Covid recovery index: Bangladesh 5th in the world, top in South Asia

Bangladesh has advanced eight notches to rank 5th out of 121 countries worldwide on Nikkei’s Covid-19 Recovery Index.

With a score of 80 on the index, Bangladesh ranked only below Qatar, the UAE, Cambodia and Rwanda in the latest edition of the index published Thursday.

Of the other South Asian countries in the list, Nepal ranked 6th, Pakistan 23rd, Sri Lanka 31st, and India 70th.

Bangladesh’s Covid-19 infections have been on a downward spiral in recent months. The country’s total fatalities remained unchanged at 29,127, with no new fatalities reported for over a fortnight now.

The country placed 13th on the Covid recovery index in March.

Taiwan’s ranking has plunged in the latest edition of Nikkei’s Covid-19 Recovery Index as the island transitions from a strict zero-virus strategy to living with the respiratory illness, even as infections surge.

The country tumbled out of the fourth spot to No. 94 in the latest ranking, tied with China, which fell 62 places from last month as the country battles its worst outbreak since the virus was first detected in the city of Wuhan more than two years ago.

The index, updated at the end of each month, assesses countries and regions on infection management, vaccine rollouts and social mobility.

The higher the ranking, the closer a place is to recovery, characterised by lower infection and death rates, better inoculation coverage, as well as fewer movement restrictions.

The index is maintained by Nikkei, Japan’s leading business publication group that includes the Nikkei, Nikkei Asia, and the Financial Times (of London).

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Bangladeshi businessman shot dead in Philippines

A Bangladeshi businessman has been shot dead by some unidentified gunmen in Metro Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

The deceased was identified as Anwar Hossain, 63, of Munshiganj district. He was president of Bangladesh Garment Traders Association Philippines Corporation.

Anwar was attacked at Pasay City around Philippine time 8:37 pm on Thursday, confirmed Anwar Hossain’s brother Abul Hossain to UNB.

Anwar used to sell garments from Bangladesh in the Philippines.

Efforts are underway to bring the body back to the country, said Abul Hossain.

His family has appealed to the Bangladesh Embassy in Manila to take the issue up with the local authorities in the Philippines for a proper investigation into the killing so they get justice.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Russia-Ukraine war triggers hike in edible oil price: Quader

The price of soybean oil has been increased in Bangladesh on grounds of rise in the global market as a fall-out of Russia’s war with Ukraine, said Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Friday.

The minister made this remark while talking to the reporters during inspection of a project to develop Dhaka-Narayanganj road to six lanes in the Signboard area of Narayanganj.

The minister said, “Prices of everything including oil and fuel are rising all over the world following the war.”

“Bangladesh is not an isolated place, so war’s effect will be everywhere.”

However, Quader said, “People will not suffer because Sheikh Hasina is a crisis manager. She used her foresight to save the country even during the Covid pandemic. Our Prime Minister has the courage and integrity to deal with it.”

Russia-Ukraine war triggers hike in edible oil price: Quader

Edible oil price hike

The government on Thursday approved a fresh hike in the prices of soybean and palm oil by Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners & Vanaspati Manufacturers Association.

The association, BVOVMA, fixed bottled soybean oil at Tk 198 per litre while loose soybean oil at Tk 180 per litre, effective from Friday.

It means bottled soybean oil price increases by Tk 38 per litre and loose soybean oil price up by Tk 44 per litre.

The five litre container of soybean oil will be sold at Tk 995, which was earlier sold at Tk 760. The refined palm oil loose will be sold at Tk 172 per litre from Friday.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

20 hurt in collision of 4 buses, car in Mymensingh

At least 20 passengers were injured in a collision of four buses and a private car in Phulpur upazila of Mymensingh on Friday, police said.

Abdullah Al Mamun, officer-in-charge (OC) of Phulpur police station, said a bus collided head on with a Dhaka-bound bus from Sherpur at Imadpur in Phulpur around 11am.

Soon afterwards, two more buses hit the collided buses from behind and also a private car, leaving at least 20 people injured, said the OC.

Among the injured, 10 were sent to Phulpur Health Complex while the rest were released with first aid.

Although the road was closed for a while after the accident, the situation is now normal, said the OC.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Fakhrul demands withdrawal of soybean oil price hike

BNP on Friday demanded the withdrawal of the government’s decision to increase the price of soybean oil, alleging the move was taken to protect the interests of the ruling quarters.

“After the meeting of the mill owners with the Commerce Secretary, the price of bottled soybean oil has been increased by Tk 38 per litre, and loose soybean oil by Tk 44 per litre. The government has revealed an extremely anti-mass policy through it,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

In a statement, he said the current government has proved once again that it is “the enemy of the people” by raising the prices of soybean oil.

Stating that soybean oil is now the golden deer, the BNP leader also said the disappearance of soybean oil from the market on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr and the hike in the prices of the edible oil are unprecedented incidents causing extreme public suffering.

He bemoaned that people have been subjected to serious harassment and the lower and middle income people have been forced to pay extra money for soybean oil “in connivance” with the ruling party-affiliated business syndicates.

