Bangladesh Society of Infectious and Tropical diseases have come up with an innovative way to track early coronavirus symptoms online. The website, coronatestbd, lets you answer a series of questions based on your health conditions. Based on the answers provided, the website will let you know if you are likely to show symptoms of COVID-19 or not.
In an attempt to honour Bangabandhu on his 100th birth anniversary, we present you with 8 selected rare pictures of Bangabandhu that showcase his illustrious life, from his political career to personal.
How many times have you wondered if you could
actually trust a beauty brand? Even if you could, how dreadful was that for
your bank account?
If you are arguing with yourself to find an answer to these questions then it’s time for you to not worry about it anymore. On this Women’s day, 8th March 2020, the grand launch of This is She a beauty brand that aims to empower you, took place
After coming to Bangladesh from Canada, Kunwal
Malik was stunned by the beauty that this part of the world holds. Noticing how
much the women of Bangladesh has embraced the beauty trends was another
revolution for her. However, the quality of the products the women here are
using was a big question to her.
Being a feminist herself, Kunwal Malik knew she needed to do something for the women to make them feel their most confident self. “Every woman is beautiful. And when confidence gets added to her persona, her beauty intensifies” shared Kumwal Malik
With a vision of bringing quality products to
the beautiful women of our country, her brand This is She came to life.
This is she isn’t just a brand to her. It has a significant reason for its existence. Reminiscing the reason that inspired her to come up with this brand Kunwal Malik said, “ A lot of people ask me why did I start This is She with eyelashes? Well, there is a very interesting story behind that. Back when I was in Canada, I went to a really nice salon and tried their eyelash extensions as it was one of the most trending fashion trends then. So I did try them and then started the horror story. After a month they started shredding, which is a natural process but sadly all my natural eyelashes fell off with the extensions too. And let me tell you, it had a very bad effect on my confidence. I felt people are looking at my lashes, I didn’t enjoy wearing make-up anymore. After tons of research and using many remedies my eyelashes did come back but I just knew there are many many other women like me for whom eyelash extensions are probably not the best-suited idea, so This is She was my way of creating something for these women”
Following this experience, she decided to
create her brand and the first thing she wanted to introduce her brand with was
The quality of these lashes can easily be compared to the best of the best lashes that are out there in the international market now. She didn’t just stop at bringing these eyelashes, the packaging and the names of each lashset oozes the motto of the brand which is:Be Confident.
Just to name a few, dazzling queen, adorable
brat, spoilt princess will actually make you feel like the princess that you
Speaking of her future aspiration for the brand, Kunwal shared all the exciting products that are coming our way. “We are slowly but surely more moving towards skincare as well. I have noticed how humid the weather here is but hardly any quality sunscreen that one can find. Our next mission is to bring the best quality sunscreen to the beautiful ladies of Bangladesh at the most reasonable price possible.”
For the make-up artists out there, This is She is also coming up with bundle packages. In the packages, they will get customized eyelashes which are really high quality in discounted price.
She isn’t just a brand, the sentiment behind the birth
of this brand is to make the women around us feel more confident in themselves
so they can go and conquer the world without having to worry if their eyes are
on fleek or not!
It always seemed perplexing to me that in a country of 16 million people where majority of us are of a darker complexion, we have somehow come to equate beauty with fairness. Starting from young girls and boys to older men and women, this notion has been embedded into our minds and has permeated over the centuries.
The constant slurs
Every brown woman living in Bangladesh can attest to receiving an abundance of unsolicited advice and derogatory comments from strangers to family members over their complexion throughout their lifetime. Maybe it was in the form of a backhanded compliment like “You’re pretty for a dark skinned girl”; an advice from next-door aunty to try out some skin whitening creams (fair and lovely the undisputed champion); a quick natural homemade remedy from a friend that promised to instantly brighten your skin; a warning from your mother to stay indoors and avoid the sun, and the list goes on.
Seriously, just stop.
The other side isn’t pretty either
Growing up, I personally didn’t hear such remarks myself because I got “lucky” by being born with a lighter complexion in a society that’s obsessed with fairness. But I did experience something else which was equally problematic. People have said things like “ki shundor forsha gayer rong” and “tomake toh foreigner lage” to me, as if those were meant to be compliments. I’m sorry but no, you have got it all wrong. I do not aspire to look like a foreigner, I do not think my lighter skin is somehow a personal victory, and neither do I think that this should be an acceptable form of flattery for any right-minded person.
The ridiculous ads
It shocks me that it is still acceptable to promote fairness products in the 21st century and reiterate the idea that a fairer skin is more desirable than the rest. These ridiculous ads will try to have you believe that if you become a couple of shades lighter, you will finally get that job you want, your family and boyfriend will love you more, all your problems will miraculously go away and you’ll live happily ever after. (Don’t we all wish it were that simple?)
