20 million girls may not return to schools post-Covid-19: Malala Yousafzai

News Network
September 20, 2020

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Islamabad, Sept 20:  Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, has said that as many as 20 million more girls may not return to schools even after the Covid-19 crisis is over.

Speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Friday, the Pakistani Nobel laureate acknowledged that Covid-19 had been “a striking setback to our collective goals”, such as educating women, Dawn newspaper reported.

“On education alone, 20 million more girls may never go back to the classroom when this crisis ends (and) the global education funding gap has already increased to 200 billion dollars per year,” Malala, 23, who once took a bullet from a Pakistani Taliban militant for campaigning for girls' education in Pakistan, said.

Malala reminded the international community that sustainable global goals, set by the UN five years ago, represented the future for millions of girls who wanted education and were fighting for equality.

Noting that little had been done in the last five years to achieve those goals, she asked the world body, “when are you planning to do the work”?

“When will you commit the necessary funding to give every child 12 years of quality education? When will you prioritise peace and protect refugees? When will you pass policies to cut carbon emissions?” she asked.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who also addressed the virtual event, underlined the need to “strike out for a world of dignity and opportunity for all on a healthy planet”.

“We must look beyond the current crisis and set our sights high… to show that transformation is possible and is happening right now,” he said.

The UN chief urged rich nations to address the immediate, medium and longer-term needs of developing countries and to support a UN debt service suspension initiative to at least the end of 2021.

He also stressed the need for transition to a more equitable and sustainable economy, ending fossil fuel subsidies and placing women at the centre of building back.

Deputy Secretary General Amina J Mohammed noted that this “transformation” was already “happening everywhere and must not leave anyone behind”.

The head of the UN Develop¬ment Fund (UNDP), Achim Steiner, warned that for the first time in 30 years, the march of progress in human development was expected to go sharply into reverse.

“Building people’s resilience against vulnerability, risk and deprivation, and helping them to get on their feet if they falter, defines social protection in the 21st century,” he said.

Munir Akram, president of the Econo¬mic and Social Council, said that the “global magnitude of the challenge we are facing” as a result of Covid-19, was “the greatest since the creation of the United Nations”.

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News Network
October 14,2020

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The social media is buzzing after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that Bangladesh will overtake India in per capita GDP for 2020.

As India's growth falls, amongst the most in the world, India is on track to fall below Bangladesh in terms of the per capita GDP. India will grow smartly next year, as per IMF.

As per the World Economic Outlook report of IMF released on Tuesday, India's per capita GDP is set to plunge by 10.5 percent to $1,877 this fiscal year ending March 31, 2021. This will make India the third poorest country in South Asia with only Pakistan and Nepal behind.

Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives now have more per capita GDP than India.

Bangladesh's per capita GDP in dollar terms is expected to grow 4 per cent in 2020 to $1,888, overtaking India.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked the BJP government on this count. "Solid achievement of 6 years of BJP's hate-filled cultural nationalism: Bangladesh set to overtake India".

Stock market expert and Director Enam Holdings, Manish Chokhani tweeted, "Today's special. Both our neighbours marching ahead. We wish them well and hope our achievements meet our own aspirations!".

Chokhani added a clipping of Bangladesh overtaking India and China's booming economy and stock markets. The tweet was tagged to business and stock market leaders Samir Arora, Nilesh Shah, Anand Mahindra, Harsh Goenka and Harsh Mariwala.

Till five years back, India's per capita GDP was 40 per cent higher than Bangladesh.  In the last five years, Bangladesh has grown three times the rate of India, at 9.1 per cent compared to 3.2 per cent for India, a much larger economy.

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News Network
October 18,2020
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Washington, Oct 18: The global coronavirus caseload now stands at 39.5 million cases, according to the latest updates provided by Johns Hopkins University.

According to the University tracker, there are 39,502,909 COVID-19 cases globally and 1,106,705 patients globally have succumbed to the virus.

Globally, 27,148,927 patients infected from the virus have recovered, the tracker states.

The US continues to be the worst-affected country due to the virus with 8,086,780 cases and 218,980 fatalities, which are the most deaths in the world.

As many as 3,197,539 patients across the US have recovered from the disease.

India and Brazil are the second and third most-affected countries from the virus with 7,432,680 cases and 5,200,300 cases respectively. Russia is fourth on the list with 1,376,020 cases across the country.

As per the University tracker, India has the most COVID-19 recoveries in the world with 6,524,595 patients recovering from the disease across the country.

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11.

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News Network
October 26,2020

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Shanghai, Oct 26: China reported the highest number of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases in nearly seven months, following a mass infection of an unknown origin in the northwestern Xinjiang region.

Xinjiang health authorities found 137 asymptomatic cases on Sunday amid a testing drive for the 4.75 million people in the Kashgar area triggered by an asymptomatic infection in a 17-year-old female garment factory worker reported on Saturday. It was not clear how she was infected, though all of the new cases were linked to the garment factory.

The woman’s case was discovered during routine testing but it was not clear why she was subject to such testing, Chinese media reported quoting health officials.

Contact tracing work to locate the origin of the outbreak is ongoing, the reports said.

A total of 20 new confirmed and 161 new asymptomatic cases were reported in the mainland on Oct. 25, China’s National Health Commission said in a statement.

The number of new symptomless infections was the highest since China began publishing daily counts starting from those reported on March 31.

More than 2.84 million people in the Kashgar area had already been tested for COVID-19 as of Sunday afternoon and the rest expect to be completed by Tuesday. The scale and speed of the testing is in line with those seen during other outbreaks including the most recent one in Qingdao earlier this month.

Though the number of new COVID-19 cases are down sharply in mainland China from the peaks seen in February, Beijing is wary of another wave of infections and maintains mass and rapid testing capabilities.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China to date now stands at 85,810, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.

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