SAINT-DENIS, FRANCE — Dimitri Payet scored one goal and set up another Friday to help France beat Group A rivals Romania 2-1 and give the European Championship a start the host nation badly wanted.
Thousands of police surrounded the Stade de France ahead of the gala opener amid widespread security fears, with the month-long football fiesta kicking off in style in Paris despite terror concerns and widespread strikes.
Payet crossed for Olivier Giroud to head France into a 57th-minute lead at the national stadium, but Bogdan Stancu equalised from the penalty spot after a clumsy foul from Patrice Evra on Nicolae Stanciu.
However, West Ham playmaker Payet conjured up a long-range wonder strike a minute from time to ensure France — one of the favourites for the title along with Germany and Spain — made a triumphant start.
French manager Didier Deschamps, who is bidding to repeat France`s triumphs at Euro `84 and the 1998 World Cup on home soil, admitted he was a relived man after Payet`s heroics.
“It`s good to get the win,” Deschamps told TF1. “This Romania team isn`t easy to play, we knew that, even if we were able to score the opening goal.
“We struggled to get out the blocks but the reward was at the end. It`s a very good thing to have won the first match, to start us off in the competition.”
Some 90,000 police and security guards are protecting the 10 stadiums and surrounding fan zones.
But violence erupted in Marseille where England fans were involved in a second day of fighting, while a hint of scandal tainted the tournament when Spain goalkeeper David De Gea strongly denied links to a sex scandal.
The first big test of the security dragnet came as England fans and Russian supporters squared off in Marseille, where their countries play on Saturday.
Riot police had to separate English and Russian supporters, police prefect Laurent Nunez told AFP, adding that seven arrests had been made.
After France and Romania opened proceedings, the newly expanded 24-team tournament kicks into gear with six more games on a star-studded weekend.
England`s prolific new strike partnership of Premier League top-scorer Harry Kane and Leicester City title-winning hero Jamie Vardy will hope to outgun Russia on Saturday.
Also in England`s group, Real Madrid`s Gareth Bale will headline Wales` opener in their first appearance in a major championship since the 1958 World Cup.
Bir Hospital to get new surgery building
KATHMANDU— The oldest hospital of the country, Bir Hospital, is in the process of getting a separate well-equipped building for surgery within the next two years.
The proposed nine-storey building will have 15 operation theaters.
The new building will have a post-operative ward; a 40-bed surgical ward; an Intensive Care Union (ICU); and a library as well. The new infrastructure will also have the facilities friendly to the senior citizens, disabled and the visitors, the National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS) says.
It is estimated to cost Rs 3.85 billion to complete the construction in two years. It is being constructed in an area of the old building of the NAMS nursing college which collapsed in the 2015 April earthquake. The building construction was inaugurated by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on March 9.
The hospital that had started its services in 1947 BS with 15 beds has now 450 beds. The NAMS operates Nursing, MBBS, MD classes and training as well.
The post of NAMS Chancellor has been lying vacant since the past five months. As shared by an employee, the delay in appointing the chancellor has caused inconveniences to the operation of hospital regular activities.
Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Population, Dr Sushilnath Pyakurel, said the recommendations have been already made before the minister to make appointments in the posts lying vacant in various health academies.
Similarly, infrastructures are being developed to upgrade the hospital by adding extra services including a helipad service for the first time from the government level.
The hospital has started its service from its branch at Duwakot of Bhaktapur from October 10 as part of its service expansion in line with the policy of the Ministry of Health.
The Duwakot branch provides OPD and surgery at present. OPD service starts from 9 am to 5 pm. The NAMS has permitted the construction of well equipped physical infrastructure for the hospital branch to provide international standard service, said the Hospital’s Director Prof Dr Bhupendra Basnet.
The Ministry of Health has allocated Rs 300 million as per the master plan of the NAMS and provided approximately 570 ropanis of land for the construction of physical infrastructures for the hospital branch.
“Necessary human resources including a medical officer, nurses and assistant health workers have been managed for the hospital branch. Medical equipment and other workforce that includes specialist doctors will also be managed as per need,” said Basnet.Follow @gorkhapost