saturDAY Bangladesh, Pakistan fare better in global Rankings 17 october, 2020 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard 102 twitter.com/TheMornStandard empowerment India’s ranking In the 2019 Index that ranked 117 countries MARRIAGE AGE for girls to change? Decision will be taken once a panel submits its report on whether it can be changed Page 7 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS l New Delhi l J8.00 l PAGES 12 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 a n 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 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 ‘Data inconsistent’ US-based Gilead Sciences, which holds proprietary rights over Remdesivir questioned the results saying the data is “inconsistent with more robust evidence” 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. SC sets up panel to curb stubble burning in NCR ciating as a judge, Justice Lokur had headed the SC’s soBrushing aside objections cial justice bench and heard by the Centre, the Supreme matters on pollution. Court on Friday appointed its Appearing for the Centre, retired judge Madan B Lokur Additional Solicitor General as the one-man committee to Aishwarya Bhati sought to curb crop stubble burning in stop the appointment, saying Punjab, Haryana and the bench should w e s t U P, w h i c h rather hear the matchokes Delhi-NCR. ter along with a batch Describing it as an of similar pleas in emergency measure, the 1985 MC Mehta a bench headed by PIL. But, the CJI reChief Justice of Injected it. dia S A Bobde said it At the fag end, Sowanted to step in belicitor General Tushfore the problem of ar Mehta made a last bad air and smog ditch attempt to gets unmanageable. Justice Madan B Lokur spike the appoint“We are concerned NCC roped in ment, but the bench that citizens of Delhi stayed firm, pointing and NCR should be Cadets of the NCC, o u t t h at Ju s t i c e NSS and Bharat able to breathe fresh Lokur was not being air, good clean air, Scouts and Guides given any extraordican be deployed we don’t want people nary power. in Delhi-NCR to suf- for assisting in the Justice Lokur was monitoring of fer because of stubamong the four SC stubble burning, ble bur ning,” the judges who held an the bench said bench observed. unprecedented press The suggestion to meet in 2018 criticisappoint the outspoken Justice ing the then CJI Dipak Misra. Lokur came from senior advo- Even after retirement, he recate Vikas Singh, who repre- mained vocal. His latest swipe sented petitioner Aditya was on the abuse of sedition Dubey His petition had sought law, where he said freedom of . the court’s intervention to en- speech is being mauled sure people get clean air as through twisting and turning P5 fundamental right.While offi- of the law. Express News Service @ New Delhi Farmers continue stubble burning despite several steps taken by the government to check the practice that is a major contributor to air pollution | pTI draft Army formulates a new rehabilitation policy for surrendered local terrorists The aim is to not only motivate the local youth who have joined militancy to give up arms but also to re-integrate them into society, says Army Page 7 masked PUJA Women perform ‘Dhunachi’ dance on the arrival of Goddess Durga idol at their community puja pandal in Kolkata | pTI E x p r e s s r e ad BJP MLA claims aide fired in self-defence Lucknow: UP Police on Friday arrested seven people in connection with the Ballia shooting in which the close aide of BJP’s Bairai MLA Surendra Singh is the main accused. Dhirendra Singh, the main accused, is still on the run. The BJP MLA came out in defence of his aide saying Dhirendra opened fire in self-defence. “I would like to appeal to the district administration of Ballia not to take one-sided action,” the BJP legislator from Bairai said. Shaurya Chakra awardee shot dead in Punjab Chandigarh: Shaurya Chakra awardee Balwinder Singh Sandhu who fought terrorism in Punjab was shot dead by two unknown assailants in Tarn Taran district on Friday, months after the government withdrew his security cover. The assailants pumped four bullets into Sandhu, 62, when he was at his office adjoining his home at Bhikhiwind in the district and escaped, police said. Sandhu had fought against terrorism in the state for years, facing scores of terror attacks during the height of Khalistani militancy. 14% of population undernourished 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 ■ India ranks 94 among 107 on Hunger Index of Covid-19 on hunger and malnutrition, it added. India’s rank in this year’s With the GHI score being Global Hunger Index rose to calculated using a three94 among 107 countries from step process, the indicators 102 last year but it fared used are the percentage of worse than Bangladesh, Ne- the population that is unpal and Pakistan. The in- dernourished, percentage dex, which calculates the of children under five years hunger levels and malnutri- who suffer from wasting, tion across the world, was s t u n t i n g , a n d c h i l d released on Friday . mortality . While Nepal and Sachin Kumar Bangladesh ranked Jain, a representa73 and 75 respective of Right to Food t ive ly, Pa k i s t a n Campaign, said the The government gover nment has ranked 88. should adopt an India’s hunger honest approach failed to address the level is serious with scale of the probto the issue of a score of 27.2, ac- malnutrition and lem of malnutricording to the retion. “The prevalent hunger in order port jointly released to tackle the development frameproblem. The by Welthungerhilfe work is disconnecta n d C o n c e r n index shows we ed from the issue of have taken a Worldwide. food security. The Activists called wrong route for government should development the report indicaadopt an honest aptive of the ground proach to the issue Sachin Jain, Activist realities, saying the of malnutrition and gover nment has hunger in order to failed to address the tackle the problem. existing scale of hunger. The index shows we have The report assessed the con- taken a wrong route for dition for 132 