Bangladesh begins vaccination against COVID-19

Bangladesh begins vaccination against COVID-19

Runu Veronica Costa, a senior nurse of Kurmitola General Hospital, received the first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina virtually inaugurated the pilot vaccination programme.

State-run BTV telecast the event live. ‘I’m glad that we have succeeded in collecting the vaccines and hope we could protect our people with the vaccination against coronavirus,’ said Hasina as she officially inaugurated the vaccination.

She also expressed her condolence at the loss of lives due to COVID-19. ‘Please work and help us to make the vaccination campaign a success,’ PM said.

While inaugurating the programme Hasina asked Runu if she was afraid and the nurse replied in the negative. ‘You are so courageous to receive the vaccine first.

We are proud of you,’ Hasina complimented her. Followed by Runu, KGH doctor Ahmed Lutful Moben, Directorate General of Health Services additional director general Nasima Sultana, police officer Didarul Islam of Dhaka Metropolitan Police and Brigadier General Emran Hamid of Bangladesh Army received the jab, which prime minister witnessed.

Bangladesh plans to begin the mass vaccination on February 7, after vaccinating about 500 healthcare providers in four other hospitals in the capital.

The vaccinated healthcare providers will be observed for a week. Bangladesh has so far secured 70 lakh doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India.

Mohammed Siraj stars against

Mohammed Siraj stars against Australia with 5-wicket haul

Mohammed Siraj stars against Australia with 5-wicket haul

India’s Mohammed Siraj did not go home in November when his father died, deciding instead to stay in Australia and try to fulfill his dad’s dream.

In a matter of weeks, the 26-year-old has been elevated from a back-up bowler – picked for the tour as cover following some injuries to veteran pacemen – to leading India’s injury-depleted attack in the series-deciding test match at the Gabba in Brisbane.

He snared his maiden five-wicket haul on Monday, helping to dismiss Australia for 294 late on the penultimate day of the fourth and final test, leaving India a target of 328 to win. “If he was alive, he would’ve been so happy,” Siraj said. “But I had his blessings and that’s why I took five wickets today. I’m speechless today, about this performance.”

Mohammed Siraj stars against

Siraj said he recalled a conversation with his mother, who encouraged him to stay our tour in Australia and to do his father proud.

“I spoke with my people at home. I felt strong after talking to my family, talking to my mother, and I was also strong mentally about this.  My focus was that to accomplish my dad’s wish for me. Thank God, it got accomplished today. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

The highest successful run chase at the Gabba was in 1951, when Australia finished 236-7 against the West Indies. The Australians have not lost at the Gabba since 1988, but nobody is counting India out.

And it is because of the way the likes of Siraj and the other players drafted in to fill voids left by the absence of regular starters – have taken on the game that gives the tourists so much confidence.

The openers faced 1.5 overs before rain stopped play and India was four without loss, one scoring stroke from Rohit Sharma. Stumps was called shortly after 5pm local time, giving India three sessions, weather-permitting, to try to get 324 more runs.

Siraj put down two catches before picking up the key wicket of Steve Smith for 55 in the middle session. Australia was 243-7 at tea on day four – a rain shower forcing an early break – with an overall lead of 276 and a declaration seemingly imminent. But the hosts continued batting when play resumed in gloomy conditions in the evening session, adding a further 51 runs for three wickets.

Nathan Lyon, in his 100th test, took Australia’s lead past 300 when he hooked a six off Siraj but was out soon after for 13, giving Thakur his fourth wicket of the innings and seventh of the match. Thakur took the catch off Siraj’s bowling to dismiss last man Josh Hazlewood (9).

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Siraj, leading the India attack in just his third test in the injury-enforced absence of Jasprit Bumrah and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, returned 5-73 for his career-best figures.

Smith said the match was well-poised and typical of a series that has “ebbed and flowed” throughout. Australia won the first test by eight wickets in Adelaide, India responded with an eight-wicket win in Melbourne – where Siraj made his debut – and then got the emotional better for a draw in the third test in Sydney, where the tourists batted through the last four sessions to salvage a draw.

Mohammed Siraj stars against

“The game is in a nice place for us,” Smith said. “The wicket started to play a few tricks today, a couple of balls shot up, so tomorrow is going to be [about] letting the natural variation of a day five wicket do its work, and hopefully we can hold onto our chances.” Smith said there was a lot more happening with the wicket at the Gabba and it was different to the Sydney Cricket Ground, where India batted for 130 overs to save the match.

