The Australian High Commission in Dhaka has planned to arrange a special flight for its 120 citizens to return home from Bangladesh on June 13.
"The flight will require minimum 120 passengers. If we reach this number, then the flight will depart Dhaka on 13 June," said the High Commission on Wednesday.
The High Commission has emailed everyone who got registered with them with details of the proposed third flight.
Earlier on May 16, the Australian High Commission in Dhaka said that they need to reschedule the special flight which was initially scheduled for May 28.
The High Commission said they would provide further details to everyone who has confirmed their interest in the third flight as soon as they can confirm them.
The flight is only open to Australian passport holders, Australian permanent visa holders and their spouses, legal guardians or children, the High Commission said.
Despite efforts to stop the harmful promotion of breast-milk substitutes, countries are still falling short in protecting parents from misleading information, a new report by WHO, UNICEF, and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) reveals on Wednesday.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for stronger legislation to protect families from false claims about the safety of breast-milk substitutes or aggressive marketing practices.
Breastmilk saves children’s lives as it provides antibodies that give babies a healthy boost and protect them against many childhood illnesses.
WHO and UNICEF encourage women to continue to breastfeed during the COVID-19 pandemic, even if they have confirmed or suspected COVID-19.
While researchers continue to test breastmilk from mothers with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, current evidence indicate that it is unlikely that COVID-19 would be transmitted through breastfeeding or by giving breastmilk that has been expressed by a mother who is confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19.
The numerous benefits of breastfeeding substantially outweigh the potential risks of illness associated with the virus. It is not safer to give infant formula milk.
Of the 194 countries analysed in the report, 136 have in place some form of legal measure related to the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent resolutions adopted by the World Health Assembly, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Attention to the Code is growing, as 44 countries have strengthened their regulations on marketing over the past two years.
Only 79 countries prohibit the promotion of breast-milk substitutes in health facilities , and only 51 have provisions that prohibit the distribution of free or low-cost supplies within the health care system.
However, the legal restrictions in most counties do not fully cover marketing that occurs in health facilities.
Only 19 countries have prohibited the sponsorship of scientific and health professional association meetings by manufacturers of breast-milk substitutes, which include infant formula, follow-up formula, and growing up milks marketed for use by infants and children up to 36-months old.
“The aggressive marketing of breast-milk substitutes, especially through health professionals that parents trust for nutrition and health advice, is a major barrier to improving newborn and child health worldwide,” says Dr Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition and Food Safety.
“Health care systems must act to boost parent’s confidence in breastfeeding without industry influence so that children don’t miss out on its lifesaving benefits.”
WHO and UNICEF recommend that babies be fed nothing but breast milk for their first 6 months, after which they should continue breastfeeding – as well as eating other nutritious and safe foods – until 2 years of age or beyond.
Breastfeeding under threat as health systems stretched thin
Babies who are exclusively breastfed are 14 times less likely to die than babies who are not breastfed. However, today, only 41% of infants 0–6 months old are exclusively breastfed, a rate WHO Member States have committed to increasing to at least 50% by 2025.
Inappropriate marketing of breast-milk substitutes continues to undermine efforts to improve breastfeeding rates and the COVID-19 crisis is intensifying the threat.
Health care services aimed at supporting mothers to breastfeed, including counselling and skilled lactation support are strained as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Infection prevention measures, such as physical distancing make it difficult for community counselling and mother-to-mother support services to continue, leaving an opening for the breast-milk substitute industry to capitalize on the crisis, and diminish confidence in breastfeeding.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, health workers are being diverted to the response and health systems are overstretched. At such time, breastfeeding can protect the lives of millions of children, but new mothers cannot do it without the support of health providers,” said Dr. Victor Aguayo, UNICEF’s Chief of Nutrition.
“We must, more than ever, step up efforts to ensure that every mother and family receive the guidance and support they need from a trained health care worker to breastfeed their children, right from birth, everywhere.”
The Code bans all forms of promotion of breast-milk substitutes, including advertising, gifts to health workers and distribution of free samples.
Labels cannot make nutritional and health claims or include images that idealize infant formula. Instead, labels must carry messages about the superiority of breastfeeding over formula and the risks of not breastfeeding.
WHO and UNICEF called on governments to urgently strengthen legislation on the Code during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governments and civil society organizations should also not seek or accept donations of breast-milk substitutes in emergency situations, they said.
“The fear of COVID-19 transmission is eclipsing the importance of breastfeeding – and in too many countries mothers and babies are being separated at birth – making breastfeeding and skin to skin contact difficult if not impossible. All on the basis of no evidence. Meanwhile the baby food industry is exploiting fears of infection, promoting and distributing free formula and misleading advice – claiming that the donations are humanitarian and that they are trustworthy partners,” says Patti Rundall, of IBFAN’s Global Council.
Monitoring and enforcement of the Code is inadequate in most countries.
The report, "Marketing of breast-milk substitutes: National implementation of the International Code – Status report 2020", provides updated information on the status of country implementation, including which measures have and have not been enacted into law.
Given the important role of health workers in protecting pregnant women, mothers and their infants from inappropriate promotion of breast-milk substitutes, the 2020 report provides an extensive analysis of legal measures taken to prohibit promotion of breast-milk substitutes to health workers and in health facilities.
Breastfeeding and COVID-19
Active COVID-19 virus has not, to date, been detected in the breastmilk of any mother with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.
