MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 26 OCTOBER 2020 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P5 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Mist in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 34 and 14 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 93% Min: 42% P6 Min: 13.8°C (-3) SUN SETS 17:41 hrs MOON SETS 02:33 hrs India's Covid recovery rate reaches 90 pc THUMBNAILS An effigy of Ravana being set on fire during the Dussehra festival, in the Capital on Sunday. DEEPAK Pompeo, Esper to arrive in India today: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark T Esper will arrive in New Delhi on Monday for the third edition of the two-plustwo ministerial dialogue which is taking place just a week ahead of the American presidential election and in the midst of India's festering border row with China. The two-plus-two dialogue will be held on Tuesday. The Indian side at the talks will be represented by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. 'PM has decided date of war with China, Pak': In a controversial remark, BJP's UP chief Swatantra Dev Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided when the country would be at war with Pakistan and China. His remarks came amid tension at the LAC between India and China, where the two countries have P4 massed troops over recent months. SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 25 OCTOBER T he single-day new coronavirus (Covid-19) cases reported in India today remained below 55,000 for the third consecutive day, while fresh Covid fatalities recorded in a day dropped to 578 after almost three months, according to the Union health ministry's figures. The country's Covid caseload mounted to 78,64,811 with 50,129 fresh infections being reported in a day, while the coronavirus toll climbed to 1,18,534 with 578 new fatalities, said the ministry's data updated this morning. The number of active cases remained below seven lakh for three days in a row, while the national recovery rate rose to 90 per cent. There are 6,68,154 active cases in the country which comprise 8.50 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.With a total of 70,78,123 people having recuperated from Covid, the national recovery rate for the infectious disease has touched 90 per cent, while 62,077 people have recovered in a span of 24 hours. This was matched by the downward spiral fall in the number of active Covid cases, which was maintained below the seven-lakh mark for the third successive day, the health ministry said. "The total recoveries exceed active cases by 64,09,969 as on date.” Less than 1,000 deaths have been continuously reported for the last one week. The figure is below the 1,100-mark since 2 October, the ministry stated. Seventy-five per cent of the new recoveries were observed to be concentrated in 10 states and Union Territories including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Maharashtra leads the tally with more than 10,000 single-day recoveries. Also, 79 per cent of the 50,129 78,64,811 6,68,154 50,129 62,077 1,18,534 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 25 OCTOBER 2020 fresh COVID-19 cases were reported from 10 states and UTs. Kerala continued to report a very high number of fresh cases with more than 8,000, followed by Maharashtra with over 6,000, the ministry said. Of 578 fresh Covid deaths, nearly 80 per cent were concentrated in 10 states and UTs, with Maharashtra accounting for the highest number 137. The new fatalities also include 59 from West Bengal, 55 from Chhattisgarh, 52 from Karnataka, 36 from Delhi and 35 from Tamil Nadu. India's total number of Covid testing laboratories has crossed 2,000. Starting from one laboratory in Pune, the number now stands at 2,003 ~ 1,126 governmentowned and 877 private ~ the ministry said. According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 10,25,23,469 samples have been tested up to 24 October with 11,40,905 samples being tested on Saturday. The total 1,18,534 Covid deaths recorded in the country till this morning include 43,152 from Maharashtra followed by 10,893 from Tamil Nadu, 10,873 from Karnataka, 6,854 from Uttar Pradesh, 6,566 from Andhra Pradesh, 6,427 from West Bengal, 6,225 from Delhi, 4,107 from Punjab and 3,679 from Gujarat. The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities. “Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,” the ministry said. adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation. We must light a ‘diya’ for our soldiers guarding borders: PM’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 25 OCTOBER In his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' radio broadcast today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India stood with its brave soldiers guarding the country's borders even as he exhorted people to light a "diya" at their homes in their honour. The PM's appeal to people of the country came amid India's lingering stand-off with China near LAC in Eastern