SATURDAY PFIZER’S PILL CUTS DOWN COVID DEATH, HOSPITALISATION BY 89% NOVEMBER, 2021 Buoyed by the results, the pharma major on Friday said it will submit the data to the FDA for Emergency Use Authorisation 06 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard BLOCKS ENZYME NEEDED BY VIRUS TO GROW Pfizer’s pill is the second antiCovid pill after Merck’s molnupiravir, which was approved. While molnupiravir is a rebranded influenza pill, Pfizer’s paxlovid was created to fight Covid by blocking the activity of an enzyme the virus needs to replicate. INTEL ALERTS NAXALS DESPERATE TO STOP CAMPS Cadres recced some police camps in Chhattisgarh, plan more IED attacks on forces A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 7 NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 PEOPLE VOLUNTEERED FOR THE TRIALS, WHICH HAVE BEEN STOPPED NOW 3-PILL DOSAGE TWICE A DAY FOR 5 DAYS Pfizer doses will come in a blister pack of three, comprising two paxlovid and one antiviral ritonavir, which is an enzyme inhibitor. Ritonavir will slow the breakdown of paxlovid to help it remain active in the body for longer periods at higher concentrations. The pills will have to be administered twice a day for five days POOREST POST-DIWALI AIR QUALITY IN 5 YEARS A combination of multiple factors like firecrackers on Diwali, peak stubble burning and first fog contributed to record pollution in Delhi V AT S A L A S H R A N G I @ New Delhi ADI GURU’S ABODE PM Narendra Modi after inaugurating a 12-foot-high statue of Adi Shankara at Kedarnath on Friday It has been chiselled from a stone called Krishna Shile that comes from HD Kote in Karnataka Farmers keep BJP leaders ‘hostage’, attack car of MP H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh TENSION prevailed at a village in Rohtak district on Friday after the locals allegedly held a group of BJP leaders, including a former state minister, hostage inside a temple. The saffron leaders said they went to the village to watch live telecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech from Kedarnath shrine. The locals had reportedly decided to not allow BJP politicians in the village over the contentious farm laws enacted by the central government. The incident happened when former minister Manish Grover and some BJP leaders went to a temple in Kiloi village around 10 am. When the villagers came to know that BJP leaders were inside the temple, they assembled outside and blocked the main entrance. The situation remained tense till around 5.30 pm when the ‘hostages’ were released after senior administrative and police officials pacified the villagers. Some villagers said they took the extreme step because the BJP leaders came to the village despite knowing that farmers had given a call to not allow BJP leaders enter the villages. “They do not go to mandis (grain market) to check procurement of paddy or wheat but visit temples to create division in society said a villager. ,” Meanwhile, an official said the BJP leaders were released after holding talks with the villagers. He said the incident happened because of some “misunderstanding”. Grover played down the incident saying the dispute arose due to a misunderstanding. “The matter was resolved as soon as villagers understood the reality he said adding that ,” he neither apologised to anyone nor was it a serious matter. In another incident, the front windshield of BJP MP Ram Chander Jangra’s car was smashed allegedly by farmers when he visited Narnaund town in Hisar district. No one was hurt in the incident while the minister described the incident as a “murder attempt”. It took nine months for Mysuru-based sculptor Arun Yogiraj to complete the construction | PTI | P7 Wankhede out of Aryan’s hair in drugs case probe eral anomalies in the Aryan Khan case. THE Narcotics Control Bureau “Wankhede has not followed (NCB) on Friday removed its proper procedures in the Aryan zonal director Sameer Wankh- Khan case. Besides, the allegaede as the lead investigator into tions leveled by Prabhakar Sail a slew of high-profile cases, in- that Wankhede’s team demandcluding the drug seizure on a ed `25 crore is very serious. The cruise involving actor Shah Mumbai Police have some reRukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan lated CCTV footage. His removand a narcotics pedal is necessary to dling charge against maintain the credibilNCP minister Nawab ity of anti-drug agenMalik’s son in-law cy,” the source added. Sameer Khan. The Wankhede baiter cases would now be Nawab Malik demandinvestigated by the ed a re-investigation agency’s Delhi-based into the cases handled Sameer Wankhede operations unit under by the NCB officer Sanjay Singh. and said, “This is just Sources said Wankhede was beginning. A lot