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How Covid-19 may affect the brain

Desk,18 april:
A pattern is emerging among Covid-19 patients arriving at hospitals in New York: Beyond fever, cough and shortness of breath, some are deeply disoriented to the point of not knowing where they are or what year it is.

At times this is linked to low oxygen levels in their blood, but in certain patients the confusion appears disproportionate to how their lungs are faring.

Jennifer Frontera, a neurologist at NYU Langone Brooklyn hospital seeing these patients, told AFP the findings were raising concerns about the impact of the coronavirus on the brain and nervous system.

By now, most people are familiar with the respiratory hallmarks of the Covid-19 disease that has infected more than 2.2 million people around the world.

But more unusual signs are surfacing in new reports from the frontlines.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last week found 36.4 percent of 214 Chinese patients had neurological symptoms ranging from loss of smell and nerve pain, to seizures and strokes.

A paper in the New England Journal of Medicine this week examining 58 patients in Strasbourg, France found that more than half were confused or agitated, with brain imaging suggesting inflammation.

“You’ve been hearing that this is a breathing problem, but it also affects what we most care about, the brain,” S Andrew Josephson, chair of the neurology department at the University of California, San Francisco told AFP.

“If you become confused, if you’re having problems thinking, those are reasons to seek medical attention,” he added.

“The old mantra of ‘Don’t come in unless you’re short of breath’ probably doesn’t apply anymore.”

– Viruses and the brain –

It isn’t completely surprising to scientists that SARS-CoV-2 might impact the brain and nervous system, since this has been documented in other viruses, including HIV, which can cause cognitive decline if untreated.

Viruses affect the brain in one of two main ways, explained Michel Toledano, a neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

One is by triggering an abnormal immune response known as a cytokine storm that causes inflammation of the brain — called autoimmune encephalitis.

The second is direct infection of the brain, called viral encephalitis.

How might this happen?

The brain is protected by something called the blood-brain-barrier, which blocks foreign substances but could be breached if compromised.

However, since loss of smell is a common symptom of the coronavirus, some have hypothesized the nose might be the pathway to the brain.

This remains unproven — and the theory is somewhat undermined by the fact that many patients experiencing anosmia don’t go on to have severe neurological symptoms.

In the case of the novel coronavirus, doctors believe based on the current evidence the neurological impacts are more likely the result of overactive immune response rather than brain invasion.

To prove the latter even happens, the virus must be detected in cerebrospinal fluid.

This has been documented once, in a 24-year-old Japanese man whose case was published in the International Journal of Infectious Disease.

The man developed confusion and seizures, and imaging showed his brain was inflamed. But since this is the only known case so far, and the virus test hasn’t yet been validated for spinal fluid, scientists remain cautious.

– More research needed –

All of this emphasizes the need for more research.

Frontera, who is also a professor at NYU School of Medicine, is part of an international collaborative research project to standardize data collection.

Her team is documenting striking cases including seizures in Covid-19 patients with no prior history of the episodes, and “unique” new patterns of tiny brain hemorrhages.

One startling finding concerns the case of a man in his fifties whose white matter — the parts of the brain that connect brain cells to each other — was so severely damaged it “would basically render him in a state of profound brain damage,” she said.

The doctors are stumped and want to tap his spinal fluid for a sample.

Brain imaging and spinal taps are difficult to perform on patients on ventilators, and since most die, the full extent of neurologic injury isn’t yet known.

But neurologists are being called out for the minority of patients who survive being on a ventilator.

“We’re seeing a lot of consults of patients presenting in confusional states,” Rohan Arora, a neurologist at the Long Island Jewish Forest Hills hospital told AFP, saying that describes more than 40 percent of recovered virus patients.

It’s not yet known whether the impairment is long term, and being in the ICU itself can be a disorienting experience as a result of factors including strong medications.

But returning to normal appears to be taking longer than for people who suffer heart failure or stroke, added Arora.

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Carew & Co produce affordable hand sanitiser

carew_shikkhaSarup Das:
Demands for hand sanitiser and liquid soap has spiked following the global coronavirus outbreak. Against this backdrop, Carew & Co in Darsana is all set to mass-produce hand sanitisers to meet the growing demand.

The country’s only state-owned distillery has already produced hand sanitisers on a test basis and will start marketing it soon at affordable prices.

The company is now waiting for a nod from Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) to start their production. It will be marketed under the name ‘Carew’s Hand Sanitizer’.

“Our hand sanitisers consist of 60 to 70 percent rectified spirit, glycerine, colour and fragrance. Expert chemists have been involved with the production and this sanitiser can kill any virus instantly,” said Jahid Ali Ansary, managing director of Carew & Co.

“We are capable of producing as much as needed and we plan to sell it through our distribution points — 13 warehouses and three sales centers. We plan on setting up selling points in front of the corporation’s head office and in front of the industries ministry. It can also be sold through pharmacies across the country,” he said.

The company plans on charging Tk 60 for a 100ml bottle of hand sanitiser, which according to Ansary is much cheaper than the ones available in the market.

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Narendra Modi confirms Dhaka visit

Desk,5 March:
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has postponed his visit to Belgium in view of worldwide Coronavirus outbreak, but he will attend the inauguration of centenary celebration of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, according to New Delhi correspondent.
Spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar confirmed that PM Modi will visit Dhaka to attend the inauguration of centenary birth celebration of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman .

He reminded that when PM Sheikh Hasina came to Delhi has invited PM Modi to attend the centenary birth celebration of Bangabandhu Sheik Mujib. PM Modi has accepted the invitation and he will definitely attend .Details of his programme will be informed later.


