log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday SATURDAY OCTOBER 17, 2020 The Goan (Playstore) 8 pages PRICE ` 6 VOLUME VI, NO. 121 Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 2 7 Remdesivir, 3 other drugs are ineffective on patients: WHO No, you cannot pierce your brain with a swab test GOA 6 A week later, no progress in ammonia gas leak probe NEWS Terrorism is Pakistan’s publicly acknowledged policy: India STUDY STRIKES A BIG BLOW TO HOPES OF VIRUS TREATMENT IN SHORT >> GSUDA plans garbage plant in Sanquelim PANAJI: The Goa State Urban Development Agency has planned to set up a 5-tonne per day garbage treatment plant with capacity to also generate electricity in Sanquelim constituency. The Rs 2.29 crore worth 5 TPD Bio-Methanation garbage plant has entered the tendering stage. The tender was issued by GSUDA on Friday inviting pre-qualification and other technical as well as financial bids from prospective firms. Govt reconstitutes IPSCDL Board PANAJI: The government issued a notification reconstituting the board of Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Ltd (IPSCDL). The reconstituted board of directors headed by Chief Secretary Parimal Rai now includes Panaji MLA Atanasio “Babush” Monserrate and Panaji Mayor Uday Madkaikar as ex-officio directors. >> See pg 3 Zuari bridge closed for 3 hrs tomorrow PANAJI: The Zuari bridge will remain close for traffic on October 18 from 6 am to 9 am. During the closure, four ferryboats will be deployed at Agassiam-Cortalim route for passengers and two wheelers only. Marriage age for girls to be revised NEW DELHI: PM Narendra Modi assured the daughters of the country that the government will decide the right age for marriage as soon as the committee gives its >> See pg 7 report. SC panel to check stubble burning NEW DELHI: SC appointed retired judge Justice Madan B Lokur as a one-man committee to take steps for preventing stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and UP. WEATHER >> Max: 27.6 C Min: 23.1 C Humidity: 96% TIDES Low: 04.40 17.00 High: 10.38 23.37 AGENCIES NEW DELHI A World Health Organization trial using four drugs including the antiviral Remdesivir in the hospital treatment of Covid-19 has found the repurposed medicines have little to no effect on the length of time patients spend in hospital or their survival. “These Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir and Interferon regimens appeared to have little or no effect on hospitalized Covid-19, as indicated by overall mortality, initiation of ventilation and duration of hospital stay,” the researchers wrote in a preprint on the findings of the WHO’s Solidarity trial that was released on medRxiv. Remdesivir, developed for Ebola by US pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, was one of the earliest treatments WHAT THE STUDY FOUND For its Solidarity clinical trial, the WHO tested the effects four potential treatments -- remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, interferon, and lopinavir & ritonavir Dexamethasone, a low-cost steroid now widely used on Covid patients in intensive care in UK, was not included in this study The four drugs were tested with 11,266 adult patients in total, across 500 hospitals in more than 30 different countries The results suggest that none of these treatments has a substantial effect on mortality or on the length of time spent in hospital FACT FILE: Remdesivir received emergency use authorisation from the Food and Drug Administration in the US on May 1, and has since been given regulatory approval in several other countries put forward for Covid-19 and was taken by US President Donald Trump when he was admitted to hospital with the disease at the beginning of the month. Trump has also NEP to be effective from next academic year, says Sawant THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said Goa’s elementary and higher school education system will transit to a new format from June 2021 as it plans to implement the New Education Policy (NEP). Sawant who also holds the education portfolio chaired a virtual conference on Friday where a 27-member committee updated him on their work to examine the NEP and prepare the roadmap for its implementation from June next year. Former chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar heads the 27-member panel formed by the Education Department. From this panel, three more sub-committees have been carved out and tasked with the responsibility to examine infrastructure and also finalise curriculum as per the NEP requirements. Sawant said, the sub-committees have been given a February 2021 deadline to complete their work and submit reports. These panels will make infrastructural recommendations for the pre-primary, secondary and higher secondary sections. The issue of new curriculum will also be handled by The sub-committees have been given a February 2021 deadline to complete their work and submit reports... these panels will make infrastructural recommendations for preprimary, secondary and higher secondary sections —Pramod Sawant, CM them, he added while speaking to reporters outside his official Altinho residence after the virtual conference. The new education policy proposes sweeping structural changes in formal education dumping