SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 19 JULY 2020 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 | `5.00 |LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR SWEEPING & SEVERE JOHN LEWIS, LION OF CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, DIES AT 80 P10 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with possibility of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 35-28 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: 0.2 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.70% TEMPERATURE P6 P5 AS EVERYBODY LOVES THE NAUGHTY BOY ... P12 Raj drama: BJP asks Rajnath visits military post along LoC in Kupwara for CBI probe into alleged phone tap STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 18 JULY Min. 80% Max: 35.2°C (+3) Min: 27.6°C (+1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:02 hrs 18:23 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 02:33 hrs 16:22 hrs New moon on 20 July THUMBNAILS A deserted view of Boileauganj, which was declared a containment zone in Shimla on Saturday. LALIT KUMAR 3 policemen suspended after woman, daughter attempt self-immolation outside UP CM i office: The Amethi police suspended three policemen after a woman from the district and her daughter set themselves on fire outside the chief minister's office in Lucknow alleging inaction in a land dispute case, officials said Saturday. The Lucknow police, however, said the women were instigated by Congress leader Anoop Patel to set themselves on fire as part of a “criminal conspiracy” and a case has been filed against him and three others. Vodafone Idea pays Rs 1,000 cr more towards AGR dues: Telecom operator Vodafone Idea on Saturday said it has paid an additional Rs 1,000 crore to the government towards the statutory dues, taking its total payment to an aggregate Rs 7,854 crore. The fresh payment comes at a time when the Supreme Court is slated to hear the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) matter on 20 July. The company had earlier deposited Rs 6,854 crore in three tranches, Vodafone Idea said in a regulatory filing. BJP’s demand for probe amounts to admission of guilt, retorts Cong SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 18 JULY day after the Congress party accused Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shikhawat of conspiring to topple its government in Rajasthan citing his recorded conversation with a rebel Congress leader on a audio tape, the BJP hit back questioning the state government’s ‘unconstitutional’ ways of tapping phones of politicians and demanded a CBI probe into matter. BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra sought to corner Congress leader and Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s claim that some of the BJP leaders including Union Minister Gajendra Singh hatched a conspiracy to dislodge his government. He said contrary to Ghelot’s claim the FIR lodged by the police in the matter did not say that the tapes were authentic. He put before the Congress party six questions in this regard and demanded the party’s response to them. “These are some of the serious questions that the BJP will seek answers from Congress high command and chief minister Gehlot. Were the phones tapped? Assuming phones were tapped was the Standard Operating Procedure or SOP followed? Did the A Congress government in Rajasthan take recourse to unconstitutional means to save themselves after they found themselves with their back to the wall?” Sambit Patra asked. Patra said people of Rajasthan want to know if their privacy had been compromised and if the phones of politicians were tapped. He demanded of the state government to respond to these questions on phone tapping. He demanded the CBI look into this ‘saga of illegalities and concocted lies’. He wanted to know if the phones of all political parties were tapped. Questioning the need for phone tapping the BJP leader further asked the Congress if there was an emergency situation in the state or a sensitive issue that needed to be taken note of. He also questioned the government over political leaders reportedly openly flouting social distancing Govt issues notice to Twitter after recent hacking episode PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 18 JULY India’s cybersecurity nodal agency CERT-In has issued a notice to Twitter asking the micro-blogging platform for full details of the recent global hack targeting high-profile users, as it sought complete information on number of Indian users affected as well as impact on data, a source said. The source privy to the development told PTI that CERT-In has also asked Twitter for information on number of users from India who have visited the malicious tweets and links, and whether the affected users have been informed by the platform about unauthorised access RAJASTHAN PEOPLE PAYING FOR DISCORD IN CONGRESS: RAJE to their Twitter accounts. The government has also demanded information of vulnerability exploited by attackers and modus operandi of the attack and sought details of remedial actions taken by Twitterto mitigate the impact of the hacking incident. Twitterwas not immediately available for comments. Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERTIn) swung into action after reports that hackers gained access to Twitter's systems to hack accounts of many global corporate leaders, politicians, celebrities and businesses. Cyber attackers had hacked into the Twitter accounts of global high profile users including former US President Barack Obama, Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden as well as many corporate leaders including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk - on Wednesday in a purported Bitcoin scam. norms in the state capital Jaipur. Patra pointed out that a cold war like situation prevailed within the Congress government since it came to power in 2018. He said in chief minister Gehlot’s own admission for the last 18 months he and his deputy Sachin Pilot were not on speaking terms. He wanted to know from the Congress if it had taken the unconstitutional step of tapping phones to save its government in Rajasthan. Congress retorts: The BJP’s demand for a CBI probe “amounted to admission of guilt” and it was now clear that the party was behind the rebellion by Sachin Pilot and others, the Congress said on Saturday. The Congress also cited Pilot and other rebel MLAs taking shelter in a hotel in the BJP-ruled Haryana to allege the saffron party’s involvement in “horse-trading”. Highest single day spike of 2,198 cases in West Bengal KOLKATA, 17 JULY West Bengal recorded the highest single-day spike of 2,198 fresh Covid cases and 27 deaths even as the state administration urged people not to panic and assured that the authorities were adequately prepared to handle additional number of patients. Kolkata and North 24 Parganas set record by registering the highest number of 648 and 554 fresh cases respectively. Again, a highest single-day discharge of 1,286 patients was recorded in the last 24 hours. The total case count has crossed 40,000. SNS Details on Page 3 “We all witnessed over the last week the daylight murder of democracy being attempted by the BJP... everyday a new layer comes out exposing the direct links of the BJP in creating some kind of a crisis in Rajasthan.... Their (BJP’s) only grievance is that when they were murdering democracy, why were they being recorded and if... it was legal,” Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera told a virtual press conference in Delhi. Hitting back, Rajasthan minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas said Patra “is a generator of lies”. Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president Govind Singh Dotasra said the BJP spokesperson made “an unsuccessful attempt to save face”. Dotasra said if the BJP was not involved in it why a Rajasthan Police team probing the audio tapes was not allowed to enter the hotel in the BJP-ruled Haryana till the rebel MLAs were moved elsewhere. “The SOG (Special Operation Group) team had gone to Haryana for investigation but the Haryana Police did not cooperate,” he added. The Congress sought response from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the matter. The Congress on Friday demanded the arrest of BJP’s Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday flew to a forward military post along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Keran sector of the Kupwara district that has these days become a hot spot of infiltration attempts by Pakistan backed terrorists. Kupwara in north Kashmir has recently witnessed fierce gunfights between the Army and terrorists pushed through the LoC by Pakistani troops. Singh, who was accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General MM Naravane, visited the North Hill post and was apprised about the situation at the LoC by senior officials. He also interacted with soldiers and had tea with them. “Visited a forward post near LoC in Kupwara District of Jammu-Kashmir today and interacted with the soldiers deployed there," Singh tweeted along with photographs of his interaction with the soldiers. "We are extremely proud of these brave and courageous soldiers who are defending our country in every situation,” the defence minister said. Earlier in the morning, accompanied by General Rawat, Singh flew to the mountain cave shrine of Amarnath and offered prayers. “Feeling extremely blessed after praying at Shri Amarnathji Holy Cave in Jammu and Kashmir,” he tweeted with a video. He reached Srinagar on Friday afternoon from Ladakh whereafter he reviewed the overall security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir with the top military and police brass and officers of intelligence agencies. He asked the armed forces Rajnath Singh at a forward post along LoC in Kupwara. SNS 3 killed by Pak troops STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 18 JULY. Three members of a family were killed in the Poonch district of Jammu division where Pakistani troops rained mortars during late night in the civilian areas while the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Srinagar reviewed the situation along the Line of Control (LoC). Police said on Saturday that three members of a family including father, mother and son were killed when their house was hit by a shell fired by Pakistan Army in Khari Karmara sector of the LoC in Poonch on Friday night. The killed have been identified as 58years old Mohammad Rafiq, to give a fitting reply to any “misadventure” by Pakistan. Defence Minister also asked the armed forces to maintain a strict vigil along the LoC with Pakistan occupied Jammu & Kashmir (PoJK). On his arrival in Srinagar, Singh was received by Lieutenant General BS Raju, Chinar Corps Commander. The minister was briefed in detail about the situation on the LoC, his wife Rafia Bi (50) and son Irfan (15). They were killed on the spot when a mortar burst after ripping through the roof of their house. One person was injured and was admitted to the hospital. Army spokesman, Lt. Colonel Devender Anand said that Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing with small arms and shelling with mortars along the LoC in the Gukpur sector. The Indian Army retaliated befittingly. Meanwhile, three terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in the wee hours on Saturday in the Shopian district of South Kashmir. in the hinterland and successful counter terrorist operations. He said that the country was proud of the valour and patriotic spirit of the soldiers. He urged all to continue to work hard to ensure security both on the LoC and in the hinterland. He also impressed upon the commanders to maintain strict vigil along the LoC. India records over 34K fresh cases in a day STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 18 JULY India recorded a spike of nearly 35K novel coronavirus (Covid-19) cases and 671 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing the tally to 10,38,716 cases with a death total of 26,273, the Health Ministry's data stated on Saturday. The total includes 6,53,750 recovered cases and 3,58,692 active cases, according to the Union Health Ministry