SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 06 SEPTEMBER 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 XI’S DILEMMA IN LADAKH WHITE HOUSE TAPES: NIXON’S BIGOTRY TOWARDS INDIANS P5 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. One or two spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 35-28 degrees Celsius. P7 P5 Two sides should continue dialogue: Rajnath to his Chinese counterpart Max.93% STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE TEMPERATURE Max: 34.7°C (3) Min: 27.5°C (1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:21 hrs 17:50 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 19:54 hrs 7:42 hrs Moon third quarter on 10 September THUMBNAILS President Ram Nath Kovind virtually presents the National Award to Teachers 2020, on the occasion of Teachers’ Day, in the Capital. PIB 80 new special trains to run from 12 Sept: Eighty new special trains will be operational from 12 September, reservations for which will begin from 10 September, Railway Board Chairman V K Yadav said on Saturday. He said the trains will be notified later in the day. “This will run in addition to the 230 trains already in operation,” he said. Yadav said the Railways will be monitoring all the trains to determine which trains have long waiting list. He said Railways will run trains whenever there is demand from states for exams or other purposes. Pak troops shell three civilian areas along LOC : Pakistani troops on Saturday indulged in intense mortar shelling at three civilian areas along the line of control (LoC) in the Poonch sector. Defence spokesman, Lt. Colonel Devender Anand said that Pakistani army resorted to unprovoked shelling in the Shahpur, Kirni and Degwar sector of Poonch district. Indian Army retaliated befittingly. He said that at about 9.15 a.m, Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation. P12 No breakthrough in Govt issues advisory Rajnath-Wei meeting allowing ‘testing on RAINFALL: 0.3 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Min. 59% MESSI EXPLAINS WHY HE STICKS WITH BARCELONA ‘INDIA WILL MAINTAIN SECURITY IN EXTENDED NEIGHBOURHOOD’ NEW DELHI, 5 SEPTEMBER he much-anticipated meeting between Defence minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe last night failed to break the impasse over the ongoing Sino-Indian military tensions in eastern Ladakh with the Indian side again conveying to Beijing its firm resolve to protect the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity at any cost. The Indian troops have always taken a very responsible approach towards border management, Singh told the Chinese minister while pointing out that the actions of the Chinese side, including the amassing of a large number of troops and their aggressive behaviour and attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo, were in violation of bilateral agreements. The two ministers had frank and in-depth discussions about the developments in the India-China border areas as well as their impact on bilateral relations during their over two-hour meeting held in Moscow on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) defence minister’s meeting, the Defence Ministry said today. The meeting was held at the request of the Chinese minister. Singh minced no words while conveying to the Chinese minister India’s position on the developments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), including the 15 T Union Defence minister Rajnath Singh meets his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe on the sidelines of the Joint Meeting of the Heads of Defence Ministers of SCO. In Moscow on Friday. PIB FILE PHOTO Very nasty situation along India-China border: Trump WASHINGTON, 5 SEPTEMBER Describing the situation along the India-China border as “very nasty, US President Donald Trump has said that the Chinese are “going at it much more strongly” than a lot of people understand and he would “love to get involved and help” ease the tension. Indian and Chinese troops are engaged in a bitter standoff in multiple places in eastern Ladakh for four months. “While we’re at it, we’re talking about China and June Galwan Valley clash in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed while there were an unspecified number of casualties on the Chinese side. He also conveyed India’s strong objection over fresh India are going at it pretty good on the border, as you know. It’s been very nasty, Trump said on Friday at a White House news conference in response to a question on Indian-Americans and US-India relationship. Trump reiterated that he is talking to both India and China about the situation. And we stand ready to help with respect to China and India. If we can do anything, we would love to get involved and help. And we are talking to both countries about that, PTI he said. attempts by the Chinese Army recently to change the status quo in the southern