KOZHIKODE l WEDNESDAY l SEPTEMBER 09, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l CITY EDITION CENTRE CONFIRMS PHASE-3 TRIAL OF SPUTNIK V IN INDIA Govt is planning to hold the phase-3 trial as well as large-scale manufacturing of Russia’s Covid vaccine, a top official said ‘RUSSIAN PARTNERSHIP VERY IMPORTANT’ 3 FIRMS KEEN ON MASS PRODUCTION “Government attaches great importance to this offer of partnership from a very special friend,” said Dr V K Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog and head of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19. Last month, Russia had registered its first vaccine candidate, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, after completing early-stage human trials ■ LAC FIRING ■ The results of phase 1 and 2 trials published in The Lancet last week said the vaccine was well tolerated by all volunteers it was tested on and also triggered good antibody response Paul said three Indian firms have so far shown interest in mass production of the Russian vaccine and talks are on with others US VACCINE WILL BE READY BY OCTOBER, U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAID 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 violates another red line of not using firearms along LAC; India repulses PLA’s attempt to grab strategic heights in Chushul region M AYA N K S I N G H A N D P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi IN a major threshold shift in tension along the Line of Actual Control, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) fired bullets during its movement in the Chushul area in eastern Ladakh on Monday evening. This was the first time in 45 years that bullets were fired along the LAC. While China sought to turn the narrative into an act of aggression and crossing of the LAC by the Indian Army the defence min, istry here rebutted it, saying it was the PLA that had tried to aggressively close in to an Indian position on Monday evening. When India tried to dissuade them, the PLA fired few rounds in air to provoke and intimidate, the ministry asserted. India and China have loads of confidence building measures and agreements, which bar both sides from the use of firearms within 2 km radius of the LAC. Setting the record straight, Indian Army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand said it was the PLA that has been blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres, though engagements at the military, diplomatic and political levels are in progress. At no stage has Indian Army transgressed across LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing, he emphasised. “In the instant case on 7 September 2020, it was the PLA troops who were attempting to close-in with one of our forward positions along the LAC and when dissuaded by own troops, PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate own troops,” the ministry stated. “Despite the grave provocation, (our) own troops exercised great restraint and behaved in a mature and responsible manner,” it @ Mumbai AC T O R R h e a Chakraborty, girlfriend of deceased actor Sushant Singh Rajput, was on Tuesday arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in connection with drug-related allegations. After three days of questioning, the NCB sought her custody during an online cour t hearing. Her brother Showik is already under arrest. E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram 1 Around 50 Chinese PLA soldiers approached aggressively towards Indian post near Mukhpari peak about 6 pm on Monday 2 3 The intention of the PLA men was to dislodge Indian troops from strategic heights in Mukhpari peak and Rezang La areas in east Ladakh Carrying rods, spears, sharp weapons and rifles, the PLA men approached the Indian post. The Indian side caught it on camera added. The last recorded incident of firing was in 1975, when the PLA had crossed the LAC in Tulung La in Arunachal Pradesh and ambushed a patrol of Assam Rifles jawans, killing four of them. China, however, stuck to its script of blaming India for Monday’s flare up, saying it was the Indian side that resorted to firing first. “It was the Indian side that fired first in the Monday incident FIVE days after the Election Commission of India announced its plans to hold the byelections to the Kuttanad and Chavara assembly seats in November, the Left government has sought the support of the Opposition to jointly approach the poll panel and seek to cancel the bypolls. The UDF has said that it would support the move, provided the government agrees to postponing the local body elections too. The BJP had made its stance clear that bypolls to the two seats are not needed at all. 4 When the Indian Army dissuaded the PLA, they fired 10-15 rounds in the air to intimidate our troops. The aggression was repulsed ARMED TO THE TEETH The rods with machetes fixed to them on one end carried by all the Chinese soldiers (above); and the guns (top) they carryied as well in which Indian troops again illegally crossed the LAC and outrageously fired warning shots at