YK MYK WEATHER TODAY MAX 32 C MIN 24 C ANKHI DAS’S EXIT FROM FACEBOOK IS NOT ENOUGH FOR INDIAN USERS OPINION Sky will be clear. Rs. 3 KOLKATA MONDAY, 2 NOVEMBER, 2020 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—167 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) AT A GLANCE 2 FIRS LODGED IN CONNECTION WITH MUNGER VIOLENCE MUNGER: Two separate FIRs were lodged in Bihar on Sunday in connection with the violence that took place in Munger during immersion of a Durga idol which left one person dead and several injured, a police officer said. After the police lodged an FIR against law enforcers involved in an unwanted and unauthorised lathicharge on devotees, Amarnath Poddar filed an FIR in connection with the "killing" of his son during the violence, he said. The FIR by the police has been lodged with Kotwali police station on the basis of a video showing policemen baton-charging devotees on Monday night, which has gone viral on social media, the officer said. CONFIDENT THAT PM WILL REVIEW FARM LAWS, SAYS RAHUL NEW DELHI/RAIPUR: Raising the issue of recently passed farm laws by the Centre, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that he is confident that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would reconsider them. In his address on the occasion of Chhattisgarh's 20th foundation day, the former Congress President said: "I am confident that PM Modi will reconsider these three laws when the sentiments of the farmers emerge as these laws are weakening our foundation." He said the foundation of a city is a village, and the foundations of a village are farmers, labourers, farms, small shopkeepers etc. "If we weaken our foundation, the entire building will be weakened. When we protect farmers and labourers, we also protect this country," he said. PG 4 CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 8,196,332 TOTAL DEATH: 122,424 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 46,524,737 TOTAL DEATH: 1,202,367 DEFINITELY NOT MY LAST CSK GAME: DHONI SIGNALS PLAYING IPL 2021 SPORTS Morning India Centre plans Covid vax rollout with HCWs first India asks Pak to vacate its occupation of Gilgit-Baltistan Distribution to take year: Govt NEW DELHI: The government has planned to start the distribution of Covid-19 vaccine first to the healthcare workers followed by other groups to be added "sequentially". The distribution drive would take place over a year. For this, the states and union territories would form a three-tier system as per the Centre's directions. "In all likelihood, the Covid-19 vaccine introduction will span over a year with multiple groups being included sequentially, starting from healthcare workers (HCWs). Therefore, it is important to create strong advisory and coordination mechanism at state and district-level to guide the process of Covid-19 vaccine introduction while ensuring minimal disruption of other routine healthcare services, including immunisation," the directions forwarded by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan to chief secretaries of states and UTs read. Earlier, Bhushan had written to chief secretaries of all states and UTs asking them to form three-tier committees which would oversee the rollout of the vaccine and address any hiccups, including rumours. As per the information gathered, the three-tier committees would comprise the state steering committee, state task force, and district task force in each state and UT. The state steering committee would be headed by the chief secretary, the state task force would be headed by the principal secretary (health), while the district task force would be led by the district magistrate. The committees should INDIA SUSTAINS TREND OF DECLINING COVID-19 ACTIVE CASES NEW DELHI: India continues to report a trend of steadily declining active cases. For the third day after the active cases dropped below the 6 lakh-mark after nearly three months, the progressive decline has been maintained, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Presently India's total active caseload is 5,70,458. The active cases have dropped to only 6.97 per cent of the total positive cases of the country demonstrating a steady falling percentage of the total cases, as per the Union Health Ministry. PG 5 meet at a minimum frequency of once a month, once a fortnight, and once a week, respectively, the directions added. The Centre has also laid down a list of activities for the committees for both the preparatory phase and the phase that follows vaccine rollout. For example, during the preparatory phase, state steering committees will have to review issues such as coldchain preparedness (to ensure proper transfer of vaccines), operational planning, and communication planning. Hindu devotees witness