CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 22 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 PARTY MEETING FAILS TO RESOLVE OLI-PRACHANDA FEUD BIBI BESIEGED P6 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. One or two spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 39-25 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: 15.5mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.97% TEMPERATURE P9 P4 Min. 87% 11,55,191 4,02,529 THUMBNAILS 37,148 24,491 SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 21 JULY MP Governor Lalji Tandon passes away: Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon (85) passed away while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Lucknow early Tuesday morning. Tandon was admitted at the hospital for 40 days with infection in his liver and problems in his lungs. He had been put on ventilator support for the past 14 days, as his condition had become critical. A five-day state mourning has been announced in Madhya Pradesh. Government offices were closed on Tuesday. Tandon was P5 born in Lucknow on 12 April 1935. ndia’s Covid-19 fatality rate has dropped significantly to 2.43 per cent from 3.36 per cent on 17 June due to effective clinical management of coronavirus cases, the Centre said on Tuesday, asserting the country has handled the pandemic “relatively well”. Thirty states and Union Territories have Covid-19 positivity rate lower than that of the national average which stands at 8.07 per cent, Rajesh Bhushan, officer on special duty in the Union health ministry, told a press conference here. “19 states and UTs are performing more than 140 tests per day per million population. Just doing tests is not enough, they have to be done at a level of 140 tests per day per million so that the rate of positivity reduces and comes down to 10 per I HC breather for Pilot till 24 July SNS & PTI JAIPUR, 21 JULY The Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday requested the Legislative Assembly speaker to defer action on disqualification notices to dissident Congress MLAs till 24 July, the speaker's counsel said. The court will pass appropriate orders on the writ petition filed by Sachin Pilot and 18 dissident legislators on 24 July. The high court had on Friday given a four-day reprieve to Sachin Pilot and other Congress dissidents from any action by Rajasthan Speaker on the disqualification notices served on them by extending the hearing into their petition. Pilot was sacked as deputy chief minister and susceptible to Covid-19 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 21 JULY Max: 31.3°C (-1) Min: 26.2°C (0) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:04 hrs 18:22 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 05:21 hrs 19:07 hrs Next moon quarter on 28 July Amarnath pilgrimage cancelled due to Covid19 pandemic: The annual Amarnath pilgrimage was on Tuesday cancelled because of the rising incidence of coronavirus across the country and healthcare protocols, Standard Operating Protocols notified by the Central Government as well as by the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. The decision to cancel the pilgrimage was taken in a meeting of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) held under the chairmanship of Lt P4 Governor GC Murmu in Srinagar. P12 Over 77 per cent India’s fatality rate drops to 2.43 per cent Delhiites still 30 states & UTs have Covid-19 positivity rate lower than that of national average A livestock vendor waits for customers to sell goats ahead of the Muslim festival Eid-al-Adha in the old quarters of New Delhi on Tuesday. AFP FOR A WORLD IN TURMOIL, A SAFE SPORT PM TO VISIT AYODHYA FOR BHOOMI PUJAN OF RAM TEMPLE the president of the state unit of the party after he rebelled against chief minister Ashok Gehlot. Rajasthan Speaker CP Joshi reached the state Assembly here Tuesday evening to meet the counsels who appeared in the high court for arguments on writ petitions filed by Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident Congress MLAs against disqualification notices issued by him. Lashing out again at dissident Congress leader Sachin Pilot, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot here on Tuesday said those betraying the party will not be able to face the public. Gehlot also reiterated that a conspiracy to topple his government was being hatched but said he was confident that they will complete their tenure. cent first and then continue the testing process so that the rate of positivity further reduces to 5 per cent or lower,” he said. “So that is the ultimate aim to maintain this level of testing and bring positivity lower to 5 per cent eventually or even lower than that,” he said. In India, the Covid-19 deaths per million population stand at 20.4 per million which is amongst lowest in the world, Bhushan said. “There are several countries where the deaths per million is 21 times or 33 times higher than in India. The global average stands at 77 deaths per million population,” he said. “So far, the nation has managed Covid-19 relatively well. The Government of India is cooperating with all states and UTs. All decisions are being taken based on science and evidence-based inputs and in consultation with domain knowledge experts,” Bhushan said. He also shared a chart showing that the Covid-19 case fatality rate has declined from 3.36 per cent on June 17 to 2.43 per cent now. He asserted that the significant decline in the case fatality rate has been due to effective clinical management of cases. India recorded 37,148 Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, pushing its tally to 11,55,191 , while the total number of recoveries increased to 7,24,577, according to Union health ministry data issued on 8 am Tuesday. The death toll due to the disease rose to 28,084 with 587 fatalities reported in a day, the data showed. There are 4,02,529 active cases of the coronavirus infection currently in the country, while 7,24,577 people have recovered till now. Thus, 62.72 per cent 27,497 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. TUESDAY 21 JULY 2020 