more needs to relieved of 26 cases as a depart- be done to clean this system.” mental inquiry into the allega- For his part, Wankhede said the tions of corruption, extortion, removal was based on his petiblackmailing and manipulat- tion. “A writ petition was filed ing witnesses was pending by me in the high court for an against him. “The decision was independent probe by a central taken to ensure a transparent agency and now a senior officer , probe into the cases,” said a has been appointed. Cases source, adding that the depart- where I had problem have been mental probe has indicated sev- handed over,” he said. S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I @ Mumbai E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Though he withdrew his resignation, the Punjab Congress chief announced that he would return to his duties only when the state got a new police chief and advocate general. Sidhu, however, clarified that he had no differences with Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi | P7 A draft bill to create a standalone law on mediation has proposed pre-litigation mediation while safeguarding the interest of the litigants to approach competent forums if they need urgent relief. The draft released by the Centre on Friday for public consultation also proposes the establishment of an umbrella body called the Mediation Council of India. Mediation is an alternate dispute redressal mechanism that DITCHED ADDICTION Assam man’s tale of booze, blood and business P R A S A N TA M A Z U M D A R @ Guwahati AS a child, Sunny Baruah was addicted to the bottle so much so that he would sell his blood to get booze. It took some grit and determination for him to kick the habit. Today, he is a successful restaurateur earning a turnover of `1 crore. The Class 10 pass is the proud owner of eateries, Aakhol Ghar and Rogan Josh. Set up on the premises of his house in a posh Guwahati locality Aakhol Ghar , draws hundreds of customers. Reminiscing the turbulent years, Baruah, 35, says he began as an occasional drinker in Class 7. By the time he reached Class 9, he was boozing on a regular basis quite heavily. “Problems compounded when my father, who retired from government service in 2007, stopped giving pocket money. This forced me to adopt some means to earn money for liquor. Selling my own blood was one of them.” Launched in 2011-12 with `50,000 that his family invested, Aakhol Ghar had to be closed down in 2013-14 after he suffered losses. “My alcoholism and failure in business made a girl I liked go away from my life in 2014. Soon, I slipped into depression. One day, I attempted to end my life and next, I discovered myself in the ICU.” His habit did not change even after recovery. But one fine morning, the question why he Diwali-eve 500 404 431 Day after Diwali Diwali Day 445 403 400 302 319 2016 2017 414 390 338 281 300 200 age people from burning crackers. This year, it had placed a blanket ban on sale and purchase of firecrackers early on while no licenses were issued to traders. Police officials said that it is mainly the NCR towns from where people have been buying crackers, as sale was not restricted there. A senior police official who did not wish to be named, said, “Crackers were not available anywhere in Delhi. People bought them from Noida and Ghaziabad. The only solution is to put a complete ban on selling and bursting crackers in NCR regions too.” According to an analysis by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, this was the sharpest rise in pollution levels in the city on the morning after Diwali since 2016 when the AQI CONTINUED ON P4 was 445. 287 2018 337 368 2019 339 462 435 382 314 2020 2021 Air Quality Index parameters 0-50: Good | 51-100: Satisfactory | 101-200: Moderate | 201-300: Poor | 301-400: Very poor | 401-500: Severe Pollution peaks in Capital A thick blanket of smog on National Highway 9 in Delhi a day after Diwali, hampers visibility on Friday morning | PARVEEN NEGI Pre-litigation mediation proposed in draft law SIDHU ‘CONGRESS WILL WIN 80 TO 100 SEATS IN PUNJAB POLLS’ Farmers target the car of BJP MP Ram Chander Jangra in Hisar on Friday | PTI DELHI woke up to a thick layer of haze and smoke-filled skies on Friday registering the worst , post-Diwali pollution spike in five years. A combination of factors — firecracker emissions despite a blanket ban; first winter fog and calm winds; and peak stubble burning — pushed the air quality into the severe zone, an analysis by government agencies said. Poor enforcement of cracker ban in Delhi and the absence of any bar in the satellite towns allowed large-scale burning of firecrackers overnight, resulting in a midnight spike in pollution levels. As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi’s overall air quality index (AQI) on Friday was 462, a sharp rise from 382 the previous day The . PM 2.5 levels — the most prominent pollutant that can enter the blood stream and pose a serious health risk — shot up five times the permissible limit at midnight. Besides, the wind direction changed on Thursday night, bringing in smoke from peak stubble burning in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana. Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai on Friday said NASA images show stubble burning instances shot up from 1,000 last week to over 3,500 on Thursday “A large population of Del. hi did not burst crackers, but the BJP-ruled Union government did not enforce or place a blanket ban in satellite towns resulting in people bursting firecrackers,” Rai said. The Delhi government had launched an anti-firecracker campaign last month — Patakhe Nahi, Diye Jalao to discour- survived kept coming to his mind. Baruah felt he survived because he has a purpose in life. He picked up odd jobs for a while and re-launched Aakhol Ghar on August 23, 2018. Success followed and he opened Rogan Josh in February “My cus. tomers are from government officers to daily wagers. Thirtytwo people can dine at a time where food is served only during the day but as hundreds come, they are required to wait for their turn,” Baruah says. He has given employment to 12 people and earns a monthly profit in excess of `2 lakh. The eatery serves traditional Assamese cuisines whose quality is a hit. Baruah plans to expand his business and to explore other avenues. “Intoxication up to a point is fine. But someday eve, ry individual realises its evils. It is then that the person has to decide if he should stop it or continue it,” Baruah says in his message to alcoholics. offers an informal, simple, nonadversarial approach to settle matters. “Since the laws on mediation are contained in several enactments, including Rules and Regulation, it was felt necessary to ascertain the present statutory framework on mediation and bring an umbrella leg- islation including amendments in the existing laws,” the law ministry stated. Besides, India is a signatory to the Singapore Convention on Mediation, so enacting a law domestic and international mediation became necessary . In accordance with Settlement deed to be enforceable by law The draft bill makes a Mediation Settlement Agreement (MSA) enforceable by law. Since MSA is a product of consensual agreement, any challenge to it would permitted only on limited grounds, the draft states global practices, the terms ‘conciliation’ and ‘mediation’ have been used interchangeably . The draft bill aims to promote, encourage and facilitate mediation, especially institutional mediation. It is meant to help resolve commercial disputes, enforce domestic and international mediation settlements. It provides for a body for registration of mediators. The draft encourages community mediation and aims to make online mediation an acceptable and cost effective process. MAGSAYSAY WINNER IFS OFFICER TO PROBE CORBETT VIOLATIONS V I N E E T U P H A D YAY @ Dehradun U T TA R A K H A N D f o r e s t department has appointed Magsaysay awardee and Indian Forest Service officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi to probe the alleged illegal constructions and tree felling in Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR). At present Chaturvedi is the Chief Conservator of Forest in the research wing of the department in Haldwani of Nainital district. In an order dated November 2 by the head of the forest force (HoFF), Chaturvedi has been directed to submit the report within two weeks. Meanwhile, the state government has suspended BB Sharma, forest range officer Supreme Court advocate, and of Pakhro range of the CTR. wildlife activist. The development comes af“It’s a scam of more than ter the Uttarakhand High `150 crore. More than `150 cr Court took suo moto cogni- of CAMPA funds (Compensasance of the matter on tory Afforestation Fund ManOctober 27 and isagement and Plansued notices to the ning Authority) state government. have been illegally Earlier, a commitutilised for all these tee formed by the ille gal construcNational Tiger Contions. Some officials servation Authority of the CTR have de(NTCA) had found stroyed the Corbett Sanjiv Chaturvedi that in order to allandscape only for low illegal constructhe sake of money ,” tions, forest officials forged said Bansal. government records and vioThe NTCA committee had lated laws. recommended action, includThe committee was formed ing vigilance inquiry against , by the NTCA after a petition officials, besides demolishing by Gaurav Kumar Bansal, a the illegal structures.
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