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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Daily briefing: India’s own Covid-19 drug; Supreme Court on Pegasus case; and more

India could soon have an indigenously developed drug to cure Covid-19 in mild and moderately-infected patients. It is being tested by iSera Biological, a little known company in Maharashtra.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 11, 2021 8:18:26 am
Top news on August 11

Good morning,

Only in Express

India could soon have an indigenously developed drug to cure Covid-19 in mild and moderately-infected patients. It is being tested by iSera Biological, a little known company in Maharashtra. Officials say the drug prevents the disease from further spreading in the body, and neutralises the existing virus. It promises to turn infected patients RT-PCR negative in 72-90 hours.

To ensure sectoral viability, the government is likely to push for a floor price for services provided by telecom companies, which will essentially prevent companies from undercutting each other across services. The DoT and the Finance Ministry are said to be in agreement on the proposal, but they will need to bring the telecom regulator on board.

The Indian cricket team’s backroom may soon undergo a total revamp. Head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and batting coach Vikram Rathour are all set to move on after the T20 World Cup in October-November in the UAE. Sources said the cricket board also wants a new group onboard.

From the Front Page

A Supreme Court bench headed by CJI N V Ramana told petitioners in the Pegasus case on Tuesday to “have some faith in the system” and resist from “having a parallel debate” on social media, while adjourning hearing on petitions until August 16. The counsel for the government had sought time to take instructions.

With the Taliban advancing, India has evacuated its diplomats and personnel from its consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif. The country has issued a third advisory to its citizens to leave Afghanistan in view of the escalation in violence and the halt in air services to several provinces. Mazar-e-Sharif is a bustling city in the north, situated close to the border with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The BJP was in a spot on Tuesday when one of its MPs from election-bound UP batted for a caste-based census in Lok Sabha. Badaun MP Sanghmitra Maurya praised the Centre for “granting the power to the states for caste census”, and questioned Congress for not publishing it in 2011. However, the Centre has said it would not, as a matter of policy, enumerate the population caste-wise in the census — except for SCs and STs.

Business As Usual by E P Unny

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In a move to check instances of state governments withdrawing cases against MPs and MLAs, the Supreme Court directed on Tuesday that such action cannot be taken without the consent of the state high court. It also ordered parties to publish details of criminal cases “within 48 hours of selection of candidate”.

A week after a team was deputed to Kerala to investigate rising Covid-19 cases, a report has been submitted to the Centre listing nine unique challenges faced by the state in controlling the spread of the infection. The list includes a “faint” rural urban divide; a high number of cases of re-infection; high prevalence of NCDs; a 55% susceptible population; and high proportion of elderly population.

A new study by the ICMR has found mixing Covishield and Covaxin is safe, and can also provide better immunity against Covid-19. Interestingly, the study was the result of a mistake. It included 18 participants from a village in Uttar Pradesh, who had been administered both vaccines in an error. So, should we be mixing vaccines? We explain.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken strong exception to the absence of BJP MPs in Rajya Sabha, and sought a list of their names. Sources say he has told MPs to be regular in both Houses.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday — his first visit since Abrogation of Article 370 — where he demanded restoration of full statehood alongside “free and fair elections”.

Wrestler Vinesh Phogat has been banned by the Wrestling Federation of India for staying and training away from Team India at the Tokyo Olympics.

After Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Farhan Akhtar has surprised fans with the announcement of Jee Le Zaraa, starring a dreamy all-women cast of Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt.

Following a slew of sexual harassment allegations against him, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he will resign.

And Finally…

No pain, no gain? The brief hockey player Amit Rohidas is given has been simple but fraught with danger. He is the first man in the four-man defence who runs straight at the drag-flicker. At Tokyo, Rohidas’ bravery stood out — he points to his chest, abdomen, knee and ankle to indicate where he was hit, but says he “remained mentally strong”.

Delhi Confidential:

CJI Ramana was thanked on Tuesday by a couple from Andhra Pradesh who he counselled in Telugu, and convinced to take back their complaints against each other and live happily. The couple was reunited after 21 years of bickering.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Murali

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