TIRUNELVELI TUESDAY NOVEMBER 10, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 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 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 ■ According to the US Food and Drug Administration regulations, any vaccine candidate must be at least 50% effective to secure its approval 4.4% 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 TN bypasses Centre; grants 50% quota for govt doctors in PG EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai THE State government has passed orders reserving 50 per cent of the seats in postgraduate and super speciality medical courses in government medical colleges, for doctors serving in government hospitals. This comes after a long legal battle and despite objections from the Centre. As per the orders, issued on Saturday and made public on Monday the reservation in PG , super speciality courses kick in this year itself. In PG courses (MD, MS and MDS), it will be implemented from next year. “Of the 50 per cent seats under the State quota, half of them will be exclusively allocated to in-service candidates serving in government health institutions in TN, and the remaining to open category open , to both service and non-service candidates,” said one of the orders. The seats will be filled up based on marks obtained in the NEET-PG examination along with eligible incentive marks. Meanwhile, the Madras HC closed a case on the matter based on the State’s submis- sions that it had already issued orders reserving seats. In a statement later in the day, Opposition leader MK Stalin raised concerns on the existing 69 per cent caste-based reservation not being followed in the sub-quota for these doctors. The sub-quota was disrupted in 2017, when the Medical Council of India amended regulations banning it. In a related case pending before the HC, the Centre on October 17, had said it was against reservation. The State has maintained its stand and on Saturday issued two orders to give effect to it. EXPRESS READ Modi to attend SCO meet with Xi, Imran New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi will attend a virtual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation on Tuesday along with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pak PM Imran Khan and leaders. The meet will focus on pandemic and the rising terror threat NO-SMOKE DIWALI TOTAL CRACKER BAN IN DELHI-NCR, CURBS IN OTHER CITIES E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi 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) and BJP offices perhaps indicate the mood ahead of vote counting today 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 engaged 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 government. 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 are locked and neither is there any party worker nor any neta (leader). There has hardly been any activ- PIO co-chairs Biden’s Covid task force SUSHMITHA RAMAKRISHNAN New Delhi: The 15th Finance Commission, headed by former bureaucrat N K Singh, on Monday submitted its recommendations on the ratio in which taxes are to be divided between the Centre and states over the next five years, to President Ram Nath Kovind Mamata seeks PM’s action on price rise Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday wrote to PM Narendra Modi seeking his urgent intervention to control hoarding, increase supplies and bring down the skyrocketing prices of essential ommodities, including onions Reopening of TN schools: Meeting with parents ends in a deadlock EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE 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 November 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. Right to “If nothing is specified, the timing will be 8-10 pm on Diwali and Guru- healthy life purb, 6 am-8 am on Chhatt and 11.55 Curbs may hit pm- 12.30 am during Christmas and business but if New Year’s eve,” the order reads. crackers affect For other areas with better air citizens’ health quality the NGT has made the crack, and impact er ban optional, but directed states to environment, initiate special drives to contain air their use must pollution in view of Covid-19. be restricted to Many states, including Sikkim, effectuate the West Bengal, Rajasthan and Delhi, ‘sustainable have already banned sale and use of development’ all kinds of firecrackers. principle, the The order also directed the central NGT said and state pollution control boards to regularly monitor compliance and compile air pollution data from November 9 to November 30, put it up on their websites and file a consolidated report. The order came on a petition seeking action against firecracker-caused air pollution, including green crackers, in NCR. N K Singh panel submits report R A J E S H K U M A R T H A K U R @ Patna IN one of the first decisions taken by Joe Biden, Indian-American Vivek Murthy was on Monday named one of the three co-chairs of a 13-member Covid19 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 NunezSmith, 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 236,000 Americans. Interestingly, the board includes Rick Bright, a former Trump