bank of the Pangong Lake. India, he said, favoured immediate restoration of the status quo ante at all friction points. The two sides, Singh said, should continue their discussions, including through diplomatic and military channels, to ensure complete disengagement and de-escalation and full restoration of peace and tranquillity along the LAC at the earliest. The current situation should be handled responsibly and neither side should take any further action that could either complicate the situation or escalate matters in the border areas. “It is important for the Chinese side to work with the Indian side for complete disengagement at the earliest from all friction areas, including Pangong Lake, as well as de-escalation in border areas in accordance with bilateral agreements and protocols,’’ he said. Singh said both sides should take guidance from the consensus reached between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the IndiaChina border areas was essential for the further development of bilateral relations and that the two sides should not allow differences to become disputes Meanwhile, the Chinese Defence Ministry, in a press release on the meeting, saidWei told the Indian minister that relations between the two countries and the two militaries had been severely affected by the border issue. The cause and the truth of the current situation were very clear and the responsibility lay with India, he claimed. demand’ for Covid-19 40,23,179 8,46,395 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 5 SEPTEMBER The Union Ministry of Health on Saturday issued another advisory on Covid19 testing which has further simplified the testing process and given more freedom and flexibility to the State authorities. As per the new advisory, the state governments can decide simplified modalities for on-demand testing for all individuals who wish to get themselves tested. The Health Ministry statement read, “A totally new section has been added in the Advisory on “Testing on Demand” which for all practical purposes does away with prescription by a registered medical practitioner although State governments have the freedom to decide on simplified modalities. No re-testing is recommended prior to discharge from a Covid-19 facility after clinical recovery, including for transfer from a Covid area/ facility to a non-Covid area/ facility,” the Advisory states. The development comes as India recorded another 86,432 Covid-19 cases, the highest daily figure yet, over the past 24 hours, taking the total tally to 40,23,179 cases. A total of 1,089 deaths were also registered, taking the toll to 69,561. Out of the total confirmed cases, 8,46,395 are active cases, while 31,07,223 patients have recovered from the virus so far, including 77,072 recoveries in the last 24 hours. The recovery rate, meanwhile, has increased to 77.23 per cent. The Ministry of Health also said that there has been an unprecedented upsurge in India’s daily testing capacities, adding that for two successive days more than 11.70 lakh tests have been conducted per day. The total Covid-19 test count in the country now stands at 4 crore and 77 lakh till date. There are now 1647 testing laboratories operational which cover all States/UTs. Earlier on Friday, the ICMR suggested that 100 percent of people living in containment zones should be tested by rapid antigen tests, particularly in cities where there has been the widespread transmission of the infection. Under ‘routine surveillance in containment zones and screening at points of 86,432 70,072 69,561 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 5 SEPTEMBER 2020 entry’, the advisory recommended testing of all asymptomatic high-risk individuals (people above 65 and those with co-morbidities etc.) in containment zones, it said. The Centre, meanwhile, exhorted Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, accounting for about 46 per cent of active Covid-19 cases and 52 per cent of deaths in the last 24 hours, to focus on aggressive measures to break the chain of transmission and keep mortality rate below 1 per cent. The states have been advised to proactively ensure higher testing, effective clinical management along with efficient monitoring at various levels to lower fatality, the Union Health Ministry said. NCB gets Showik’s custody; eye on big fish of Bolly drug network Ease of doing business rankings: Andhra tops third time in row; UP jumps 10 places to 2nd No. of fresh cases in Bengal creeps above 3,000 again PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PRESS TRUST OF INDIA KOLKATA, 5 SEPTEMBER NEW DELHI, 5 SEPTEMBER MUMBAI, 5 SEPTEMBER Narcotics Control Bureau, which on Saturday obtained custody of Rhea Chakraborty’s brother Showik in the drugs case linked to the probe into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, said it has got “inkling” of the narcotics network and penetration