Relief materials, on behalf of Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, were distributed among poor families at Pirganj upazila in Rangpur district on Wednesday as they have been suffering following the outbreak of coronavirus.
The relief items were given from the personal fund of the Speaker, said a Parliament Secretariat handout.
The relief activities were conducted by Pirganj Upazila Chhatra League at her Rangpur-6 (Pirganj) constituency.
Each family was given 5kg rice, 5kg potato, 1kg lentil, 1 soap bar and 1 face-mask.
The relief items were distributed among 350 families in seven unions in the first phase, while these would be given to 450 families in the rest eight unions and one municipality in the second phase.
In a message, Dr Shirin Sharmin put emphasis on ensuring relief distribution keeping a special eye on the disadvantaged people like farmers, day-labourers, rickshaw- and van-pullers, transport workers, beggars, disabled people, street children, abandoned women or widows, transgender community and women.
She said the infection rate of novel coronavirus is on the rise in Bangladesh alongside many countries of the world. So, everybody will have to abide by the 31-point directive issued by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, she added.
The Speaker urged all to stay home to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Wednesday sought increased support from China as the number of coronavirus cases is rising in Bangladesh.
He mentioned about personal protective equipment and ventilators, saying Bangladesh would be needing more support.
The Health Minister was speaking in a videoconference between health professionals from Bangladesh and China.
He also appreciated China's support to Bangladesh to fight against COVID-19 and hoped that the relations between the two countries will be strengthened.
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming laid emphasis on collective efforts saying this virus respects no borders. "We all must work together."
He said a medical team will soon be arriving in Bangladesh to help deal with the current situation.
Ambassador Jiming said he has every confidence that Bangladesh will win in this battle against coronavirus.
Dr Zhang Wenhong, Professor and Head of the Center for Infectious Disease, Huashan Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai, shared his experience about the coronavirus pandemic.
The participants from six different locations exchanged their ideas and laid emphasis on international cooperation.
As the Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine of Fudan University in Shanghai, Dr Zhang is the leader of Shanghai’s Anti-COVID-19 clinical expert team.
He has extensive experience with the diagnosis and treatment of various emerging infectious diseases, according to Chinese Embassy in Dhaka.
Dr Zhang is a graduate of Shanghai Medical University and has held visiting scholar and postdoctoral fellow positions at the Department of Microbiology at the University of Hong Kong, Harvard Medical School and Illinois State University at Chicago.
He has gained tens of millions of followers on social media and been dubbed “Dad Zhang” for his outspoken, down-to-earth talk about the disease.
The 51-year-old first started getting attention at the end of January when he told media he assigned doctors who were Communist Party members to work at a hospital on the front line of the coronavirus outbreak in Shanghai.
Bangladesh and China have discussed the possibility of importing ventilation machines from China during this critical moment of Coronavirus outbreak in Bangladesh.
The two sides also discussed the issue of China’s expert medical teams comprising doctors, nurses and technicians to deal with coronavirus, treat coronavirus-infected people and also provide training to Bangladeshi medical professionals.
Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke to Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen over telephone on Tuesday and discussed the issues.
During the telephonic conversation, Dr Momen told his Chinese counterpart about the possibility of bringing an expert team of technicians from China to support ‘Sheikh Russel Gastro-liver Institute and Hospital’ which has been declared as a dedicated facility in Dhaka for coronavirus treatment.
The Bangladesh Foreign Minister requested the Chinese Foreign Minister to consider deferral of payments against all Back to Back Letter of Credit (LC) opened in favour of Chinese suppliers for one year.
The Chinese Foreign Minister responded positively and assured him of their full support to Bangladesh, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
While recalling the cordial meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and President Xi, Dr. Momen requested his Chinese counterpart to help ensure early repatriation of Rohignya to Myanmar as promised.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi felt the urge of early repatriation and assured of extending Chinese support to that end.
The two foreign ministers also reiterated their support for each other in the international arena.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed gratitude and thanks to the Bangladesh government for its valued contribution of masks, hand sanitizers, hand gloves etc. during the critical moments of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan city and other parts of China.
Dr. Momen expressed gratitude and thanks to the government of China for their contribution of coronavirus-testing kits, personal protection equipment (PPE) and infrared thermometer.
e also mentioned the contribution of ‘Jack Ma Foundation’ and ‘Alibaba Foundation’.
