Two die as van hits three-wheeler in Cumilla

Two persons were killed when a speeding van crashed into a three-wheeler on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway near Suagazi in Cumilla Sadar South upazila early on Wednesday morning.

The deceased were identified as three-wheeler driver Jamil Mia, 32, son of Hanif Mia of Vatpara village of the upazila, and pedestrian Fazal Mia, 30, son of Lal Mia of Dhonpur village of the same upazila.

Police said the Chattogram-bound van crashed into the three-wheeler after its driver lost control of the vehicle on the high-speed corridor near Suagazi in the morning, leaving both the victims dead on the spot.

Md Anisur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Mainamati Highway Police, said they had seized the vehicle though its driver fled. “The bodies have been brought to the police station,” the OC said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Covid in Bangladesh: 23 more lose lives, 703 get infected

Twenty-three more people died of Covid-19 and 703 new cases were detected in 24 hours till Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday, the country logged 23 Covid-linked deaths and 694 fresh cases.

The fresh cases were detected after testing 24,376 samples.

With this, the daily-case positivity rate slightly rose to 2.88 percent from Tuesday’s 2.72 percent, said the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

The daily-case positivity rate in the country remained below 5 per cent for the 13th consecutive day.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), if the daily-case positivity rate remains at 5 per cent or below for 14 days it is considered to be safe for mass unlocking.

In Bangladesh, the daily-case positivity rate reached its peak 32.55 per cent on July 24 this year.

The fresh numbers took the total fatalities to 27,635 while the caseload mounted to 15,60,155, said the DGHS.

However, the mortality rate remained static at 1.77 per cent.

The recovery rate slightly increased to 97.50 per cent with the recovery of 817 more patients during the period.

So far, 15,21,113 people have recovered from the deadly virus infections, the DGHS added.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Jatiya Press Club pays tributes to 34 late members

The Jatiya Press Club (JPC) on Wednesday paid tributes to its 34 members who died over the last one year amid the pandemic.

At a memorial meeting, senior journalists and Press Club leaders also recalled the contributions of the 34 club members to the nation and journalism.

As part of JPC’s two-week programmes to mark its 67th founding anniversary, the meeting remembering its members who died in between October 24, 2020 and October 5, 2021, was organised at an auditorium of the club.

JPC president Farida Yasmin, acting general secretary Mainul Alam, its former president Saiful Alam, ex-general secretary Quamrul Islam Chowdhury, senior journalists Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, Abul Kalam Azad, Abdul Jalil Bhuiyan, Omar Faruk and some family members of the deceased spoke at the programme.

The 34 JPC members who died over the last one year include Hasan Shahriar, Zahiduzzaman Faruque, AU Fakhruddin, Fakir Abdur Razzaq, Abul Hasnat, Ershadul Haq, Hannan Khan, Khandaker Muniruzzaman, Humayun Sadeque Chowdhury, Khondaker Ataul Haque, Mizanur Rahman Khan, Hilali Wadud Chowdhury, Syed Lutful Haque, Ahmad Akhter, Shaheen Reza Noor, Syed Abul Maksud, Atiar Rahman Atik, AZM Anas, M Nurul Huda, Atiqullah Khan Masud, Kayum Khan Milon, Khondaker Shahdat Hossain, M Rafiqul Alam, Enamul Haque, Syed Shahjahan, Khandaker Fazlur Rahman Feeuri, Shahiduzzaman Khan, Muhiuddin Ahmad, M Ruhul Quddus, Lutfur Rahman Binu, Bazlul Karim, M Abdur Rahim, Golap Munir and Hamiduzzaman Robi.

Speaking at the programme, JPC president Farida Yasmin said it is very painful and tragic that 34 JPC members died in just one year. “They all were our near and dear ones. The death of so many members in a year is a rare and sad chapter in 67 years history of the club.”

She said the club as well as journalism suffered an irreparable loss with the deaths of so many journalists.

“All of them were established journalists and they made huge contributions to their profession and the country. They could have contributed more had they been alive. We recall all of their contributions and pay homage to them.”

Saiful Alam, the editor of the Daily Jugantor, said the JPC should always remember its late members who founded the basis of this organisation and the journalism profession in Bangladesh. “But we easily forget them and hardly remember them, except a few ones.”

He thanked the JPC managing committee for arranging such a programme as it did last year and hoped the future JPC committees will continue it.

“If we can follow the good works and ideals of those who died and move ahead following the examples set by them, and then arranging such programmes will be meaningful,” Saiful observed.

Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul also recalled the role of the 34 late JPC members in enriching the profession and the Club through their works.

“We pay our deep tributes to all the deceased members of the club and express our sympathy to their bereaved family members,” he said.

