CHENNAI TUESDAY MARCH 24, 2020 `5.00 PAGES 20 LATE CITY EDITION OLYMPICS CRISIS DEEPENS AFTER IOC STATEMENT Day after world body asks for four more weeks before arriving at decision, several athletes and nations revolt CANADA PULLS OUT OF TOKYO GAMES In a stunning development, North American nation withdraws after citing ‘public health’. “This is not solely about athlete health — it is about public health,” a statement released by its NOC said. It’s likely that Canada might walk back on the withdrawal if the IOC decide to hold the Games in 2021. It’s unclear how or whether quotas won by Canandians will be realloted P14 ■ July 24 DELAY COULD BE ‘INEVITABLE’: JAPAN PM ■ ■ Country’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, in parliament on Monday said: “(...) inevitable that we make decision to postpone.” Australia joined Canada by asking its athletes to prepare for the Summer Games in 2021. Brazil, Spain NOCs support this Indian body, IOA, supports IOC’s decision to wait for four weeks SCHEDULED START OF THE TOKYO OLYMPICS CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI CHENNAI 3 test positive as TN set for lockdown E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai to their hometowns, SOCIAL DISTANCE? As Tamil Nadu braces for a lockdown, people make a dash to board buses to getpeople out of the city at Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus, Koyambedu, on Monday. The State government later said it will operate more buses on Tuesday to take | PTI MOST OF INDIA UNDER LOCKDOWN No domestic flights from midnight; 30 fresh coronavirus cases reported in Kerala; national count jumps to 468 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi Almost all of India came under lockdown late on Monday night as the Centre scrambled to arrest the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Thirty states and Union Territories covering 548 districts have gone with the government’s advisory to fully shut down. Six other states/ UTs have either announced partial lockdown or not taken the call yet. Earlier in the day, all domestic flights were put on h o l d e f f e c t ive T u e s d ay midnight. The worries were basically on two counts: big spike in fresh cases in a few states and a section of the people not taking the lockdown seriously. The biggest jump came from Kerala, as 30 new cases of coronavirus infection were reported, with 19 from the state’s worstaffected district, Kasaragod, alone. Compared with the rest of the state, stringent restrictions have been imposed in Kasaragod, which borders Karnataka as people are allowed to step out of their homes only to access essential services. Maharashtra reported eight new cases, but people were seen moving around freely, forcing CM Uddhav Thackeray to bring the entire state under curfew. While 12 new cases were reported in Gujarat, Karnataka had seven and Telangana three. Two fatalities were reported, one each in Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal (see box), tak- ing the total fatalities to nine. The overall count of cases in the country was 468. To further strengthen the lockdown, the Centre announced that no domestic airline will operate in the country from Tuesday midnight till March 31. Also, incoming passenger traffic through all 107 immigration/integrated check posts — airports, seaports, land ports, rail ports and river ports has been stopped. Since a section of the people were taking it easy the govern, ment threatened to act tough. Lav Agarwal, joint secretary (health), said those violating the orders could be penalised under Epidemic Disease and Disaster Management laws. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, reached out to them, saying: “Please save yourself, save your family follow the di, rectives seriously I request the . state governments to ensure that the rules and laws are followed.” Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research approved prophylactic on Mond ay a dv i s e d t h e u s e o f hydroxy-chloroquine for health workers engaged in the medicare of suspected or confirmed cases and the asymptomatic household contacts of lab-confirmed cases to shield them from the infection. Reacting to rumours of the virus being airborne, the WHO said it appears to spread mostly through respiratory droplets. STAY HOME, STAY SAFE G SATYANARAYANA VISAKHAPATNAM VINAYA MADAPU HYDERABAD Parliament was adjourned sine die 11 days before its Budget Session was scheduled to conclude. Both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha passed the Finance Bill on Monday PARTIAL LOCKDOWN PTI KOLKATA RECOVERED CASES EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad / New Delhi GOVT HOSPITAL BED COUNT IRFANA Here’s a look at the available govt hospital infrastructure in India Himachal Pradesh 8,706 Chandigarh 3,756 Punjab 13,527 Haryana 13,841 Rajasthan 51,844 BHUBANESWAR Delhi 20,572 Uttarakhand 6,660 Uttar Pradesh 58,310 Bihar 17,796 Meghalaya Sikkim 4,585 1,145 Arunachal Pradesh 2,320 Assam 19,115 Nagaland 1,944 Manipur 2,562 Gujarat 41,129 Mizoram 2,312 Tripura 4,895 Madhya Pradesh 38,140 West Bengal 51,163 Daman & Diu 298 Dadra & Nagar Haveli 568 Maharashtra 68,998 Goa 2,666 Jharkhand 7,404 Odisha 16,497 Chhattisgarh 14,354 Telangana 17,358 Andhra Pradesh 60,799 Karnataka 56,333 Puducherry 4,462 Kerala 39,511 Tamil Nadu 72,616 Data put out by the Union health ministry in 2018 Andaman & Nicobar 1,246 Lakshadweep 250 TOTAL BEDS 7,39,024 While three states have announced partial lockdown — UP (16 districts), Odisha (5 districts + 6 municipal jurisdictions), MP (37 districts) — part of Lakshadweep UT is shut. Sikkim and Mizoram are yet to issue orders Despite clear instructions from the government to stay at home by announcing a lockdown in over 80 districts, a section of the commuters do not seem to have taken the advice seriously, as these pictures from various cities show. Unless the message of social distancing is internalised, India will not be able to fight the scourge. A few states have already announced curfews to force people to stay at home INDIAN stock markets on Monday witnessed the biggest ever one-day sell-off as states locked down themselves to fight coronavirus, with the S&P BSE Sensex nose-diving by 3,935 points (13%), to settle at 25,981. The sell-off, led by foreign funds looking for safe havens, also saw the rupee plunging 100 paise to settle at a lifetime low of 76.20 against the US dollar. The benchmark Nifty also dropped a whopping 1,135 points (13%) to 7,610. Investors lost a staggering `13.88 lakh crore wealth, while the NSE’s volatility index India VIX rose 6.64% to 71.56 levels. Worryingly, the rupee weakened past 76 level per dollar. Among commodities, Brent crude prices fell by $1.45, or 5.4% to $25.53 a barrel on fears EPS ALLOCATES `500 CRORE TO TACKLE COVID-19 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai CHIEF Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has allotted a sum of `500 crore from the State Disaster Response Fund to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It has been enhanced from an earlier allocation of `60 crore. Speaking at the Assembly on Monday, Palaniswami said, “The government is not prepared to lose even a single life to this virus. We will not stop until it is wiped out from the State. This is the worst challenge the world has faced in 100 years. Continuous support from people and social distancing are required now,” he said. Thanking employees of all departments ASSEMBLY SESSION ENDS TODAY Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal announced that owing to coronavirus scare, the House session will end on Tuesday and not on March 31 | P3 Stepping out unless its vital Travel between districts More than 5 people gathering Tasmac shops and home delivery through Swiggy, Zomato, Uber eats Shops selling milk, meat, veggies, fruits, groceries Petrol pumps with less staff Hospitals, only takeaways at eateries Banks with less working hours Vehicles under exempted categories to workspots, hospitals Stock markets, ` take biggest hit; RBI tries to stop bleeding 3,72,611 16,313 1,01,373 J&K 11,342 A Tibetan became the first coronavirus fatality in Himachal Pradesh. The 69-year-old died at the Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College at Tanda in Kangra on Monday. He had recently returned from the US FINANCE BILL PASSED, PARLIAMENT SHUT FULL COVERAGE: P6,7,9,11,13,14,15 TOTAL DEATHS A 57-year-old man who had tested positive for the coronavirus last week, became the first fatality in West Bengal. He was on ventilation and died in a private hospital in Kolkata on Monday. He was a railway employee TIBETAN DIES IN HP’S KANGRA DISTRICT WORLDWIDE CONFIRMED CASES FIRST FATALITY IN WEST BENGAL THREE more persons tested positive for coronavirus on Monday taking the total number of , cases to 12 in Tamil Nadu. Reports of the fresh cases trickled in even as the State began bracing itself to fight the pandemic by getting into a lockdown mode from 6 pm on Tuesday . Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, through a Tweet, confirmed the cases. Two of those who tested positive include a 25-year-old man from Purasawalkam and a 48-year-old man from Tirupur, who had returned from London, Vijayabaskar said. “The third, a 54-year-old from Anna Nagar in Madurai, had no travel history to foreign countries or other States. Medical team will trace his contacts and see how he got infected. The man was in high-risk category with co morbid conditions like heart problem, uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension,” the Minister later told reporters. The patients are undergoing treatment at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, ESI Hospital in Coimbatore and Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai respectively and are stable. Meanwhile, the entire State is all set for a lockdown as Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswam apparently did not want to take any chances. He announced in the Assembly on Monday that the restrictions will cover the entire State and not just in districts where there were confirmed COVID-19 cases as had been advised by the Centre. A detailed Government Order later in the day gave a list of prohibited and exempted activities. People have been told to remain indoors and not step out unless it is for an essential service or to reach a workplace falling under exempted categories. While shops selling essential items like food and groceries will be permitted, the movement of people on the roads will be restricted, even in private vehicles. All forms of public transport, including buses, taxis and autorickshaws, will go off the roads. Chennai Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan said, “More than five persons should not gather on the road. If they gather, they will be asked to disperse.” WHAT’S OUT/IN working to prevent the virus spread, Palaniswami said, “We have been clarifying all doubts on a daily basis. Despite all this, the Opposition has boycotted the House for some unknown reason.” Palaniswami said of the 92,406 beds meant for inpatients at various government hospitals all over the State, as many as 9,266 were allot- ted for isolation wards. The number will be increased. “Medical equipment required for setting up 500 more beds at ICU wards at GHs will be procured. Private hospitals should reserve 25% beds for isolating patients,” he said. Details of those quarantined at home should be displayed on the door of their house. A copy of the list should be given to the police, local bodies and Health Department, he said. Police should ensure that grocery stores, vegetable and fruit shops and milk parlours are clean and people don’t gather in large numbers. MSME units have been requested to keep only 50 per cent of their staff. However, this will not apply to industries which manufacture medical equipment and other essential commodities. of sliding demand with travel and industrial activity grinding to a halt globally . Within less than an hour of market opening, trading on the BSE and NSE were halted as the Sensex hit the 10% lower circuit breaker. But, the 45-minute break failed to stem the sentiment and when trading res u m e d l at e r, t h e S e n s e x extended losses leaving all blue chips in a sea of red. This was the second time in the past 10 13% SENSEX PLUNGES 3,935 POINTS DOWN The BSE benchmark Sensex closed at 25,981.24; while the NSE barometer Nifty cracked 1,135.20 points or 12.98 per cent to settle at 7,610.25 sessions that trading was halted in India. Among sectoral indices, financials bore the brunt led by banks besides other sectors like auto. Possibly to stem the market crash, RBI brought forward its long term repo operations of `1 lakh crore, which was originally scheduled for next week. The variable rate 16-day repo operations to infuse liquidity into the system will be held on Monday and Tuesday as a pre, emptive measure to tide over any liquidity requirements on account of dislocations due to COVID-19, it said. RBI also extended the priority sector classification for bank loans to NBFCs for onlending for FY21. All existing loans disbursed under the onlending model will continue to be classified under priority sector till the date of repayment or P13 maturity it said. , Shivraj Singh Chouhan back as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bhopal SHIVRAJ Singh Chouhan was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh at 9 pm on Monday at Raj Bhavan, hours after being unanimously elected as the leader of the state BJP legislature party . Chouhan emerged as the clear frontrunner to lead the BJP government after Congress leader Kamal Nath resigned as MP CM on Friday Sources said there was pressure . on the BJP to quickly find a leader and form a working government FULL REPORT: P10 in view of the Covid-19 outbreak.
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24032020 of The New Indian Express-Chennai
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