CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 12 OCTOBER 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 NITISH TO HIT CAMPAIGN TRAIL IN BIHAR TRUMP NO LONGER A TRANSMISSION RISK, SAY DOCTORS P10 RAINFALL: Trace RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 35.6°C (+3) SUN RISES 05:32 hrs MOON RISES 13:24 hrs New moon on 17 P10 P12 Min. 59% Min: 26.3°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:15 hrs MOON SETS --:-October THUMBNAILS Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning the men's singles final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at the 2020 French Open tennis tour(P12) nament in Paris on Sunday. AFP India-China talks: India will press for early and C complete disengagement of troops by China from all friction points in eastern Ladakh at the seventh round of high-level military talks between the two countries on Monday, government sources said. The talks are slated to begin at 12 noon in Chushul on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. The agenda of the talks will be to firm up a roadmap for disengagement of troops from all friction points, the sources said. CBI takes over probe into Hathras case SNS & AGENCIES Generally cloudy sky. One or two spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 35-27 degrees Celsius. TEMPERATURE P5 Country has been seeing a slower pace of Covid-19 spread since mid-September WEATHER Max.95% ROYALS BREAK LOSING STREAK AMY BARRETT CONFIRMATION HEARINGS TO START PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Coronavirus cases in India cross the 7 million mark NEW DELHI, 11 OCTOBER ndia’s confirmed coronavirus toll crossed 7 million (70 lakh) on Sunday, with the Union health ministry reporting another 74,383 infections in the previous 24 hours, along with 918 fresh fatalities. While the number of new cases has been dipping in recent weeks, India remains on track to become the pandemic’s worst-hit country in coming weeks, surpassing the USA, where more than 7.7 million infections have been reported. Of the total 70,53,806 cases of coronavirus infection so far, 8,67,496 are active cases, 60,77,976 have recovered, while the death toll due to the pandemic has mounted to 1,08,334, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. India saw a steep rise in cases in July and added more than 2 million in August and another 3 million in September. But it is seeing a slower pace of coronavirus spread since mid-September, when the daily infections touched a record high of 97,894. It’s averaging more than 70,000 cases daily so far this month. Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state with 15,17,434 cases, including 40,040 deaths; followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. While active cases make up 12.30 per cent of total cases, the recovery rate is 86.17 per cent and the fatality rate is 1.54 per cent. According to data from I 70,53,806 8,67,496 74,383 89,154 1,08,334 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 12 OCTOBER 2020 the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India conducted 10,78,544 sample tests in a single day on Saturday, taking the total number of samples tested so far to 8,68,77,242. India has regularly been testing more than 1 million samples per day, exceeding the World Health Organisation’s benchmark of 140 tests per 1 million people. India's coronavirus case count jumped from 10 lakh to 20 lakh in 21 days.Then it took 16 more days to race past 30 lakh, 13 days more to cross the 40-lakh mark and 11 days to go past 50 lakh. Cases rose from 50 lakh to 60 lakh in 12 days. The total case count had crossed 60 lakh on September 28. It took 110 days for Covid-19 cases in the country to reach one lakh while it had taken 59 days more to go past the10lakh post. FELUDA test roll-out expected soon: Harsh Vardhan STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 11 OCTOBER Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said the Centre plans to roll out Covid-19 vaccines, when they become available, by prioritising target groups in the population as supplies would be available in limited quantities in the beginning. During an interaction on his 'Sunday Samvad' platform, Dr Vardhan also said that the indigenously developed Feluda paper strip test for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis could be rolled out in the next few weeks. Presently Covid-19 vaccines are in various stages of human clinical trials, the results of which are awaited, Vardhan noted. “In a huge country like India, it is critical to prioritise vaccine delivery based on various factors such as risk of exposure, co-mor- bidity among various population groups, the mortality rate among Covid cases, and several others,” he said, adding that India is looking at the availability of several different types of vaccines, of which some may be suitable for a particular age group while others may not be. “The prioritisation of groups for Covid-19 vaccine shall be based on two key considerations: Occupational hazard and risk of exposure to infection, and the risk of developing severe disease and increased mortality,” he said. NEW DELHI, 11 OCTOBER On the rollout of the Feluda test in the near future, Harsh Vardhan said that based on tests in over 2,000 patients during the trials at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) and testing in private labs, the test showed 96 per cent sensitivity and 98 per cent specificity. Harsh Vardhan added that the Feluda paper strip test for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis has been developed by CSIR-IGIB and has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India for a commercial launch. “The kit has already been validated by the Department of Atomic Energy's National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore. While I cannot put an exact date on the availability, we should expect this test within the next few weeks,” he said. Record single-day spike in Bengal cases STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA 11 OCTOBER Continuing a trend of a steady increase in the number of Covid-19 cases being added daily, West Bengal today reported its highest single day spike of 3,612 fresh coronavirus cases, along with 59 deaths due to the infection. The total number of active cases stands at 30,236. Till