kozhikode l tuesday l november 10, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Covid vaccine 90% effective in phase 3 trials, says pfizer The US drugmaker said on Monday its vaccine candidate BNT162b2 was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 in its first interim efficacy analysis, which looked at 94 infections in nearly 44,000 volunteers Effective 7 days after second dose Protection in patients was achieved seven days after the second of two doses, and 28 days after the first. “We are a significant step closer to providing a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis,” Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said. Pfizer said it doesn’t plan to stop its study until it records 164 infections among all the volunteers —a number that experts agree is enough to tell how well the vaccine is working. The company cautioned that the effectiveness rate may change as the study progresses 4.4% plans to file emergency use application what U.S. rules say Pfizer said it will file an emergency use application with the US regulators this month. Along with BioNTech, it plans to make enough shots to cover 15-20 million people by the end of 2020 ■ However, more clarity is needed on how long its effects last, and if it protects the elderly as well as younger people ■ The Phase 3 trials began in July, and of the 43,538 participants enrolled, 38,955 have received a second dose as of Sunday ■ Pfizer and BioNTech said they expect to supply up to 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020, and up to 1.3 billion in 2021 P12 ■ According to the US Food and Drug Administration regulations, any vaccine candidate must be at least 50% effective to secure its approval Jump in Dow Jones Industrial Average on Monday soon after Pfizer’s announcement. The broader S&P 500 rose 3.0 per cent to 3,615.71, beating its September 2 closing record 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 Customs quizzes Min Jaleel over illegal import of Quran E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi The locked JD(U) headquarters (L) on Bir Chand Patel Marg in Patna and some activity outside and within the RJD’s office on the same stretch on Monday | Ranjit k dey RJD buoyant as decision day dawns Locked gates at JD(U) & BJP offices perhaps indicate the mood ahead of vote counting today Ra j e s h K u m a r T hak u r @ Patna If activity in the offices of political parties is anything to go by, then the Rashtriya Janata Dal should breast the tape when the votes for the Bihar elections are counted on Tuesday . “Munna aao, kal ladoo milega tum ko bhi (Munna come, you will also get ladoo tomorrow),” a party worker could be heard telling a daily wage labourer at the RJD head office located on Bir Chand Patel Marg. At gate number 2 of the office, sundry persons are en- gaged in conversations ranging from the SUVs next to them to the exit polls projecting an advantage to the RJD. Inside, a group of party workers appear upbeat. “Our party president Jagdanand Singh had come on Sunday for a while. Other senior leaders are either taking rest or camping in their constituencies,” said Narendra Rai, an RJD worker. Party spokesperson Chitranjan Gagan said “if the exit poll predictions come true the RJDled alliance will form the gov- ernment. You can see the (election) results on the faces of NDA leaders, all of them are despondent.” A stone’s throw away on the same road is the Janata Dal (United) and the Bharatiya Janata Party offices. The gates BIHAR 2020 are locked and neither is there any party worker nor any neta (leader). There has hardly been any activity since voting ended on November 7, the gate keepers said. “Abhi kyon aaynge? Sab apne chhetra mein hain, jeet nischit hai (Why should they come Factional feud deepens, BJP central leadership summons Surendran Sobha Surendran, sent a mass petition to the central leadership. The dissidents had demanded an end to the neglect shown towards leaders and workers who are not identified with the V Muraleedharan camp. In the petition sent to Nadda and Amit Shah last week, the dissident leaders had stated that the target set by the party for the upcoming local body polls would not be achieved if a section of senior leaders is kept out. After bringing together disgruntled state-level leaders, AMID the deepening factional the camp led by Sobha had feud in the BJP Kerala unit, started mobilising leaders the party’s central leadership at the district level as has summoned state chief K well, creating further Surendran to New Delhi. headache to the offiSurendran reached the nacial faction. The partional capital on Monday ty’s state core commorning and was set to hold mittee meeting has not discussions with BJP national been convened ever president J P Nadda and gensince the crisis blew out in eral secretary (organisation) the open. B L Santhosh, sources said. Efforts by the RSS as well as The development comes afUnion minister Muraleedhater a group of dissident leadran to end the dissent did not ers, led by state vice-president succeed. The dissidents stuck to their stance that they would not relent until the The central leadership summoning the state president suggests that