Speaking at the programme, family members of the deceased thanked the JPC authorities for arranging such a programme.

JPC also arranged a similar programme last year remembering its 18 members died that year.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Demographic data very important in vaccination efforts: CPD

An online poll shows that online pre-registration facilities and demographic data have been very important and effective in vaccination efforts.

Some 64 per cent of the poll respondents said marginalised communities received equal opportunity as regards vaccination.

Senior Research Fellow at Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Towfiqul Islam Khan presented the findings from the online poll which was conducted prior to a session titled ‘Data-driven Vaccination Strategy for a Covid-19 Free World.’

The event was held at the United Nations World Data Forum (UNWDF) 2021 in Bern, Switzerland in association with Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Programme, ICT Division and Cabinet Division, Government of Bangladesh; Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC), Argentina; Embassy of Switzerland in Bangladesh; Southern Voice; Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, USA and The City, USA on Tuesday.

Data has played a critically important role, both nationally and globally, in achieving the shortest deployment period, said a CPD media release.

Similar to other instances of data usage during Covid-19, experiences of using data in vaccine rollouts and related dissemination activities have varied considerably across nations of differing income groups.

From monitoring and controlling individual movement to disseminating information regarding vaccination availability and ultimately availing the vaccine, integrating data in Covid-19 reponses has neither been easy nor homogenous in approach.

In this regard, it must be mentioned that successful national Covid-19 vaccination efforts may define the recovery path for developing countries in the foreseeable future, said the CPD.

A comparative perspective based on the experiences of a low-income country (Rwanda), a lower-middle-income country (Bangladesh), a high-middle income country (Argentina) and a high-income country (USA) were discussed.

These four countries have diverse experiences in undertaking vaccination programmes (public and private) in response to the pandemic where innovative data uptake for decision making plays a critical role.

Dr Agnes Binagwaho, Vice Chancellor, University of Global Health Equity, Rwanda stated that Rwanda proceeded using the ‘principle of implementation science’ which was based on knowing the context, barriers, data and evidence-based interventions that have been proved by science and are adaptable for use.

The vaccine strategy in Bangladesh began with target group identification (gender, age, location etc) using the NID database and a database from the Ministry of Finance, said Mr Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor, a2i, Bangladesh.

In order to bridge the gap between the disconnected communities and digital services, Bangladesh leveraged their 14,000 community clinics and 4,500 union digital centres.

Combatting resource constraints, knowing priorities, tracking immunisation and coordinating between different ministries were crucial in Bangladesh’s vaccination drive.

Natalia Aquilino, Incidence, Monitoring and Evaluation Programme Director, CIPPEC, Argentina shared four recommendations.

These are coordination strategy amongst regional and national entities – both in a vertical and horizontal manner, central open data policy to produce and standardise data and address state restrictions, development of monitoring and evaluation framework and adoption of open government data standards, and disaggregation standards to allow inter-operability of data and multi-dimensional strategizing.

The session was moderated by Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, Chair, Southern Voice and Distinguished Fellow, CPD.

He emphasised finding out how the impact of the pandemic will affect different sectors, different communities and groups (LNOBs, PNOBs, vulnerable people, minority groups).

In the realm of data, he said, there needs to be a new framework with new partnerships and rules of business with adequate attention to data privacy for an improved data ecosystem.

The pandemic has created a greater opportunity to redesign a more resilient national healthcare system and social protection system, said the economist.

The Swiss Confederation, in cooperation with the United Nations, is organising the event.

The Forum aims to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with high-quality, accessible, timely and reliable data.

The Forum brings together data and statistical experts and users from governments, civil society, the private sector, donor and philanthropic bodies, international and regional agencies, the geospatial community, the media, academia and professional bodies with the aim to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Want killing nowhere: Momen about Mohib Ullah murder

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday said they do not want a single killing anywhere mentioning that Rohingya leader Mohib Ullah’s killing is regrettable.

“We don’t want any such incident anywhere. We’ve taken action instantly,” he told reporters at his ministry.

Dr Momen referred to the arrest of suspects and mentioned that the Ministry of Home Affairs is looking into it.

Responding to a question, the Foreign Minister said Mohib Ullah did engage in a “legitimate movement” for the return of Rohingyas to their homeland in Myanmar’s Rakhine State that some people might not like.

Mohib Ullah, 46, chair of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH), was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen in Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar on September 29.

The Foreign Minister said the government will continue to work for the protection of Rohingyas while focusing on their speedy repatriation.

He said the government has taken tightened measures along the border with Myanmar as there are reports of illegal arms and drugs smuggling, and human trafficking. “We won’t sit idle; we’ll take stern action.”

Dr Momen mentioned that many had said the Rohingya issue would be sidelined in the UN General Assembly due to the crisis in Afghanistan but the Rohingya issue came up prominently this time, too.