data. The Health Ministry data reveals that as many as 6,53,751 patients have recovered, almost twice the number of active patients at 3,58,692. The rate of recovery, however, fell slightly to 62.93 per cent. India, however, remains the third worst-affected country after the US and Brazil, the data A health worker collects a swab sample in Delhi. DEEPAK stated. During the last 24 hours, 3,61,024 samples were tested, as the testing lab network continues to expand. So far, more than 1,206 labs have enabled people to undergo coronavirus tests. Maharashtra remained the worst-hit state, with 2,92,589 cases and 11,452 casualties followed by Tamil Nadu with total 1,60,907 cases, including 2,315 deaths. With 1,462 new coronavirus cases and 26 deaths in the last 24 hours, the national capital recorded a total tally of 1,20,107 cases and 3,571 deaths. States with more than 10,000 cases included Gujarat (46,430), Uttar Pradesh (45,163), Rajasthan (27,789), Madhya Pradesh (21,081), West Bengal (38,011), Haryana (24,797), Karnataka (55,115), Andhra Pradesh (40,646), Telangana (42,496), Assam (20,646), Jammu and Kashmir (12,757), Kerala (11,066), Odisha (16,110) and Bihar (23,589). On the global front, the overall number of global Covid-19 cases has surpassed the 14 million mark, while the deaths have topped to more than 6,01,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University. 10,38,716 3,58,692 34,884 17,994 26,273 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 18 JULY 2020 New studies clarify what drugs help, hurt for coronavirus PRESS TRUST OF INDIA LONDON, 18 JULY Fresh studies give more information about what treatments do or don’t work for Covid-19, with high-quality methods that give reliable results. British researchers on Friday published their research on the only drug shown to improve survival ~ a cheap steroid called dexamethasone. Two other studies found that the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine does not help people with only mild symptoms. For months before studies like these, learning what helps or harms has been undermined by desperation science as doctors and patients tried therapies on their own or through a host of studies not strong enough to give clear answers. For the field to move forward and for patients' outcomes to improve, there will need to be fewer small or inconclusive studies and more like the British one, Drs. Anthony Fauci and H. Clifford Lane of the National Institutes of Health wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. It's now time to do more studies comparing treatments and testing combinations, said Dr. Peter Bach, a health policy expert at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Here are highlights of recent treatment developments: DEXAMETHASONE The British study, led by the University of Oxford, tested a type of steroid widely used to tamp down inflammation, which can become severe and prove fatal in later stages of Covid-19. About 2,104 patients given the drug were compared to 4,321 patients getting usual care. It reduced deaths by 36 per cent for patients sick enough to need breathing machines: 29 per cent on the drug died versus 41 per cent given usual care. It curbed the risk of death by 18 per cent for patients needing just supplemental oxygen: 23 per cent on the drug died versus 26 per cent of the others. However, it seemed harmful at earlier stages or milder cases of illness: 18 per cent of those on the drug died versus 14 per cent of those given usual care. The clarity of who does and does not benefit probably will result in many lives saved, Fauci and Lane wrote. HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE The same Oxford study also tested hydroxychloroquine in a rigorous manner and researchers previously said it did not help hospitalised patients with COVID-19. After 28 days, about 25.7 per cent on hydroxychloroquine had died versus 23.5 per cent given usual care ~ a difference so small it could have occurred by chance Now, details published on a research site for scientists show that the drug may have done harm. Patients given hydroxychloroquine were less likely to leave the hospital alive within 28 days ~ 60 per cent on the drug versus 63 per cent given usual care. Those not needing breathing machines when they started treatment also were more likely to end up on one or to die. Two other experiments found that early treatment with the drug did not help outpatients with mild Covid-19. A study of 293 people from Spain published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found no significant differences in reducing the amount of virus patients had, the risk of worsening and needing hospitalisation, or the time until recovery. A similar study by University of Minnesota doctors in Annals of Internal Medicine of 423 mildly ill Covid-19 patients found that hydroxychloroquine did not substantially reduce symptom severity and brought more side effects. It is time to move on from treating patients with this drug, Dr Neil Schluger from New York Medical College wrote in a commentary in the journal. REMDESIVIR The only other therapy that's been shown to help Covid-19 patients is remdesivir, an antiviral that shortens hospitalisation by about four days on average. The role of remdesivir in severe Covid is now what we need to figure out, Memorial Sloan Kettering's Bach wrote in an email, saying the drug needs to be tested in combi- nation with dexamethasone now. Details of the governmentled remdesivir study have not yet been published, but researchers are eager to see how many patients received other drugs such as steroids and hydroxychloroquine. Meanwhile, Gilead Sciences, the company that makes remdesivir, which is given as an IV now, has started testing an inhaled version that would allow it to be tried in less ill Covid-19 patients to try to keep them from getting sick enough to need hospitalisation. Gilead also has started testing remdesivir in a small group of children. Supplies are very limited, and the U.S. government is allocating doses to hospitals through September.
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