administration whistleblower who was demoted for internally criticising the pandemic response. He had also contested Trump’s championing of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug, as Covid treatment despite its unproven efficacy. Bright subsequently resigned and filed a whistleblower complaint saying his early warnings over the pandemic were ignored. Trump is under pressure to work on the transfer of power, but the General Services Administration that is meant to begins the transition has not started the process yet. @ Chennai OVER 12,000 schools in TN on Monday held a State-wide consul, tation to ascertain stakeholders’ opinion on reopening schools for students in classes 9 to 12, said a senior official from the School Education Department. The meeting however, brought in a mixed bag of responses with a few urging for a partial reopening and the others opposing it. “The parents are so divided on the issue that I think the consultation is going to make it harder for us to make a decision,” said ity 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 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 BIHAR in hand. Ramesh Kumar, 2020 a tea-seller next to the BJP office, said after the exit polls projected a notso 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 the official. The feedback submitted by parents ranged from urging the schools to reopen as some feared their children might permanently drop out of education, to some of them telling the State government to compensate them with `5 crore in the extreme case of their wards’ death due to Covid, post reopening. The feedback submitted by parents ranged from urging schools to reopen as some feared permanent dropout of their children, to some seeking `5-crore compensation from the State in case of their wards’ death due to Covid-19 A 26-year-old television reporter was hacked to death by a threemember gang on the outskirts of Chennai, late on Sunday. Four people have been arrested in this connection. While the deceased’s father, also a journalist, claimed that he was murdered for questioning an illegal sale of a poramboke land, the police said there was an angle of personal enmity . G Moses, the deceased, lived in Nallur village and was working with Tamilan TV, covering Sriperumbudur and Kundrathur. His father, Gnanaraj Yesudasan, is a reporter with a Tamil daily. “At around 11 pm, he left from the house after he got a call, and did not return,” said D Shanmugapriya, SP of Kancheepuram. “His father thought he had gone to meet friends and called them only to realise his son had gone missing.” P4 Kerala minister quizzed by Customs Kochi: Kerala Higher Education Minister K T Jaleel was on Monday questioned by the Customs for nearly seven hours in connection with the alleged violation in accepting consignments of Holy Quran imported by UAE consulate officials in Thiruvananthapuram Parents who could afford gadgets, did not want to send children to school, while the economically weaker felt that the lockdown severely affected their children’s education. “Most of them want us to conduct practicals, tests and doubt clearing sessions,” said P Vijayalakshmi, principal of Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Virugambakkam. P4 ‘State should compensate us if our child dies of Covid’ Scribe hacked to death over an illegal land deal, 4 nabbed S A H AYA N O V I N S T O N L O B O @ Chennai advance booking for sweets,” said Manikant Sah of Ladoo House. “It seems no party is confident of its victory even after the exit polls. In 2015, the BJP and the RJD booked 1,500 kg of ladoos in advance. This time it is nil so far,” said Rajeev Kumar Gupta of Patna Sweets. While leaders have avoided party offices, sources said their family members had been seeking divine intervention. Mohan Jha, a priest on Boring Road, said he and 10 others had performed a two-day religious ritual at the residence of an NDA leader. BJP candidate Nikhil Anand offered prayers at the Baba Biteshwar temple on Sunday On whom the . God will smile upon should be known by Tuesday afternoon. A THING OF BEAUTY... Ammapalli dam, situated near the TN-Andhra border, brims with water post incessant rains in the area. A water channel from the reservoir feeds to the Kosasthalaiyar River, which then joins the sea near Ennore | P JAWAHAR FAMILY FIRST Paternity break for Kohli, Rohit in Test squad V E N K ATA K R I S H N A 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 will need the most in Australia, pater nity leave on Monday. He will return from Adelaide after the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy starting on Dec 17 to be pres- ent alongside his wife 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 rigorous tours players go through, it is important to be with their family when it matters the most. Birth of your first child is always precious,” is how former selection committee chair man MSK Prasad eplained. “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 In- dians 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 have 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
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