Sat, 25 Sep 2021

DHAKA -- The Bangladeshi government has decided to allow export-oriented factories to resume production on Aug. 1 amid the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, according to a gazette notification issued by the Cabinet Division on Friday.

According to the notification, export-oriented factories will remain out of the purview of the lockdown from 6:00 a.m. local time on Aug. 1. (Bangladesh-Exported Oriented Factories-Reopening)

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NEW DELHI -- Indian Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday urged scientists to speed up the development of COVID-19 vaccine for children, saying that protecting children from the virus should be given priority.

Naidu was addressing scientists and staff of the Bharat Biotech International Limited after a visit to its plant in Hyderabad.

"The constantly mutating virus poses unforeseen challenges and forces us to find solutions that will save lives and protect livelihoods. We have to individually and collectively contribute to this national and international effort," he said. (India-Vaccine Development)

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BANGKOK -- Thailand's plan to reopen the country in mid October is going ahead despite a surge in COVID-19 infections, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said.

"The plan is still there. We've been trying every way to clean up our country, though the virus is still around. We hope in the coming few months we can welcome our old friends," said Anutin, who is also the public health minister, in an interview with Xinhua on Thursday. (Thailand-Reopening-Going Ahead)

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CANBERRA -- Australian leaders have reached an agreement on vaccination targets required for the country's pathway out of the COVID-19 pandemic as the most populous state New South Wales (NSW) reported 170 new local cases.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Friday night that the National Cabinet, which is composed of the prime minister and state and territory leaders, has "agreed in principle" to a roadmap that will see Australia eventually treat COVID-19 like any other infectious disease. (Australia-Agreement-Vaccination Target)

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KABUL -- The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) expressed its concern about escalating violence in and around Kandahar city, capital of the country's southern Kandahar province amidst ongoing Taliban attacks on the city, the mission said Friday.

"More than 230 civilians injured since 16 July (in Kandahar city). Numbers likely much higher. Credible reports of scores of civilians killed. Working to establish facts on civilian harm," UNAMA wrote on twitter. (UNAMA-Afghanistan-Concern)

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