Ladakh. Wishing people on the occasion of Dussehra, PM Modi said that with various festivals coming up, people need to show patience and follow health guidelines in celebrating these auspicious occasions during the Covid pan- demic. “Today, all of you are carrying on with immense patience, celebrating the festival with restraint and hence, in our ongoing fight, our victory too is assured,” he said. Modi also asked people to keep the "vocal for local" resolve in their mind and give priority to local products while shopping for festivals. The world was taking note of India's products, he said, citing the example of rising popularity of Khadi. During his 30-minute address, the PM also talked about indigenous sports and pointed to the growing popularity of Mallakhambh in countries like the US, Germany, Poland and Malaysia. The PM hailed the contribution of soldiers and their service to the nation. "We have to remember our soldiers, who are standing guard at the borders even in times of festivals.We must celebrate festivals while remembering them. We also have to light a 'diya' in our homes to honour these brave sons and daughters of mother India," he said. Modi also paid glowing tributes to India's first home minister Sardar Patel, whose birth anniversary falls on 31 October, and asked people to work for the country's unity through their words and deeds. “Unity is power, unity is strength, unity is progress, unity is empowerment, united we will scale new heights,” he said. “There have also been forces which continuously try to sow the seeds of suspicion in our minds, and try to divide the country. The country too has given a befitting reply to these ill-intentions every time.” Modi exhorted people to constantly try through their creativity and love to bring out the beautiful colours of "Ek Bharat-Shrestha Bharat" even in the smallest of tasks. ‘INDIA WILL BE AT HOME AMID THE CHAOS’ P10 Active cases account for 8.5 pc of caseload, single-day cases remain below 55K for third day TEMPERATURE Max: 33.9°C (+2) SUN RISES 06:30 hrs MOON RISES 15:12 hrs MY CAMPAIGN IS DOING VERY WELL: TRUMP PRINCE UNDER FIRE INDIA NEEDS TO BE MORE POWERFUL THAN CHINA: BHAGWAT Delhi sees highest spike in 38 days: Meanwhile, Delhi recorded 4,136 fresh Covid cases ~ its highest single-day spike in 38 days ~ according to the Delhi government's latest health bulletin issued tonight. This is the third consecutive day when over 4,000 new cases have been reported in Delhi. Yesterday, 4,116 new Covid cases were recorded in the city. On Friday, 4,086 new cases were logged and 3,882 cases were reported on Thursday. Today's fresh cases resulted from 49,069 tests conducted the previous day. Delhi's previous highest single-day spike in Covid cases was recorded on 17 September. when 4,432 new cases were recorded. The city today logged 33 Covid deaths, which took its coronavirus toll to 6,258, the bulletin stated. The tally of active cases today rose to 26,744 from 26,467 the previous day. The total number of Covid cases mounted to 3,56,656, the bulletin added. P12 India wants border row to end but won’t cede an inch of land: Rajnath PTI NEW DELHI, 25 OCTOBER Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said India wants an end to the border tension with China in eastern Ladakh, but at the same time asserted that Indian soldiers will never allow even an inch of the country to be taken away by anyone. The defence minister made the remarks after performing “Shastra Puja” ~ the customary worship of weapons ~ at the Sukna-based headquarters of the Indian Army's 33 Corps in Darjeeling district of West Bengal on the occasion of Dussehra. The defence minister was scheduled to perform the puja at Sherathang, a highaltitude border area near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Sikkim, but could not go there due to inclement weather, officials said. “India wants an end to the ongoing border tension with China and restoration of peace. This is our objective. But at times, some nefarious incidents keep happening. I am very confident that our soldiers will never allow even an inch of our land to be taken away by anyone,” Singh said after performing the “puja”. Chief of Army Staff Gen. MM Naravane and several senior officers of the Army were present on the occasion when the defence minister performed the “puja” at the key military base, which is responsible for guarding the LAC in the Sikkim sector. After performing the puja, Singh inaugurated a new road in Sikkim through a video-conference from Sukna. “I can say with confidence and on the basis of concrete information that the courage and deeds of Indian soldiers during whatever has happened at the India-China border in Ladakh recently will be written in golden letters by the historians,” the minister said without elaborating. Twenty Indian soldiers laid down their lives while valiantly fighting a group of Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on June 15, an incident that had significantly escalated the border tension between