KOTTAYAM l WEDNESDAY l JUNE 17, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION FIRST LIFE-SAVER FOR COVID FOUND IN LARGE UK TRIAL Low-cost generic steroid reduced deaths by one-third among severely ill hospitalised people in a 6,000-patient trial DEXAMETHASONE’S SIGNIFICANT BENEFITS HOW STEROID DRUGS WORK Patients who are on ventilators or on oxygen due to Covid-19 could benefit from dexamethasone. Scientists at the University of Oxford said their trial compared outcomes of 2,104 patients randomly given the drug with those of 4,321 patients who didn’t get it. The drug reduced deaths by 35% in those on ventilators and by 20% in those only needing additional oxygen ■ ■ ■ Dexamethasone tamps down the body’s uncontrolled inflammatory response to the virus in very sick patients The drug didn’t appear to help those not on respiratory support Experts urge caution about the trial results as they haven’t been published yet in a peer-reviewed journal | P12 54,625 PEOPLE GLOBALLY ARE IN SERIOUS OR CRITICAL CONDITION DUE TO COVID-19 CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI CHINA ATTACK KILLS 20 INDIAN SOLDIERS The Ladakh flashpoint 3 of the fatalities Ironically, the de-escalation process was under way in the Galwan Valley, where the face-off happened on the intervening night of Monday-Tuesday CHINA Siachen Glacier PAKISTAN Line of Control M AYA N K S I N G H & P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi Col Santhosh Babu Line of Actual Control CLASH IN GALWAN VALLEY Havildar Palani LADAKH JAMMU & KASHMIR INDIA Sepoy Ojha E X P E RT TA K E Lt Gen (retd) D S Hooda BR Deepak, sinologist The situation is extremely grave. It could become more difficult to find a peaceful a resolution. The future course will depend on the demands of the two sides and whether both are ready to reconcile Now that the balance of power in the region has tilted heavily in favour of China, Beijing wants to force New Delhi into solving the dispute on its terms. China comes to talks with conditions rarely acceptable to India FULL COVERAGE CHINA POLICY MAY NEED BIG REFORMS Skirmishes amid de-escalation talks signal that a complete overhaul of policy is the need of the hour in India-China relations, experts say. A former ambassador to China said on the condition of anonymity that India needs to enhance its political and diplomatic engagement. Debashis Chaudhari of the Institute of Chinese Studies said PM Narendra Modi should leverage his friendly relations with Chinese President Xi Jinping for a breakthrough in talks | P7 GREEN SHOOTS OF RECOVERY VISIBLE: MODI E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday hailed the collective response of chief ministers to the Covid-19 pandemic, saying it showcased the best of cooperative federalismin the country He . also drew satisfaction from the green shoots in the economy and reiterated the importance of life and livelihood. “On the one hand, health infrastructure will need to be boosted with emphasis on testing and tracing. Economic activity will also need to be increased,” Modi told the CMs in P8 his concluding remarks. EXPRESS READ Filmmaker Sachy critical Thrissur: Script writer turned filmmaker K R Sachidanandan, popularly called Sachy, whose latest movie ‘Ayyappanum Koshiyum’ was a runaway hit, is in critical condition at a private hospital. Sachy, who underwent hip surgery was rushed to hospital after suffering cardiac arrest. Attacked by Chinese soldiers in full riot gear with rods & bamboos that had nails on them; Colonel among the troops killed in action; many succumbed to injuries because of sub-zero temperature and high altitude IN what appears to be a dramatic meltdown of bilateral relationship, India and China on Tuesday blamed each other for the worst face-off in 45 years that left 20 Indian soldiers dead, including one officer, along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan area. A terse late night statement issued by the Army said: “Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged at the Galwan area where they had earlier clashed on the night of 15/16 June 2020. 17 Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty at the stand-off location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain have succumbed to their injuries, taking the total that were killed in action to 20.” An earlier statement said, “The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers.” While Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian accused Indian troops of crossing the LAC twice, leading to a serious clash, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the faceoff was a result of China unilaterally trying to alter status quo. “Our border troops had a high-level meeting and reached important consensus on easing the border situation but astonishingly on June 15 the Indian troops seriously violated our consensus and twice crossed the border line for illegal activities and provoked and attacked Chinese personnel, which led to serious physical Plasma therapy cures 1st Covid-19 patient in state E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Thrissur THE state health department has achieved a commendable feat as a Covid-19 patient in critical condition was cured of the infection following convalescent plasma therapy at the Government Medical College Hospital (MCH) in Thrissur. The 