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News channels mourn Rishi Kapoor, Rajdeep Sardesai examines ‘miracle cure’ on India Today

A quick take on what prime time TV news talked about.

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New Delhi: Aside from the regular coronavirus updates, several news channels last night paid tribute to veteran actor Rishi Kapoor, who passed away Thursday morning.

Times Now anchor Rahul Shivhshanker lamented the loss of Kapoor and Irrfan Khan, who died Wednesday. Meanwhile, Zee News and ABP News discussed a “viral” video of a young doctor serenading Kapoor with his own film songs in the hospital. Interestingly, this viral video is actually not from Kapoor’s last days — it is actually from February when he was admitted to a hospital in Delhi.

Back to the news, Aaj Tak’s Rohit Sardana shared a report card of new stone-pelting incidents, and he was not pleased. CNN IBN’s Zakka Jacob pondered on how human behaviour would change in a post-Covid-19 world while Rajdeep Sardesai on India Today discussed the latest drug considered to be vital in curing coronavirus — remdesivir.

Zee News’ ‘Taal Thok ke’ opened to a melancholic soundtrack to mourn the loss of Rishi Kapoor. Host Aman Chopra solemnly said that his segment would be a “shradhanjali” (tribute) to “Rishi Kapoor ke yug ka ant” (Rishi Kapoor’s time is over), and would be dedicated to the “romance king” of Hindi cinema.

“There are times when you don’t believe or understand anything, it all seems like a bad dream and shakes you to the core. Something like that has been happening off late,” he said, referring to Irrfan Khan and Kapoor’s deaths— “Wakai, aapko andar tak hila deta hain” (indeed something has shaken us from inside). 

He then played the February video that he promised would bring a tear to any eye as it showed how “zinda dil” (live hearted) Kapoor was till recently.

ABP News, too, focused on Rishi Kapoor’s “zinda dil” with the same ‘viral video’ of him being serenaded in the hospital. In the video, Kapoor can be seen blessing the person who sang to him.

On Times Now, host Rahul Shivshankar also commented on how within 24 hours, India had lost “dazzling celluloid stars” Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor. “The evergreen heartthrob lit up the screen with some great essays that lived on,” he said.

Speaking to Shivshankar, actor Raveen Tandon reminisced about her long-term association with Kapoor and said she knew him since she was a child, as their fathers were friends. Tandon expressed regret at not being able to say a proper goodbye, but said that the most memorable qualities about Kapoor that she would hold on to were his “honesty, down to earth nature and his humility”. “They don’t make people like him anymore,” she said.

Back to Covid. 

“How to navigate through a post Covid-19 world, asked CNN IBN’s ‘Viewpoint’ host Zakka Jacob. “Until the vaccine arrives, do we just learn to live with the virus?,” he asked.

Speaking to Professor J.M. Gershoni , a virologist from Tel Aviv University in Israel, Jacob asked about technology being used to track patients as well as those violating lockdown rules.

Gershoni admitted that the issue was up for debate — “On one hand we have to understand that we have to do the most to make sure the virus is curbed, on other hand, we want to ensure our privacy”. He admitted that the steps were controversial, but only time will tell if they were effective and necessary. “We don’t know that yet.”

On Aaj Tak’s ‘Dangal With Rohit Sardana’, the host complained that despite two rounds of the lockdown, “patharbaazi” incidents with the police have not reduced. He then rattled off a list of recent events that proved his argument. From West Bengal’s Howrah where people got so violent that the rapid action force had to be called in, to a stone-pelting in Aurangabad in Maharashtra where upto 15 people were arrested. In Kanpur, police officials and health workers were subjected to stone pelting when they approached a hotspot to question the family of a coronavirus patient’s family.

On India Today, Rajdeep Sardesai delivered news that he promised would offer “hope amidst all the gloom that is around us”. The US clinical trials of a drug called remdesivir are showing positive results in Covid-19 recovery, according to a study by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “Is remdesivir really a magic cure? Or are results still inconclusive. Could this be the light at the end of a dark tunnel?,” he questioned.

Stanford’s Dr. Aruna Subramaniam, who is an infectious disease doctor at the Infectious Disease Clinic, said that her team was “optimistic” by the results that showed improvement in clinical outcome, as 60 per cent patients had shown enough improvement to get discharged.

“It’s huge in this very deadly disease when you can see people getting better in front of your eyes and are able to go home,” she told Sardesai. “I think that’s very clinically relevant,” she declared.

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