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Mashrafe Bin Mortaza steps down as Bangladesh ODI captain

Desk,5 march:
Bangladesh’s ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has announced to step down from the position of skipper. The 36-year-old indicated he wishes to continue playing the format if picked but wants to pass on the mantle of leadership.

The captain made the announcement before the media on Thursday, a day before the third ODI.
He said that the third and final ODI of the series against Zimbabwe, scheduled to be played on Friday, will be his last as captain for the Bangladesh ODI side.

Mortaza, who made his senior team debut in 2001, was first named ODI captain in 2010. After a few short stints, he reclaimed the leadership role in November 2014, leading the side to their first-ever knockouts appearance at World Cup, 2015.

Mashrafe Mortaza has led the side 87 in games, winning 49 and losing 36 – a record unparalleled in Bangladesh cricket.


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No fines to renew vehicle papers, driving licences until Jun 30

Desk,20 January:
The government has formally waived until Jun 30 the fines stipulated by the new Road Transport Act for renewing expired vehicle papers and driving licenses.
The Road Transport and Highways Division issued a circular on Monday as agreed with the transporters after a crippling strike in November last year when the new Act came into force.

The papers include fitness certificate, tax token and route permit, according to the circular.

The transport owners and workers launched the strike on Nov 20 last year over nine demands, including amendments to the new law that has introduced harsher punishment for drivers for violations of traffic rules and road crashes.

After a meeting with the transporters later that night, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said the law ministry would look into their demands on the new Act while the certain conditions, such as renewal of licences, will be met by June this year.


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HC stays primary school teachers’ recruitment in 14 districts

Desk,20 January:
The High Court has stayed appointments of assistant teachers for primary schools for six months for breaching recruitment rules in 14 districts.
Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Md Mahmud Hassan Talukder issued the order on Monday following a writ petition filed by 46 candidates challenging the results published on Dec 24.

Lawyer Md Asad Uddin represented the candidates in court while Deputy Attorney General Bipul Bagmar stood for the state.
The process of recruitment of qualified candidates from Patuakhali, Madaripur, Sirajganj, Naogaon, Chapainawabganj, Habiganj, Mymensingh, Netrokona, Noakhali, Jashore, Satkhira, Tangail, Barguna and Thakurgaon will be suspended for six months following the order.

As per the primary teacher recruitment rules of 2013, 60 percent of teachers will be appointed from female candidates, 20 percent from dependent quota and 20 percent from male candidates, but the rules were not followed, Asad told .com.

Earlier on Jan 15, the HC stayed the results of qualified candidates from Nilphamari, Barguna and Bhola for six months over the violation of relevant rules.

It also issued a rule asking authorities concerned to explain why the results published on Dec 24 should not be declared illegal.

The primary and mass education ministry published the list of 18,147 successful candidates for appointment to its primary schools as assistant teachers on Dec 24.


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pay scale 2015 (জাতীয় বেতন স্কেল-২০১৫)

এখানে ক্লিক করুন



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pay scale 2009 (জাতীয় বেতন স্কেল-২০০৯)

এখানে ক্লিক করুন



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3 more BNP MPs-elect likely to take oath

DHAKA: Three more BNP leaders who were elected from Chapainawabganj-2, 3 and Brahmanbaria-2 constituencies in the national election are ready to take oath as members of the 11th Parliament.

They are Md Aminul Islam (Chapainawabganj-2), Md Harun-ur-Rashid (Chapainawabganj-3) and Ukil Abdus Sattar Bhuiyan (Brahmanbaria-2).

Of them, Abdus Sattar Bhuiyan told the media that he will not ignore the party’s decision. But sources say he wants to take an oath.

Earlier, Zahidur Rahman Zahid, who was elected from Thakurgaon-3 constituency, was expelled from the party on Saturday (April 27) for taking oath on Thursday (April 25) ignoring party decision.

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Teachers must not smoke in front of students

DHAKA: Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) issued a directive asking all higher secondary schools teachers not to take betel leaf, zarda and gul before students and in the classroom.

Besides, DSHE also asked teachers not to smoke in front of students inside and out school premises.

A directive on avoidance of smoking and tobacco products, signed by DSHE directorate professor Md. Abdul Mannan, was sent to all principals and headmasters of higher secondary schools on Wednesday (April 24).

The directive said, “Some teachers smoke in front of students inside or outside the schools which is not appropriate as teachers and is injurious to health.”

The directive also asked teachers to refrain from taking betel leaf, zarda and gul, coming to classroom and speaking with these items in their mouths, in front of students.

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Every upazila to get 100-bed hospital

Staff Correspondent: DHAKA: A 100-bed hospital will be set up in every upazila of the country, said State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Murad Hassan.

He was addressing said a programme at Moulana Akram Khan hall of the National Press Club on Friday (April 26).

The state minister, as the chief guest, said according to the election manifesto and announcement of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, 100-bed hospital will be set up in every upazila of the country in a bid to reach quality health and nutrition services to the doorstep of every people of Bangladesh.

“Sheikh Hasina Medical College will be set up in Jamalpur. I announced that a 250-bed hospital will be set up here. The 50-bed health complex of Madarganj upazila will be upgraded to 100-bed one”, he added.

Jamalpur Journalist Forum organized in Dhaka arranged the programme.

With organization’s president Abu Sayeed in the chair, the programme was also addressed by Engineer Mosharraf Hossain MP, BTRC Chairman Md Jahurul Haque, President of Federal Union of Journalists Molla Jalal, Press Club General Secretary Farida Yasmin, among others.

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