CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 24 NOVEMBER 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 HK ACTIVIST TO PLEAD GUILTY TO PROTEST CHARGES BIDEN EXPECTED TO NOMINATE BLINKEN AS SECY OF STATE P10 P5 RAINFALL: NIL RELATIVE HUMIDITY Min. 36% Max: 27.9°C (-1) Min: 15.5°C (-3) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:55 hrs 16:51 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 12:54 hrs --:-- hrs Full moon on 30 November THUMBNAILS Union home minister Amit Shah and health minister Harsh Vardhan at the inauguration of a Covid-19 RT-PCR mobile testing Laboratory Van at ICMR. In New Delhi on Monday. DEEPAK NCMC takes stock of preparedness for Nivar: The National Crisis Management Committee on Monday reviewed the status of cyclone Nivar that is expected to hit the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry between Tuesday and Thursday and directed that fishermen should not be allowed to venture out to sea. The NCMC, headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, also directed everyone concerned to continue to work with an aim of zero loss of life and early restoraP5 tion of normalcy in the affected areas. FM assures industry on economic reforms: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman assured the industry that momentum of economic reforms will continue to make India a hotspot of global investment. India has turned the crisis created by Covid pandemic into an opportunity to push the economic reforms, which remained pending for decades, she said while addressing the National MNC’s Conference 2020 organised by industry chamber CII. SC rap for Centre, states on sudden Covid upsurge Modi to review Covid situation with CMs today SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 23 NOVEMBER he pandemic situation in Delhi has worsened and it has gone out of control in Gujarat, the Supreme Court said on Monday while expressing concern over the surge in number of Covid-19 cases across the country. The apex court, which asked the Centre and all states to file within two days status reports detailing the steps taken to deal with the situation, said there is spike in Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra and authorities have to take steps and prepare for the worst for December. Things have worsened in Delhi especially in November. You file a status report on what steps have been taken, a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan told Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, who was appearing for Delhi government. In Gujarat, situation is going out of control, said the bench, also comprising Justices R S Reddy and M R Shah. There is spike in cases and this is only November. Prepare for the worst in December. You have to take steps, the bench told the lawyer appearing for Maharashtra. The top court said all efforts shall be made by the Centre and the states to mitigate the situation and to deal with the rising number of Covid-19 cases. The bench was hearing a matter in which it had taken cognisance regarding need for proper treat- T STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, 23 NOVEMBER including women and transgenders, with defamatory and obscene postings “However, after the amendment was brought in, people from different walks of life, including those who support the Left Front and those who stand up for democratic values, expressed concern. Taking this into consideration, the government has decided not to implement the amendment,” said CM Vijayan On Monday morning, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury had said Maha not to allow those with Covid symptoms Things have worsened in Delhi, especially in November. The pandemic situation has gone out of control in Gujarat. There is spike in Covid-19 cases in Maharash1 tra and authorities have to take steps and this is only November. Prepare for the worst for December. The top court said all efforts shall be made by the Centre and the states to mitigate the situation and to deal with the rising number of Covid-19 cases. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan , also comprising Justices R S Reddy and M R Shah, was hearing a matter in which it had taken cognizance regarding need for proper treatment of Covid-19 patients and dignified handling of dead bodies in the hospitals. ment of Covid-19 patients and dignified handling of dead bodies in the hospitals. It has posted the matter for further hearing on 27 November. Observing that there is a rise in Covid-19 cases across the country especially in Delhi, Maharashtra and Gujarat, the bench noted the submissions of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who said that Union Home minister Amit Shah had taken a meeting on 15 November and steps are being taken to deal with the situation in the national capital. Jain told the bench that as per earlier order of the apex court, expert committee has been constituted and other directions have also been complied with by the Delhi government. He said that a separate space has been earmarked for cremation of 385 bodies.We have no difficulty that you have complied with orders of this court. But looking at the present situation, what else are you doing, the bench observed and asked Jain to file a status report. The apex court also questioned the Gujarat government over its policy of marriage celebration during the pandemic time, saying cases are rising there and situation has worsened in the state after Delhi and Maharashtra. After Delhi and Maharashtra situation in Gujarat has also worsened. What is that you are allowing marriage celebration during day time? You file affidavit on the status report on steps taken as on date, the bench said. At the outset, Mehta said the matter is related to handling of dead bodies and it is painful that the the party would review the amendment. Following this, the CPI-M state Secretariat met here and decided to put on hold the implementation of the Kerala Police Act Amendment. It may be noted that CM Vijayan has on Sunday defended the amendment claiming that it ‘won’t curb the freedom of Press’ adding that it won’t be against ‘impartial media’ or ‘free speech’. The ordinance, signed by the governor on Friday, introduces a new section, 118A in the Kerala Police Act. According to the new law, “Whoever makes, expresses, publishes or disseminates through any kind of mode of communication, any matter or subject for threatening, abusing, humiliating or defaming a person or class of persons, knowing it to be false and that causes injury to the mind, reputation or property of such person or class of persons or any other person in whom they have interest shall on conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.” The introduction of the new Section through an ordinance triggered massive outrage,with people from all walks of life, including supporters of the LDF government, criticising it for being unconstitutional. Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, KPCC president Mullapally Ramachandran and United Democratic Front (UDF) convener M M Hassan staged a sit-in protest in front of the Secretariat asking the government to invalidate the draconian provision. Speaking on the occasion, Ramesh Chennithala said chief minister Pinarayi court has to deal with this issue. It was only part of the order. It relates to the hospital situation also, the bench observed. In the 19 June order, the apex court had directed the Centre and states to set up expert panel for effective monitoring, supervision and guidance of government and Covid dedicated hospitals for providing proper health care to patients. It had directed the Centre to bring uniformity in charges of testing and other facilities and ordered it to constitute an expert committee of senior doctors of Central government hospitals, GNCTD run hospitals, AIIMS and responsible officer from the Union health ministry. It had said that the expert committee shall inspect, supervise and issue necessary directions to all Vijayan is treading over freedom of speech and rights in a way similar to that of Adolf Hitler. BJP Kerala president K Surendran said that the amendment had sought to curtail the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19 (I) of the Constitution. BJP state president K Surendran on Monday approached the Kerala High Court seeking to quash the amendment that gave freehand to the police to stop humiliating, abusing and threatening individuals through any content and disseminated the same through any mode of communication. Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) leaders Shibu Baby John and others have also filed petitions in the High Court challenging the Constitutional validity of Section 118A and seeking for a declaration that this amendment is unconstitutional. NEW DELHI, 23 NOVEMBER MUMBAI, 23 NOVEMBER A health worker collects samples for Covid-19 testing in the Capital on Monday. SNS Stung LDF govt puts ‘draconian’ Police Act on hold Stung by widespread criticism and massive outrage, the LDF government in Kerala has decided not to implement the controversial Police Act amendment. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said the state government has decided to put on hold the implementation of the Kerala Police Act Amendment “We are not intending to implement the amended Kerala Police Act. A detailed discussion will be held in the state Assembly in this regard and further steps will be taken after hearing the views from various quarters,” CM Vijayan said in a statement. Vijayan said that the government brought in the ordinance in view of widespread abuse of social media, using the platform to attack various sections in the society, P12 SNS & PTI Mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature most likely to be around 28 °C and 15 °C respectively.. TEMPERATURE P9 Asks for status report within two days, detailing steps taken to deal with the situation WEATHER Max.94% ‘LIFE IN BIO BUBBLE IS TOUGH’ FADNAVIS DOWNPLAYS FORMING GOVT WITH AJIT PAWAR Maharashtra government on Monday announced that people with Covid-19 symptoms seeking to enter the states from Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa would be turned back. “The passengers without symptoms will be allowed entry. Passengers with symptoms shall have the option of turning back and going to their home to recuperate,” a state government order said. The order also stipulated that all domestic passengers travelling from airports in NCR Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa shall carry RT-PCR negative test reports with them before boarding and show them to the teams at the arrival airport in the state. The RT-PCR sample collection should have been done within 72 hours of scheduled time of landing at airports in PTI Maharashtra. government hospitals, Covid hospitals and other hospitals in NCT of Delhi for taking care of Covid patients and the panel shall ensure that at least one visit in each hospital be done weekly. Amidst the rising cases of coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to review the situation on Tuesday with the chief ministers, sources said. Sources also said the Prime Minister will discuss the rollout of the vaccine programme in the states. He will hold virtual meetings with the chief ministers of Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, West Bengal and Kerala. After this meeting, the Prime Minister is scheduled to discuss the vaccine delivery roll out with all the states and Union Territories. The Centre is preparing on a war footing the vaccine delivery system as the Covid cases have surpassed nine million. With 44,000 new Covid-19 cases, India’s tally reached 91,39,865 on Monday. According to the data released by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 511 new deaths occurred due to the deadly virus in the last 24 hours taking the toll to 1,33,738. While the active cases stood at 4,43,486, a total of 85,62,641 have recovered from the virus and have been discharged of which 41,024 were discharged in the last 24 hrs. It is also, however, the 16th straight day when India reported less than 50,000 cases in a day. The last time daily new cases crossed the 50,000-threshold was on November 7. While the recovery rate 91,39,865 4,43,486 44,059 41,024 1,33,738 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. MONDAY 23 NOV 2020 stands at a whopping 93.86 per cent, the fatality rate is at 1.46 per cent, the Ministry data revealed. Bengal positivity rate at 8.2 per cent: West Bengal today registered 3,557 fresh Covid cases and 47 deaths due to infection. The total Covid case count is 4,59,918 and death toll is 8,072 in the state till now while there are 25,030 active cases. Kolkata recorded 847 cases and 10 deaths and North 24 Parganas recorded 803 fresh Covid cases and 13 deaths. In the last 24 hours, 3,687 patients were discharged from hospitals taking the number of recovered patients to 4,26,816. A total of 42,367 people were tested for Covid in a single-day, registering a positivity rate of 8.26 per cent. Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine 70% effective on average PRESS TRUST OF INDIA LONDON, 23 NOVEMBER Pharma major AstraZeneca said on Monday that an interim analysis of clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine in the UK and Brazil showed that it was 70 per cent effective on average, becoming the latest firm to post the vaccine trials results raising hope to contain the virus. The vaccine, developed with the Oxford University, showed 90 per cent efficacy in one dosing regimen when the vaccine was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least a month later, and another dosing regimen showed 62 per cent efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart, AstraZeneca said. “The combined analysis from both dosing regimens resulted in an average efficacy of 70 per cent,” it added. An independent Data Safety Monitoring Board determined that the analysis met its primary endpoint showing protection from Covid-19 occurring 14 days or more after receiving two doses of the vaccine, AstraZeneca said. No serious safety events related to the vaccine have been confirmed. The ChAdOx1 nCoV-2019 or codenamed AZD1222 was well tolerated across both dosing regimens, it said. The company “will now immediately prepare the regulatory submission of the data to authorities around the world that have a framework in place for conditional or early approval,” the statement said. AstraZeneca will seek an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organisation for an accelerated pathway to vaccine availability in low-income countries, it added. “These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives. Excitingly, we've found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90 per cent effective and if this dosing regimen is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply, explained Professor Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and Chief Investigator of the OxfordVaccine Trial. The vaccine was co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company Vaccitech. “Today marks an important milestone in our fight against the pandemic. This vaccine's efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against Covid-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency,” AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said. Veteran Congressman and former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi passes away SNS & PTI GUWAHATI, 23 NOVEMBER Veteran Congress leader and a three-term former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi died here on Monday while undergoing treatment for postCovid-19 complications, state Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said. He was 84 and is survived by wife Dolly, daughter Chandrima and son Gaurav, a Lok Sabha member. Gogoi, thrice chief minister of the state from 2001 to 2016, breathed his last at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) at 5.34 p.m, Sarma said. The doctors conducted an ECG and found that his heart has stopped, following which the GMCH superintendent confirmed that he is no more, he said. Kovind said Gogoi’s passing away marked the end of an era and his long tenure in office was a period of epochal change in the state. “Extremely sad to know of the demise of Shri Tarun Gogoi, former Chief Minister of Assam. The country has lost a veteran leader with rich political and administrative experience. His long tenure in office was a period of epochal change in Assam,” Kovind tweeted. He will always be remembered for the development of Assam and especially towards his efforts to improve law and order and fighting insurgency in the state, he said in another tweet. “His passing away marks the end of an era. In this hour of grief, condolences to his family, friends and supporters,” the President said. Expressing his anguish at the death of Gogoi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described him as a popular leader and veteran administrator who had years of political experience in Assam as well as at the Centre. Modi tweeted, “Sri Tarun Gogoi Ji was a popular leader and a veteran administrator, who had years of political experience in Assam as well Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal pays homage to three-time Assam CM Tarun Gogoi. At the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital on Monday. IANS as the Centre. Anguished by his passing away. My thoughts are with his family and sup- porters in this hour of sadness. Om Shanti.” The veteran Congress leader was first admit- CMYK ted to the hospital on 26 August after testing positive for Covid-19 and was discharged for a brief period before being admitted again on 2 November. His condition deteriorated on 21 November, following multi-organ failure and was put on invasive ventilation. Gogoi was given dialysis on Sunday. His condition deteriorated further over the past few hours and the hospital where he was admitted said he was “very, very critical”. Gogoi was the MLA from the Titabor Assembly constituency since 2001. He was also a six-time parliamentarian and became Union minister twice. His body will be taken to his residence in Dispur and from there to the Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra where people can pay their homage to the leader on Tuesday, said Sarma, a former cabinet colleague of Gogoi. He will be cremated with full state honours and the venue will be decided in consultation with his family, the minister added. Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi on Monday also condoled the Gogoi’s death, which he described as an irreparable loss to the state as well as the nation. Describing Gogoi as a towering leader who witnessed several ups and downs during his long political career, Mukhi said his sagacity and leadership as the former Union minister and chief minister will be a source of inspiration and guidance for many. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal deeply mourned Gogoi’s death. “I am deeply saddened. With his death, the state has lost an experienced, capable and efficient political leader,” he said. “His sense of humour, amiable and outspoken nature attracted everyone. He set high ethical values in the field of politics with his simple lifestyle and contributed profusely in strengthening democratic values in the country,” Sonowal added.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.