SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 31 JULY 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR JOE BIDEN’S INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN MOVES AHEAD KARNATAKA TO GO IN FOR COMPULSORY TESTING: BOMMAI P5 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. Moderate rain/thundershowers. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 32 and 25 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: 72.0 MM RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 98% Min: 24.5°C (-3) SUN SETS 19:13 hrs MOON SETS 13:18 hrs THUMBNAILS A flooded home in Burdwan town after heavy SANJOY KARMAKAR rains on Friday. SC seeks report on judge’s death: The Supreme Court Friday took suo motu cognizance of the “sad demise” of a judge in “gruesome incident” of being allegedly mowed down by a vehicle while on morning jog on July 28 at Dhanbad and sought a status report within a week from Jharkhand's Chief Secretary and the DGP on the probe into the incident. ED summons for Deshmukh: The Enforcement Directorate on Friday issued fresh summons to former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh and his son to appear before it next week in connection with a money laundering case probe. The Supreme Court earlier in the day declined to grant any immediate relief to Deshmukh on his plea seeking protection from any coercive action by the ED in the case. T he Delta variant of the coronavirus may cause more severe illness than all other known versions of the virus and spread as easily as chickenpox, media reports quoting an internal document from the US health authority said. The document from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines unpublished data that shows fully vaccinated people might spread the Delta variant, first identified in India, at the same rate as unvaccinated people, the reports said. The contents of the document were first reported by The Washington Post on Thursday. Dr Rochelle P Walensky, the director of the CDC, acknowledged on Tuesday that vaccinated people with so-called breakthrough HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS According to the CDC document, the Delta variant is more transmissible than the viruses that cause MERS, SARS, Ebola, the common cold, the seasonal flu and smallpox, and is as contagious as chickenpox. The document also outlines data that shows fully vaccinated people might spread the Delta variant, at the same rate as unvaccinated people. infections of the Delta variant carry just as much virus in the nose and throat as unvaccinated people and may spread it just as readily, if less often. But the internal document lays out a broader and even grimmer view of the variant. The Delta variant is more transmissible than the viruses that cause MERS, SARS, Ebola, the common cold, the seasonal flu and smallpox, and it is as contagious as chickenpox, acc- ording to the document. The Delta variant ~ originally known as B.1.617.2 ~ might cause more severe disease, according to the document. The agency is expected to publish additional data on the deadly variant on Friday. Infection with the Delta variant produces virus amounts in the airways that are tenfold higher than what is seen in people infected with the Alpha variant, which is also highly contag- NEW DELHI, 30 JULY No death has been reported due to manual scavenging, the Union Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry has told Parliament, drawing sharp reaction from activists who said that those people were being robbed of dignity even in their deaths. Manual scavenging is banned under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013. In response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Union Min- ious, the document noted. The amount of virus in a person infected with Delta is a thousandfold more than what is seen in people infected with the original version of the virus, according to one recent study. Walensky told CNN that the Delta variant "is one of the most transmissible viruses we know about. Measles, chickenpox, this ~ they're all up there." “The bottom line was that, in contrast to the other variants, vaccinated people, even if they didn't get sick, got infected and shed virus at similar levels as unvaccinated people who got infected," Walter Orenstein, who heads the Emory Vaccine Center, told CNN. But vaccinated people are safer, the document indicates. “Vaccines prevent more than 90 per cent of severe disease, but may be less effective at preventing infection or transmission," it notes. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA The Supreme Court will next week hear a plea by senior journalists N Ram and Sashi Kumar seeking an independent probe by a sitting or retired judge into the Pegasus snooping matter. A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana on Friday took note of senior advocate Kapil Sibal's submissions that the petition, which has been numbered after filing with the apex court registry, needed an urgent hearing in view of its wide ramifications. The issue affects the freedom of citizens, the lawyer, appearing for Ram and Kumar said, and added that Opposition leaders, journalists and even court staff have been put under surveillance. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE India recorded 44,230 fresh Covid-19 cases with 555 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to data furnished by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as active cases registered an increase for the third consecutive day. On Tuesday, India had registered new 29,689 Covid cases, falling below the the 30,000-mark for the first time in 132 days, and 415 deaths. But on Wednesday and Thursday, the country recorded in excess of 43,000 new cases each day. The total number of deaths has reached 4,23,217 as per government data and active cases number 4,05,155. Kerala has been recording the most number of new corona infection cases ~ 22,064 on Thursday, and 20,772 on Friday ~ followed by Maharashtra. The data shows that Kerala is contributing around 50 per cent of the total new cases being logged across the country. Kerala’s test positivity rate (TPR) has risen to 13.61 per cent, according to the state health department. According to the health ministry data, a total of 45,60,33,754 Covid vaccine doses have been administered in India so far, including 51,83,180 in the last 24 hours. Delhi cases: The national capital on Friday recorded 63 fresh cases of Covid19 following 70,111 tests conducted all over the city. There were 51 positive cases identified yesterday. ister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale said 66,692 manual scavengers were identified. However, on how many deaths of manual scavengers have been recorded, he replied, "No such deaths have been reported due to manual scavenging."The government does not identify deaths due to manual scavenging and instead calls them deaths due to hazardous cleaning of septic tanks and sewers. During the last session of Parliament, on March 10, Athawale had said, "No deaths due to manual scavenging has been reported. However, there have been reports of death of persons while cleaning sewers or septic tanks." Activists have described the government's response as a complete lack of apathy. Bezwada Wilson, the national convener of Safai Karmachari Andolan, an organisation working to eradicate manual scavenging, said the minister had himself admitted that 340 people died while cleaning sewers. “Now, he is making a statement technically and thinking manual scavenging as dry latrines. So, he must mention in his statement very clearly that in dry latrines people may not die but here in septic tanks people die. The government is denying everything and in the same manner, he is denying deaths due to manual scavenging," he said. Sanjeev Kumar, the secretary of Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch, said that the number of deaths is anyway under-reported. “In Delhi alone, there have been so many such deaths. It is very sad that the government is not acknowledging their deaths. Those who lost their lives are being robbed of dignity even in their deaths," he said. SEE P 2 3,15,72,344 4,05,155 44,230 42,360 4,23,217 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. FRIDAY 30 JULY 2021 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA TOKYO, 30 JULY assured of at least a bronze. “Isi ladki se 4 baar haar chuki hun(I had lost to her four times earlier), all I wanted to do was prove a point to myself by being fearless against her. I was just looking for revenge," she said after the fantastic win which has triggered celebrations across the country. Later in the day, Sindhu did what she does with at big events, turn on the style and move ahead. So she overcame a draining challenge from Japan's Akane Yamaguchi to prevail in straight games, the scoreline not quite reflecting the remarkable duel the two ladies were engaged in. “For me it's time to go back, relax and get ready for the next match. I'm happy but I need to prepare for the next match," was her typically business-like response to the 21-13 22-20 win. A win in the next round will set her up for at least a silver medal, which she had also won in the 2016 edition. The hockey teams had a good day too. Already assured of a quarterfinal berth, the men were clinical in their 5-3 thrashing of Japan in their final group match.They will face Great Britain in the last-eight stage. The women too kept their hopes of moving ahead alive with Navneet Kaur scoring a late winner against Ireland for a 1-0 win. But after two days of some great results, archery was a heartbreak. World number one Deepika Kumari's quest for an Olympic medal ended in disappointment for the third time as she surrendered tamely to Korean top seed An San in “It is creating waves in India and world over,” Sibal said while pressing for an urgent hearing on the plea. “We will list it sometime in next week,” the chief justice said. According to the plea, the alleged snooping represented an attempt by agencies and organisations to muzzle the exercise of free speech and expression of dissent in India. It seeks an investigation into the hacking of phones using the Pegasus spyware. An international media consortium has reported that over 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers were on a list of potential targets for surveillance using Israeli firm NSO's Pegasus spyware. The petition also seeks a direction to the Centre to disclose if the government or any of its agencies obtained licence for Pegasus spyware and used it, either directly or indirectly, to conduct surveillance in any manner. Opp can seek clarification from minister on Pegasus issue: Govt NEW DELHI, 30 JULY 44K Covid cases in 24 hours According to the plea, the alleged snooping represented an attempt by agencies and organisations to muzzle the exercise of free speech and expression of dissent in India. It seeks an investigation into the hacking of phones using Pegasus spyware. NEW DELHI, 30 JULY With the Opposition determined to stall Parliament until the government agrees to a debate on the Pegasus issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said on Friday opposition parties can still seek clarification from IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on his statement over the matter. Interacting with reporters after the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day due to the Opposition's protests, he said the government had agreed to them seeking clarification from Vaishnaw after he made statements in both the House and these parties can still do so. The Opposition has insisted that it will not call More than 315 members want the Question Hour. Despite that, behaving like this, it's more unfortunate. IT Minister has given detailed statement in both the Houses. This is totally non-serious issue. Kindly allow the house to function PRAHLAD JOSHI PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS MINISTER off its protests inside Parliament without the government allowing a full-fledged debate on the alleged snooping on a group of people, ranging from politicians to businessmen and journalists, with the use of the Pegasus spyware. The Opposition had created a ruckus in the Lok Sabha when Vaish- naw made his statement on the issue. In the Rajya Sabha, a Trinamul Congress member had torn the paper containing the minister's statement, forcing him to lay his comments on the floor of the House. Joshi said in the Lok Sabha on Friday that the controversy was a "non-issue" and that the government was ready for discussions on people-related issues. Echoing the view, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur accused parties like the Congress and the TMC of “wasting” Parliament's time merely for politics. Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned for the week amidst continued uproar created by Opposition parties over the Pegasus and other issues. India-China commander level talks to be held today PHOTO FINISH STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 30 JULY Students celebrate after the announcement of CBSE Class XII results in New Delhi on Friday Assam boxer Lovlina guarantees India’s second Olympic medal; Sindhu advances; Deepika disappointed again Debutant boxer Lovlina Borgohain (69 kg) provided the spark that India's Olympic campaign desperately needed with a medal-clinching quarterfinal win, while ace shuttler P V Sindhu re-asserted her status as one of the greats of the sport as the country's athletes enjoyed a largely successful day 7 at the Games here on Friday. Borgohain (photo), all of 23 and already two-time world championship medallist, took a big step in making her own space in the Indian women's boxing's landscape, which has been largely dominated by the iconic M C Mary Kom. She defeated former world champion Nien-Chin Chen of Chinese Taipei to become the first among nine Indian boxers in the fray here to be P12 SNS & PTI No death reported due to manual scavenging: Govt PRESS TRUST OF INDIA P5 This variant of the coronavirus may cause more severe illness: US CDC NEW DELHI, 30 JULY Flights suspension extended: The coronavirusinduced suspension of scheduled international passenger flights has been extended till August 31, aviation regulator DGCA said on Friday. "However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis," the Directorate General of Civil Aviation added. DJOKOVIC CRASHES OUT FROM TOKYO OLYMPICS ‘Delta variant can spread Pegasus row: Top court as easily as chickenpox’ to hear plea next week NEW YORK, 30 JULY TEMPERATURE Max: 32.0°C (-2) SUN RISES 05:43 hrs MOON RISES 23:53 hrs P10 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Min: 79% ASSAM CM JUSTIFIES MIZORAM TRAVEL ADVISORY straight sets in the quarterfinals. The fancied Indian misfired three 7s in a row, after drilling in as many 10s in succession, to snuff out any chance of a comeback after being 02 down in the opening set. An, who had a perfect opening set of 30, closed it out despite shooting in the red-circle thrice in succession (7-89) in second and third sets. There was little to celebrate in athletics as well with Avinash Sable shattering his own 3000m steeplechase national record being the only bright moment. But he failed to qualify for the final, bad luck being a factor, while sprinter Dutee Chand produced a below-par performance to make an exit from the Games. M P Jabir also brought up the rear in men's 400m hurdles while the mixed 4x400m relay team finished eighth and last in the second heat race as the Indians made a disappointing start to their athletics campaign. The 26-year-old Sable failed to qualify for the final despite clocking a better time than the top three in another heat race. He clocked 8 minutes 18.12 seconds in heat number 2 to finish seventh and better his earlier national record of 8:20.20 that he had set during the Federation Cup in March. But he was unlucky to miss the finals cut as only the topthree finishers from each heat gain automatic entry. The topthree from heat number 3 ran in slower time than him. There was no end to misery in shooting and Manu Bhaker and Rahi Sarnobat crashed out of the 25m pistol qualifications (rapid fire stage) finishing outside the top-8. MORE REPORTS ON PAGE 12 SNS CBSE Class XII results: 99.37 pass percentage NEW DELHI, 30 JULY The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) recorded the highest ever pass percentage of 99.37 in this year’s class XII results, declared on Friday, with girls doing just slightly ~ by 0.54 per cent ~ better than boys. The pass percentage increased by over 10 percentage points against last year's 88.78 per cent. The board announced the results on the basis of an alternate assessment policy after the exams were cancelled in view of the aggressive second wave of Covid-19. According to the policy, the theory paper evaluation formula is 30 per cent weightage to Class X marks, 30 per cent to Class XI marks and 40 per cent weightage to marks obtained in Class XII unit test, midterm, pre-board exams. PTI India and China will hold the 12th round of Corps Commander-level talks on the military stand-off at Eastern Ladakh tomorrow, Army sources said today. The talks, which will begin at 1030 hrs at Moldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Control, are likely to focus on disengagement of troops at Depsang Plains, Hot Springs and Gogra Heights. The last round of meeting between the top commanders was held on 9 April. Since then, the two sides had been discussing possible dates for the next meeting. The Chinese side had proposed 26 July for the 12th round of the meeting but India sought a fresh date as the Indian Army at that time was occupied with Kargil 'Vijay Diwas' celebrations. The two sides completed disengagement at the Pangong Tso Lake in February but differences persist over the withdrawal of troops from other friction points. India has been insisting that the Chinese side restore the status quo ante that existed in April-May last year before the face-off began. New Delhi had reiterated this position at the last meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination in the border areas held on 25 June. At this meeting, the two sides had agreed to prevent any untoward incident and ensure peace and tranquility in the border areas.
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.