Australia started Monday on 21 without loss and cruised to 89-0 before losing four wickets in six overs to slip to 123-4.

Smith then combined with Cameron Green to boost the total to 196 before a sharply-rising ball from Siraj hit him on the glove and deflected away to Ajinkya Rahane in the gully.

Smith, who got a reprieve on 42 when he advanced to off-spinner Washington Sundar and Siraj put down a chance in the deep, reviewed the decision, thinking his hand wasn’t on the bat at the time. But replays clearly confirmed the dismissal – a big one for Siraj.

Green (37) had a reprieve when Siraj put down a sharp return catch, but his 90-ball innings ended when he edged Thakur to Rohit Sharma at second slip to make Australia 227-6.

Australia captain Tim Paine scored a quick 27 before he attempted to hook Thakur and was caught behind.

Thakur got things rolling on day four for India when Marcus Harris (38) gloved a catch to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant in the 25th over.

Sundar, on test debut, trapped David Warner (48) in the next over before Siraj got among the wickets by removing Marnus Labuschagne (25) and Matthew Wade (0) in the same over to keep India in contention. News: AlJazeera.

Freezing weather hits much

Freezing weather hits much of Europe, from Poland to Turkey

Freezing weather hits much of Europe, from Poland to Turkey

Extreme cold has hit large parts of Europe, with freezing temperatures cracking railroad tracks in Poland, snow blanketing the Turkish city of Istanbul and smog spiking as coal was being burned to generate heat.

In Switzerland, a skier who had been buried by an avalanche on the weekend died in a hospital of his injuries, authorities said Monday.

The country had issued avalanche warnings several days earlier after heavy snowfall hit various regions. Officials said the skier and his two companions were buried by an avalanche while they were skiing off marked trails in the Gstaad area on Sunday afternoon.

One man was able to free himself from the snow and then extricate one of the others, but the third man could only be found by rescue crews who arrived later on the scene. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition and died a short time later, authorities said.

Temperatures dropped to minus 28 degrees Celsius (minus 18 Fahrenheit) in some Polish areas overnight, the coldest night in 11 years.

Freezing weather hits much

Many trains were delayed on Monday after tracks at two Warsaw railway stations cracked. Hand-in-hand with the cold came a spike in smog in Warsaw and other parts of Poland, as the cold prompted an increase in burning coal for heat.

Air pollution levels were so high in Warsaw that city officials urged people to remain indoors. Just across Poland’s southwestern border, the Czech Republic experienced the coldest night this year with temperatures dropping below minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 Fahrenheit) in many places.

The lowest temperature, of minus 27 degrees Celsius (minus 16 Fahrenheit), was recorded Monday in Orlicke Zahori, a mountainous village 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of Prague and near the Polish border, according to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute.

The freezing weather was expected to ease and be replaced by heavy snowfall in the northeastern Czech Republic, the institute said.

Wintry weather and freezing temperatures have also been reported throughout the Balkans in the past days, which has created problems with power supplies in some parts of Serbia and brought some snow even to Croatia’s Adriatic Sea islands.

In eastern Albania temperatures dipped as low as minus 13 degrees Celsius (9 Fahrenheit) in Peshkopi, 110 kilometers (70 miles) east of the capital Tirana. The deep freeze has caused water supply pipes to freeze and created dangerous driving conditions.

Freezing weather hits much

The icy roads in the city of Pogradec prevented firefighters from arriving in time at a home fire in which a man died early Monday. The man’s brother, Nikolin Xhukellari, told the Balkanweb online portal that he managed to get his two children and wife out of the building but his brother, who was on the second floor, could not escape.

In Istanbul, traffic was brought to a halt by the layer of snow covering the city, with cars stalled or skidding on the roads. In Germany, fresh snow, slippery roads and fallen trees led to several car accidents on Sunday and overnight, the dpa news agency reported.

A driver died in southwestern Germany after his car shot over a mound of snow. The Nordic region also saw snow and subfreezing temperatures, with the coldest temperatures predictably recorded in the Arctic.

Norway’s meteorological institute tweeted a tongue-in-cheek message on Monday, saying: “we encourage all knitting lovers to send woolen clothes to their friends in the north.” In Denmark, police said 17 people were found ice bathing naked Sunday morning in a lake near Roskilde, 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Copenhagen.

Everyone in the group, aged between 26 and 51, was preliminary charged with violating pandemic restrictions banning the public gathering of more than five people. Police said they will all receive a fine, which is 2,500 kroner ($405) for first-time offenders. News: ABC

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