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Daily briefing: Remdesivir clinical trial in US shows new promise; Amphan flattens rare trees in Kolkata

Written by Leela Prasad
, Liu Chuen Chen
| New Delhi |

Updated: May 24, 2020 8:58:15 am

A look at the top news today, May 24, 2020.

Dear Reader,

Flight operations will begin tomorrow and, as my friend who is a commercial pilot had put it, air travel won’t be the same anymore with passengers expected to adhere to a string of guidelines. And confusion still reigns over whether fliers would be quarantined after reaching their destinations. The Centre says it is not required considering the short travel time, but several states disagree.

It was only when they woke up to welcome messages from cellphone networks that they realised they had arrived in Odisha. A packed Shramik special train carrying 1,600 migrants bound for Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh ended up adding two days and five states to the original journey.

Even as India continues to steadily increase its testing capacity for Covid-19, testing infrastructure in the country is spread thin. Over two-thirds of the 630 districts — nationwide there are 736 districts — that have at least one case, have no Covid lab within their boundaries.

A clinical trial on administering remdesivir drug to Covid-19 patients requiring oxygen therapy has shown encouraging results. However, the study flagged the high mortality despite its use saying “treatment with an antiviral drug alone is not likely to be sufficient.”

Situation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) continues to remain tense Indian and Chinese troops came to blows on the banks of the Pangong Tso earlier this month. According to sources, around 800-1000 Chinese soldiers have crossed over to the Indian side of the LAC and pitched tents in the Galwan area.

Cyclone Amphan has drastically stripped West Bengal of its green cover with experts saying it is likely to take at least 10 to 15 years to recoup the loss, especially in Kolkata and the Sunderbans, which were among the worst affected.

As odds of a global recession rise, former finance minister P Chidambaram writes that the Modi government must present a new Budget this June to prevent the economy from hurtling towards negative territory.

The sense of duty and the relentless efforts of Indian health workers are keeping up the COVID battle in the UK but losing them to the disease has become a major source of worry. A new analysis of data provided by the National Health Service shows that the likelihood of death from Covid-19 is “significantly higher” among Black, Asian, Minority ethnic groups than the general population.

Not all plans have gone off the course this lockdown period. While the pandemic forced a rewrite of almost every calendar, what couldn’t have waited was the arrival of newborns. In today’s special story, we chronicled a couple’s journey to parenthood: the bike rides to the clinic, the complications, a sudden 400-km trip to Rajasthan, a happy ending — and a new phase.

As the celebrations for Satyajit Ray’s centenary year begin, actor Sharmila Tagore remembers the breadth of the auteur’s genius and pays tribute to the women in his films — feminists with the right to choice, sexual and intellectual freedom in a patriarchal world.

🔊 In this week’s Express Sports podcast, hosts Gaurav and Mihir discuss what the absence of a live audience means for sports — for both the players and the fans.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

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