Dr Momen extended his sincere appreciation to the government of China for taking utmost care of Bangladeshi students in Wuhan and other parts of China in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
He expressed Bangladesh's solidarity with the China government for observing 4th April as the national mourning day in China.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr. Momen was pleased to receive a call from the Chinese Foreign Minister and spoke for 45 minutes.
Chinese Foreign Minister reassured Dr. Momen and promised to work together to overcome newer challenges.
The two foreign ministers ended their conversation expressing good wishes for both the countries.
Three more people died from coronavirus in Bangladesh in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 20, according to the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).
Besides, 54 people tested positive for COVID-19 during the period, raising the number of such cases in the country to 218, said IEDCR director Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora in its daily bulletin on Wednesday.
"In the last 24 hours, 54 people were diagnosed with the disease. The total number of infected people in the country is now 218. Three more people died from the infection in the past 24 hours. The total death toll is now 20," she said.
No new patient made recovery keeping the total number of recovered patients at 33.
Among the newly-infected people, 33 are male and 21 are female. "Thirty-nine of the 54 are from Dhaka, one from the area adjacent to Dhaka and the rest are from outside Dhaka," she added.
"The age range of the newly-identified people are as follows --- five people aged from 11 to 20 years, 15 aged from 21 to 30 years, 10 aged from 31 to 40 years, seven aged from 41 to 50 years, seven people aged from 51 to 60, and 10 people over the age of 60," said Prof Flora.
In the past 24 hours, 988 samples were collected from across the country and 981 tested.
Across the country, 737 more people were sent to home quarantine in the past 24 hours and 16 to isolation. 139 are currently in institutional quarantine.
So far, 10157 people are currently in home and institutional quarantine across the country.
Directorate General of Health Services Additional Director General Dr Samia Tahmina said the country has 220518 PPEs in stock.
Earlier, she said no new recovery does not necessarily mean that the patients are in bad condition.
"We didn’t find anyone negative in PCR test in the past two days but they’re in good condition," she added.
A court here on Wednesday issued the death warrant for Captain (retd) Abdul Majed, one of the convicted killers of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Judge of Dhaka’s District and Session’s Court M Helal Chowdhury issued the warrant after he was produced before his court from the jail.
The court also showed him arrested in the Bangabandhu murder case.
Majed was arrested from the city’s Mirpur area early Tuesday. A team of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit arrested him around 3:30am.
He was produced before the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate AM Zulfiqar Hayat which sent him to jail on the day.
On August 15, 1975, Bangladesh’s founding father Bangabandhu and most of his family members were assassinated by a cabal of military men.
Eighteen members of his family, including Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, three sons – Captain Sheikh Kamal, Lieutenant Sheikh Jamal and 10-year-old Sheikh Russel, two daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, brother Sheikh Naser, peasant leader Abdur Rab Serniabat, youth leader Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni and his wife Arzu Moni, Baby Serniabat, Sukanta Babu, Arif and Abdul Nayeem Khan Rintu, were, among others, were also killed on that fateful night.
Military Secretary Brigadier General Jamil was also killed. Several members of a family in the capital’s Mohammadpur area were killed by artillery shells fired by the killers on the same day.
During the assassination of Bangabandhu on August 15, 1975, Majed, Noor and Risaldar Moslehuddin along with others were present there when he was a lieutenant.
On November 19, 2009, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty of 12 convicted former army officials for the assassination of Bangabandhu and his family members.
Five killers of Bangabandhu – Syed Farooq Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Bazlul Huda, AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed and Mohiuddin Ahmed – were hanged in January 2010.
Another killer Aziz Pasha met natural death in Zimbabwe in 2001.
The fugitive killers are former Lt Col Khandaker Abdur Rashid, SHBM Noor Chowdhury, Shariful Haque Dalim, Rashed Chowdhury, and Risaldar Moslehuddin.
Of them, the government knew the whereabouts of Noor Chowdhury, Rashed Chowdhury and Moslehuddin while it was not sure about the other three fugitives -- Rashid, Dalim and Majed.
According to government sources, Noor Chowdhury has been living in Canada and Rashed Chowdhury in the USA.