“Soybean oil is a very important product as an edible oil. It is an essential ingredient for cooking in every household. So the main goal (behind the hike in soybean oil prices) is to make hundreds of crores of taka by controlling this daily essential product through the syndicates,” Fakhrul observed.

He also said people will go through serious ordeals as the edible oil price has now gone beyond their purchasing capacity.

“The government has increased the price of soybean oil in the interest of its own people (ruling party leaders). The price of edible oil has not been increased in any of the neighboring countries,” the BNP leader observed.

He said the government has taken such a decision as it does not care about the interests of the people.

The BNP leader also said the government wants to keep the people captive by creating a frightening atmosphere through resorting to oppression and suppression.

“I strongly condemn this anti-people decision to increase the price of soybean oil and demand the immediate withdrawal of the decision,” he said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Entry fee at Jaflong: Gowainghat admin earns Tk 40 lakh in 7 months

Gowainghat upazila administration of Sylhet has earned Tk 40 lakh in seven months just from the entry fee at the popular and natural beautiful tourist spot of Jaflong.

There was no entry fee at Jaflong before September 2021. District administration then fixed it at Tk 10 for each tourist to enter the popular hangout.

However, people of various sections had been criticizing the ticketing system at the tourist spot. This issue came into discussion on Thursday after an attack on some tourists by the volunteers who worked for the authority.

The local administration recruited some workers on temporary basis to collect entry fees from the tourists.

While commenting on the entry fee at Jaflong, Gowainghat Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Tahmilur Rahman said, “The decision of entry fee has been made by the district administration at a meeting of district tourism committee last year. Upazila administration is only implementing the decision. We don’t lease it to anyone. Upazila administration collects entry fees from tourists through some contracted workers.”

Around 15 workers work here on average daily for Tk 50 per hour as remuneration, he added.

About the ones who attacked the tourists, Tahmilur Rahman said they are not volunteers. They are workers. Upazila administration has provided aprons to identify them from others.

He also claimed that the district administration has imposed the entry fee to increase tourists at Jaflong and Tk 40 lakh has been deposited so far in the administration’s bank account.

On Thursday, volunteers appointed by the Gowainghat administration allegedly assaulted a group of tourists, including women and children, at the Jaflong tourist spot.

The volunteers attacked tourists with sticks following an altercation over buying tickets from the toll counter at Jaflong around 2pm.

The video of the incident has gone viral on social media. It shows some men wearing blue volunteer uniforms assaulting a group of tourists with sticks.

Some women, from the same group of tourists, also came under attack as they tried to stop the violence.

Five people, including two volunteers, have been detained in this regard.

The detainees are Laxman Chandra Das, Selim Ahmed, Sohel Rana, Nazim Uddin, and Joynal Abedin. They have been sent to the court on Friday.

Meanwhile, Sylhet Deputy Commissioner Mozibor Rahman, said tourists will not have to pay any fee for the next seven days to visit Jaflong.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Reliance is India’s first co to breach USD 100 billion revenue

Billionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani-owned oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries has become the first Indian company to record a gross revenue of over 100 billion US dollars in a year.

The company on Friday declared its quarter four earnings for the last financial year (April 2021 to March 2022), showing a gross revenue of over Rs 58,000 crore against Rs 57,700 (approx) in the previous quarter.

And for the entire fiscal, Reliance reported a gross revenue of Rs 7.92 lakh crores (102 billion US dollars) — a feat the company attributed to the rise in earnings in its telecom, retail and refining businesses.

“Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic and heightened geo-political uncertainties, Reliance has delivered a robust performance in FY2021-22,” Ambani, the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, said in a statement.

“Over the past year, we added over 2.1 lk new employees across our businesses with our consumer & technology biz creating a large part of these new jobs. I am pleased to report that our Retail biz has crossed the 15,000-store benchmark,” he said.

“I am confident that Reliance will create sustainable and affordable new energy solutions for India to help her meet growing energy needs, while ensuring that we achieve our ambitious target of Net Carbon Zero by 2035,” Ambani added.

One of the richest persons in Asia, Mukesh’s current net worth is nearly USD 80 billion. His Reliance Group is now India’s most valuable company by market capitalisation.

UNB had earlier reported about Mukesh’s rumoured plans to hand over three core business areas of Reliance Industries to his three children — Akash, Isha and Anant — and also about his aggressive fundraising spree to make his conglomerate debt-free amid the pandemic.

The fundraising spree was aimed at reducing Reliance’s dependence on the flagship oil sector to diversify into telecom and e-commerce. In 2020, Reliance raised USD 15.2 billion by selling stakes in its telecom unit Jio and another USD 7 billion through rights issue.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Covid: Bangladesh reports 19 new cases, no death

Bangladesh reported 19 Covid cases in the 24 hours until Friday morning which took its total caseload to 1,952,766.

With no new Covid deaths reported during this period the country’s total fatalities from the pandemic remained unchanged at 29,127.

The daily test positivity rate rose to 0.55 per cent from Thursday’s 0.18 per cent as 3,456 samples were tested, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

On Thursday, the number of cases was lower as four cases and zero deaths were reported with the lowest positivity rate since the pandemic broke out here.

