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News18 Afternoon Digest: Peak Festive Season Threatens to Take India’s Covid-19 Load Past US to World High in a Fortnight & Other Top Stories

People at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station in Mumbai. (File photo/Reuters)

People at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station in Mumbai. (File photo/Reuters)

These are the top stories we are covering right now: Festive season threatens to take India’s Covid-19 load past US, HCL tech Q2 net profit up by 18.5%; alleged aide of Morocco-based fugitive don Bannanje Raja shot dead by rival gang in Bengaluru & playback star Kumar Sanu tests positive for Covid-19.

Peak Festive Season Threatens to Take India’s Coronavirus Load Past US to World High in a Fortnight

Already on track to overtake the United States with the world’s most novel coronavirus infections, India is bracing for a surge of cases in coming weeks as it heads into its main holiday season with an economy freed of virus restrictions. The recent experience of Kerala, which was praised for its initial handling of the pandemic, indicates how rapidly the situation can worsen. Reported infections there have jumped by five times since it celebrated the 10-day harvest festival of Onam in late August, far outpacing the two-fold increase in cases nationally over that time. READ MORE

HCL Tech Q2 Net Profit Up by 18.5% at Rs 3,142 Crore; Says Select Staff to Get Salary Hike from Oct

IT firm HCL Technologies on Friday posted 18.5 per cent rise in September quarter net profit at Rs 3,142 crore. The IT major had registered a net profit of Rs 2,651 crore in the July-September 2019 quarter (as per US GAAP), HCL Technologies said in a regulatory filing. Its revenue grew 6.1 per cent to Rs 18,594 crore in the quarter under review, from Rs 17,528 crore in the corresponding quarter last year. On a sequential basis, net profit was 7.4 per cent higher from Rs 2,925 crore, while top line was higher by 4.2 per cent from Rs 17,841 crore in June 2020 quarter. READ MORE

Bengaluru Pub Owner, Alleged Aide of Morocco-based Fugitive Don Bannanje Raja, Shot Dead by Rival Gang

A 45-year-old pub owner, Manish Shetty, was shot dead late on Thursday night by rival gang members, the police said. Shetty was reportedly a close associate of Morocco-based fugitive underworld don Bannanje Raja. The police suspect that members of the Rashid Malabari gang might have carried out the attack, as this is their typical style of murdering rivals in the coastal region of Karnataka, where single barrel gun is often used by gang members to eliminate their rivals, unlike the Bengaluru underworld which often uses machete or sword as its main weapon to eliminate its rivals. READ MORE

Remdesivir Failed to Prevent Covid-19 Deaths, Hospital Stay of Patients in Huge Trial: WHO

Gilead Sciences Inc’s remdesivir had little or no effect on COVID-19 patients’ length of hospital stay or chances of survival, a clinical trial by the World Health Organization (WHO) has found. The antiviral medication, among the first to be used as a treatment for COVID-19, was one of the drugs recently used to treat U.S. President Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection. The results are from WHO’s “Solidarity” trial, which evaluated the effects of four potential drug regimens, including remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, anti-HIV drug combination lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon, in 11,266 adult patients across more than 30 countries. READ MORE

NEET Result 2020 LIVE Updates: NTA to Declare NEET UG Results Today at ntaneet.nic.in; Check Time

The National Testing Agency on Monday announced that it will declare the NTA NEET Result 2020 today (October 16) on its official website ntaneet.nic.in or at mcc.nic.in. Apart from the UG results, the NTA will also release candidate’ rank card and the NTA NEET Final Answer Key 2020. The NEET results are being declared two days after the NTA arranged the special exam for students who miss the previous session. The announcement about the date of result declaration was made on Monday. However, the time of the declaration was not revealed. Once the NTA releases the NEET results, a candidate has to visit the official website and look for the link that reads ‘NEET result’. The exam was earlier postponed twice due to the pandemic and the government decided to go ahead with it, despite opposition by a section, to mitigate any further academic loss. The National Testing Agency had set in place strict standard operating procedures in view of the pandemic, including measures like reducing the number of candidates per room from the earlier 24 to 12. LIVE UPDATES

Singer Kumar Sanu Tests Covid-19 Positive, Fans Pray for His Recovery

Playback star Kumar Sanu has tested positive for Covid-19. The social media team of the 62-year-old singer took to his official Facebook page late on Thursday to share the news with his fans. A statement shared by Team Kumar Sanu reads, “Unfortunately Sanuda has tested Corona positive, please pray for his good health. Thank you. Team KS.” Fans of the singer commented on the Facebook post wishing him a speedy recovery. “We are praying for you speedy recovery and good health…May god bless you,” commented a user.”Oh my God…. Pl take care Dada…. Praying for your speedy recovery…. Take warm water vapour at regular interval,” suggested another user. READ MORE

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