now, 2,94,806 people have been detected with Covid-19 in the state, 5,622 people have died due to the infection while 2,58,948 have recovered in the state. A total of 3,110 patients were discharged today. North 24-Parganas recorded 774 fresh cases and 18 deaths followed by Kolkata with 757 cases and 16 deaths. The discharge rate stands at 87.84 per cent while the Covid bed occupancy rate is 37.40 per cent. During the day, 42,611 people were tested for Covid with a positivity rate of 7.98 per cent. The CBI registered an FIR early Sunday morning and took over investigation into the alleged gangrape and murder of a Dalit woman last month in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh, officials said. The central agency registered the FIR under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections related to gangrape and murder among others, and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. It assigned the case to its Ghaziabad unit with a special team to investigate the crime, they said. The 19-year old woman was allegedly raped by four men on September 14. She succumbed to severe assault injuries at a Delhi hospital a fortnight later, which was followed by a hurried cremation at night allegedly forced by the district administration. The brutal injuries suffered by the woman and the administration's move to cremate her body late at night triggered massive outrage among people, resulting in a pitched political battle. The political slugfest was further perpetuated after the state police's statement that it had not found any evidence of rape. Faced with public anger and the Opposition's protests over the Dalit teenager's alleged rape and murder by upper caste men, the state government finally decided to hand over the case to the CBI. The case was referred to the agency by a central government notification on Saturday. The officer concerned of the Uttar Pradesh police had registered a case of attempt to murder on a statement by the victim's brother who, as per the FIR at Chandpa police station, had said the accused had tried to strangulate his sister in a millet field and escaped when she raised an alarm. The notification issued by the Centre had asked the CBI to probe rape, murder and atrocity and “any attempt, abetment and/or conspiracy, in relation to or in connection with such offence(s) and/or for any other offence committed in the course of the same transaction or arising out of the same facts”. Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi sharpened his attack on the Yogi Adityanath dispensation over the alleged rape and murder of the Dalit woman. In a tweet, he said, “The CM & his police say no one was raped because for them, and many other Indians, she was NO ONE”. Gandhi also said the “shameful truth” was that many Indians do not consider Dalits, Muslims and tribals to be human. He also tagged a media report which asked why police was denying rape when the woman had repeatedly reported that she was raped. Schools reopening: Many states unsure, yet to decide PM attacks rivals for PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 11 OCTOBER While the Central government has given a go ahead for graded reopening of schools from October 15, many states including Delhi, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh have deciding against it while others such as Haryana are still unsure and are assessing the situation in view of the rising number of Covid-19 cases. Universities and schools across the country were ordered shut on March 16 to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. On March 25, the Centre announced a nationwide lockdown. While several restrictions have been eased gradually in different phases of the 'unlock' since June 8, educational institutions continue to remain closed. However, according to the latest unlock guidelines, schools, colleges and other edu- cational institutions outside Covid-19 containment zones can reopen after October 15. The final decision on reopening the institutions has been left with the states and Union territories. Delhi government has decided to maintain the status quo on schools' closure till October 31 following which a review of the situation will be done. The Uttar Pradesh government has announced that schools outside containment zones will reopen from October 19 for students of classes 9 to 12. According to Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma, classes will be held in shifts and all necessary protocols including social distancing and proper sanitisation of premises will have to be followed by schools. Students will only be allowed to attend classes after furnishing written permission from their parents or guardians. The Karnataka government has said it is in no hurry On IDG 2020, girl changemakers take over social media accounts of diplomatic missions PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 11 OCTOBER Marking the International Day of the Girl Child (IDG), girl changemakers on Sunday took over the social media accounts of 18 diplomatic missions in India to highlight the message of girls having the space and opportunity to share their ambitions. The 'girl changemakers' drew attention to the significance of girls having the right to decide on things that concern them, showcase their potential as agents of change and engage in meaningful and contributory dialogues on key social media platforms to further the cause of girls' rights and equality, the NGO Plan India said. The girls took over the social media accounts of 18 diplomatic missions, including Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Finland and Israel, it said in a statement. “The girl changemakers' are highly effective influencers and mobilisers. They have not only overcome difficult circumstances in their own lives, but also brought about development in their communities,” it said. Welcoming girl changemaker' Prajitha, the Canadian High Commission tweeted, “A warm #IDG2020 welcome to Canada's High Commissioner for a Day, Prajitha. We look forward to learning more about your work in advancing #GenderEquality & #Inclusion. “When girls get opportunities, they can unlock not only their future but also of their communities. This #DayoftheGirl commit to girls' equality. #EqualUnlock #GirlsTakeover @Plan_India @marthadelgado,” the Embassy of Mexico in India said on Twitter when changemaker Gayatri took over for a day. Plan India said the girl changemakers' were selected through a comprehensive screening and selection process from New Delhi, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Bihar, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand. to reopen schools and will take a call on the issue after evaluating all aspects. “Neither our government nor the Department of Education is rushing to open schools under any circumstances. The health and safety of our children is very important to us,” said Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar. The Chhattisgarh government has said schools in the state will continue to remain closed till further orders in view of the pandemic. The Maharashtra government has said it will assess the Covid-19 situation post-Diwali and till then schools will continue to remain closed.