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Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Virus threat ebbs after test reports

New Delhi: Fears of SARS spreading here eased, at least for the time being, with the Union health ministry saying that reports of the sequencing test of a New Zealander and a seven-year-old girl were negative, reports our special correspondent.

“The tests conducted by doctors at NICD on their samples for the coronavirus, which causes SARS, turned out to be negative. Neither of them was infected with SARS,” director-general of health services S.P. Agrawal said.

The virus found in their samples “does not fit into the definition of SARS”, he added. The 42-year-old New Zealander will soon be discharged from Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital but is advised to stay in quarantine, the director said.

The girl, a resident of Gurgaon, was also not infected with SARS, he said. She was in Beijing with her parents and returned to India on April 5 after the scare broke out there.

She had symptoms of cough and cold and was taken to All India Institute of Medical Science on April 17 after she developed cold.

Agrawal said another patient, who arrived from Malaysia on April 18, was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital with fever and cough for the last one month.

Results of his biological samples are awaited.

He ruled out any SARS death in the country and assured that the government was taking several measures only as an abundant caution.

The government is spending about Rs 8,000 on each suspected patient.

So far, the only confirmed SARS case was from Goa.

Contract killer arrested

Hyderabad (PTI): Police have arrested an alleged contract killer, who was about to murder two persons, and recovered three revolvers, 41 live rounds and five empty rounds of ammunition from him.

Jolakanti Srinivas Reddy alias Sreenu (32) confessed that he had procured the arms and ammunition from an influential political leader from the Telangana region, additional police commissioner A.K. Khan said.

Reddy has also confessed to supplying country-made bombs and 15 kg of explosives to some politicians during the Assembly elections in 1999 and the panchayat elections in 2001, Khan said.

sked whether Reddy had any political support, the police officer said: “We are verifying the facts and information given by the accused.”

Reddy was arrested with the help of Guntur police when he was about to accept money for the murders.

He had recently killed his business partner Bhaskar Reddy with the help of a woman near Allurivaripalem in Guntur district, Khan said.

CBSE drive to beat stress

Bhubaneswar (PTI): The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to impart specialised training to students from the ensuing academic session to help them cope with stress and strain.

The board has also decided that students up to Class II would not be required to carry their bags to school. Their books would be kept in schools which would also do away with homework and tests, CBSE chairman Ashok Ganguly said.

12 die in mishap

Chhattarpur (PTI): Twelve mine labourers, including two children, were killed and 30 injured when the truck in which they were travelling overturned near Oati village on the Mohandra-Repura road in neighbouring Panna district.

Naxalites killed

Hyderabad (PTI): Two senior members of the People’s War Group were killed in an encounter with Nalgonda police in neighbouring Ranga Reddy district on Sunday. The duo was spotted at a petrol station near Ramoji Film City where the encounter took place, police said.

Swiss found dead

Chandigarh (PTI): A Swiss national was found dead in a hotel room. The autopsy report of 42-year-old Edwin Bosshard is awaited. Bosshard’s body was found by an employee of the Panchayat Bhawan on Saturday while he was cleaning the window panes of an adjoining room.

Killer elephant

Madurai (PTI): A woman was killed and four persons injured in a tea estate in Tirunelveli district when they were attacked by an elephant. Police said the woman was plucking tea leaves when the elephant picked her up with its trunk and flung her, killing her on the spot.

Blaze ruins crop

Sonepat (PTI): Standing wheat crop on two acres of land was destroyed in a fire in a village near here, police said. The blaze, which erupted at Lalehri Khurd village on Saturday night, was probably caused by sparks from combine machines, they said.

Twelve-year-old Kadambari S. Viswanatham has earned a place in the Limca Book of Records for being the youngest biographer. Kadambari’s 80-page book titled My Grandpa was released by PM Publishing House on February 15.

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