THIRUVANANTHAPURAM l saturday l October 17, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l late city EDITION India slips below Bangladesh, Pak in global hunger index In the 2020 Global Hunger Index that has ranked 107 countries, India is at 94th position, worse than many of its neighbours India’s hunger level is ‘serious’: report 14% of population undernourished With a score of 27.2, India has a hunger level that is ‘serious’, said the report released on Friday. Pakistan is at 88th spot while Nepal and Bangladesh have been ranked 73 and 75, respectively. The report assessed the condition for 132 countries but released the data for only 107 countries. The report is not reflective of the impact of Covid-19 on hunger and malnutrition | P7 ■ Among 11 countries where child wasting rate was considered ‘high’ or ‘very high’, India was in the very high category at 17.3% ■ The report says 14% of India’s population is undernourished ■ Activists working on food security said the report reflects the ground realities and the government has failed to address hunger 102 India’s ranking In the 2019 Index that ranked 117 countries 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 Centre sore as SC sets up Justice Lokur panel to curb stubble burning heard matters on environmen@ New Delhi tal pollution. Appearing for the Centre, Brushing aside objections Additional Solicitor General by the Centre, the Supreme Aishwarya Bhati sought to Court on Friday appointed its stop the appointment, saying retired judge Madan B Lokur the bench should rather hear as the one-man comthe matter along mittee to curb crop with a batch of simistubble burning in lar pleas in the 1985 Punjab, Haryana and MC Mehta PIL. But w e s t U P, w h i c h the CJI rejected it. chokes Delhi-NCR. At the fag end, SoDescribing it as an licitor General Tushemergency measure, ar Mehta made a last a bench headed by ditch attempt to Chief Justice of In- Justice Madan B Lokur spike the appointdia S A Bobde said it ment, but the bench wanted to step in be- NCC roped in stayed firm, pointing fore the problem of Cadets of the NCC, o u t t h at Ju s t i c e bad air and smog Lokur was not being NSS and Bharat gets unmanageable. Scouts and Guides given any extraordiThe suggestion to nary powers. can be deployed appoint the outspo- for assisting in the Justice Lokur was ken Justice Lokur among the four top monitoring of came from senior adSC judges who held stubble burning, vocate Vikas Singh, an unprecedented the bench said wh o re presented press meet in 2018 teen petitioner Aditya Dubey criticising the then CJI Dipak . His petition had sought the Misra. Even after his retirecourt’s intervention to ensure ment, he remained vocal. His people get clean air as their latest swipe was on the abuse fundamental right. of sedition law, where he said While officiating as a judge, freedom of speech is being Justice Lokur had headed the mauled through twisting and SC’s social justice bench and turning of the law. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Remdesivir, HCQ among Covid duds: WHO Randomised control trial in 30 nations shows they as well as Lopinavir and Interferon don’t save serious patients S u m i S u k an ya D u t ta @ New Delhi In a finding that will have farreaching implications for pandemic-hit countries, a new study says none of the major drugs used in the treatment of Covid-19 has any significant benefit for severe patients. Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir and Interferon are the four major drugs being used to treat hospitalised coronavirus patients. Interim results from a 30-country trial coordinated by the WHO show that these drugs do not cut hospitalisation period or mortality rate of Covid-19 patients. The analysis of the world’s largest randomised control trial on Covid-19 conducted in 405 hospitals across 30 countries, has been uploaded on medical server MedRxiv for review before it will be published in a medical journal. The findings are also a reminder that no medicine, except steroids like Dexamethasone and Methylprednisolone, has so far been found to help A n u j a S u s an Va r g h e s e @ Kochi T e s t m at t e r s 75.9% 73,816 samples were tested in the state on October 7, the highest in the past 11 days IS the state administration’s resolve about keeping the Covid pandemic in check waning under the onslaught of the third wave? If the reduced testing rate, incommensurate with the increasing infection rate, and blind reliance on antigen testing alone are anything to go by this seems to be , the case. It is inexplicable that the testing numbers in the state are coming down at a time when cases are increas- of total samples on Oct 6 were subjected to antigen testing 18.16% reported on October 13 was the highest test positivity rate in the past 11 days E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram Jose entry: CPM moves up a gear The CPM is taking all steps to speed up the entry of Jose K Mani faction of the Kerala Congress (M) into the Left Democratic Front Jose meets CPM, CPI leaders The state capital witnessed hectic parleys on Friday as the CPM, which accorded a warm reception to Jose K Mani, sent him in a party vehicle to hold bilateral talks with CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran at MN Smarakam. It is learnt that the Left may officially induct the KC(M) into its fold without much delay. Speaking to mediapersons after meeting Kanam Rajendran, Jose said the earlier disputes and opposition with the CPI are a closed chapter and added that the LDF will decide on the future plans. P4 K Muraleedharan criticises UDF K Muraleedharan, MP, said UDF should have avoided the situation wherein the KC(M) Jose faction left the front. KPCC chief Mullappally Ramachandran said the MP can’t ignore the efforts taken by the Cong in bringing back the leaders including K Karunakaran and Muraleedharan himself who deserted the party. P4 38 yrs KC(M)was with the UDF before joining hands with the LDF ‘No compromise on seat sharing’ The NCP leadership meeting in Kochi on Friday decided not to let go of its four seats — Elathur, Kuttanad, Kottakkal and Pala — amid speculation that the LDF may