Why are we so obsessed with being “fair and lovely”?
It also goes without saying that our deep-rooted patriarchy that constantly objectifies women only helps to perpetuate this enslavement even further.
We also cannot deny that the mass media today contributes towards keeping such insidious ideas alive by feeding us Western beauty standards since eternity.
The damaging impact
Most of us girls grapple with loving ourselves because we were conditioned to believe in these unrealistic beauty standards that were always far from our reach. So many girls like me, around me, were constantly trying to attain this standard of beauty, all the while, rejecting their own brown skin. Leaving them dejected and bathing in self-loathe. Can we really blame them though? We live in a society that constantly tells us that our skin color is “nongra” or “moila”, so trying to feel content in our own skin was never even an option to begin with.
Here are some Bangladeshi women sharing their bitter experience of growing up with brown skin in Bangladesh:
X, a 29-year-old woman from Dhaka-
“I remember when I was a teenager, I’d try all kinds of things on my face hoping to lighten it because I was always made to feel like it wasn’t good enough. Looking back, thinking about all the harmful things that I tried in order to gain validation from this society truly scares me. What makes me even more upset is that I still find myself fighting this battle within me sometimes. Suppose, when I’m wearing a very bright colored outfit, I’ll think to myself “Is this making me look too dark?” But it’s only now, in my late 20s that I’m turning the conversation around and asking myself, “What’s wrong with looking too dark? Absolutely nothing”. So, thankfully, after years of struggle, I’m in a much more healthy relationship with my own skin now”
Anika, a 23-year-old student from North South University-
“I’ve been fighting this brown skin prejudice since my childhood. I remember when I was in school; I didn’t get accepted as the lead role of a drama because of my “dark skin”. My visits to the parlor were always accompanied with suggestions of bleaching my skin to become “fairer”. It’s not just the people who we love dearly that perpetuate such ideals but it is also embedded within our social institutions. It’s everywhere. And it takes unimaginable strength to unlearn years of such toxic internalization and begin to treat yourself right ”
Dare to love yourself
In a world that constantly reminds us women that the color of our complexion fails to meet some false notion of beauty, just loving yourself and being proud of your skin becomes a revolutionary act for us girls. It means to dismantle these narratives that we’ve been forcefully fed for so long. It means to reclaim our brown skin in all its glory.
So, go on, tell those aunties off, bask in the sun, wear that bright colored outfit you were asked not to wear, put on that red lipstick and own it!
This past week, the capital of India, Delhi, saw its worst-ever communal violence since partition. Even after the dust had settled, an eerie silence has engulfed the streets of Delhi. Some fear that the thread of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood which Delhi is often famous for might be torn permanently.
India has been seeing a surge in protests-counter protests and communal violence for quite some time now after the controversial CAA and NRC had been passed in the Indian parliament. Experts claim that the CAA is the root behind the deadly communal violence in Delhi and protests in other parts of India. As neighbours, Bangladesh should be concerned and aware of what is happening in India. So what exactly are the CAA and NRC? What is going on in India and what does it mean for us? We try to explain.
What is the CAA?
The CAA or the Citizen Amendment Act allows migrants of Hindu, Buddhist, Christians, Jain, Parsi and Sikh faiths from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who have entered illegally in India on or before December 31, 2014, apply for Indian citizenship.
This controversial bill excludes particularly Muslims because the Indian government claims that people of the other six faiths may have faced religious persecution in the Muslim majority countries but the Muslims have not. It is therefore not an obligation for India to shelter the Muslims.
Why is the CAA problematic?
The CAA is problematic for a number of reasons. For example, there are minority Muslims in Pakistan who face persecution on a regular basis; the Baha’i, The Ahmadiyya. They will not be granted Indian citizenship under the CAA because they are Muslims although they are facing persecution which the BJP has termed as a criterion for citizenship application.
The CAA is particularly problematic when viewed in context with the NRC. The NRC or the National Register of Citizens in India requires Indian citizens to prove their citizenships with valid documents. Theoretically, it goes like this: The primary NRC will at first, exclude a large number of Indians, the majority of them from the marginal society who’ll lack documents. The CAA then might help a large section of these people gain back their citizenships. But the Muslims will be left out under the CAA and so, a large section of Indian Muslims, mostly marginal, will be left stateless in the end.
Is everyone protesting against the CAA?