the immersion of goddess Laxmi at the Ganga river in Kolkata on Sunday Middle aged woman jumped from rooftop KOLKATA: There was an incident of unnatural death on Sunday in Jadavpur PS area at about 12.45 am. Alpana Dutta, 55 years old, resident of Bapuji Nagar jumped from the rooftop of her G+3 storied residential building. She was taken to Baghajatin State General hospital and declared brought dead by the doctors. No suicide note recovered so far. There was a fire incident at about 3.40 am in Beniapukur PS area. Fire bursts out in a roadside shanty at 15 Bechulal Road, One fire tender reached the spot. Fire was extinguished at about 4.10 am. No news of injury reported so far. Cause of fire yet to be ascertained. Three shanties comprising a Saloon, Godown and a Garage were completely gutted. One LGV Tata was partially damaged. There was an incident of unnatural death in Rabindranath Nagar under Parnashree PS area at about 8.30 am. Apu Dutta, 29 years, resident of Sarkarpool, Maheshtala was found hanging from an iron beam if the ceiling with the help of a gamcha. He was taken to Vidyasagar State General Hospital and declared brought dead by the doctors. No suicide note recovered so far. On the other hand, number arrests for deliberate violation of Safety Restrictions since 01.11.2020: Total arrest– 22, people booked for not using face mask–152, people booked for spitting in public place-08. A park decorates with painted tyres, named as "Kolkata Tyre Park" in Kolkata on Sunday. BIHAR ASSEMBLY POLLS It’s double engine govt vs two yuvrajs: PM CHHAPRA: Taking a dig at the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that a 'double engine government' was pitted against 'two yuvrajs' in the ongoing Bihar Assembly elections. One of these 'yuvrajs' or princes is a 'yuvraj of jungle raj', Modi said at a public rally in Chhapra. "The second 'yuvraj' joined hands with a third 'yuvraj' in Uttar Pradesh, but the people rejected them. Now the second 'yuvraj' had come to Bihar to seek votes," Modi added. He was referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the crowd during an election rally for the second phase of Bihar assembly polls, in Chhapra on Sunday. ANI Tejashwi Yadav, Rahul Gandhi, and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav. "Once again, there is an opportunity to defeat the yuvrajs. What happened to them in Uttar Pradesh is going to be repeated in Bihar as well," the Prime Minister said. He referred to a video clip doing the rounds on the social media, in which a woman was asked why she was voting for Modi. The Prime Minister said that the woman's answer forced the entire opposition to go silent. "She said 'Modi gave ration, pension, electricity, and cooking gas. Should I still vote for you than him?'" the Prime Minister added. He said that the daughters, women and other people in Bihar were putting the same question to the opposition. "It is because of the power of your vote that I head the government at the Centre and Nitish Kumar in Bihar. It is a double engine government on one side and two 'yuvrajs' on the other, including one of the jungle raj," Modi said without naming anyone. He claimed that the people's love and bonding with the BJP had not been liked by political rivals and they had lost sleep. NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD: The Centre has asked Pakistan to immediately vacate from the Indian territory of Gilgit-Baltistan which the Imran Khan government declared as its provisional fifth province on Sunday. Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced that his government has decided to grant the "provisional-provincial status" to Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, illegally occupied by Pakistan in 1947. In a statement issued in New Delhi by the Ministry of External Affairs, spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said: "The Government of India firmly rejects the attempt by Pakistan to bring material changes to a part of Indian territory, under its illegal and forcible occupation." The government reiterated that the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the area of soPM IMRAN KHAN called "GilgitON SUNDAY Baltistan", are an ANNOUNCED THAT integral part of HIS GOVERNMENT India by virtue of HAS DECIDED TO the legal, comGRANT THE "PROplete and irrevoVISIONAL-PROVINcable accession of CIAL STATUS" TO Jammu and GILGITKashmir to the BALTISTAN, A Union of India in PART OF THE 1947. ERSTWHILE Srivastava said PRINCELY STATE that the Pakistan OF JAMMU AND government has KASHMIR. "no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied" by it. Such attempts by Pakistan, intended to camouflage its illegal occupation, cannot hide the grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom for over seven decades to the people residing in these Pakistan occupied territories, he added. The spokesperson said that instead of seeking to alter the status of these Indian territories, Indian government calls upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation. Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan during his visit to Gilgit-Baltistan on Sunday said that he had decided to give the provisional province status to the region "keeping in mind the UN Security Council's resolutions. "The Khan government is also holding elections in the region, where many activists have called it a Pakistani Army's fraud to grab and further occupy Gilgit-Baltistan. HIZBUL'S SAIFULLAH, LAST OF MOST WANTED LOCAL MILITANT LEADERS, KILLED SRINAGAR: In a serious blow to "homegrown militancy" in the Kashmir Valley, Hizbul Mujahideen's operational commander Saifullah Mir was killed in a gunfight with police and security forces in Srinagar district on Sunday, officials said. His associate was arrested alive in the encounter in Rangreth area. A top police officer said the operation was based on hard intelligence generated by the police. The gunfight broke out after security forces, who had cordoned off the area and launched a search operation on basis of specific information about presence of terrorists, came under fire from the hiding terrorists and retaliated. PG 7 Meditation, yoga top activities among Indians during pandemic NEW DELHI: In the pandemic times, meditation and yoga have emerged as top health activities among people in India, a global study by wearable brand Fitbit has revealed. While meditation emerged as the top go-to activity among users in India with a staggering uptick of 2,381 per cent, yoga witnessed a 241 per cent spike among the Indian Fitbit users, highlighting a major shift and focus on mental wellness and stress management while staying indoors. "While Indians slept the least among key APAC markets in 2019 and 2020, Covid-19 induced lockdown and following limited restrictions resulted in Indians sleeping 18 minutes more between March-August 2020 as compared to the same period last year," the study showed on Saturday. In the Asia-Pacific region, mediation, yoga and pilates saw a huge adoption in 2020, mirroring the global trend, with meditation in particular saw massive popularity among Fitbit users across the region. Australia and New Zealand continued to lead the region in active minutes achieved, even if they did not lead in overall step count, suggesting a greater level of intentional activity such as exercise. "Most countries saw their lockdown gains in sleep duration reverse as they reopened, with the exception of Australia, which continued to enjoy an increase in sleep duration to 7 hours 37 minutes -- 39 minutes higher than the regional average. The regional average Resting Heart Rate (RHR) improved during lockdown and stayed the same even as countries reopened. "On the whole, the data shows that while users have embraced a more sedentary lifestyle in 2020 with overall activity decreasing, many users have pivoted to more frequent stress-relieving activities," the data revealed. Covid virus mutation may have made it more contagious: Study The virus that causes Covid-19 is accumulating genetic mutations, one of which may have made it more contagious, says a study involving more than 5,000 patients in the US. That mutation, called D614G, is located in the spike protein that pries open our cells for viral entry, according to the paper published in the peer-reviewed journal mBIO. The patients involved in this study of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences were from Houston, Texas. The paper shows "the virus is mutating due to a combination of neutral drift-which just means random genetic changes that don't help or hurt the virus-and pressure from our immune systems," said Ilya Finkelstein, Associate Professor at The University of Texas at Austin and co-author of the study. During the initial wave of the pandemic, 71 per cent of the novel coronaviruses identified in patients in Houston had this mutation. When the second wave of the outbreak hit Houston during the summer, this variant had leaped to 99.9 per cent prevalence, said the study, adding that this mirrors a trend observed around the world. A study published in July based on more than 28,000 genome sequences found that variants carrying the D614G mutation became the globally dominant form of SARS-CoV-2 in about a month. SARS-CoV-2 is the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. The good news is that this mutation is rare and does not appear to make the disease more severe for infected patients. "The virus continues to mutate as it rips through the world," Finkelstein said.