the current 10-plustwo system and adapting to a four-stage 5+3+3+4 system compatible with the international schooling system. The four stages the NEP proposes are: ‘Foundational’ stage which includes three years of pre-school and two years (Grades 1 & 2) of primary; ‘Preparatory’ stage comprising grades 3 to 5 and covering ages 8-11 of the child; ‘Middle stage’ from grades 6 to 8 and ‘Secondary’ stage covering grades 9 to 12 in two phases (9 and 10 in the first while 11 and 12 in the second). Odisha boy tops NEET, scores record 100% PTI JAIPUR Odisha’s Soyeb Aftab bagged the top rank attaining a perfect score as the result of the medical entrance exam NEET was announced on Friday. Delhi girl Akansha Singh secured the second rank, according to officials of the National Testing Agency (NTA). In a first, Soyeb Aftab secured 720 out of 720 which made him attain 99.99 percentile. A student of Allen Institute Kota for the last three years, Soyeb secured AIR 1. Shoaib became the first student in the country to score 720 out of 720 in the exam. Shoaib said that his dream is to serve the country by becoming a good cardiologist. He wants to study further in AIIMS, Delhi. He said, “There is no doctor in my family, so I didn’t expect this. I had hoped to make it to top 100 or top 50 but I never expected to score 720/720. The exam was being postponed, so there was a lot of pressure. But the goal was to stay calm and utilise time.” A total of 7,71,500 candidates had qualified the exam for which over 13.66 lakh candidates had appeared. The highest number of qualifying candidates are from Tripura (88,889) followed by Maharashtra (79,974). The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test was conducted on Sept 13. Trials on hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir were stopped in June because they had already proven ineffective — Soumya Swaminathan touted the use of hydroxychloroquine, as has Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro. “It’s certainly disappointing,” Julie Fischer, an associate research professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Georgetown University told Al Jazeera. “What all of us would like to see is what is frequently called a ‘magic bullet’; a drug that’s already in existence, that is safe and works effectively in patients. Unfortunately, in this case, this trial at least suggests the benefits of Remdesivir weren’t there at all.” The randomised trial of the drugs took place in 405 hospitals across 30 countries and involved 11,266 patients. Some 2,750 people were allocated Remdesivir, 954 Hydroxychloroquine, 1,411 Lopinavir, 651 Interferon plus Lopinavir, 1,412 only Interferon, and 4,088 were given none of the study drugs. WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said that during the study, hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ ritonavir were stopped in June after they proved ineffective, but other trials continued in more than 500 hospitals and 30 countries. In a statement, Gilead said it was “concerned” that the data from the trial had not >Continued on P5 SPORTS Psychological preparation must for long haul: FC Goa defender Gonzalez 8 Sawant to hold key meet on mining impasse next week THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has scheduled a meeting next week to explore resolution of the iron ore mining stalemate where chief secretary Parimal Rai, Goa’s Advocate General Devidas Pangam and the Mines Secretary will attend. Sawant announced the meeting after a delegation of the Goa Mining People’s Front, representing erstwhile workers, truckers and barge operators in the mining sector met him to discuss resolving the imbroglio. GMPF’s president, Puti Gaonkar held talks with Sawant on Friday and after the meeting, the Chief Minister said their suggestions to restart mining will be examined at the meeting next week. In a breather to the industry, the Supreme Court had earlier this week allowed transportation of already extracted iron ore. The Apex Court passed the orders to permit transporta- CM announced the meeting after a delegation of the Goa Mining People’s Front, representing erstwhile workers, truckers and barge operators in the mining sector met him to discuss resolving the imbroglio tion from mining lease areas to loading points on a petition filed by a mining company. Reacting to the order, Sawant had said it paves way for some four million tons of royalty-paid ore to be traded and transported and thus igniting activity in the halted mining sector. GMFP however is seeking full-fledge recommencement of the industry which is at a grinding halt for over two years. Earlier too in 2012, mining had been banned by the top court after the Shah Commission blew the lid over an alleged Rs 35,000-crore scam. Hit by internet connectivity, Bhati students brave weather, wildlife for online classes A group of students assemble for online classes in an open space at a remote part of Kumbhari in Bhati village in Sanguem. THE GOAN I NETWORK SANGUEM Consider walking a distance of over 3 kms into a forested area early in the morning to reach a hilltop in the village, then sitting on a rocky surface on a barren plateau without any shelter and being at the mercy of weather and wildlife, simply to get