Splainer

Tuesday, October 20 2020


Dive In

It is a misrepresentation of facts of a different level… I think you are crossing a line here. You have no material whatsoever to make this allegation. You are not the prosecution agency. We have found that your conduct, prima facie, has been remiss.

That’s the Delhi High Court smacking down Zee News that broadcast an alleged confession of a Jamia Milia University student—leaked to it by the police. The court said the press has no right to access or broadcast such confidential information—that has “little evidentiary value” in a trial but was framed as something that “completely indicts a person”. The TV channel has to now turn over the name of its police source—which has to be revealed in court and not submitted in a sealed cover.

Big Story

Has India beaten back the pandemic?

The TLDR: Yesterday, a panel of the nation’s top scientists confirmed that India has indeed passed its peak in mid-September. But does this mean we are out of the woods? We look at what the present numbers reveal, lay out the forecasts and strong cautions issued by experts. The period that will determine our future path: festival season!

 

Tell me what the panel said

The panel: is comprised of seven scientists—including the world-renowned microbiologist Dr Gagandeep Kang. They used a special mathematical model that looks at the rates of infection, recoveries and deaths—and the percentage of patients who have severe diseases. It also maps the trajectory of the disease by accounting for asymptomatic cases. 

 

The assessment: We passed our peak in mid-September when we had more than a million cases—and were adding over 93,000 new ones each day. If we stay safe and take the required precautions, the pandemic will run its course by February. Four additional findings:

 

  • The lockdown did indeed ‘flatten the curve’. Without it, the number of active cases in India would have peaked at more than 14 million, and we would have witnessed 2.6 million deaths—which is way above our current number, 114,610. 
  • Key quote: "The peak would have arrived by June. This would have resulted in overwhelming our hospitals and caused widespread panic."
  • The return of migrants to villages had “minimal impact”—which “indicates the success of quarantine strategies adopted for the returning migrants.”
  • They do not advocate imposition of new lockdowns unless there is a real danger of hospitals etc being overwhelmed.
  • According to their estimate, around 30% of the population is currently infected. And that number will go up to 50% by February—which in turn will help stop the spread.
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In today’s edition

Headlines that Matter

  • China’s rosy numbers
  • India’s not-so-rosy numbers
  • Jet finally finds a buyer
  • Chandamama is getting 4G
  • Vishal Bhardwaj scores a mystery deal

 

A list of intriguing things

  • Mahishasur has been replaced in many a Pujo pandal by a new demon: Coronasur
  • Hottest TikTok trend we TikTok-deprived types don’t know about
  • Now trending in fashion: ‘blanket dressing’
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