countries but development.” released the data for 107. Among 11 countries, The Covid pandemic has where the public health sigundermined food and nutri- nificance of child wasting tion security for many, and rate was considered ‘high’ its effects will likely ripple or ‘very high’, India was in into the future, said the re- the very high category at port. The existing report is 17.3 per cent. continued on P7 not reflective of the impact Express News Service @ New Delhi Delhi’s Covid cases on the rise again, overtakes Pune’s tally S o m r i ta G H OS H @ New Delhi Once again, the cases of Covid-19 are on the upwards in the national capital and Delhi now rank at the top among all cities in the India with the highest caseload. Till October 15, Delhi had recorded a total 3,21,031 cases of infection, overtaking Pune, where the number stood at 3,20,681. On the same day, Pune had recorded 1,301 new positives while it was 3,483 in Delhi. According to Delhi government’s daily Covid bulletin released on Friday evening, the city had a total of 3,24,459 cases, which mean an additional 3,428 fresh cases in the 24-hour period whereas Pune city added 476 new cases to its total tally, according to Maharashtra gover nment figures. Pune recorded its first case of coronavirus infection on March 9 while in Delhi it was first reported on March 2. A week ago, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that the peak of the second wave of Covid-19 in the capital was over and that the new reports were indicating a downward trend in new positive cases. For the past four days, the natuional capital has again been witnessing 3,000-plus cases every day . “The Covid-19 situation in Delhi is un- Total Covid-19 Cases 3,21,031 3,20,681 2,97,193 2,36,721 2,09,123 Delhi Pune Bengaluru Mumbai Thane Source: Covid19India.Org der control now. The peak o f t h e s e c o n d w ave o f infections was witnessed on September 17, when around 4,500 cases were recorded,” Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had said at a press conference. “With time, the number of fresh cases has gone down even with the high number of tests being done. Similarly, the occupancy of hospital beds that had gone up to about 7,200 has dropped again to 5,500. The occupancy in ICUs has reduced, too. I hope we are past the second peak,” he had said. Pune, Delhi and Mumbai have been among the worst affected cities by Covid-19 since the beginning. For the past few days, Pune had been at the top among cities with maximum number of cumulative cases while Bengaluru has been reporting the highest daily cases. Pune has seen a total of 2,73,958 recoveries while in Delhi nearly 2,95,699 patients P4 have been cured. D E L H I COV I D WAT C H status of cases Today Recovered Death Active cases Positive cases 3,197 22 -- 3,428 Cumulative 2,95,699 5,946 22,814 3,24,459 Patient Management Hospital Care centre Health centre Total beds Occupied Vacant 15,759 8,137 527 5,044 10,715 902 6,255* 288 239 Home Isolation: 13,152 *980 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and bubble flights Testing Status 15,660 42,485 RTPCR/CBNAAT/ TrueNat tests conducted Rapid antigen test conducted in the city 38,85,309 2,04,489 Total tests done so far Tests per million n number of containment Total zones as on date: 2747 n received in control room: 293 Calls n number of calls dispatched to Total ambulances: 1509 n number of calls refused : Nil Total Source: Delhi health bulletin | Data for Oct 16 RE C OR D 720/720: Delhi girl, Odisha boy hit perfect NEET score RA J E S H AS N A N I & p r a s a njee t s a r k a r @ Jaipur/Rourkela Delhi’s Akanksha Singh and Odisha teenager Soyeb Aftab entered record books on Friday by scoring full 720 marks in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) — the first ever such instance in the coveted exam for admission to undergraduate medical courses. With eight entrants, Andhra Pradesh has the highest representation in the list of top 50 candidates. While Soyeb and Akansha both scored identical marks, the Rourkela teenager topped the test followed by the Delhi girl in the NEET 2020 list. The formula for rank determination in case of a tie is that the scores of biology, chemistry, and physics are taken into account, an National Testing Agency official said. If all the marks are still the same, the official said, the tie is broken by whoever is older. In Jaipur, Soyeb and his family were was cynosure of all eyes as the media sought bytes from the NEET topper at a fivestar hotel. His family could hardly contain their joy. The 19-year-old from Rourkela had enrolled himself at a leading coaching institute of Kota. Besides thanking his teachers, Soyeb especially thanked his mother Sultana Nazir who stayed with him in Kota over the past two years as he prepared for the NEET exam. ‘‘There is no alternative for hardwork. I just followed what my teachers told me to do but I had never thought of securing 100 per cent marks. My aim was just to get selected in the exam,’’ he said. The teenager conceded that his hopes kept soaring since he was consistently doing well in the last two years. “As my marks increased slowly my ex, pectations soared and I aspired to achieve rank among top 100. In 12th exams, there was not much fluctuations in my perThere is no alternative for hardwork. I just followed what my teachers told me to do but I had never thought of securing 100 per cent marks Soyeb Aftab, NEET topper Soyeb Aftab with his family at a felicitation event in Jaipur | Express formance. I was consistently scoring around 700 marks....’’ Back in Rourkela, the Steel City erupted in joy after getting the news. “When all students had left Kota fearing spread of the pandemic, Soyeb stayed there with focus on study. It should be a message for others not to take recourse to excuses and back off from hard work as risk comes to life naturally,” Soyeb’s father Sheikh Mohd Abbas said. This year, 15,97, 435 aspirants had registered for the examination, 13,66, 945 of whom appeared in the test. With inputs from Delhi
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