Chinese border defence patrol personnel who were attempting to negotiate,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian claimed. Zhao said China has made representations to India through military and diplomatic channels. “Differences should be resolved through peaceful talks. Confron- E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kasaragod DIGNITY OF LABOUR T K Shaji, a home guard with the Tripunithura traffic police station, fills the potholes on the National Highway 66 near the Kundannoor junction in a gesture to help the exhausted migrant worker. The outstation labourer, out of gratitude, decided to control the traffic | A SANESH EXPRESS READ ED to question Bineesh Kodiyeri T’Puram: The Enforcement Directorate has served a notice on Bineesh Kodiyeri to appear before it on Wednesday. ED will check whether the Bengaluru drug case has any links with gold smuggling. Mohammed Anoop, held in Bengaluru, reportedly has links with some of the accused in the gold smuggling case. P4 tation benefits neither side,” he added. Monday’s incident comes days ahead of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on the sidelines of the SCO foreign ministers’ meeting. Just a few days ago, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had met his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe, where he categorically put down India’s position. M A N J E S H WA R M L A M C Kamaruddin --- facing charges of cheating from investors in his gold business --- is under pressure from a section of IUML leaders to step down from the position, sources in the party said. He may also step down as the chairman of the UDF Kasaragod committee and from the IUML’s state working committee, they said. Kamaruddin met party supremo Sayyid Hyderali Shihab Thangal at Panakkad on Tuesday . “A decision has been taken by the party leadership,” said a source. Around 18 investors in Fashion Gold, a chain of jewellery stores, have pressed charges of cheating against its chairman Kamaruddin and managing director T K Pookoya Thangal, an influential FEELING THE HEAT n Manjeshwar MLA M C Kamaruddin meets party supremo at Panakkad n His business partner Pookoya Thangal goes into hiding Sunni leader. Cumulatively, Fashion Gold owes `2.64 crore to the 18 investors. The LDF and BJP have alleged that Fashion Gold has raised around `136 crore from 800 investors. Fashion Gold with four stores folded up six months ago, but sources said the business accepted `1 crore from a depositor even after that. Police investigators searched the houses of the MLA at Padna and Pookoya Thangal at Chandera. Both were not in their houses. ● More on P4 IT’S A DUD Plasma therapy doesn’t help Covid patients: ICMR IN what may dash the hopes of policymakers, doctors as well as patients and their families, the world’s largest randomised control trial to assess plasma therapy for Covid-19 has shown that it does not benefit either in reducing mortality or arresting progression of the disease. The trial, called PLACID, was carried out under the aegis of In- E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E 2x8 State govt wants Oppn support to get byelections cancelled Kamaruddin may step down from party posts S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi Rhea held in drugs case dian Council of Medical Research in 39 hospitals across 14 states and Union Territories. The study involved 464 moderately ill patients with breathing difficulties and oxygen saturation level below 93%. Of them, 235 were given convalescent plasma (CP) with antibodies against the disease, collected from those who recovered. The remaining 229 received only standard care. Those in the intervention group were transfused with two doses of 200 ml plasma 24 hours apart. Both the intervention and control groups were compared after 28 days. The findings have shown that 34 patients or 13.6% who received plasma therapy died while 31 patients or 14.6 % who did not receive it, succumbed to the infection. Also, 17 patients in each group progressed to have severe disease. “Although the use of CP (convalescent plasma) seemed to improve resolution of shortness of breath and fatigue, this did not translate into reduction in 28-day mortality or progression to severe disease in moderate Covid19 patients,” noted the study led by , ICMR scientist Dr Apar na Mukherjee. The findings assume significance in the ongoing pandemic as several state governments are actively promoting plasma therapy . While the elected members will get only a four-month term to work in their respective constituencies, the government is of the view that holding the bypolls at a time when the Covid-19 cases are spiking will stretch the health department further. It will also bring an additional financial burden of ` 12 crore on the state government as the polling process will have to be carried out by adhering to Covid protocol. “Already there’s an impression among the people that there won’t be bypolls,” said a government source. ● More on P4
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