the two countries. China is yet to disclose the number of its soldiers killed and injured in the clash, though it has officially admitted to have suffered casualties. According to Indian officials, China suffered “heavy casualties” in the incident. Indian troops also occupied a number of strategic heights in the Mukhpari, Rezang La and Magar hill areas around the southern bank of the Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh, after the Chinese military attempted to intimidate them in the area on the intervening night of August 29 and 30. Both sides held a series of diplomatic and military talks to resolve the row that began on May 5, following a violent clash in eastern Ladakh. However, no breakthrough has been achieved to end the standoff. The defence minister's “Shastra Puja” at the strategically important military base was a message to India's adversaries, a military official said. FESTIVE FERVOUR AMID PANDEMIC Devotees with face shields pray in front of an idol of Goddess Durga at Aram Bagh Puja Samiti pandal in the Capital SUBRATA DUTTA on Sunday. It’s not how you talk about friends: Biden slams Trump for calling India ‘filthy’ PTI WASHINGTON, 25 OCTOBER Slamming President Donald Trump for his comment on India's air pollution, former vice president and Democratic Party's presidential nominee Joe Biden on Saturday said he and his running mate Kamala Harris deeply value America's partnership with India. "President Trump called India 'filthy'. It's not how you talk about friends and it's not how you solve global challenges like climate change," Biden said in a tweet, two days after Trump during a presidential debate accused China, India and Russiaofnottakingcareoftheir“filthy” air. "Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia. Look at India. The air is filthy,”Trump had said during the final presidential debate with Biden in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday. "Kamala Harris and I deeply value our partnership and will put respect back at the centre of our foreign policy," Biden said in a tweet Saturday as he retweeted his op-ed in the latest issue of ethnic India West weekly. "The Obama-Biden years were some of the best we've ever had between our two countries. A Biden-Harris administration will build on that great progress and do even more.We can and should be natural allies," Biden wrote in the op-ed. "That's why if elected President, I will continue what I have long called for:The US and India will stand together against terrorism in all its forms and work together to promote a region of peace and stability where neither China nor any other country threatens its neighbours," he said. "We'll open markets and grow the middle class in both the United States and India, and confront other international challenges together, like climate change, global health, transnational terrorism and nuclear proliferation," said Biden. Biden also alleged that Trump has been “weak and chaotic” with China on trade and could not lead an effective strategy to mobilise a true international effort to pressure, isolate, and punish Beijing to strengthen manufacturing jobs across the country. Speaking at a campaign event in Pennsylvania, a battle ground State, he said Trump opened doors for big banks to make money in China. “He (Trump) has been weak and chaotic with China on trade. Allhehasendedupdoingisopening doors for big banks to make money in China and helped contribute to a surge of farm bankruptcies in America,” Biden said.“I'll do what he's unable to do: lead an effective strategy to mobiliseatrueinternationaleffort to pressure, isolate, and punish China to actually strengthen manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania and across the country,” he said. Biden asked if President Trump and the Republicans did not have time to deliv- er a real economic relief to working families and small business, then how in the middle of this pandemic, do they have the time to vote to confirm a Justice to the Supreme Court. “I'll tell you why ~ it'sTrump's dream of wiping Obamacare off the books. Because his nominee has said in the past the law should be struck down. If they get their way, more than 20 million Americans could lose their coverage, including nearly 1 million Pennsylvanians," said the Democratic presidential nominee. Responding to the allegations from the ruling Republican party and Trump, Biden denied reports that he was planning to ban fracking. “And let me be clear. I will not ban fracking in Pennsylvania. I will protect Pennsylvania jobs. Period. No matter how many timesDonaldTrumplies,”hesaid. “Unlike Donald Trump, I don't think the big oil companiesneedahandoutfromthefederalgovernment.I'llgetridofUSD 40 billion in fossil fuel subsidies, and invest that money in clean energy. I have a plan to create millions of clean energy jobs in wind, solar, and carbon capture. Donald Trump never delivered on his promise for a big infrastructure plan," Biden said.
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