Yes, technically. The protests have become complex and convoluted. Majority of Indians are protesting against it. But for different reasons. In Assam, for example, people are protesting against it because they fear it will give more power to Bengali speaking Hindu settlers from Bangladesh who migrated there during 1951-1971. The Assamese fear it will take away their linguistic and cultural heritage completely and they are against all immigrants, both Hindu and Muslims.
In Bengal, protests have erupted against the NRC since the inception of this bill and in Delhi, most people protested against the CAA citing that it goes against the secular constitution of India.
But yes, all over India, the majority of the people are protesting AGAINST the CAA and NRC, not in support of it.
How does it affect Bangladesh?
Theoretically, it does not. But what happens in India does have a butterfly effect in Bangladesh. We must remain vigilant that the communal spark of Delhi doesn’t reach Bangladesh. Minorities in Bangladesh should not feel unsafe due to the situation in India.
The impact of the RMG industry on our national economy has been mostly positive; at least on the surface. Implementation of relatively new technology like data science and machine learning is shifting business practices today. The RMG sector might be in for big changes. And they might be vastly different from your expectations.
How it has worked
RMG and textile industries in Bangladesh have been mostly local in the past. They were efficient at the time, based on the nature of customer demands and buying behavior. And the production schedule matched the seasonal buying behavior of consumers of apparel in the country.
The business model has worked so far so well based mostly on the lower wage demands. The mixture of these few factors, along with many more variables created a favorable environment for textile businesses in the country. And the subcontinent by extension.
How RMG has changed
Automation brought on the biggest string of changes in the textile industry in Bangladesh. We moved on from hand sewn products to a more mechanical approach. But the dexterity of workers in operating machines remains an important factor to this day.
However, the workers are not dexterous enough it would seem. While we remained productive in comparison to our neighbors; hourly productivity remains relatively low from a global perspective. This in addition to rising wage demands and global competition is making our RMG industry less lucrative.
In addition, customer behavior is evolving. We have moved on from seasonal buying to more intermittent strings of purchases. This is driven by online presence of companies and prompt response times of platforms like Daraz or Aliexpress. We want things fast, and we want them all the time.
Factors of the next big change in RMG
Data analytics and AI is shaping the business environment and taking all business across the world in different directions. New supply chain designs based on Big Data about consumer behavior is shifting processes to a more predictive direction.
Businesses are forecasting demand patterns in consumers and filling demands before they are made. This calibrating of customer demands is affecting textile and even fashion industries by extension.
Foodpanda, Bangladesh’s leading online delivery service, announces the launch of the Bangla app today. The latest edition of the fully optimized Bangla language app anticipates that more and more Bangladeshis will be able to use and enjoy the simple and fast food delivery services offered by the company.
The announcement comes on International Mother Language Day; a day which celebrates linguistic and cultural diversity. Foodpanda resonates with the core message of this day by having the vision to create an online delivery service for all people living in Bangladesh, championing the multi-cultural region. Striving for excellence for all its customers, Foodpanda’s new Bangla app brings more accessibility and more resonance with Bangladeshis, to bring the food they love right to their doors.
The latest feature to the app makes it simpler for those wishing to navigate Foodpanda in the local Bangla language; with all menus, deal pages and navigation screens optimised fully. As Foodpanda aims to service more customers across the region; ensuring all needs are met has been a top priority to enabling all to order the food they love, anytime, anywhere.
“We’ve been working towards optimising the app fully for Bangla, to have alongside the English version, to ensure all our customers have the option to use the app in the language that works best for them. We are committed to bringing the best in online food delivery service to Bangladesh – listening to our customers needs and building that into our product. By the end of 2020, we plan on being present in over 60 cities in Bangladesh, and with the new offering we expect to facilitate further uplift in app downloads across the region.”
Ambareen Reza , Foodpanda’s Managing Director explains
To experience the new Bangla version of Foodpanda, customers who already have the Foodpanda app will be able to seamlessly switch between English and Bangla by going to the top left tab then to settings and selecting Bangla for language. For those who are new to Foodpanda, and would like to experience Bangladesh’s leading online food delivery service in Bangla – they can download the app available for both iOS and Android, or use the web services to browse from a large variety of big chain, and well-loved local restaurants to find the perfect meal.
With the ability to track meals, explore new restaurant options, and toggle simply for any deals or specialities required – Foodpanda is simplifying food delivery at every step; as they know it is not merely about eating a meal but savouring the experience from start to finish. Customers will also be able to find out the best-selling dishes at each eatery, and read user reviews to aid in their decision-making process.
The Coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan has killed
at least 427 people and infected nearly 20,000 people across 26 countries so
far. Ever since tackling the menace that SARS had brought to China nearly two
decades ago, the country’s importance in the global economy has increased
exponentially. Now, 17 years later, the world’s most populous country has been
attacked yet again with another deadly epidemic: Coronavirus.