The mortality rate remained unchanged at 1.49 percent. The recovery rate rose to 97.15 percent as 258 patients recovered during this period.

In April, the country reported only five Covid-linked deaths and 1,114 new cases, while 14,100 patients recovered from the disease, according to the DGHS.

Among the five deaths during the period, two were unvaccinated patients while three were vaccinated with two doses of the Covid vaccine.

The country reported its first zero Covid death in a single day on November 20 last year, along with 178 cases, since the pandemic broke out here in March 2020.

On January 28, Bangladesh logged its previous highest positivity rate of 33.37 percent.

The country registered its highest daily caseload of 16,230 on July 28 last year and daily fatalities of 264 on August 10 in the same year.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Man killed in Jatrabari after being hit by unidentified vehicle

A 40-year-old man succumbed to his injuries after being knocked down by an unidentified vehicle in the capital’s Jatrabari Thursday, police said.

The deceased Roni, a contractor, was from Narayanganj.

The accident occurred at 8:30pm in Jatrabari’s Matuail as he was crossing the road.

The critically injured Roni was rushed to the emergency department of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) where he was declared dead at 9:45pm, said Inspector Bachchu Mia, in-charge of DMCH Police Outpost.

“The body has been kept at the hospital morgue for autopsy. The vehicle involved in the accident is yet to be identified,” Bachchu added.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Two killed in Khulna road accidents

Two persons have been killed and three others injured in separate road accidents in Khulna district, police said on Friday.

The deceased were identified as eight-month-old Ibrahim, son of Shariful Islam of Dumuria upazila of the district, and Roni Biswas, son of Nitai Biswas of Atash upazila of Narail district.

The first accident occurred around 5.15pm on Thursday when a cycle van was hit by a car near Dumuria Women’s College.

“All the passengers, including the baby boy who was travelling with his parents, fell off the van in the impact. Ibrahim sustained fatal head injuries in the crash,” said sub-inspector Md Hasanuzzaman of Dumuria Police Station.

The van puller and Ibrahim’s patents also sustained injuries in the accident and were rushed to Khulna Medical College and Hospital (KMCH), he said.

Roni Biswas, on the other hand, was killed after his motorcycle was hit by a speeding truck near Kharnia Bridge in Baratia.

Kharnia Highway Police officer-in-charge Mehedi Hasan said Roni’s motorcycle was hit by the truck around 5.30pm on Thursday, leaving him on the spot.

Sheikh Koni Mia, officer-in-charge of Dumuria Police Station, said the bodies were sent to KMCH morgue for post-mortem. “The private car involved in the first accident has been seized.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Padma Bridge to be inaugurated in June: Quader

The long-cherished Padma Bridge will be opened to traffic in June this year, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader reiterated on Thursday.

The date of inauguration of Padma Bridge has not been postponed and it will be opened to traffic in June, he told reporters after exchanging Eid greetings with the leaders and workers at his Companiganj village home in Noakhali.

About BNP’s movement, Quader said BNP called for movement 26 times in the last 13 years and they had failed to carry on. “Which year will we see the BNP’s movement?”

Meanwhile, Quader, also the Awami League general secretary has been awarded ‘Bir 71’.

On the occasion of the golden jubilee of independence, his younger brother Abdul Quader Mirza, mayor of Basurhat municipality, handed over the ‘Bir 71’ honorary medal to Obaidul Quader.

About visiting his home constituency after a long time, Quader said, “My relationship with this area has never been severed. I’ve provided oxygen concentrators, food and relief and established ICUs here.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Global Covid cases top 516 million

The overall number of Covid cases has surged past 516 million amid a rise in new infections in parts of the world.

According to Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the total case count mounted to 516,137,649 while the death toll from the virus reached 6,247,392 Friday morning.

The US has recorded 81,692,541 cases so far and 996,946 people have died from the virus in the country, the data shows.

India’s Covid-19 tally rose to 43,107,806 on Friday, as 19688 new cases were registered in 24 hours across the country, showed the federal health ministry’s data.

So far, 5,24,002 people have died of the virus in India.

Situation in Bangladesh

Bangladesh reported four new Covid cases in 24 hours till Thursday morning which took its total caseload to 1,952,747.

With no new Covid deaths reported during this period, the country’s total fatalities from the pandemic remained unchanged at 29,127, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

The daily positivity rate dropped to 0.18%, the lowest since the pandemic broke out here, from Wednesday’s 0.60% as 2,226 samples were tested.

The fatality rate remained unchanged at 1.49%. Besides, the recovery rate rose to 97.13% as 257 patients recovered during this period.

In April, the country reported only five Covid-linked deaths and 1,114 new cases, while 14,100 patients recovered from the disease, according to the DGHS.

Among the five deaths during the period, two were unvaccinated patients while three were vaccinated with two doses of the Covid vaccine.

The country reported its first zero Covid death in a single day on November 20 last year, along with 178 cases, since the pandemic broke out here in March 2020.

On January 28, Bangladesh logged its previous highest positivity rate of 33.37%.

The country registered its highest daily caseload of 16,230 on July 28 last year and daily fatalities of 264 on August 10 in the same year.

Source: United News of Bangladesh