in Bollywood. Showik Chakraborty “dealt in drugs with many others”, the NCB told a court here as it obtained his custody alongwith that of Rajput’s house manager Samuel Miranda till 9 September. NCB Deputy Director General of the south-west region, Mutha Ashok Jain, told reporters outside his office that while the agency’s mandate is to “look for the big fish” and probe international and interstate drugs transactions, it Rhea Chakraborty’s brother ‘dealt in drugs with many others’, the NCB said as it obtained his custody along with that of Sushant Singh Rajput’s house manager till 9 September will “not shirk its responsibility” now that it is getting information about this alleged drugs nexus. “Normally this is not part of our mandate but now that we are getting information... This case has given us an inkling of the network and the extent of the penetration,” he said when asked if the agency has evidence on the drugs nexus in Bollywood. The NCB, while seeking remand of one of the accused in this case two days ago, had told the court that it was looking into “the drug citadel in Mumbai, especially Bollywood”. “The whole idea of taking custody remand (of Showik and Miranda) is to make people confront each other to clarify their individual role. So, yes we will be asking her (Rhea) to join investigation and may be some other people because we also need to clarity as to who did what,” Jain said. Showik and Miranda were arrested on Friday night by the NCB under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act after questioning them for 10 hours. The NCB produced them in a court here on Saturday. Abdel Basit Parihar, arrested earlier in the drugs case, was in contact with Showik and Miranda, the NCB told the court. Andhra Pradesh for the third time in a row has topped in the ease of doing annual business ranking of states and Union Territories by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade. The ranking is based on the implementation of the business reform action plan 2019, according to a report released by Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday. Registering a jump of 10 places in the rankings, Uttar Pradesh occupied the second position in 2019 as against 12th in 2018. Telangana slipped to the third position from second in 2018. It was followed by Madhya Pradesh (4th), Jharkhand (5th), Chhattisgarh (6th), Himachal Pradesh (7th), Rajasthan (8th), West Bengal (9th) and Gujarat (10th). Delhi’s position improved to 12th from 23rd in the last edition, while Gujarat slipped from 5th place in 2018. Among the laggard states and UTs in the ranking, Assam was at 20th, J&K at 21st, Goa at 24th, Bihar at 26th and Kerala 28th place. Tripura was ranked at the bottom 36th. Releasing the report, Sitharaman said that states have taken the exercise in its true sense and it would help states and UTs to become better place to do business. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said these rankings reflect the efforts that states and UTs are doing to better their systems and processes. It is also a wake-up call for those states which have slipped in the ranking, he said. Goyal said that the Ministry is working on steps like creating a single-window system for approvals and clearances. In 2015 Index, Gujarat featured at the top, with Andhra Pradesh grabbing the second position and Telangana 13th. In 2016, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana jointly toppedthe chart.In the last ranking released in July 2018, Andhra Pradesh topped the chart, followed by Telangana and Haryana (3rd). Haryana slid to 16th position in the latest ranking. The exercise is aimed at promoting competition among states with a view to improving the business climate to attract domestic as well as foreign investments. This was the fourth edition of the report, which was first released in 2015. The Business Reform Action Plan 2018-19 includes 181 reform points covering 45 business regulatory areas such as access to information, single window system, labour, and environment. The DPIIT in collaboration with the World Bank conducts an annual reform exercise for all States/UTs under the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP). In the World Bank’s latest ‘Doing Business’ report, India has jumped 14 places to the 63rd position. The daily count of fresh Covid19 cases in West Bengal crossed 3,000 after almost a week today, with 3,042 new cases and 58 deaths being recorded in the last 24 hours, taking the total case count to 1,77,701 and the death toll to 3,510. As many as 3,248 Covid patients were discharged during the same period, taking the total number of cured patients to 1,50,801 and registering a recovery rate of 84.86 per cent, Currently, there are 23,390 active cases, which is 264 less than yesterday’s figures. Altogether 45,781 samples were tested for Covid-19 in a day, for a positivity rate of 8.41 per