According to Andy Rothman, an economist at Matthews Asia, China today accounts for about one-third of the total economic growth, which is a larger share of global growth than that of the U.S., Europe and Japan combined. Over time, besides producing simple low-value products like plastic goods and clothing, China had achieved dominance in more advanced and lucrative pursuits like gadgets, smartphones, computers and auto parts. The country has now evolved into an essential part of the global supply chain that produces components required for factories from Mexico to Malaysia. Also, China had just joined the World Trade Organization, gaining access to markets around the globe. While the country was harnessing its seemingly limitless supply of low-wage workers to produce cheap consumer goods, its economy was more focused on exports.
Moreover, being a nation of 1.4 billion people with a growing appetite for electronic gadgets and fashion apparel, China has now risen into an enormous consumer market. According to the World Bank, since joining the WTO, China’s annual economic output had multiplied more than eightfold to nearly $14 trillion from $1.7 trillion. Its share of global trade has more than doubled to 12.8 per cent last year from 5.3 per cent in 2003, according to Oxford Economics. After SARS, China had suffered several months of economic contraction, but it had rebounded dramatically as well. That might happen this time too, but one thing that we’re certain of is that whatever happens in China will be felt widely.
According to a conservative forecast of the Oxford Economics that is based on the impacts of the virus so far, China’s economic growth is expected to drop to 5.6 per cent this year from 6.1 per cent last year. This would lead to a downfall in global economic growth by 0.2 per cent bringing it to 2.3 per cent (the slowest pace since we faced the global financial crisis a decade ago!!).
The frightening epidemic coinciding with a major holiday in China will certainly bring a substantial loss to China’s tourism and hospitality industry.
While international airlines including British Airways, American Delta and Lufthansa have cancelled all their flights to China, international companies that rely on China for either production or sales are now in deep trouble. As shopping malls remain deserted, apparel stores like Under Armor clothing and Nike face-threatening sales. Besides, as the government has extended the Lunar New Year holidays to halt the spread of the deadly virus, workers who went to visit their families during that time remain stuck in their hometowns. As a result, the activities of car factories that produce for companies like Toyota and General Motors remain suspended. Moreover, stores like Ikea, Apple and Starbucks have already closed all their stores in China.
“It’s too early to say how long it is going to last”, says Ms Rohini Malkani, an economist at DBRS Morningstar, a global credit rating business. It’s true; no one really knows how long the Coronavirus outbreak will last, how far it will spread or how many more lives it will claim. It is impossible to calculate the extent to which it will disrupt China’s economy but the country’s stellar stature in the world economy means that the impact of the outbreak will substantially exceed that of SARS.
The Coronavirus is at the forefront of discussions and news. There is plenty of information and misinformation out there. Some commentators are panicked, others are ambivalent and feeling distant from the reach of the virus. Here is an overview of the Coronavirus.
What is the coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a virus that displays symptoms like normal everyday cold or flu – fever, fatigue, sore throat, dry cough and berating difficulties. The family of coronavirus included the SARS epidemic of 2002-3 that infected 8,098 people worldwide and caused 774 deaths. Another coronavirus that infected people was the MERS outbreak that began on the Arabian Peninsula in 2012 and still lingers. Scientists have isolated and identified the virus from its family by the name “nCoV-2019”.
Where did the virus originate?
On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) China office heard the first reports of a previously-unknown virus behind a number of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, a city in Eastern China with a population of over 11 million. On 11 and 12 January 2020, WHO received further detailed information from the National Health Commission China that the outbreak was associated with exposures in one seafood market in Wuhan City. The Chinese authorities identified a new type of coronavirus, which was isolated on 7 January 2020.
Scientists have speculated that the virus has either spread from bats or snakes.
Scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology have been researching the connection between coronaviruses and bats. In 2017, after nearly five years of collecting faecal samples from bats, in the Yunnan cave, they found coronaviruses in multiple individuals of four different species of bats, including one called the intermediate horseshoe bat. The genome of that virus is 96 per cent identical to the Wuhan virus that is currently infecting humans.
Fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as coughing or difficulty breathing, after travelling to Wuhan or having close contact with someone who was ill and is now under investigation for the virus in the past two weeks.
Fever or symptoms of lower respiratory illness after having close contact in the past two weeks with someone who’s been confirmed to have the virus.
Who is most likely to get this virus?
As of now, the majority of the people who have been diagnosed with this virus are all elder or have been in close contact with wild animals. People who have come into close contact with someone who has had the virus have also been diagnosed.