It appears unlikely, therefore, that COVID-19 would be transmitted through breastfeeding or by giving breastmilk that has been expressed by a mother who is confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19.
Women with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 can therefore breastfeed if they wish to do so. They should:
Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rub and especially before touching the baby;
Wear a medical mask during any contact with the baby, including while feeding;
Sneeze or cough into a tissue. Then dispose of it immediately and wash hands again;
Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces after touching them.
Even if mothers do not have a medical mask, they should follow all the other infection prevention measures listed, and continue breastfeeding.
Dhaka, May 26 (UNB) – Some 1,200 Bangladeshis who were marked as undocumented or irregular workers have recently returned home from the Maldives.
Bangladesh High Commission in Male made the disclosure through an emergency notice, saying more workers will return home within June 5 by three-four flights.
They are being repatriated under a scheme undertaken by Maldivian government to push back the irregular or undocumented migrant workers, it added.
Besides, all Bangladeshi workers – both regular and irregular- will be allowed to return home once the regular flight operation is restored
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina over phone and greeted her on the occasion of the holy Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest religious festival of the Muslims.
"The Indian premier phoned the Bangladesh prime minister at about 5:45 pm and extended Eid-ul-Fitr greetings to her (Sheikh Hasina) and the people of Bangladesh," PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim said.
He said that during the five-minute telephone conversation, the Bangladesh prime minister also extended Eid greetings to Narendra Modi and the people of India.
The two prime ministers wished continued peace, progress and prosperity for each other’s nations.
In a landmark , Bangladesh joined the select group of countries that manufacture world-class, large-scale Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by shipping 6.5 million PPE gowns to US brand Hanes, for ultimate delivery to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
To mark the occasion, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam and US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller attended a function and saw off the first shipment at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Monday.
Speaking on the occasion, Shahriar Alam said like the rest of the world, Bangladesh is also facing the toughest of times in trying to cope with the Coronavirus pandemic.
“And in these trying times, it is remarkable to see that within this short span of two months Bangladesh was able to foray into this very regulated market with such a sensitive healthcare product, with just not ten or twenty thousand pieces but 6.5 million pieces. What an achievement,” he said, lauding Beximco for its contribution to the Bangladesh economy.
US Ambassador Miller said the event marked “the first major shipment of PPE into the US.” In which case, embattled US President Donald J. Trump may be expected to notice.
As the global spread of COVID-19 has bloomed into a pandemic, it has become clear that there will be a desperate need of PPE to keep medical professionals and the general public safe.
Beximco has proudly joined the fight against the pandemic by moving swiftly to add manufacturing capabilities in PPE items such as gowns, masks and coveralls, said Beximco CEO and Group Director Syed Naved Husain.
He said the COVID-19 had changed how the world works, and that Beximco had to urgently respond. “In just two months, we’ve unleashed our world-class manufacturing, technical and design talent to switch over and start making personal protection equipment and help increase the supply of PPE which is urgently needed in Bangladesh and worldwide.”
Husain also pitched that Bangladesh was well-positioned to become a new hub for PPE manufacturing. This would help keep people safe and secure worldwide while helping Bangladesh`s own economy and ensuring that the large workforce of 4.1M in the garment sector can still make a good livelihood.
"Everyone in Bangladesh wants to turn the tide and help save lives. Beximco is leading the way in this regard,” he added.
The US Ambassador said all this happened in less than two months.
“US welcomes Bangladesh’s world-class large-scale PPE production to the global marketplace. The Beximco-Hanes partnership is another great example of how our two great nations are combating the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
“Imagine, two months from the request from the US, Beximco and Bangladesh were nimble enough to turn production lines around so that we can put badly-needed PPE on this aircraft behind me and send it to the US. That’s absolute bureaucratic and entrepreneurial light speed.”
Speaking at the event, Dr Jamaluddin Ahmed, chairman of Janata Bank, said: “Janata Bank is proud to be associated with Beximco in financing them. We are going to finance the other exporters also as economic machine should run or else everything will fall apart.”
Managing Director of Beximco Pharma Nazmul Hassan MP termed the event historic. “Today we join the club of first-class large-scale PPE manufacturing countries.”
He said in the initial days of pandemic, there was huge local demand for PPE and Beximco took the initiative of providing PPE’s to local healthcare services through import.
“But there was severe shortage globally as demand was increasing. We, therefore, decided to manufacture them to meet the demand. Today we are not only providing these to our local healthcare services but also exporting them to very highly regulated sensitive markets.”
Beximco’s Textile Division is a heavyweight in the region, known to be one of South Asia`s largest, fastest, agile/flexible ,most innovative, and sustainable vertical Textile and Fashion Apparel manufacturing operations.
It employs 40,000 people, shipping around 400,000 garments daily to gold standard companies like Target, USA, Zara, Michael Kors, PVH, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Amazon, C&A.
Beximco has effectively leveraged their Best in Class Pharmaceutical division resources, combining those with the Textile Division to create the new Beximco PPE Division.
A new PPE Industrial Park is being rapidly set up 10 minutes away from Beximco Industrial Park (which is built like a campus on 350 Acres and is Certified Leeds Green).
Beximco has also established a strategic partnership with Chicago based Geste Designs and are examining the feasibility to jointly invest and establish a PPE manufacturing Hub in Detroit with support of the state of Michigan, and the city.
Geste is already supplying essential PPE to the city of Detroit.