51-year-old was taken off ventilator here on Monday evening, four days after the therapy got over. Perfor med as a medical emergency, plasma therapy involves the separation of antibodies from a person cured of coronavirus and its subsequent infusion into the vein of the Covid patient in a critical condition. The beneficiary, a Delhi-returned Malayali, had tested positive on June 6 and started facing acute respiratory complications five days later, warranting ventilator support. On June 11 night, the patient underwent plasma therapy that lasted till the daybreak. “The procedure requires volunteers who have recovered from Cov- id-19 and are above the age of 18. They can donate plasma, the yellowish liquid component of the blood, between the first and fourth month after cure,” said Thrissur Medical College Principal Dr M A Andrews. “The therapy has proven its potential to give the Covid patient a fresh lease of life.” The patient is recuperating in ICU after six days on ventilator. Plasma therapy relies on an apparatus called apheresis that separates plasma from the donor’s blood. Unlike the usual blood donation, the remainder here returns to the donor’s circulation. “In one go, we take 400 grams of plasma and transfuse it into the Covid patient in two phases,” said Dr Andrews. “The therapy has absolutely no side effect.” Though the doctors at the Government Medical College Hospital at Manjery had tried plasma therapy on former Santosh Trophy player Ilayidath Hamsakkoya, it made little improvement in the 61-year-old’s health condition and he died. conflict between the two sides and China has lodged strong protest and representation with the Indian side,” Zhao said. Later in the day a statement from , Srivastava said, “While it was our expectation that this (de-escalation) would unfold smoothly, the Chinese side departed from the consensus to respect the LAC. On the late-evening and night of June 15 a violent faceoff happened as a result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo there. Both sides suffered casualties that could have been avoided had the agreement at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side.” There were reports of Chinese fatalities, too, but the state establishment has not put a figure to it yet. However, Hu Xijin, the editor of the Global Times, the Communist Party’s mouthpiece, tweeted that there were Chinese casualities as well. On the Indian side, the casualties HISTORY REPEATS AS CHINESE AMBUSHED INDIAN SOLDIERS, KILLED FOUR OF THEM IN 1975 l The last clash between Indian and Chinese troops that led to casualties took place in 1975 l An Indian patrol team of Assam Rifles personnel were killed in an ambush by Chinese troops in Tulung La in Arunachal Pradesh l India alleged that the Chinese army crossed into Indian territory and attacked soldiers, lodged strong protest l But China blamed India, claimed its army opened fire in ‘self-defence’ as a group of Indian soldiers crossed the ‘Line of Control’ T’Puram: The government has decided to take Palakkad district as a special case for the pandemic control activities. The health department has already dispatched a reinforcement team to bolster the prevention and control programmes. The department has assessed that 27 local bodies in the district need special attention. P2 4 people died in the Middle East due to Covid-19 on Tuesday. KERALA CASE DIARY 79 cases reported on Tuesday 1,366 people under treatment 1,234 2,622 cases have been confirmed so far 20 DEATHS recovered Kerala guzzles liquor worth `750 cr after BevQ launch K750 cr J500 cr Total sales proceeds through bars, beer and wine parlours, KTDC parlours, Consumerfed outlets, etc L250 cr Bevco outlets L650 cr state govt share 13L tokens directed to Bevco outlets 45 lakh tokens generated 32L tokens directed to bars, beer and wine parlours, KTDC parlours, Consumerfed outlets, etc From May 28 to June 15 (15 working days) D H I N E S H K A L L U N G A L @ T'Puram AFTER the launch of the BevQ app facilitated the reopening of liquor outlets, including bars and beer parlours offering parcel service, consumers bought liquor to the tune of around `750 crore in the first 15 days. Despite hiccups in the functioning of the virtual queue management app, the reopening of outlets after more than two months spread cheer among liquor consumers. But if the statistics obtained by TNIE are any indication, Bevco outlets have now clocked only half of its business before the Covid-19 outbreak. From May 28 to June 15 (15 working days), the state recorded liquor sales of around `750 crore in 1,168 outlets. This comprised 301 outlets controlled by Bevco and Consumerfed, and 867 outlets in the private sector. The Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) outlets received around `250 crore while bars, beer and wine parlours, KTDC beer parlours and Consumerfed outlets made around `500 crore. Before the lockdown set in, Bevco used to get a revenue of around Rs 38-43 crore per day, with retail outlets netting around `28-30 crore and ing between Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. Going forward, defence experts expect greater bilateral tension. “I see this stand-off leading to greater tension if what the Chinese want is unacceptable to us. If the Chinese agree to return to the original position along the LAC, then the tension