WARANGAL TUESDAY JANUARY 05, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION ALIBABA FOUNDER JACK MA MISSING FOR TWO MONTHS The billionaire has been under the Chinese government’s scrutiny since the suspension of his Ant Group’s $37-bn IPO SKIPPED FINAL EPISODE OF HIS OWN SHOW CHINESE AUTHORITIES AFTER MA’S EMPIRE Curiously, the abrupt suspension of the IPO came a month after Jack Ma publicly criticised Chinese regulators for “lagging the times”. While Ma has not been seen in public for the past two months, reports say he did not even show up for the final episode of his own talent show, Africa’s Business Heroes, and an Alibaba executive had taken his place ■ ■ Ant Group IPO, which was to be simultaneously listed on Shanghai and Hong Kong bourses on November 5, 2020 and was touted as the world’s biggest — was halted 48 hours before going public China’s regulatory authorities are probing Alibaba, which has been asked to rejig its lending and other consumer finance operations $11 bn LOSS SUFFERED BY MA IN PAST THREE MONTHS, ACCORDING TO BLOOMBERG 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 DIFFERENT OXFORD JAB DOSING FOR TESTS AND ACTUAL ROLLOUT S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi A day after the drug regulator greenlighted Covishield, a vaccine against Covid-19 produced by Serum Institute of India that could be the mainstay of the country’s immunisation drive at least initially, it emerged that the approval was for a dosing regimen that has not tested in India so far. In the phase 2 and 3 trial design of the vaccine, originally developed by AstraZeneca-Oxford University, two doses were given 28 days or four weeks apart in India. But the regulator accorded permission for the second dose to be administered 4-12 weeks apart in its letter to the company . Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin were granted restricted emergency use (REU) authorisation in India on Sunday “The second dose . should be administered between 4 to 6 weeks after the first dose,” the Drug Controller General of India’s letter said. “However there is data available for administration of the second dose up to 12 weeks after the first dose from Ministers and farmer union leaders pay tribute to farmers who died during the protests, at the beginning of their 7th round of talks in New Delhi on Monday | PTI Talks fail again as farmers, govt harden stance Next meeting on Friday, farmer unions say the only talking point will be repeal of laws EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi/Chandigarh THE seventh round of talks between the Centre and farmers on Monday ended in a stalemate as both sides stuck to their positions on the issue of repeal of the three contentious farm laws. While the two sides agreed to meet again on Friday, the farmers said they would hold a meeting on Tuesday to discuss ways to intensify their protest. Sources said the talks began with the government categorically stating the laws cannot be repealed but it is open to amendments. The farm unions rejected this saying their demand of repeal of the farm laws is non-negotiable. The government, then, attempted to hold discussions on the MSP, but the protesters would have none of it as they insisted the government must first address their demand to repeal the objectionable laws. The bitterness continued during the lunch that followed, with the farmers refusing to break bread with the ministers. “You eat your food, we will eat ours,” sources quoted the union leaders as saying. This is in a sharp contrast to the camaraderie displayed on December 30, when agriculture minister Narendra Tomar Loan apps cases: Hyd cops arrest woman in B’luru EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad THE Hyderabad Central Crime Station (CCS) police, who are investigating the online loan apps cases, have reportedly detained a woman in Bengaluru and bringing her to Hyderabad for interrogation. According to sources, the CCS police visited Bengaluru as part of their probe and detained Keerthy, who was handling the functioning of online apps and monitoring a call centre in Bengaluru. Keerthy reportedly hired employees for the call centre and the staff would harass customers after sanctioning loans to them through apps. The CCS police have so far arrested a total 17 persons, including some Chinese nationals, for their involvement in duping customers by offering online loans. The Chinese nationals, according to police sources, have diverted `21,000 crore to China in the form of Bitcoins after collecting funds and huge interest while offering online loans. and commerce minister Piyush Goyal shared the food brought by the farmers. “The government repeated everything and asked us for a point-wise discussion. Our demand is that there can no negotiations on repealing the new laws,” f ar m leader Harmeet Kadiyan said. “The government claimed many farm organizations were supporting the laws while we mentioned that an RTI has revealed the laws were passed without discussion with any farmer organization. We will go ahead with our programmes scheduled between January 6 and 20,” he added. Sources said it was Minister of State for Industries Som Prakash who convinced the farm union leaders to agree to meet again on January 8. After the meeting, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, “The fact that the farmers are talking to us shows that they trust the government. We are hopeful all issues would be resolved after the next meeting.” Harinder Singh Lakhowal of BKU Punjab said the only agenda for the January 8 meeting is the repeal of laws. Hannan Mollah of All India Kisan Sabha said, “The agitation will not be withdrawn until laws are repealed.” the overseas studies,” the letter added. Experts pointed out that by allowing duration flexibility of up to 12 weeks, the regulator just followed the UK permission model to AstraZeneca’s vaccine. “Clearly a lot of , rules have been relaxed in granting the REU to the vaccine and this may also be one of them,” said an ICMR scientist who did not wish to be named. “Normally, vaccines or drugs are approved under the same dosing schedule under which they have been tested