party machinery was it sees merit in the dissidents’ stance. It remains to be seen whether reorganised. Surendran will be able to iron out issues before the polls — A source S O VI VI D YA D H A R A N @ T’Puram PIO co-chairs Biden’s Covid task force E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e In one of the first decisions taken by Joe Biden, IndianAmerican Vivek Murthy was on Monday named one of the three co-chairs of a 13-member Covid-19 Advisory Board that will help the President-elect deal with the coronavirus pandemic raging across the US. The other two co-chairs are David Kessler, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner and Marcella Nunez-Smith, a professor at Yale University. Dr Murthy served as the 19th Surgeon General of the US from 2014 to 2017. The virus has already killed over 2,36,000 Americans. Interestingly the board in, cludes Rick Bright, a former T r u m p a d m i n i s t r at i o n whistleblower who was demoted for internally criticising the pandemic response. He had also contested Trump’s championing of hydroxychloroquine. KOTHAMANGALAM CHURCH CASE Will be forced to deploy central forces, warns HC E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi THE High Court has observed that the Kerala government was taking a one-sided stand in the Kothamangalam church case. The court, which came down heavily on the state for not complying with its directive to take over the church, its precincts and all movable properties, and hand them over to the vicar of the Orthodox faction, cautioned the government that it would be forced to deploy central forces to implement the order. The court orally observed that the government had obtained more time for implementing the directive last time citing the Covid situation and it cannot be allowed to persist with such a stand. Justice P B Sureshkumar made the observation while considering the contempt case against the Ernakulam district collector for not implementing the order. The court will consider the now? All are camping in their constituencies till counting and victory is certain,” said a man exiting the JD(U) office, a clutch of papers in hand. Ramesh Kumar, a tea-seller next to the BJP office, said after the exit polls projected a not-so positive result, no senior leader had visited the office. While the RJD could be more optimistic, it is not reflected in the ladoo barometer. Sweet shop owners near the party offices had not received any order for ladoos till evening. “We have not got any advance booking for sweets,” said Manikant Sah of Ladoo House. express read SIT: Secretariat fire broke out from fan T’Puram: Even as the forensic science lab report ruled out short circuit as the cause of fire at the General Administration Department of the Secretariat on August 25, the special investigation team on Monday released a graphical video, explaining that the fire broke out from a fan. P5 Guv Khan admitted to T’Puram MCH T’Puram: Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday, has been admitted to Government Medical College Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram, for further treatment. According to officials with the hospital, the Governor’s condition is stable. P2 Panel to drop case filed by Bineesh kin T’Puram: The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has decided not to proceed with the case filed by Bineesh Kodiyeri’s family against the ED. Panel member K Naseer said the rights of Bineesh’s daughter were not violated during the raid. P4 HIGHER Education Minister K T Jaleel was questioned by Commissionerate of Customs (Preventive), Kochi, on Monday as part of its probe into a case over the import of copies of the Quran by the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram violating diplom at i c c a r g o m ove m e n t norms. Jaleel was questioned as around 25 packets of the Quran were received by him from the UAE Consulate for distributing in various parts of Kerala during Ramzan this year. Jaleel reached the customs office around 11.45am. The interrogation commenced around noon. Unlike in the past when he clandestinely appeared before various investigation agencies for interrogation, he arrived in his official car this time. He reached the Customs office from Malappuram. His interrogation ended at 6.30pm. According to customs officials, goods sent through the diplomatic baggage should be for use of the consulate or the diplomats. “First of all, religious books were imported by the consulate violating protocol. Secondly the goods , arrived through the diplomatic baggage were distributed outside the consulate which is a Customs duty evasion. Those who accept such goods outside the consulate are also part of duty evasion. Hence, Jaleel has evaded customs duty a customs official ,” ● More on P5 said. Higher Education Minister K T Jaleel arrives at the customs office in Kochi for interrogation | A Sanesh 6hr, 30min the interrogation of Higher Education Minister K T Jaleel lasted on Monday NIA arraigns 5 more The National Investigation Agency has arraigned five more persons as accused in the gold smuggling case. Four of them are currently in the UAE and the central agency plans to approach the Interpol