TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 11 AUGUST 2020 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR MUSEUM AS A SIGNIFIER `10,000 CRORE PORT AT NICOBAR P5 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. Moderate rain/ thundershowers. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 34 and 26 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: 000.5 MM RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 94% Min: 71% TEMPERATURE Max: 35.8°C (+1) SUN RISES 05:49 hrs MOON RISES 23:41 hrs Min: 27.4°C (0) SUN SETS 19:04 hrs MOON SETS 13:15 hrs P6 P9 Sachin Pilot finally blinks, meets Gandhis Formula for rebel leader’s return being worked out: Sources THUMBNAILS STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 10 AUGUST A Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant-Governor Manoj Sinha calls on President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, in the SNS Capital on Monday. PM reviews flood situation in six states: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held a virtual meeting with chief ministers of six states to review flood situation in which he emphasised extensive use of innovative technologies for improving forecast and warning system, the Prime Minister’s Office said. The states that attended the meeting to review their preparedness to deal with the south-west monsoon and current flood situation in the country are Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, MahaP5 rashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. Covid-infected tally to hit 20 million this week: i The head of the World Health Organization predicted that the number of people infected by the coronavirus will hit 20 million this week, including about 7,50,000 deaths. In a briefing on Monday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that behind these statistics there is a great deal of pain and suffering but said there were still green shoots of hope no matter what stage in an outbreak a country might be. head of the crucial Rajasthan Assembly session from 14 August, rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Monday met party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra here, amidst indications of a possible breakthrough. Top Congress sources said the meeting took place a little after noon at Rahul Gandhi’s residence and a “positive outcome” was expected. Sources also confirmed that Pilot has been in touch with the top Congress leadership and a formula for his return was being worked out. According to sources close to Pilot, the meeting lasted for about two hours and the Pilot camp was assured that all issues raised by them will be resolved. Meanwhile, party sources said Pilot has been in touch with the top Congress leadership and a formula for his return was being worked out. They said among the options, one possible agreement discussed dur- ing the meeting was favourable voting by Pilot and MLAs loyal to him in case of a trust vote during the upcoming Rajasthan Assembly session. Pilot and 18 other MLAs have rebelled against the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in Rajasthan, leading to Pilot’s sacking as deputy chief minister and state party chief. Party sources added that some of the rebel MLAs have also been in touch with the Congress leadership in the last few days. Sources also claimed that one of the MLAs was back to the Congress fold after being in touch with the party leaders. Other MLAs are likely to meet top party leadership soon and discuss their issues, they added. The Congress had a total of 107 MLAs in the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly. This includes 6 MLAs who were previously with the BSP . Pilot and other rebel MLAs would face disqualification in case they defied the Congress whip on the floor of the house. With Ashok Gehlot firmly holding on to the remain- MASOOD MAKES PAKISTAN FEEL QUITE HAPPY HONG KONG MEDIA TYCOON ARRESTED ing MLAs, top leadership are positive of resolving the rebellion raised against the state chief minister. On Sunday night, a Congress Legislature Party meeting was held in a Jaisalmer hotel, where MLAs from the Gehlot camp were lodged, and there were mixed views on welcoming back the rebels into the party fold. While a few MLAs suggested that the rebels should be accepted given the “wafer-thin margin” of the Gehlot government in the Assembly, others were not in such a forgiving mood. Rajasthan BJP president Satish Poonia on Monday asked chief minister Gehlot to quit on moral grounds, saying he is the villain of the political crisis unfolding in the state. He said the crisis reflected the “infighting” within the party and the weakness of the Congress high command and exposed the party’s character before people once again. Poonia also raised the issue of the Congress MLAs’ stay at hotels for the past month, claiming nearly Rs 10 crore has been spent on it. P12 India’s Covid infections go past 22-L mark; 15.35 L recoveries SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 10 AUGUST India’s novel coronavirus tally crossed the 22-lakh mark on Monday with 62,064 new cases, while the recoveries surged to over 15.35 lakh, the Health Ministry said. The death toll from the pathogen climbed to 44,386 with 1,007 more fatalities, according to the ministry data. There are 6,34,945 active cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The total coronavirus cases now stands at 22,15,074, it said. India’s Covid-19 recoveries have crossed the “historic peak” of 1.5 million with the recovery of 15,35,743 patients that was possible because of the policy of “testing aggressively, tracking comprehensively and treating efficiently”, the Health Ministry said in a statement. “Better ambulance services, focus on standard of care and use of non-invasive oxygen have given the desired results,” the ministry said. With the highestever single-day recoveries of 54,859 in the last 24 hours, the recovery rate has scaled another high of almost 70 per cent, it said. The record high recoveries have ensured that the percentage of the active cases have reduced and currently comprise only 28.66 per cent of the total positive cases. The coordinated efforts of the Centre and state/UT governments on early