in the country .” In the UK, the regulators decided to give the Oxford vaccine to people as one shot, followed by another up to 12 weeks later to extend protection to as many people as possible. But experts questioned the decision since there isn’t sufficient evidence to extend the time between injections to 12 weeks. In India, SII presented to the regulator only the immunogenicity data from 185 of the proposed 400 volunteers as part of its phase 2 trial and no efficacy data from phase 3 trial, as per publicly available information. WIKILEAKS UK judge blocks ‘suicidal’ Assange’s extradition to US EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE A British court on Monday junked the US’ plea to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, citing the risk of suicide if the 49-year-old Australian is sent to US custody where he could face , up to 175 years in jail for publishing classified military information and diplomatic cables. “I have decided that extradition would be oppressive and I order his discharge,” District Judge Vanessa Baraitser at the Old Bailey court in London said in her ruling. Assange was diagnosed in December 2019 with recurrent depressive disorder, which was sometimes accompanied by hallucinations and thoughts of suicide, the judge said. Since he was arrested at the Ecuadorean embassy in London in April 2019, Assange has been held in London’s HMP Belmarsh prison. EXPRESS READ I-T dept searches at Zee Group offices Mumbai: Income tax officials on Monday conducted a search and survey at the offices of Zee Group for alleged tax evasion. A company spokesperson confirmed the development. TTD to decide on resumption of Arjitha Sevas after winter Tirumala: TTD EO Jawahar Reddy said that a decision on resuming Arjitha Sevas at Sri Venkateswara temple would be taken after the winter. The Covid vaccination drive is likely to be conducted in the next two months and with majority of people getting vaccinated, we can take a decision on Arjitha Sevas. 32K State govt employees to get promotions by Jan-end EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad OVER 32,000 State government employees will get promotions by the end of this month. The process for giving promotions, which began on Monday, will be completed by January 31. Till the process is completed, a highlevel official review will be conducted every Wednesday . During a meeting with all the Special Chief Secretaries, DGP Principal Secretar, ies and Secretaries held at BRKR Bhavan on Monday, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar directed the secretaries and heads of departments (HoDs) of all departments to complete the process of giving promotions to the employees at Secretariat, departments and at the district level without any delay He also asked the Secre. taries to complete compassionate appointments without any delay Con. sequential vacancies arising due to promotions should also be included in the direct recruitment notifications. He said that meetings would be conducted on Wednesdays to review the progress in giving promotions, compassionate appointments and to identify the direct recruitment CONTINUED ON P4 vacancies. Excise Min meets CS Excise Minister V Srinivas Goud discussed with the CS representations of the employees. He brought to the notice of the CS, the employees’ demand to reduce the minimum continuous service from three to two years for giving promotions BHARAT BIOTECH HITS BACK, SAYS IT DOESN’T DESERVE THE BACKLASH others have 60-70% adverse reactions. AstraZeneca was giving 4g paracetamol to volBHARAT Biotech’s head unteers to suppress such reacKrishna Ella, whose Covaxin tions. We haven’t given parahas been approved for re- cetamol to any volunteer,” stricted use as a Covid-19 jab, ANI quoted him as saying. hit out at critics on Amid concerns reMonday, including garding Covaxin’s efcompetitor Serum ficacy, Ella said it is Institute of India’s safe and the compa(SII) chief Adar ny is conducting triPoonawalla, saying als in more than 12 his firm did not decountries apart from serve the backlash. India. Taking a naPo o n aw a l l a o n tionalistic pitch, he Sunday had said that said, “I don’t know vaccines by only why Indian compaPfizer, Moderna and I don’t know what nies are targeted by Oxford-AstraZeneca is backup, there is eve r yo n e i n t h e had proven efficacy, no backup. People wo rl d . ” Te a r i n g while all other vacapart Poonawalla’s should be responsible in cines including Covclaim that his risk in axin, were “safe, just giving statements stockpiling 500 millike water”. lion doses of Cov— Krishna Ella Addressing a vir- critiquing AIIMS, Delhi ishield had paid off, tual press conferElla said it was his boss Randeep ence, Ella said his company that had Guleria’s remark company had caractually taken the ried out “200 per cent honest biggest risk. “We were not clinical trials”, had an estab- paid any money either by the lished track record of produc- Gates Foundation or the goving 16 safe and efficacious ernment but we still thought vaccines, and was transpar- it was our moral responsibilent with all data. zAs for ity to work on a Covid-19 vacPoonawalla’s barb, he said, cine and produced 20 million “Covaxin has shown less than doses under risk manufactur10% adverse reactions, while ing,” he said. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi WHY REGULATORY NOD TO VACCINES IS UNDER PUBLIC SCRUTINY COVISHIELD Serum Institute of India submitted immunogenicity data of only about 185 people from phase 2 trial No efficacy data from the vaccine’s phase 3 trial in India Dosing schedule with 4-12 week gap have been permitted but the vaccine has been tested at a gap of only 4 weeks in India so far COVAXIN Current enrolment for phase 3 trial is around 22,000 but no phase 3 efficacy data available or submitted The regulator said that the rollout of the vaccine will be in ‘clinical trial mode’ but there is no explanation yet on what it means A claim is being propagated the Whole-Virion inactivated vaccine will be effective against mutations of the virus but this is not being supported by any evidence
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