How far has it spread?
Even though the virus first appeared in China, it has quickly spread to countries like the United States, France, Germany, Sweden, Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Macau, Japan and the Philippines, Singapore, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam and the UAE. As of today, there are over 10,000 cases recorded across China and dozens in other countries. At least 213 deaths have occurred in Chine due to the virus.
What steps are being taken to keep this under control?
China has declared a state of emergency and put multiple cities under quarantine to keep the virus under control. China has imposed travel restrictions on at least 16 cities in the Hubei province. It has become so difficult for China to handle the number of patients coming in for diagnosis that it has begun construction of two hospitals to be completed and in use by next week. The Chinese government has also barred its citizens from booking overseas flights. However, there is scepticism regarding the free flow of information about the virus from China in attempts to not cause alarm or bring further damage to the economy.
Is the global community doing enough?
Many countries like the USA, France and recently Bangladesh, are evacuating citizens from China. Since there has been confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission, the World Health Organization has declared this a Public Health Emergency.
However, must people who have died are the elderly and other medically vulnerable populations with other underlying conditions. Many experts are saying that the likelihood of dying from this virus is very low. Although the virus is spreading rapidly, 2% of those infected have died.
Is there a vaccine?
There is no known vaccine in circulation for the virus as of yet. Given how the virus continues to mutate, scientists say that it is very difficult to find a vaccine for the virus.
Antibiotics only work against bacteria, not viruses.
What precautions can I take?
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
Try not to travel to affected provinces in China and take extra precautions in transport hubs.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Should I be worried?
It is important to stay vigilant and up to date about where the virus has spread. However, it also important to filter through the news and check sources to avoid misinformation. Look for updates from the World Health Organisation and other reputable agencies. It is also not a time to be racist towards any group of people and their culture. Stay calm, take precautions- especially while travelling.
The satisfaction of your elitist ego when your vape smoke rings cloud your friends’ Snapchat, is immense. While you are blissfully ignorant about the deadly impacts of this so-called safer alternative, your lung cells are fighting for survival. In 2019 alone the death toll is 805—with a median age of 23—according to a widely discussed report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of deaths related to vaping has grown to 12 per week since the publication of the report.
Smoking vs Vaping
Although the trend of smoking has shifted from cigarettes to vaping, a large portion of people still resort to smoking cigarettes. No matter how much smoking is normalized; its harms are just as deadly. The addiction from nicotine that can spike up your blood pressure is often the root of serious cardiovascular diseases. The damage done to your lungs is incomparable because every puff of cigarette inclines you towards death as lung cancer settles in slowly.
Vaping is like the Diet Coke of cigarettes.
You think it’s not harmful because it has no “sugar”, but you are oblivious to the unique harms inflicted. Compared to cigarettes, vaping can be used to take in more nicotine at a time depending on the amount of nicotine you infuse in the juice. Due to the availability of various flavours, vaping is alluring to a lot of youngsters making it more accessible and consumed in a broader market.
Identifying which compound triggered any given reaction involves the variability of individual immune systems, meaning some people have severe illnesses after inhaling something that others tolerated—like gluten in the bowels of a person with celiac disease
Potential health hazards of vaping
In addition to nicotine other addictive chemicals such as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can be incorporated in an e-cig. This adds to the list of substances you can be addicted to, increasing potential health complications such as neural performance, paranoia, short term memory problems, psychosis, panic etc. amongst other problems.
Just because an ingredient is “natural” or is safe to smear on one’s face, or to eat, does not make it safe to inhale. Substances such as Vitamin E and glycerin are often present in vape juices which can trigger inflammatory reactions in the lung tissues. The subjectivity of the reactions makes it difficult to predict the severity and extent of the harms.
Curbing the risks
The magnitude of the problem is often overlooked because of the negligence of the stakeholders. If drastic measures are not implemented, the problem will accelerate faster. What is it that can be done? Before placing the product on the market, it’s advised to measure the safety and purity of the substances that are incorporated. The provision of safety certification in vape juices may be a good start. The problems can be mitigated by ensuring that illegal substances such as THC are prohibited in wide-scale selling of vape juices. Overall regulation of the market will assist in the eradication of black market dealers whose prime targets are the youth who can be lured in easily with unknown or creative flavours. The government can always be helpful by increasing indirect tax on vape products or create awareness on the harms of vaping.
Nevertheless, the onus of ensuring safety is on you, the users. Because irrespective of the solutions made, if the users are not careful and sincere about the dosage and usage of vaping, it is difficult to say how much of the problem can be resolved. Since vape is considered a better substitute for cigarettes, you need to use it in a manner that ensures the net marginal harm is less.