detection through aggressive testing and efficient clinical management of hospitalised cases have shown results with continuously regressing case fatality rate, which now Pranab tests positive, on ventilator support NEW DELHI, 10 AUGUST Former President Pranab Mukherjee has successfully undergone surgery to remove a clot in his brain, sources said late Monday night. Mukherjee, 84, who had tested positive for Covid19 prior to his surgery, is on ventilator support at a Delhi hospital. In a tweet this morning, Mr Mukherjee, who was India’s President between 2012 and 2017, urged all those who had come in contact with him over the past week to isolate themselves as a precaution and get themselves tested for Covid-19. “On a visit to the hospital for a separate procedure, I have tested positive for Covid-19 today. I request the people who came in contact with me in the last week, to please self isolate and get tested for Covid-19,” tweeted Mukherjee. As the news broke of his health, leaders across the party started wishing him for speedy stands at 2 per cent and is steadily declining, the ministry said. Early identification of cases has also led to a steep fall in the percentage of active cases, it said. “Early identification helps to ensure timely and prompt isolation of the mild and moderate cases 6,34,945 62,064 54,859 recovery. Defence minister Rajnath Singh himself visited the R&R Hospital and enquired about the former president’s health. Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, along with several of his party members wished Mukherjee, who was a Congress leader for years. “We wish former President Pranab Mukherjee a speedy recovery from Covid,” the Congress said on its official Twitter handle. Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted, “My prayers are with him & his family during this time and I wish him a speedy recovery.” NEW DELHI, 10 AUGUST PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 10 AUGUST Air India Express on Monday said 56 passengers injured in the plane crash in Kozhikode have been discharged from hospital after “obtaining complete fitness”. Civil Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said on Saturday that 149 people have been admitted to hospitals, 23 have been discharged, while three are critically injured in the B737 plane crash. The Air India Express flight from Dubai with 190 people, including a six-member crew, overshot the tabletop runway during landing at the Kozhikode airport in heavy rain on Friday night, fell into a valley 35 feet below and broke into two, killing 18 people, including the pilots. “The Chief Executive Officer, Air India Express Ltd as well as Regional Head-Southern Region continue to remain in Calicut (Kozhikode) to render continuous support to the family members,” the airline said in a statement. “As on date, 56 injured passengers have been discharged from various hospitals after obtaining their complete fitness,” it added. Air India Express, a wholly owned subsidiary of national carrier Air India, has only B737 aircraft in its fleet. The airline said on Sunday Exam essential for degree: UGC to SC STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 10 AUGUST The UGC on Monday submitted before the Supreme Court that the decisions of Delhi and Maharashtra governments to cancel final year exams of state universities amid the Covid-19 pandemic was against the rules. The apex court was hearing a batch of pleas which have challenged the 6 July directive to all the universities and colleges to conduct final year examinations by 30 September amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan that states cannot change the rules of the UGC as only it is empowered to prescribe rules for conferring degree. Mehta argued that not conducting exams will not be in the interest of students and degrees may not be recognized if the states would act unilaterally. He said the UGC would file its response on the affidavits filed by Maharashtra and Delhi in the matter. The bench granted time to the UGC to file response and posted the matter for further hearing on 14 August. that the mortal remains of 16 passengers killed in the plane crash have been handed over to their families, and added that authorities were investigating the accident. The Kozhikode airport is equipped with a runway end safety area as per the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), said Civil Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday, while questioning various tweets by Congress MPs on the plane crash in which 18 people were killed. A day before the crucial hearing, actress Rhea Chakraborty on Monday told the Supreme Court that she should not be made “scapegoat of political agendas” in the actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death case and alleged that Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is “reported to be responsible for registration of FIR in Patna” against her. She claimed that the “sad incident” of Rajput’s death unfortunately occurred just ahead of elections in Bihar and this led to the issue of suicide being isolated and “blown out of proportion in media”, causing extreme trauma and infringement of privacy of her rights due to the “constant sensationalisation” of this case. The actress said she has already been “convicted” by the media in the matter even before any foul play has been Rhea Chakraborty claims that the ‘sad incident’ of Sushant Rajput’s death unfortunately occurred just ahead of elections in Bihar and this led to the issue of suicide being isolated and ‘blown out of proportion in media’ established. In an additional affidavit filed in the apex court, Chakraborty said that she has “no objection” if the top court refers the case to CBI by its order and “even if the CBI investigates the matter the jurisdiction will still be with the courts at Mumbai and not at Patna”. The affidavit by the actress which stated that ruling party in Bihar and Centre is same and the said party is in minority in the state of Maharashtra, also alleged that the purported transfer of the case to a Patna court and further to the CBI on 4 August is only to render her petition in the apex court infructuous. It alleged that the transfer of investigation to