hand over the Pala seat to KC(M). The party said it will make its stance clear in the LDF meet scheduled next week. P4 The chief minister’s former principal secretary , M Sivasankar, was hospitalised here on Friday after the Customs summoned him in connection with a case related to the smuggling of gold through the diplomatic channel. Sivasankar was shifted by the Customs officials to a private hospital where his wife works as a nephrologist and was admitted to the cardiac ICU. His condition is said to be stable. Earlier in the day Customs had , issued a notice asking him to appear before the officials. He then reportedly informed them about his inconvenience due to ill health. However, the officials led by Customs Assistant Commissioner H Ramamurthy reached his house at Poojapura in Thiruvananthapuram and he was taken to the Customs office. Reports said Sivasankar, who got into the car, complained of uneasiness and the officials took him to the hospital by around 7pm. ● More on P4 express read NEET-UG: 64% from state qualify T’Puram: Close to 64% students from Kerala who appeared for NEET (UG) 2020 entrance exam have qualified for admission to undergraduate medical courses. Of the 92,911 who attempted the exam from the state, 59,404 have qualified. Aysha S from Kozhikode bagged the 12th rank while Lulu A (22nd) and Sanish Ahammed (25th) too made it big. P5 16 pages, including 4 pages of THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Express 100 years of Communism in India Call for introspection as celebrations begin A N I L S @ T’Puram ON the eve of the day that marks the centenary of the formation of the Communist Party in India, AKG Centre, the CPM’s Kerala headquarters, witnessed a politically ambivalent sleight of hand. CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan first offered a cordial welcome to the party’s latest ally and later even took the trouble of accompanying him right till the steps to see off the leader of the Kerala Congress, a prominent rightwing political party with a mass Christian base. Once a force to reckon with, the Left is now caught in a shrinking space in India’s vast political landscape, while the challenges ahead are manifold. A section of the Left leaders feel that a reunified Communist movement will make it more powerful in national politics. Along with its celebrations, the Left parties need to start indulging in some serious introspection and drastic course correction at a time when it is facing bigger challenges to stay relevant. “There should be introspection. From time to time, we are doing just that. A reunification will transform the Communist movement into a more powerful force in national politics,” said through rigorous evaluation of evidence gathered from large randomised clinical trials,” said Dr K Srinath Reddy mem, ber executive of the steering group of the WHO trial. As part of the trial, 11,266 adults were randomized, with 2,750 given Remdesivir, 1,411 Lopinavir, 954 HCQ, 651 Interferon plus Lopinavir, 1,412 only Interferon. The trial showed 301 patients who were given Remdesivir died. Notably, 303 patients not given the medicine continued on: P7 also died. New Kerala model: Reduce testing when cases keep going up Sivasankar hospitalised after Customs visits him CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan seeing off KC(M) leaders Jose K Mani and Roshy Augustine at AKG Centre on Friday | vincent pulickal ‘Data inconsistent’ US-based Gilead Sciences, which holds proprietary rights over Remdesivir questioned the results saying the data is “inconsistent with more robust evidence” serious Covid-19 patients. The results also put a question mark on the utility of the repurposed drug Remdesivir which has been a much soughtafter medicine. Remdesivir is permitted for emergency use authorisation in moderate to severe Covid-19 patients as part of the national clinical management protocol in India. “Since the main objective of treatments of the hospitalised patients is to reduce the risk of death, the search for effective t re at m e n t w i l l c o n t i nu e former CPI general secretary Sudhakar Reddy . A view from the shores of Kerala will show that the state’s history is intrinsically linked to its Communist movement. It has left an indelible imprint on its every milestone. Right from the first elected Communist government under E M S Namboodiripad, the Left exercised a considerabl e s ay i n Ke r a l a and majorly contributed in shaping up its socio-political life with measures like the Land Reforms Act and the Education Bill that led to the liberation struggle and later the People’s ● More on P4 Planning. There are areas where the Left has majorly contributed. It’s a fact that there was a lack of growth in certain sectors. There were setbacks too. We’re in the process of examining, exploring and introspection M A Baby, CPM politburo member ing exponentially, opine experts. They advise it is time the state ramped up testing in line with the pace of infection so that maximum possible infected people are identified and treated. A total of 41,054 Covid tests were conducted on September 15 and the test positivity rate (number of positive cases per 100 tests) was 7.83%. In comparison, the TPR was 15.53% on October 15. While the TPR has nearly doubled, the number of tests per day has increased by just 22% to 50,154. Apart from the reduced testing, the huge variation in the number of tests done daily is also worrying, they say. As many as 61,629 samples were tested on O c t o b e r 1 1 , bu t t h e number dropped to 38,259 the very next day, only to rise slightly to 48,253 on Octo● More on P4 ber 13. Centre deputes teams to Kerala, 4 other states New Delhi: High-level central teams have been deputed to Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, which have been reporting a surge in Covid cases, to support them in management of the disease. The Union health ministry on Friday said these teams will support the states towards strengthening containment, surveillance, testing, infection prevention and control measures. P7
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17-10-2020 of The New Indian Express-Thiruvananthapuram