“Schools will not reopen in Maharashtra till Diwali is over. After Diwali, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will assess the situation before taking any decision,” Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said. The Gujarat government has also said it is likely to consider reopening schools only after Diwali. The Meghalaya government has sought feedback from parents before taking a final decision on reopening of schools in the state. The Puducherry government has announced that students from grade 9 to 12 will have classes from October 8, though classes would be held only for half a day on all six days in a week until further orders. While the Haryana government is contemplating reopening schools for classes 6 to 9 to enable the students to take guidance from teachers, no final decision has been taken yet. The Andhra Pradesh government has also decided not to resume normal classes till November 2. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has said a decision on reopening of schools will be taken only after mid-November. opposing agri reforms PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 11 OCTOBER Asserting that his government has done more for villages in the past six years than what was done in the preceding six decades, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday flayed those opposing the new farm laws, saying their politics was powered by brokers and middlemen, and accused them of using “foul language” and spreading “lies” in attacking the Centre. Farmers are not going with those who have opposed the “historic” reforms enacted by his government, Modi said in a reference to the three contentious agriculture laws, which have been opposed by the Congress and other parties, and asserted the country will not waver from this path. Speaking at a programme to launch the physical distribution of property cards under the 'SVAMITVA' (ownership) scheme via video conferencing, he referred to a number of projects, including opening of bank accounts, building toilets and houses, cooking gas scheme and electrification, to highlight his government's measures to develop villages and improving the living standards of rural residents. While it was always said that the nation's soul lives in its villages, the rural India was left to fend for itself by those who ruled the country earlier, Modi said in a swipe at the Congress. Referring to the 'SVAMITVA' scheme, the PM said it is a “historic move” that will transform rural India. The provision of physical property cards will pave the way for villagers to use property as a financial asset for taking loans and other financial benefits, and end disputes over land ownership, he said. Modi said his government will try to give every household property cards over the next three-four years. The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has said the launch will enable around one lakh property holders to download their property cards through an SMS link sent on their mobile phones, and this would be followed by the physical distribution of property cards by state governments. 800 acres of land in Mumbai’s Aarey declared reserve forest, metro car shed shifted INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, 11 OCTOBER Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday announced that the proposed new car shed for Mumbai Metro will be shifted to a new location at Kanjurmarg to save the forests of Aarey Colony in Goregaon. "We have decided to construct the car shed on government land at Kanjurmarg, entailing no additional financial burden on the exchequer. The expenditure of around Rs 100 crore spent on a building at Aarey Colony will not go waste as it will be deployed for an appropriate use," Thackeray said in an address to the state. "Two Metro corridors ~ Colaba-Bandra-Seepz (Line 3) and Swami Samarth NagarVikhroli (Line 6) ~ shall be integrated. I am happy to announce that the Aarey car shed CMYK is now being moved to Kanjurmarg," he said. Thackeray also said that an additional 200 acres of land will be reserved as "forest" in the Aarey Colony, besides the 600 acres declared last month, both linked to Mumbai's sole jungle, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), Borivali. "The orders to the effect were issued last night (October 10) and will take the new forest area (from 600 acres) to 800 acres which will be a boon to the city's environment," said Thackeray. With this, the forest cover of Mumbai will go up from the existing 103 square km to 106 square km, mostly within the SGNP . Thackeray reiterated that the cases filed against activists and groups who agitated to protect Aarey Colony forest would be withdrawn. "Aarey Saved!" was the telling tweet of tourism minister Aditya Thackeray, who had last year warned of dealing appropriately with "the murderers of Aarey Colony forests". However, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed the move, arguing that it will cost an additional Rs 5,000 crore and delay the project by five years, besides an additional 8-km run daily to park the trains, adding to operating costs. The move comes exactly a year after the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) authorities ordered butchering of a staggering 2,141 trees in 40 hours ~ or at the rate of one tree per minute to make room for the car shed project, creating a nationwide furore.
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