the CBI by Bihar Police is illegal and bad in law. Chakraborty filed the affidavit in the top court which is seized of her plea seeking transfer of an FIR, lodged against her by Bihar Police in Patna on a complaint by Rajput’s father Krishna Kishore Singh, to Mumbai. In her additional affidavit, she said that two actors ~ Ashutosh Bhakre and Sameer Sharma~ were reported to have committed suicide in last one month and “yet no whis- 44,386 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. MONDAY 10 AUGUST 2020 and hospitalisation of the severe and critical cases thereby leading to effective management of cases,” the ministry said. It is important to note that the Covid-19 infection still remains concentrated in 10 states and Union territories that contribute more than 80 per Kozhikode plane crash: 56 injured Should not be made political scapegoat: Rhea passengers discharged from hosps PRESS TRUST OF INDIA 22,15,074 SNS & PTI per about the same in power corridors.” “In case of death of Sushant Singh Rajput, chief minister of Bihar is reported to be responsible for registration of FIR in Patna,” the affidavit claimed, adding, “The sad incident of the death of Sushant Singh Rajput who hailed from Bihar unfortunately occurred just in wake of elections in Bihar. This has led to the issue of suicide of deceased being isolated and blown out of proportion.” Alleging that Chakraborty is already convicted by the media, the affidavit claimed, “Petitioner urges before this court that she should be protected and not made scapegoat of political agendas”. Referring to a CrPC provision, which deals with offence triable where the act is done or consequence ensues, affidavit said it app-eared to have been “misconstrued to usurp jurisdiction in Bihar under political pressure”. cent of the new cases, it said. The aggressive testing and tracking through house-to-house surveys and well implemented containment strategies and surveillance in these areas may lead to an initial increase in positive cases, but well implemented strategies will ensure that the caseload reduces over time, the ministry said. This is the fourth consecutive day that the Covid19 cases have increased by more than 60,000. As many as 4,77,023 samples were tested on Sunday, taking the total to 2,45,83,558, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research. Of the total 44,386 deaths, Maharashtra has reported the maximum of 17,757, followed by 4,927 in Tamil Nadu, 4,111 in Delhi and 3,198 in Karnataka. The Health Ministry said that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities. Covid recovery rate crosses 90 pc in Delhi STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 10 AUGUST The number of fresh Covid-19 cases in Delhi dipped to 707 today, which took the city's tally of coronavirus cases to 1,46,134 so far, according to the latest health bulletin issued by the Delhi government. The number of single-day Covid cases were 1,300 yesterday and 1,404 on 8 August. The total Covid tests conducted in the city today were 12,323. This figure was 23,787 yesterday and 24,592 on 8 August. There were 1,070 Covid patients who were reported to have recovered during the past 24 hours, pushing the total number of recovered cases in Delhi to 1,31,657 so far. With this, the Covid recovery rate in the city finally crossed the 90 per cent mark to reach 90.09 per cent. TURN TO PAGE 5 IIT Mandi scientists make vital Covid breakthrough SANJEEV KUMAR SHIMLA, 10 AUGUST Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi researchers in collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University and University of South Florida researchers have decoded the Covid-19 virus that will help in finding a cure for the infectious disease. The research team had used computational tools to understand an important part of the viral proteome called Intrinsically Disordered Protein Regions (IDPRs). The research paper had been co-authored by Dr Rajanish Giri, Assistant Professor at IIT Mandi along with schol- ars and US scientists, Dr Christopher J Oldfield and Dr Vladimir N Uversky. The research paper that had been published in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences journal states that the Covid-19 virus essentially consists of the genetic molecule, RNA, enclosed in an envelope made of lipids and proteins. Once in the host, the virus overpasses the host defence mechanisms, inserts its RNA into the host cells and then it hijacks the host cell machinery for production of viral proteins after which the infected cell starts generating toxic viral proteins which leads to various conditions and symptoms. Dr Rajanish Giri, an Assistant Professor in IIT Mandi. “In Covid-19, the RNA is translated first into proteins which perform a wide range of functions. Since protein functions depend both on ordered and disordered regions, it is impor- SNS tant to understand the whole proteome considering both ordered and disordered proteins. The set of proteins or proteomes comprises both ordered regions and disordered regions in proteins,” Dr Rajanish Giri said. He said Intrinsically Disordered Proteins (IDPs) and Intrinsically Disordered Protein Regions (IDPRs) are gaining attention in recent times as they play vital roles in various biological processes. The IDP and IDPRs are strongly correlated with virulence of viruses, understanding their structure, functions in Covid-19 and help in finding ways to cure its effects. Using computational tools, it is possible to investigate the propensities of the proteins and regions that may or may not form the structure, he added. He said many of these proteins contain disorder-based binding motifs and the study provides grounds for better understanding of its proteins, interactions with other viral proteins and interaction with host proteins in different physiological conditions. “The process of rational drug design is currently limited since it mostly ignores the presence of intrinsic disorder in target proteins. The understanding of the structure of these regions in the Covid-19 proteome is valuable to structural biologists involved in high throughput and structure-based screening for drug development,” he said.
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