cent. Registering a decrease in fresh cases, North 24-Parganas registered 559 cases and 14 deaths while Kolkata recorded 548 cases and 18 deaths. SNS Covid concerns spread to rural India as cases surpass 40-lakh milestone PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 5 SEPTEMBER As Covid-19 cases surge so do worries about how to contain the spread of the disease that is spreading inexorably through India, initially in urban centres and now increasingly into the hinterland where medical infrastructure is scarce. Though there are no exact numbers about the spread of the virus into rural areas, there is enough evidence to suggest it has reached most corners of India and there is community transmission, say experts. Just two figures could tell the story: an estimated 65 per cent of India’s 1.3 billion population lives in rural areas. And, according to the web- site How India Lives, 714 districts in India have coronavirus cases, putting 94.76 per cent of the population at risk. Increasingly, Covid-19 positive persons are being reported from small-sized towns, as well as from rural areas. Serosurveys have revealed that the disease has spread to most parts of the country indicating community transmission of Covid-19,” a group of public health experts said in a statement earlier this week. The experts, from the Indian Public Health Association, Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine and the Indian Association of Epidemiologists, also expre-ssed concern that reports of stigma, COVID FURY An estimated 65 per cent of India’s 1.3 billion population lives in rural areas. And, according to the website How India Lives, 714 districts in India have coronavirus cases, putting 94.76 per cent of the population at risk In the face of the relentless march of the disease India took just 13 days to go from 30 lakh to 40 lakh fear and discrimination continue even after six months. In the face of the relentless march of the disease India took just 13 days to go from 30 lakh to 40 lakh. A higher number of infections are being reported from semi-urban areas, said a Health Ministry official as India’s Covid-19 tally raced past the 40 lakh mark on Saturday with 86,432 fresh cases.The death toll also climbed to 69,561 with 1,089 fatalities in a day. Experts also stress the need for more data. “There is not enough data yet to do a detailed comparison, but anecdotal reports suggest that testing is limited and not accurate enough to be a good measure of trends,” Gautam Menon,professor, Departments of Physics and Biology, at Ashoka University said. Explaining the trajectory of the disease, Sitabhra Sinha, professor atChennai’s Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), said, “As of now, the bulk of the active cases are centred in the major urban-metropolitan areas and their immediate surroundings.” “Places like Odisha which are still low in terms of numbers have a high R value~ which means over the next few weeks, if the growth rate continues unabat- ed, they may well turn out to be the new frontline in the fight against Covid,” he cautioned. R value is the reproductive number that indicates the number of people getting infected by an already infected person on an average. The incidence of the disease in the eastern state demonstrates the vulnerability of those in rural areas. Since more than 75 per cent of the state’s population lives in the rural areas, it is natural the infection rate is also high among villagers in comparison to urban areas, an official in Bhubaneswar said. More than 60 per cent of Odisha’s cases are from rural areas and the number is rising as the pandemic gets prolonged, he said. In neighbouringWest Bengal, too, the incidence went up after the migrants started returning. As of 26 August, there were 7,03,823 cases of Covid-19 in Maharashtra, of which 5,07,022 (72.03 per cent) were from municipal corporation areas. But now the picture is changing, with sizeable number of people have travelled to rural areas, the infection has spread there as well resulting in more deaths, the official said. Efforts are on to ramp up infrastructure at the grassroots level to meet the escalating challenge. According to government data, about 40 per cent of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks have been reported fromruralareas. In Andhra Pradesh, for instance, every primary health centre (PHC) and community health centre (CHC) in semi-urban andruralparts area is doubling up as a Covid Care Centre. “We have accordingly improved the infrastructure in PHCs and CHCs, so much so that they are now equipped with oxygen facilities as well to handle the caseload,” state Health Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar said. The 104 service (mobile medical units) that makes rounds of villages is also coming handy to treat coronavirus patients at their doorstep.
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