Nation this week
The news of an imminent threat to the country's online banking infrastructure made headlines after the Financial Institutions Division of the Finance Ministry issued a letter requesting financial institutions to take appropriate measures in the face of 'BeagleBoyz', a North Korean state-sponsored hacking group, possibly attempting to hack into online and ATM systems. Banks duly went on high alert particularly over online and ATM transactions during night.
By the end of the week though, Bangladesh Computer Council's e-Government Computer Incident Response Team (BGD e-GOV CIRT) said that they did not have any specific credible intelligence regarding any imminent attack on the financial infrastructure of Bangladesh. Sources in the ICT Division informed that no imminent threat was raised to CIRT in the last few days that might be deemed out of the ordinary. Project Director of BGD e-GOV CIRT, Tarique M Barkatullah said: "We have been routinely communicating with our global counterparts and so far, we haven't received any specific or credible threat."
The government has taken the decision, in principle, to hand over the charge of Dhaka's drainage system to its two (North and South) city corporations. Up until now, the drainage system was under Wasa's jurisdiction, who were frequently accused of neglecting their duties in this regard. Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Md Tajul Islam took the decision at a meeting also attended by Dhaka South Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, Dhaka North Mayor Atiqul Islam and Wasa Managing Director Taqsem A Khan.
Subsequently the process to hand over the maintenance responsibilities of the 26 canals of Dhaka to its two municipal bodies already started. The two Dhaka mayors had been asking the authorities concerned to hand over the capital's canals maintenance responsibilities to them, arguing that they were facing the public criticism for the failure of WASA in this regard.
Researchers in Bangladesh have found that an existing medicine, Eltrombopag -- used to treat chronic immune thrombocytopenia or chronic hepatitis C infection -- could be repurposed to create the first drug treatment for the deadly dengue fever. Bangladesh is one of the countries where it is endemic. While most patients experience fever or a mild form of the disease, a small percentage goes on to develop the potentially fatal dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF).
The phase-II test conducted by a team from Dhaka University and Dhaka Medical College administered a small dose (25 mg) of eltrombopag in 101 dengue patients. About 92 per cent of the dengue patients -- who took eltrombopag -- had their platelet counts return to normal in eight days. Of those who did not take this medicine, only 55 percent recovered, said the researchers. The research team believe it is necessary to conduct human testing on thousands of people in different countries in the third phase, before reaching a conclusion.
The High Court ordered the authorities concerned to take steps and submit a report within 30 days on implementing its nine-point directive issued earlier, to bring down air pollution levels in Dhaka and its adjacent areas. The virtual bench of justice Md Ashfaqul Islam and justice Mohammad Ali passed the order after hearing a petition filed by lawyer Manzill Murshid on 15 November.
The media reports over Dhaka's air pollution which the petitioner enclosed with the petition contain alarming information, the court observed, and said that citizen's fundamental right to life might be impeded if the present air pollution level were to continue. The nine-point directive includes ensuring the use of covers on trucks or other vehicles that transport sand or soil in capital Dhaka. At places where construction work is going on, contractors should cover the work to prevent the spread of dust, it said.
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