people have recovered so far, the ministry said. Covid-19 cases show a dip 3K in 24 hrs: After an alarming rise to over 40,000 cases in a day, India recorded a dip of around 3,000 spike in fresh cases as the Health Ministry recorded 37,148 new cases and 587 deaths in past 24 hours with total Covid tally reaching 11,55,191 and death toll touched 27,497 on Tuesday. As many as 7,24,577 have been cured, which is almost twice the number of active patients at 4,02,529 as the recovery rate stood at 62.7 per cent. The highest spike in cases were reported from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. Over 77 per cent Delhi population is still susceptible to the deadly novel coronavirus, a serological survey commissioned by the Union Health Ministry showed here on Tuesday. The cross-sectional survey was conducted by the National Centre for Disease Control in collaboration with the Delhi government to estimate the prevalence of the infection in the general community of the national capital. “Nearly six months into the pandemic, 22.86 per cent people are affected, while 77 per cent of the population are still susceptible,” said National Centre for Disease Control Director Sujeet Kumar Singh arat a media briefing. The study, he said, was conducted from 27 June to 10 July in the capital city on people of two age groups ~ below and above 18 years. As many as 21,387 samples were collected. The tests will help identify the presence of antibodies in the general population. “The results of the seroprevalence study show that on an average, across Delhi, the prevalence of IgG antibodies is 23.48 per cent. The study also indicates that a large number of infected persons remain asymptomatic,” the ministry said in a statement. The low percentage can be attributed to proactive efforts taken by the government to prevent the spread of infection, includ- Health workers in PPE kit collect a sample using a swab from a man at LNJP to conduct tests for Covid-19 in the Capital on Tuesday. AMARJEET SINGH ing prompt lockdown, effective containment and surveillance measures, including contact tracing and tracking, as well as citizen's compliance to COVID appropriate behaviours. “Out of the eleven districts, eight have seroprevalence of more than 20 percent…In Central, NorthEast, North and Shahdara districts, the sero-prevalence is 27 per cent," he said. Survey teams were formed for all the 11 districts of Delhi, blood samples were collected from selected individuals after taking written informed consent and then their sera were tested for IgG antibodies and infection using ‘Covid Kavach Elisa’ approved by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). Delhi's South-West area has 12.95 per cent seroprevalence, the least in the city, followed by South and West Delhi at 18.61 per Mamata sounds poll bugle, BJP hits back STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 21 JULY The chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, today accused the Centre of “hatching conspiracies” to topple governments in Opposition-ruled states by employing federal agencies and money power. The State BJP leadership feels that Trinamul reign will collapse in the upcoming 2021 polls. The chief minister, during her address today on the occasion of Martyr’s Day, branded the BJP as the “most destructive” party and an “outsider”. Invoking Bengali sub-nationalism, she said the state should not be ruled by “Gujarat and outsiders” but by the “people of the soil”. She alleged that the Union government is planning a coup in West Bengal to overthrow the elected government. Backing her suspicions, she added, “A con- spiracy is being hatched by the union government to destabilise the elected government of Bengal, using central agencies and money power.” “When the country is occupied in fighting the Covid pandemic, the BJP is preoccupied with destabilisation of elected governments in Rajasthan and West Bengal, after Madhya Pradesh,” she said, adding “Why should Gujarat rule all states? We won't tolerate the rule of two brothers (read Narendra Modi and Amit Shah).What is the need for a federal structure then? Create a ‘one nation-one party’ system then.” Miss Banerjee promised that Bengal will scale new heights if the people vote Trinamul to power in the upcoming assembly elections, due next year. “People of Bengal will rule the state and not outsiders and peo- TMC supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee addressing from her Kalighat residence during a virtual meeting on the occasion of 21 July TMC Martyrs Day rally in Kolkata on Tuesday. BHASKAR MALLICK ple from Gujarat. We should strive to ensure that security deposits of all the BJP candidates get forfeited,” she said. She lashed out at the Centre for allegedly “maligning, insulting and depriving” the people of West Bengal and asked the latter to instead talk about the “jungle raj and encounter raj” prevailing in Uttar Pradesh. She claimed people in Uttar Pradesh are afraid to even lodge a police complaint after being threatened with murder while the police is also being gunned down. Referring to the recent incident where gangsters of Vikas Dubey killed policemen and subsequently, Dubey was later encountered, she said “the main culprit was killed in a so-called encounter to hide the truth,” she said. By saying that people of West Bengal have not forgotten “how innocent people were killed during the Delhi riots and genuine citizens thrown into detention camps in Assam”, Banerjee insinuated that National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) could be TMC’s major electoral planks in the assembly polls. Banerjee alleged the NPR and NRC were tools to create rift between communities. “An attempt is being made to stir up communal disharmony. A party is trying to incite Hindu-Muslim riots. Remember that people of all faiths are equal. This country.... Bengal...is for all,” Banerjee said. Meanwhile, Bengal BJP's state president and MP Dilip , Ghosh said, “TMC government led by chief minister Mamata Banerjee will be decimated in the 2021 Assembly election as people are fed up of syndicate raj and