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WHO, Partners To Roll Out 120 mln Rapid COVID-19 Test To Low-And Middle Income Countries

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GENEVA, Sept 29– The World Health Organisation (WHO) and its partners said on Monday that they will provide 120 million rapid COVID-19 diagnostic tests to low- and middle-income countries, reported Xinhua news agency.

These tests will provide reliable results in about 15-30 minutes rather than hours or days, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a joint press briefing on Monday with partner organizations, such as the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, the Global Fund, Unitaid, and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

This project will enable the expansion of testing, particularly in hard-to-reach areas that do not have lab facilities or enough trained health workers to carry out PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, which is especially important in areas of high transmission, Tedros said.

According to the WHO, these test kits are currently priced at a maximum of US$5 per unit, which is already substantially cheaper than the PCR tests.

The WHO said that volume guarantee agreements have been developed between two manufacturers and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which will make 120 million of these new highly portable and easy-to-use rapid diagnostic tests available over a period of six months.

Sources: BERNAMA

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Halal Or Not? This Is What You Need To Know About ‘Royce’ Chocolate’

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Royce’ actually comes from Hokkaido and is the most active brand in making the currently famous nama chocolate. One of the main ingredients in its products is fresh cream from local sources. It prepares many types of aromatic, smooth, and melt-in-your-mouth chocolate by mixing cacao with fresh cream, tea, and unfortunately types of alcohol.

According to the particular Royce’ Chocolate Malaysia webpage, Royce’ chocolates indeed are not certified Halal as some of their chocolates contain liquor. However, the majority of their chocolate selection is entirely liquor-free and gelatin-free, made from plant-based ingredients. For Muslims out there, make sure you read the label before buying.

Picture: Royce’ Chocolate Malaysia

If you wanted to buy some of these, the selections for Royce’ chocolates that are completely liquor-free are:

1) Nama Mild Cacao

Picture: Royce’ Chocolate Malaysia

2) Nama Ecuador Sweet

Picture: Royce’ Chocolate Malaysia

3) Nama Ghana Bitter

Picture: Royce’ Chocolate Malaysia

4) Nama Mild White

Picture: Royce’ Chocolate Malaysia

Only a few Royce’ Chocolates contain liquor and Muslims should take note of them so that they would not accidentally buy them, namely Nama Chocolate Champagne Pierre Mignon, Nama Chocolate Bitter, Nama Chocolate Au Lait, Nama Chocolate Matcha, and Bar Chocolate Rum and Raisin.

Sources: Royce’ Chocolate Malaysia.

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5 Die After Minister’s Son Runs Car Over Protesting Farmers In India

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NEW DELHI, Oct 4  — At least five people, including two farmers, have been killed and a dozen people injured in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, said an official.

The incident took place in the city of Lakhimpur when farmers were protesting against three farm laws ahead of an event which was to be attended by Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and Union Minister of State Ajay Mishra.

Widespread violence was witnessed after the union minister’s son Ajay Mishra allegedly ran his car over the protesting farmers. Angry farmers allegedly set two vehicles on fire.

Arvind Chaurasia, the district magistrate of Lakhimpur, has confirmed the incident.

“Five people were killed in the incident. Two farmers were crushed to death by a car,” Chaurasia told Anadolu Agency.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Kisan Union, a body of farmers, claimed that at least four farmers have died.

“The farmers were killed after Ashish Mishra… allegedly ran his car over the protesting farmers,” Guramneet Mangal, a farmer leader, told Anadolu Agency.

The farmers union also claimed that a farmer died after being fired upon by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader. They demanded that the union minister be immediately dismissed from the council of ministers.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has condemned the incident. He said the one who is silent even after seeing this inhumane massacre is already dead, but we will not let this sacrifice go in vain. “We support the farmers protesting peacefully for a just cause,” he said.

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav tweeted: “Crushing of the farmers who were peacefully opposing the agricultural laws by the son of the Minister of State for Home of the BJP government is a very inhumane and cruel act.”

Uttar Pradesh is ruled by Hindu monk Yogi Adityanath. The state is going to the polls next year.

Farmers from different parts of the country, especially Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at Delhi’s borders since November last year.

They are demanding the repeal of three agricultural laws enacted by the government.

Farmers fear that the laws will end the Minimum Support Price system — the minimum or guaranteed price at which the government purchases certain major crops like wheat, paddy, and soybeans from them.

But the government is touting these laws as major agricultural reforms.

While several rounds of talks with the government have fallen through, farmer leaders insist on the total repeal of the laws. The movement, one of the biggest challenges Prime Minister Narendra Modi has faced since coming to power in 2014, has also attracted international support.

Sources: BERNAMA

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Prophet Muhammad Cartoonist Lars Vilks Dies In Car Crash

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STOCKHOLM, Oct 4  — Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, known for his derogatory depiction of Prophet Muhammad, died in a car accident Sunday, Anadolu Agency reported, quoting local media.

Two police officers who had been assigned to protect him were also killed in the crash, the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter reported.

The car carrying Vilks and the officers collided with a truck and both vehicles caught fire, Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT reported.

The truck driver was injured.

Vilks had been living under police protection since the controversial 2007 sketch due to death threats.

Police said they have launched an investigation into the incident.

In 2007, Sweden’s local newspaper Nerikes Allehanda published Vilks’ cartoon insulting the Prophet Muhammad. Since then, he had been living in a secret location with police guards.

Sources: BERNAMA

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