internet connectivity for online classes. This is the plight of many students from Bhati village in Sanguem, who have to visit a jungle area as the only available internet connectivity is located in the Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary. Poor or non-existent internet connectivity has left students from Bhati and other remote parts of Sanguem taluka struggling to pursue online classes. Among them are students from Netravali and Sulcor- na, as well as Kumbhari and Dongor wards of Bhati village, who have been virtually left to fend for themselves with authorities yet to address their grievances. While students from Netravali have to walk along the road in search of internet connectivity, students from Bhati village also face hardships to gain access to online classes. According to sources, students from Bhati village are compelled to walk a distance of over 3 kms in a forested area to reach atop a hill in the village to get internet connectivity to attend online classes. “While doing so, students risk their lives and are at the mercy of nature, weather and wildlife, as the only place where internet connectivity is available is in a jungle area of the Netravali Wildlife >Continued on P5 Canacona tourism operators slam dept fiat on hotel bookings Now, e-approvals THE GOAN I NETWORK CANACONA he tourism department’s recent directives to online travel and tour operators not to take bookings of hotels/ resorts not registered with the department has drawn severe flak from several tourism stakeholders along Canacona’s coast. Most tourism stakeholders had run into heavy losses due to the Covid pandemic between March and May, while some of them had opened up with early-bird initiatives from October 1, especially on the world famous beaches at Palolem and Agonda. THE ISSUE: According to sources, the director of tourism issued a public notice on October 13 and also wrote Hoteliers slam CM’s statement on 80 per cent occupancy >> See pg 2 T to the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) to take bookings with only those accommodation units registered with the tourism department and permitted by authorities. The department insisted that online tourism agencies, tour and travel operators were not permitted to take bookings of hotels/resorts not registered with the department. The tourism department has warned that those found violating the directions face action under existing provision of law as applicable, which may even include cancellation >Continued on P5 Will take up matter with govt: Isidore CANACONA: Faced with widespread anger among tourism stakeholders, Dy Speaker and Canacona MLA Isidore Fernandes has assured to take up the matter after having a look at the order. “So far, no one brought it to my notice, but I have the order issued by the tourism department. Some restrictions are needed, but I will certainly take up the matter if it creates hurdles to locals,” Fernandes told The Goan. Only 9 hotels officially listed in Canacona CANACONA: The State has only 486 hotels and resorts in different categories registered and listed with the tourism department for commencement of hospitality business and of these hotels, the Canacona coast -- which is home to hundreds of hotels, resorts, guest houses, tourism huts and shacks -has only nine hotels in the list. While one of the tourism department’s officially listed hotels are in the villages of Khola and Agonda, the remaining seven approved hotels are on the Canacona’s municipal coast. These nine approved hotels are categories as ‘A’ category (1), ‘B’ category (2), ‘C’ category (3) and ‘D’ category (3), according to the tourism department’s list updated as on September 11. Incidentally, Canacona’s coast has hundreds of tourism-related businesses such as resorts, shacks, huts, guest houses, stalls, gaddas, travel agencies, money exchange counters, salons, yoga centres and massage parlours. for housing plans THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The Town & Country Planning Department has launched an online system ‘e-Building Plan Approval Management System (BPAMS)’ for automating permissions for housing plans. BPAMS is a web-based online system with an automated end-to-end process for registration of professionals/ architects, submission of building plan, online plan scrutiny, site inspection, generation of technical clearance and issuance of completion order. Additionally, the system The automated system will be applicable to single family dwelling units and clearances can be secured in both online and offline mode for a period of three months facilitates online payment of processing fees, infrastructure tax and dissemination of information via SMS /email and online compliance of documents. This initiative is aimed at to bring about Ease of Doing Business in obtaining >Continued on P5
The new Goa, with a broader profile of people from different parts of India and the world, needs not just a strong local paper but a complete paper. The Goan on Saturday will connect to and be a viable and comprehensive read for locals, other Indians in Goa, NRI and foreigners. It will also be a bridge for Goans in other parts of India all over the world to their home land. The Goan is published by Goa's most reputed industrial houses.