corruption.” Ghosh alleged Mamata Banerjee came to power by bluffing the people with false promises and got exposed during her nine year reign. He claimed she is now scared of the downfall awaiting her in the upcoming election. She fears her party will be split, apprehended Ghosh. cent and 19.13 per cent, respectively. “This shows the picture of the third week of June, when Delhi was recording more than 3,000 cases every day. This is robust data which will be used in disease control,” said V.K. Paul, Member, Niti Aayog. He added that much of the population is safe, which can be attributed to the systematic ways of contact tracing, testing, containment, isolation and quarantine. “However, a significant proportion of the population is still vulnerable. Therefore, the containment measures need to continue with the same rigour. Non-pharmacological interventions such as physical distancing, use of face masks or cover, hand hygiene, cough etiquette and avoidance of crowded places, etc., must be followed strictly,” he added. Government asks 59 Chinese apps to ensure strict compliance to ban orders NEW DELHI, 21 JULY After banning 59 apps of Chinese origin, the government on Tuesday directed them to ensure strict compliance to its orders, and warned of serious action in case of any violation. The govt on 29 June had banned 59 apps with Chinese links, including TikTok, CamScanner and UC Browser, saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the country. The govt source said that the IT Ministry has now written to all these companies, warning that continued availability and operation of these banned apps, directly or indirectly, is not only illegal but also an offense under the Information Technology Act and other applicaPTI ble Acts. Oxford Covid-19 vaccine promising, produces cell mediated immune response: Scientists PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 21 JULY The coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca shows promise as it can generate both antibodies and cell-mediated immune responses, say several scientists in India and abroad, while cautioning that there is still a long way to go. Very promising, comforting and interesting were some of the reactions from the scientific community a day after The Lancet revealed the vaccine appears safe and induces a strong immune response following the first phase of human trials. Doses of the vaccine were given to 1,077 healthy adults aged between 18 and 55 in five UK hospitals in April and May as part of the phase one clinical trial. With scientists and researchers across the world racing to develop a vaccine against the disease that has infected more that 14.7 million people across the world and claimed more than 6,00,000 lives, the OxfordAstraZeneca results are being examined closely. It is ideal” that the vaccine is able to generate both humoral and cell mediated immunity, virologist Upasana Ray told PTI. Humoral immunity is the production of antibodies by the body's B cells. While antibodies make up the protein component of the immune system, T cells offer vital cell-mediated immunity, she explained. Ray, senior scientist at Kolkata's CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (CSIRIICB), added that both components are essential to provide effective immunological memory and also for longterm protection. “The preliminary findings look very promising with responses to the vaccine similar to what is seen post natural infection,” addedBeate Kampmann, professor of paediatric infection & immunity and director of The Vaccine Centre, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “The immune responses to the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine were measured both in terms of quantity and quality of antibody as well as for T cell responses to the spike protein in a subgroup of individuals, Kampmann said in a statement. Researchers also found it promising that a booster dose of the vaccine in 10 of the trial's participants produced more immune response. “Trial participants developed the all-important neutralising antibodies, in most cases after one shot, and in all cases after two shots,” notedIan Jones, professor of Virology at the University of Reading in the UK. Satyajit Rath, an immu- CMYK nologist from the National Institute of Immunology in New Delhi, found it interesting and promising that the boost with the same vaccine candidate tended to increase antibody levels further despite pre-existing antibodies. “The vaccine candidate shows no unexpected awful adverse effects,” Rath told PTI, adding that the formal addition of paracetamol showing some relief from adverse effects without modifying immune responses is useful information too. Commenting on the side effects of headache and fatigue reported by the participants in the study,experts said they are not a major concern and commonly observed in vaccines. “Such side effects have been seen in other vaccines as well and these subside in a few days' time. So, as of now, I don't see these as major points of concern,” Ray said. The results show the desired and expected effects in terms of the immune response and does not have serious adverse effects seen in the numbers recruited so far”, said Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK. While the study showed there was an immune response generated by the vaccine, scientists cautioned that direct evidence showing whether or not it would prevent or reduce actual novel coronavirus infection has not been documented yet. “Generating immune response and providing immunological protection might not always run parallel,” Ray said. “Hence, long term population-based studies where vaccinated people could be monitored for future infection/outbreak are important,” the CSIR-IICB virologist added. Pointing to the way forward, she said there should be elaborate trials in geographical locations where severities and mortality of Covid-19 are currently high. According to the virologist, another concern is monitoring long the immunity lasts in terms of antibodies being generated and also the T cell counts.
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