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Saturday, August 08, 2020

Daily briefing: Scientists say ICMR claim on Covid vaccine risky; Another ‘TN police victim’ comes forward

From ICMR's target of developing a Covid vaccine by August 15 to the introduction of home isolation by the Karnataka government, read the top stories from the print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 4, 2020 8:52:23 am
top news today, top briefing news today, latest news today, india latest news, india china border news, galwan faceoff, donald trump, india coronavirus latest updates, indian express news today July 04, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Dear Reader,

Big Story

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has drawn criticism for setting a “near impossible” timeline for the launch of Covid vaccine. ICMR  director Balram Bhargava wants the 12 hospitals selected for carrying out clinical trials of Covaxin, a candidate vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech, to expedite the process so that it is ready for public use by August 15. A well-known virologist had this to say: “I fear the global scientific community would be laughing at us for this…”

From the Front Page

Power equipment is the latest entry into the list of banned Chinese items as Union Minister R K Singh fears our power systems could be crippled if China plants “malware or Trojan horse” in the imports. India imports Rs 71,000 crore worth power equipment, including Rs 21,000 crore from China, according to Singh. 

In the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that  “era of expansionism is over” during his unannounced visit to Ladakh, our defence expert looks at the options available to India to restore status quo ante on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the region. Out of the four options, the probability of a limited war seems “highly unlikely” while strengthening troop positions at LAC and continuing talks seems “most likely”.  

One of those chargesheeted in the murder of a 25-year-old during the riots in Northeast Delhi in February, under arrest since March, is Brijmohan Sharma, the mahamantri (general secretary) of the BJP’s Brahampuri Mandal and has been associated with the party for over a decade. While the chargesheet talks of his political ambitions, saying he was known locally as ‘Netaji’, it does not mention any party.

The Pandemic

Ahmedabad-based pharma firm Zydus Cadila expects to complete the first two phases of human clinical trials for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, ‘ZyCov-D’, in the next three months, according to its chairman. The trials will begin this month in over 1,000 patients across multiple sites.

The JEE (Main) and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) have been delayed further by a month due to the unabated rise in coronavirus cases. The JEE Main will now be held over six days between September 1 and September 6. NEET, meant for undergraduate medical programmes, will be held on September 13. JEE (Advanced) will be held on September 27. 

In order to ease the pressure on hospitals amid a Covid spike, the Karnataka government on Friday approved introduction of home isolation, provided the houses of asymptomatic patients have a room for isolation with an attached bathroom. “Only those who are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic shall be allowed to be in isolation at home,” according to the SOPs released by the health department.

Beyond Covid-19

Another complaint of alleged police torture has surfaced in Tamil Nadu, of a 32-year-old who has been hospitalised nearly a month after he claims he was beaten up with iron rods, leaving him with fractures. In his complaint to court, the victim has said police acted against him for a video he had posted against DMK MLA Anitha R Radhakrishnan on Facebook back in January.Two days after the Union Ministry of Home Affairs asked paramilitary forces for their views on recruitment of transgender people as officers in their ranks, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has said it is ready to make its force “compatible” to the new recruits.

And finally

Mutton biryani, Hyderabadi chicken biryani and a range of kebabs. When senior officials of Bihar’s Banka district administration last month met a group of skilled migrants who had returned to the state from Telangana, they had a pleasant surprise — and a lot else — served to them. How does the administration plan to engage this exceptional talent that they had discovered?

🎥 Will banning Chinese business help India achieve self reliance? Watch the discussion here.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad and Liu Chuen Chen

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