CHENNAI SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 05, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 VELLORE EDITION RUSSIAN COVID VACCINE SAFE, SAYS LANCET STUDY T-CELL RESPONSE WITHIN 28 DAYS Sputnik V has been shown to elicit antibody response with no serious adverse effects in Phase I and II human trials In an early-phase non-randomised vaccine trial involving 76 people, the two formulations of the vaccine demonstrated a good safety profile over 42 days, and induced antibody responses in all participants within 21 days. The vaccine also produced a T-cell response in participants within 28 days. The T-cells support immune function by killing the infected host cells ■ Sputnik-5 PHASE III TRIAL MAY INVOLVE INDIA ■ Reports suggest that Russia is planning the Phase III trial of the vaccine involving 40,000 people in October Moscow is currently in talks with New Delhi to conduct the Phase III trial of the vaccine here. Moscow is also trying to get Indian manufacturers to mass-produce the vaccine IS A TWO-DOSE VACCINE. THE SECOND DOSE IS GIVEN 21 DAYS AFTER THE FIRST 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 Peace tied to trust, non-aggression: Rajnath Oblique message to China ahead of bilateral engagement; Army Chief says soldiers ready for any contingency on LAC P U S H K A R B A N A K A R A N D M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressing a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe, in Moscow on Friday | PTI DIALOGUE IS THE ONLY WAY FORWARD: SHRINGLA Addressing a webnair in Delhi, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said “There has been amassing of troops. Both sides have been engaged through diplomatic and military channels. Dialogue is the only way forward and we are open to communication.” INDIA on Friday made it clear that peace in the region demands a climate of trust, cooperation and non-aggression, an oblique message directed at China whose recent attempts to change status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh has further aggravated the situation in the region. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh made the point hours before his bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe. The bilateral talks had begun at the time of going to press. Singh was addressing the Combined Meeting of Defence Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Collec- RBI puts start-ups in priority sector basket, expands lending categories E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Start-ups, small and marginal farmers and weaker sections will now get the priority sector tag. To ensure better credit penetration, the Reserve Bank of India on Friday revised its Priority Sector Lending (PSL) rules to include credit to start-ups (up to `50 crore), loans to farmers for installation of solar power plants and loans for setting up compressed biogas plants. That apart, the targets prescribed for small and marginal farmers and weaker sections will be increased in a phased manner. Also, loan limits for renewable energy have been doubled under the revised norms. To address the regional skew, the central bank has put in place an incentive framework for banks under which higher weightage will be assigned for incremental priority sector credit in specified districts. So far, the RBI has identified 184 districts with low PSL credit flow and 205 districts with high PSL credit. Experts hailed the decision, calling it a policy enabler. “We believe that this is an ideal example of policy federalism adopted by the RBI in promoting financial and social inclusion in line with the Central government’s agenda of providing financial inclusion to backward districts in the country. Finally, there could be some more policy options to further improve lending under PSL, in areas of education, housing, 7 dead in Cuddalore cracker unit blast By-polls to be bunched with Bihar elections EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Cuddalore SEVEN women were charred to death in a major fire mishap at a firecracker unit at Kurungudi village near Kattumannarkoil in Cuddalore on Friday morning. Five of them died on the spot and two others on way to the hospital; two more women have been admitted to hospital in critical condition. Vilvam Fireworks, a firecracker manufacturing unit, was open for business on Friday , say sources. Nine women, including the unit owner C Gandhimathi (58), were present at the site when the accident happened. Officials have not been able to find out the exact cause for the accident. There is suspicion the blast was triggered while the women were powdering the explosives. District Collector Chandra Sekhar Shakamuri said there is also suspicion that it was triggered by a pooja held there, at around 10.30 am. DSP M Sree Abhinav and the Collector visited the spot later. The deceased were identified as P Malarkodi (65), N Latha (44), U Chithra (45), M Rasathi (48), R Rukumani (38), R Rathinambal (60). M Thenmozhi (35) and N Anitha (24) are battling for life at export credit and financial inclusion,” said Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser of State Bank of India. The inclusion of start-ups will reduce their cost of capital by allowing them better access to bank credit and lower startups’ reliance on equity funding for growth. Bank loans up to `30 crore to borrowers for purposes like solar-based power generators, biomass-based power generators, wind mills, micro-hydel plants and for non-conventional energy based public utilities, will be eligible for priority sector classification. For individual households, the loan limit will be `10 lakh per borrower, the RBI said. The cracker unit site in Cuddalore where the blast occurred on Friday | EXPRESS 5 killed in fire in Salem Salem: Five persons of a family of 11 were charred to death in sleep after a short circuit caused a fire accident in their home on Thursday midnight; two others suffered minor burns. The CM condoled the bereaved family and directed officials to ensure proper treatment of injured. JIPMER hospital in Puducherry . One of them has suffered 70 per cent burns, and the other 100 per cent, the collector said. The collector also assured a detailed investigation to find out the cause of the blast. “When Chidambaram sub-collector visited the spot on September 2, there were no cracker units functioning there,” the Collector added. EPS ANNOUNCES `2 LAKH SOLATIUM Expressing anguish over the incident, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami annouced a solatium of `2 lakh to each of the bereaved families. In a statement, Palaniswami said he had deputed Industries Minister MC Sampath to visit the spot and expedite relief works. WHILE the forthcoming Bihar Assembly elections will be held on schedule, by-elections to one Parliamentary and 64 Assembly constituencies spread across 15 states will be bunched along with it, the Election Commission of India said on Friday . “One of the major factors in clubbing them together is the relative ease of movement of central forces and related logistics issues,” a Commission statement said. Several bypolls were deferred recently due to excessive rains and the COVID-19 pandemic. The term of the Bihar Assembly ends on November 29 and elections are likely sometime in October-November. Of the 64 vacant Assembly seats, 27 are in Madhya Pradesh. tive Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Member States in Moscow. “Peaceful, stable and secure region of SCO member states — which is home to over 40 per cent of global population, demands a climate of trust and cooperation, non-aggression, respect for international rules and norms, sensitivity to each other’s interest and peaceful resolution of differences,” he emphasised. Wei was present during the address. In Delhi, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said it will not be business as usual with China until the LAC situation is peaceful, adding the situation is “unprecedented”. “We have lost for the first time lives of soldiers which has not hap- FRESH CASES DEATHS pened in the last 40 years....The linkage between what happens at the border and relations are large. It cannot be business as usual with China unless there is peace at the border. The present India-China situation is the most serious challenge and India remains committed to its territorial integrity Shringla said dur,” ing his address in a webinar. In Ladakh, Army Chief General M M Naravane describing the situation as tense, adding soldiers were ready for every future contingency. “The situation along the LAC is tense. We have undertaken precautionary deployment in some areas. The troops are prepared for all contingencies that may arise. All these actions have been carried out only along the LAC,” he said. TOLL TOTAL CASES 5,976 79 7,687 4,51,827 Cough up `500 every time you spit in public Amending Health Act Despite aggressive campaigning, many people and institutions failed to follow social distancing and other guidelines, putting themselves and others at the risk of contracting Covid-19, a release said. Even incidents of persons enforcing the restrictions being attacked were reported. “Such acts of violence hinders measures taken to control the virus spread and deters advancement of public health. It is, therefore, necessary to consider these violations as compoundable offences,” the release added. Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Friday promulgated the TN Public Health Act 1939 (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2020, based on a proposal from the government. Here’s a quick look at the penalty one has to pay for offences. Offences** Penalty Violation of quarantine measures `500 Non-wearing of mask covering mouth and nose `200 Spitting in public places `500 Violation of social distancing norms by individuals or group `500 Violation of Standard Operating Procedure in Salon, Spa, Gymnasium and commercial establishments `5,000 NON-ADHERENCE OF THE GUIDELINES IN CONTAINMENT ZONES (I) By individuals (II) In respect of vehicles or commercial establishments `500 `5,000 **All the safety guidelines as ordered by competent authority time to time Rhea’s bro, Sushant aide held for links to Mumbai drug mafia S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I @ Mumbai THE Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Friday arrested actor Rhea Chakraborty’s brother Showik Chakraborty and Sushant Singh Rajput’s house manager Samuel Miranda, in connection with a drug probe linked to Sushant’s death Showik was arrested in the evening after interrogation at the NCB office. The NCB conducted the raid at Rhea’s house on Friday, a day after alleged drug peddler Zaid Vilatra admitted dealings with Showik. It seized laptops, hard drives and a few other digital pieces of evidence. Sushant’s house manager Samuel Miranda was also detained, and subsequently, arrested by NCB on Friday. The agency had raided his office earlier in the day “Now there will be in. terrogation regarding the WhatsApp Showik Chakraborty chats of Showik, indicating drug procurement, that has gone viral. It was revealed that on March 17, Showik had shared Vilatra’s contact number with Samuel Miranda and asked to pay him `10,000 for 5g,” sources said. The NCB registered a case last Wednesday after the Enforcement Directorate wrote to it. Soon afterwards, Samuel Miranda on the intervening night of August 2728, the NCB carried out searches in Mumbai and two persons, namely Abbas Lakhani and Karan Arora were arrested, and the ‘bud’ was recovered from their possession. A detailed network analysis and the follow-up investigation, uncovered the linkages of Lakhani with Vilatra. Meanwhile, the Central Crime Branch, which is probing the drug menace in the Kannada film industry, on Friday arrested actress Ragini Dwivedi and two others. Tanker towed into mid-sea to contain spill C S H I VA KU M A R & SV K R I S H N A C H A I TA N YA @ Chennai THE Indian Ocean is on alert as tonnes of crude oil is spilling out of the Panamanian flagship oil tanker MT New Diamond, which caught fire off the Sri Lankan coast on Thursday morning. While experts say there is no immediate danger posed to Indian or Lankan coastlines, the Indian Coast Guard and the island nation’s navy are busy battling the blaze. The fire, which broke out in the tanker’s engine room on Thursday following an explosion, is yet to be doused as a two-metre crack has been ob- Attempts were still underway on Friday to put off the fire in the tanker | EXPRESS served from the weather deck. This is approximately 10 metres above the waterline on the port quarter deck. To avoid untoward incidents, officials decided on Friday evening to tow the tanker far away into mid-sea where the blaze would be doused. “We are ensuring that the Indian and Sri Lankan coasts don’t get affected, in case of an oil spill,” said an official. “ALP Winger, an anchor handling vessel, has been connected to tow the tanker at 7 pm on Friday and it has commenced , towing to prevent drifting of the vessel to shallow waters.” The oil spill sparked concern in south India, with Kerala government expressing fears of the oil or its residue reaching its coastline. It sought the opinion of Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Service (INCOIS) on the matter. INCOIS carried out a simulation based on inputs from National Meteorological Center in Colombo. P2 ATMNIRBHAR BHARAT Homegrown FAU-G coming soon to replace PUBG A R S H A D K H A N @ New Delhi TWO days after the Centre banned the highly popular mobile gaming app PUBG, Bollywood star Akshay Kumar on Friday announced a made-inIndia action game, set to be launched next month. The game, titled FAU-G, is being developed by Bengalurubased nCore Games. “Supporting PM @naren- dramodi’s AtmaNirbhar movement, proud to present an action g ame, Fearless And United-Guards FAU-G. Besides entertainment, players will also learn about the sacrifices of our soldiers,” Kumar, whose tilt towards the ruling dispensation is well known, tweeted. The game is reportedly based on real-life scenarios encountered by the Indian security forces as they deal with domestic and foreign threats. Its first level will be set against the backdrop of the Galwan Valley—the site of India-China clashes in June. It will be followed by third-person shooting gameplay . The banishing of PUBG has created a huge void in the Indian mobile gaming arena, which every gaming developer is scrambling to fill. But, experts say many Indi- an developers are missing the digital capabilities of Chinese giants like Tencent. Dayanidhi MG, co-founder and CEO of nCore Games is nonetheless confident that his team can pull it off. “We managed genre-defining MOBA games like Vainglory of SuperEvil Megacorp for the worldwide audience. We have also worked with global studios like Rovio,” he said.
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