Earlier, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo has said it is a “shared responsibility” of the international community to make sure that the Rohingya crisis is not a forgotten one as the world faces more crises.

“Making sure that the Rohingya crisis doesn’t become a forgotten crisis is a shared responsibility. Obviously, the government of Bangladesh through its foreign policy is doing a lot to make sure that the crisis is not forgotten,” the UN official told the diplomatic correspondents recently.

Bangladesh had handed over a list of 840,000 Rohingyas to Myanmar for verification but the verification process by the Myanmar side was very slow, Dhaka says.

Repatriation attempts failed twice in November 2018 and August 2019 amid Rohingyas’ lack of trust in the Myanmar government.

Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation deal on November 23, 2017. On January 16, 2018, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on ‘Physical Arrangement’, which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Man to die for killing wife in Khulna

A Khulna court sentenced a man to death for killing his wife in 2019.

The condemned convict is Mahmud Alam, a police constable of Khulna Shiromoni Armed Police Battalion and son of Jabed Ali of Jamalnagar village in Ashashuni upazila in Satkhira district.

Public Safety Disturbance Crime Prevention Tribunal of Khulna Judge Md Saifuzzaman handed down the verdict.

According to the prosecution, Zohana Akter Usha, wife of Mahmud in Khan Jahan area of Khulna, was strangulated to death by her husband over family feud on April 6, 2019.

Sohel Islam, victim’s brother, lodged a complaint with Khan Zahan Ali Police Station.

On August 15, 2019, police submitted a chagesheet against Mahmud in the case.

After examining the records and witnesses, the tribunal handed down the verdict.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Mugger stabs youth to death in Dhaka

A 25-year-old youth was stabbed to death allegedly by a mugger at Karwan Bazar in the city’s Tejgaon area on Tuesday night.

Police have not yet established the identity of the deceased.

According to cops, the mugger tried to snatch the youth’s cell phone in front of Prince Hotel in Karwan Bazar. But when the youth resisted the snatching bid, the mugger stabbed him, leaving him seriously injured.

Locals rushed the youth to Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital. He was subsequently shifted to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, where doctors declared him dead on arrival.

Md Bachchu Mia, inspector at DMCH police camp, said that the body has been kept at the hospital morgue for an autopsy.

Tejgaon police were also informed about the crime, the inspector added.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Mohib Ullah murder: 3 more accused remanded

A Cox’s Bazar court on Wednesday placed three other accused on a three-day remand each in a case over the killing Rohingya leader Mohib Ullah.

Cox’s Bazar Senior Judicial Magistrate Tamanna Farah passed the order in the morning.

Those remanded are Abdus Salam, Mohammad Ziaur and Mohammad Salam.

Earlier, on Sunday the same court placed two accused—Salim Ullah and Shawkat Ullah on a three-day remand each in the case.

Armed Police Battalion (APBn) personnel arrested Ziaur and Salam on Friday from Kutupalong camp and Selim on Friday noon from Kutupalong camp-6.

On September 30, police registered a murder case over Mohib Ullah’s murder following a complaint from Mohib Ullah’s brother Habib Ullah, said officer-in-charge Sanjur Morshed.

Unknown assailants gunned down Mohib on September 29.

He was buried in Lambashia camp-1 in Ukhiya upazila on Thursday afternoon after his namaz-e-janaza, which was attended by a large number of Rohingya refugees from camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf upazilas.

Formerly a teacher in Myanmar, the slain activist was popularly known as Master Mohib Ullah among the Rohingya refugees. He was the head of Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH) at Kutupalong camp.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Global Covid cases near 236 million

The overall number of global Covid cases is fast approaching 236 million even with mass inoculations underway in several countries.

According to Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the total Covid case count and fatalities stand at 235,794,170 and 4,816,009, respectively, as of Wednesday morning.

The US has recorded 43,945,725 cases and 705,116 fatalities to date, according to the university data.

Brazil currently has the world’s second-highest pandemic death toll after the United States and the third-largest caseload after the United States and India.

Brazil has registered 21,499,074 cases so far. The country’s Covid death toll has also risen to 598,829 as it has been experiencing a new wave of cases since January.

India’s Covid tally rose to 33,853,048 on Tuesday, as some 18,346 new cases were registered in 24 hours across the country, as per the federal health ministry.

Besides, as many as 263 deaths due to the pandemic since Monday morning took the country’s total Covid death toll to 449,260.

Most deaths, 149, were reported from the southern state of Kerala, which continues to be the worst Covid-affected state in India.

Situation in Bangladesh

Bangladesh on Tuesday morning recorded 694 new Covid cases and 23 more deaths from the virus infection in 24 hours. On Monday, the country saw 18 Covid-related deaths and 794 cases.