could ease. But, this time the Chinese don’t seem to be ready to vacate the areas,” Lt Gen (retd) D S Hooda said. Major General D K Mehta said, “The way China is cornered - and there is tremendous pressure on China from all around - this a tactic to whip up ultra-nationalism among the Chinese people who are suffering from the worst phase of their economy China is browbeating countries .” in the South China Sea and is worried about the growing significance of Taiwan in geopolitics. It also is trying to pressure India into not getting involved in the affairs of the World Health Organization, like the probe into the origin of the coronavirus and entry of Taiwan as an observer, added Maj Gen Mehta. Diplomatic experts called for an overhaul of New Delhi’s policy towards China. “It is high time India starts to look towards China through a different prism. By merely saying we are not the India of 1962, resolution of border differences will not happen. We need to act. We need to be cautious about our neighbour at all times and stand up to its aggression,” a former Indian Ambassador to China said. Sinologist B R Deepak called for setting up new mechanism to deal with the neighbour. STATE GOVT TO FOCUS ON PALAKKAD DIST 15 DAYS' SALE WHAT KERALA CONSUMED include a officer of the rank of Colonel, said to be the Commanding Officer of an Infantry Unit, a JCO and a jawan. The incident occurred when a large number of Chinese troops encircled Indian soldiers and beat them with rods and bamboos with nails on them. “The Chinese soldiers were in complete riot gear with helmets, shields and knee and elbow caps,” informed a source. Senior military officials of the two sides have been meeting at the venue to defuse the situation, the army added. The last violent clash between troops of the two countries was reported in Arunachal Pradesh in 1975. Later in the day Defence Min, ister Rajnath Singh reviewed the situation along with the Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat and the three service Chiefs and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Rajnath and Jaishankar later briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the phone, which was followed by a meet- sales in warehouses fetching around Rs 10-13 crore. During festival days, sales would go over `45 crore. Revenue remains poor despite the state government raising sales tax on hard liquor by up to 35 per cent to mop up additional revenue to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The taxes and margins on IMFL in the state is around 240 per cent now. The virtual app generated around 45 lakh tokens for liquor sale over the past 15 days. While Bevco outlets received around 13 lakh tokens, bars, beer parlours and Consumerfed outlets netted the lion's share of the to● More on P4 kens. KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran and ex-chief minister Oommen Chandy engrossed in a serious conversation during the statewide inauguration of the the party’s protest against fuel price hike and inflated power bills, in front of the Vydyuthi Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala is also seen | VINCENT PULICKAL KSEB may change pattern of fixing tariff; regulatory panel to take the final call State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) to change the tarUNDER pressure from consumers iff pattern. over exorbitant power bills, the KerThe KSEB had stopped meter ala State Electricity Board (KSEB) reading on March 24 due to the lockis contemplating to change its pat- down and bills were served taking tern of fixing tariff, especially of its an average of previous bills. Locked non-telescopic consumers. houses/offices were affected the The board follows a most, with the KSEB reslab system where a consorting to ‘door-lock adsumer using up to 250 justment’ where meter units per month will have reading could not be done. We don’t have any a telescopic tariff which KSEB Chairman and role in fixing the is less compared to tariff Managing Director N S tariff pattern. Now for those who use more Pillai told TNIE that it is the ball is in the than 250 units per month, the KSERC which takes a regulatory which comes under non- commission’s court. call on fixing the tariff. It is not Kerala alone telescopic tariff. “We don’t have any role which is facing the A KSEB source said in fixing the tariff patinflated power bill that pre-Covid, 80 per tern. Now the ball is in the issue as the country cent of the consumers regulatory commission’s was in lockdown. were in the telescopic catcourt. It is not Kerala N S Pillai, KSEB egory As per rough esti. alone which is facing the Chairman mate, more than 10 per inflated power bill issue as cent consumers in the telthe whole country was in escopic tariff category might have lockdown. We emulated the Tamil moved to the non-telescopic catego- Nadu Electricity Board’s pattern ry due to overuse during the during 2011-12 where a group of lockdown. consumers were given subsidy It is . This has led to widespread com- quite natural that the billing system plaints about the steep rise in bill has to be altered when there is amount. Keeping it in mind, the change in the pattern of fixing tar● More on P4 KSEB is set to approach the Kerala iff,” said Pillai. C Y N T H I A C H A N D R A N @ T’Puram
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