to track them down. P4 Even if a thousand agencies investigate for 10,000 years, not even a shred of evidence can be brought against me in any case K T Jaleel on FB Sivasankar to be arraigned in dollar smuggling case T O B Y A N T O N Y @ Kochi The customs is set to arraign former principal secretary M Sivasankar as an accused in the case relating to the illegal transfer of $1.9 lakh by UAE Consulate employee and Egyptian national Khalid Ali Shoukry through the Thiruvananthapuram airport in August 2019. Customs officers believe Sivasankar knew that Khalid was travelling to Cairo via Muscat carrying US dollars illegally on August 7, 2019, a top official with the central agency said. Investigators suspect that Sivasankar accompanied Khalid and the other accused -Swapna Suresh and Sarith P S -- to Muscat and later to Dubai. To confirm the same, the customs had sought travel details from Sivasankar when he was questioned last month. ● More on P4 cracker ban in Delhi-NCR to be total, curbs in other cities E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ New Delhi The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday imposed a total ban on the sale and use of firecrackers in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), where air quality has dipped to dangerously low levels, from November 9 midnight till November 30. The ban has been imposed ahead of Diwali to prevent further rise in air pollution. In its order, the NGT said the ban will be applicable to all cities where the average ambient air quality in Novem- Right to healthy life Curbs may hit business but if crackers affect citizens’ health and impact environment, their use must be restricted to effectuate the ‘sustainable development’ principle, the NGT said ber last year was poor. ‘Green’ crackers will be allowed in cities with moderate air quality, but usage will be restricted to two hours, which will be decided the states. “If nothing is specified, the timing will be 8-10 pm on Diwali and Gurupurb, 6 am-8 am on Chhatt and 11.55 pm- 12.30 am during Christmas and New Year’s eve,” the order reads. For other areas with better air quality, the NGT has made the cracker ban optional, but directed states to initiate special drives to contain air pollution in view of Covid-19. Many states, including Sikkim, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Delhi, have already banned sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers. The order also directed the central and state pollution control boards to regularly monitor compliance and compile air pollution data from November 9 to November 30. family first ‘GOVT ONE-SIDED’ The High Court observes that the Kerala government is taking a one-sided stand in the Kothamangalam church case ■ The court orally observes that the govt cannot be allowed to persist with such a stand ■ case on Tuesday . The court orally observed that if the state government is unable to implement the directive, it would have to direct the Centre to provide the forces under its control to enforce the order. The court directed the Union government to inform about its stance on the deployment of the central ● More on P5 forces. Rohit in Test squad, paternity break for Kohli Venkata K r i s hna B @ Chennai The concept of going on paternity leave among cricketers in India is rare. But times are changing and with it preferences of players. The BCCI granted India captain and Virat Kohli, a batsman team wi l need the l most in Australia, pate nity r leave on Monday He wi l return . l from Adelaide after the first Test of the Border-Ga askar v Trophy starting on Dec 17 to be pre nt alongside his wife se Anushka Sharma. They are expecting the birth of their first child around the New Year. Kohli had informed his plans during the selection committee meeting. “Considering the long rigo rous tours players go through, it is important to be with th r ei family when it matters the most. Birth of your first child is always precious,” is how fo r mer selection committee chair man MSK Prasad explained. “Paternity leave is not part of BCCI’s written policy, but is considered on humanitarian grounds.” During India’s Australia tour in 2017-18, Prasad-led panel granted a similar leave to Rohit Sharma. The Mumbai Indians skipper, who was ignored for the Aussie tour due to hamstring injury, has been named only for Tests as he will not be fit for T20s and ODIs. He, however, is set to lead MI against Delhi Capitals in IPL final on Tuesday . In fact, Australian Cricket Board is the first board to ha ve a policy of 12-month paid maternity leave and three weeks of paternity leave in October 2019. IPL final MI vs DC, 7.30 PM P11 sanju in ODI squad for aussie tour Kerala cricketer Sanju Samson has been called to the ODI squad for the tour of Australia as an additional wicketkeeper. He is also part of the T20I squad and has already played four times for India but making his maiden ODI appearance would be a huge step in his career. “It’s always a matter of great pride whenever Sanju gets called up for India. He has been working very hard and he will get the rewards for it,” said KCA president Sajan Varghese.
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