The fresh cases were detected after 25,499 samples were tested, which brought down the daily case positivity rate to 2.72 percent from Monday’s 3.19 percent, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

The daily case positivity rate in the country remained below 5 percent for the 13th consecutive day.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), if the daily-case positivity rate remains at 5 percent or below for 14 days, it is considered safe for mass unlocking.

The daily case positivity rate in Bangladesh reached its peak of 32.55 percent on July 24 this year and the country reported the lowest at 0.65 percent on March 30, 2020.

The fresh numbers took the total fatalities to 27,614 while the caseload mounted to 15,59,452, said the DGHS.

However, the mortality rate remained static at 1.77 percent.

The recovery rate remained unchanged at 97.49 percent, with the recovery of 708 more patients during the 24-hour period.

So far, 15,20,296 people have recovered from the deadly virus infection, the DGHS said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Indigenous man burnt to death in Khagrachhari, one held

An indigenous man was burnt to death in Ramgarh upazila of Khagrachhari district on Tuesday evening.

The deceased is Chaithoai Marma, 60, a resident of Masterpara area of the upazila.

Police arrested Arefin Sharif Patwary, 26, son of Abu Ahmed and an employee of Ramgarh Rest House, in this connection.

Witnesses said Sharif hit Chaithoai with a brick first and then set fire to his body by pouring petrol in Masterpara area around 7pm.

Later, burn injured Chaithoai was rushed to Ramgarh Upazila Health Complex where doctors declared him dead on arrival.

Ramgarh Circle Additional Superintendent of Police Md Raihan Uddin Kazemi said Arefin primarily confessed to his involvement in the killing but did not disclose the reason behind the murder.

Ansheu Marma, the son of the deceased, said Sharif had also set fire to their house a few days ago and then he lodged a complaint with Ramgarh police station and this might angered Sharif.

Meanwhile, Sharif’s father Abu Ahmed said his son had been suffering from mental illness for the past few years and was given treatment in different places.

However, local councilor Ahsan Ullah said Sharif is drug-addict and local people has many complaints against him.

A case was filed in this regard, said the ASP.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Bangladesh calls for fair, balanced IP regime system to fight COVID

Permanent Representative of Bangladesh in Geneva Ambassador Md. Mustafizur Rahman has said Intellectual Property Regime (IPR) system should not become a hindrance to respond effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He made the remarks while speaking at the 62nd series of the General Assemblies of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

The General Assemblies kicked off on October 4 at the WIPO Headquarters in Geneva and will be concluded at the end of the week, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.

In his capacity as the Coordinator of the Asia and the Pacific Group (APG) in WIPO, Ambassador Rahman also highlighted that a balanced IPR system is required to encourage and ensure the development of and equitable access to the medical tools – such as diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines – to fight this global health crisis.

Underscoring the region’s great attachment to the intellectual property as an important contributor to socio-economic growth and technological development, he stressed the need for a fair and balanced IP system to foster economic development in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

Bangladesh, in its national capacity, also urged for WIPO’s specific attention to help it identify its challenges and needs in terms of IP as well as prepare for the special situation after graduation from the LDC category in 2026.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

2 lakh AstraZeneca doses to reach Dhaka from Maldives Wednesday

Bangladesh will receive more than 2 lakh doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, as a gift, from the Maldives tonight.

A bilateral agreement was signed between the Maldives’ Health Minister Ahmed Naseem and Rear Admiral Mohammad Nazmul Hassan, the Bangladesh high commissioner to the archipelagic state, Wednesday.

As a token of goodwill, the Maldives has gifted Bangladesh 201,800 vaccine doses.

The shots, handed over by the Maldives’ Ministry of Health, will arrive at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, via Doha tonight, on a Qatar Airways flight.

The gift will strengthen the existing ties between the two countries, said the Bangladesh High Commission in the Maldives.

Covid-19 infections are decreasing in the Maldives. The country has administered at least 733,220 doses of Covid vaccines so far – enough vaccinations to cover 69% of its population, assuming every person needs two shots.

Bangladesh is now administering vaccines developed by four companies – AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Sinopharm.

The country has administered at least 53,016,220 doses of Covid vaccines so far – enough to have vaccinated about 15.9% of its population, assuming every person needs two doses.

Bangladesh has administered 7,759,714 shots of AstraZeneca as the first dose and 5,414,090 as the second dose so far.

The Covid vaccines cannot offer 100 per cent protection but when more people are jabbed there is less opportunity for the virus to infect and spread, say experts.

Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalisations, and death; and with the Delta variant, this is more urgent than ever, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Source: United News of Bangladesh