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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Daily briefing: Covid patients on oxygen support up by 2% in past month; Tennis star speaks out on police brutality in India

From Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's claims that there’s a plot afoot to topple his government to use of Artificial Intelligence software for better diagnostics of Covid patients, read the stories from our print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 12, 2020 9:26:45 am
top news briefing today, top news today, india latest news, india coronavirus latest updates, india china border news, sushant singh rajput death probe, vikas dubey July 12, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Dear Reader,

The Big Story

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot claims there’s a plot afoot to topple his government. Well, it wasn’t the first time he sounded the alarm, the most recent was in June, but this time two BJP members were arrested on sedition charges for allegedly trying to lure Congress and Independent MLAs with offers of Rs 20-25 crore each. An FIR lodged against the two little known members mentioned how the “Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister are having a fight”. 

Further reading: We look into the history of the “ego clash” between Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot, which began much before the Congress came to power in Rajasthan. 

From Front Page

Though the Chinese haven’t been so keen on talking about Pangong Tso during military-level talks, they have vacated the base at Finger 4 in the area, and have thinned their strength somewhat on the ridgeline. Sources say Indian troops have also taken a step back towards Finger 3 as part of the “mutual disengagement”. In other news, India has chosen a senior diplomat as its new envoy to Taipei amid calls within the strategic community for upgradation of ties with Taiwan as a counterbalance to check China.

A day after Vikas Dubey was killed in an ‘encounter’, arrests were reported from Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra in connection with the slain gangster, with the Uttar Pradesh Police distancing itself from the two men held in Thane. While the Madhya Pradesh Police said they did not know of the arrests in Gwalior, the Maharashtra ATS said the men arrested in Thane were involved in the Kanpur shootout. 

Even though the country is currently in phase two of unlockdown, things are far from returning to normal any time soon. Multiple data sets analysed by The Indian Express including mobility indicators and electricity consumption show that while unwinding of the national lockdown set off a definite uptick in economic activity, there is an unmistakable plateauing as state authorities slap fresh curbs to counter the viral surge. 

The Pandemic

As the country sees a surge in Covid cases, largely powered by southern states, there has also been an increase in patients on oxygen support – an almost 2% rise in the past one month. In the first week of July, 7% of the active cases were on oxygen support. In early June, that percentage stood at 5-5.5%. Oxygen therapy is crucial to clinical management of patients, especially to keep fatality rates under control.

Besides ventilators and oxygen kits, the Covid-19 pandemic has turned the focus on manufacture and supply of X-ray machines and CT scanners as indispensable tools for the prognosis and management of patients with moderate and severe symptoms. Indian manufacturers are now highlighting the use of Artificial Intelligence software to make sense of images and scans of Covid patients for better diagnostics.

Singing Vande Mataram while opening the shops and the national anthem when closing them are among the set of the latest guidelines issued by the Surat Municipal Corporation to reopen the textile trading markets in the city which became Covid-19 clusters. The employees and workers will also have to shout “motivational slogans” like “haarse corona jeetse Surat (corona will lose, Surat will win)…as part of the daily drill”.

Beyond Covid-19

Former India No.1 tennis player, Somdev Devvarman, speaks to The Indian Express on the recent cases of violence and alleged police brutality in the country. Devvaraman says he is “thankful” that police in India generally “don’t have guns”. “They have sticks. They come out there and they hit you. It has happened to a friend of mine and me at a concert. We were just walking by and there happened to be a crowd and the police weren’t sure of what was going on, and they were going out and hitting people… I don’t think that’s okay,” he says.

A small-time criminal, with small-time political ambitions, who hoped to become “a big man” fast, the 52-year-old walked the UP badlands virtually unknown, till last week. From village lanes to Kanpur high street, police to political corridors, The Indian Express’ Avaneesh Mishra, with Manish Sahu, on the life, times and controversial death of gangster Vikas Dubey


And finally

What does it take to survive as an outsider in Bollywood? The death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput on June 14 has reignited the insider-outsider debate, which has been simmering for the past few years. Only a lucky few make it past the high walls of the super-exclusive club of the Hindi film industry. But even if you find a way in, surviving and, most importantly, flourishing demands strategising and smart hustling. If you ace it, the rewards are spectacular. 

🎧 Last week on Saturday, Lin Dan, five time world champion, two-time Olympics gold medallist, and arguably one of the best Badminton players, announced his retirement. In our latest podcast, we look back at Dan’s career, talk about what made him a Badminton giant and his rivalry with Chong Wei.

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