at their homes.

Referring to a newspaper report on

various inconsistencies in the official

Covid information, he said the government

will not be able to deal with the

pandemic if it does not get the exact data.

"So, you (govt) are making a mistake

knowingly. This regime is cheating on

the country's people."

The BNP leader said the Directorate

General of Health Services (DGHS) is

giving false information also about general

and ICU beds. "According to the

health directorate, there're 20 ICU beds

in Bhola, Kushtia, Bagerhat, Patuakhali,

Jamalpur districts for the corona

patients. But there's no ICU bed in these

hospitals."

He said the DGHS said 136 Covid

patients were receiving treatment in four

hospitals in Sylhet till Sunday. "The fact

is that there're 436 patients. This is how

they're giving false information."

Stating that people are going through

serious ordeal due to the 'unplanned'

lockdown enforced by the government,

Fakhrul said BNP leaders and activists

are standing by the needy people taking

the risks of their lives.

Fakhrul alleged that the ruling party

leaders have started making fresh efforts

to malign BNP founder Ziaur Rahman

by implicating him in the murder of

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

He said the ruling party leaders' main

task is to blame the BNP all the time and

try to humiliate Ziaur Rahman and

Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman by

spreading 'false' propaganda against

them."

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