KOTTAYAM l SUNDAY l APRIL 05, 2020 l `8.00 l PAGES 24 l CITY EDITION SPORT STARS FIND UNIQUE WAYS TO RAISE FUNDS INDIA’S LEADING CHESS PLAYERS JOIN HANDS 601 Besides donations, athletes, past and present, come up with innovative ways to contribute money to central government While six players, including Viswanathan Anand, will compete in an online chess exhibition on April 11 to raise funds for PM CARES Fund, some are auctioning memorabilia. To play, one has to pay a minimum of $25 during registration. Vidit Gujrathi, P Harikrishna, Baskharan Adhiban, Koneru Humpy and D Harika are the other chess players to take part in the games $150 UP TO 100 CONCURRENT GAMES ■ ■ There is going to be 100 concurrent games running on chess. com. All the challengers need to have is a chess.com Blitz or FIDE standard rating of 2000 points World No 2 Humpy and Gujrathi toldthis newspaper they joined hands because it’s a heartening thing to contribute this way MONEY TO PLAY A GUARANTEED GAME AGAINST ANAND 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 National tally crosses the 3,000-mark; Maharashtra reports a whopping 145 new infections on Saturday; Toll rises to 75 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi SATURDAY witnessed the highest single-day spike in coronavirus cases at 601, with Maharashtra recording 145 cases — of which 52 in Mumbai alone. Andhra Pradesh reported 26 fresh infections, 60 in Uttar Pradesh, 59 in Delhi, 16 in Karnataka and 11 in Kerala. Fatalities have also shot up to 75 with 13 deaths being reported on Saturday while , 183 people have been cured or discharged from hospitals. In Maharashtra, eight Covid-19 patients lost to the infection on Saturday while Delhi and Guja, rat reported two deaths each. As on Saturday, Maharashtra has the highest number of confirmed cases in India at 635. According the Union health ministry, 60% of the 601 fresh cases on Saturday could be linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi. According to the Andhra health department, all the new cases reported on Saturday are linked to the Jamaat event. “There are 1,023 positive cas- es linked to Tablighi Jamaat in 17 states. We could not understand and manage it and the cases increased due to this. Coordinated efforts and stringent measures are required. This chain is as strong as its weakest link and we need everyone’s support and guidelines and lockdown be followed,” said Health ministry Joint Secretary, Lav Agarwal adding that of the total 3,072 cases in the country on Saturday evening. As a precautionary measure, the Centre has quarantined 22,000 members of Tablighi Jamaat and some of their contacts. “It is a continuous battle and contact tracing is done in every state. It is an infectious disease and any error can belie all our efforts,” said Agarwal. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, 79,950 samples have been tested so far and 3,113 people tested positive. Maharashtra has so far reported the most coronavirus deaths at 24, followed by Gujarat at 10, Telangana seven, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi six each, and Punjab five. TDS Form validity extended till June 30 The income-tax department on Saturday extended the validity of forms 15G and 15H submitted to banks till June 30, so that TDS is not cut from small tax payers. While Form 15H is submitted by senior citizens, 15G is filed by individuals whose taxable income is less than the exemption threshold Switching off lights won’t bring down grid The Union Power Ministry on Saturday said the electricity grid is robust enough to withstand load reduction and all adequate measures and protocols are in place to handle any fluctuations in demand. This was said in the context of the PM’s appeal to people to switch off house lights on Sunday for 9 minutes at 5 pm 90 countries seek fund from IMF More than 90 countries sought emergency funding from the IMF, which is keeping a $1 trillion war chest ready to combat Covid-19 pandemic. IMF MD Kristalina Georgieva said that IMF has begun disbursing funds to requesting countries | P10 E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram Scores of trucks lying idle at the Manjambakkam parking yard in Chennai on Saturday | D SAMPATH KUMAR 5.2 mn 1.5 mn 6000mn Total fleet strength of trucks or 30% currently operating Annual average road freight hauled Pre-lockdown Hyd-Del round-trip rate: D1,10,000 Current Hyd-Del one-way rate: D90,000-95,000 15% 25% Mfg and allied industries Infra & export related FMCG, food and others Note: In the normal course, a trucker transporting goods from Hyderabad to Delhi-NCR would have the opportunity of loading up industrial goods from Delhi-NCR for the return haul. However, with most factories now shut, truckers are charging twice or thrice the earlier rate for one-way freight transport in order to cover their return charges Source: Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training Lockdown throws over two-third of India’s trucks out of business EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE ROWS and rows of empty trucks parked in godowns and pit stops across the country have become a grim reminder of the economic cost of India’s 21-day lockdown. With most industrial activity grinding to a halt after PM Narendra Modi’s March 24 lockdown call, over twothirds of India’s 52 lakh medium and heavy duty trucks and their crew have been left with little to do even as freight costs begin soaring. Sporadic obstructions to freight movement created by local police, for notified es- sential commodities in some cases, have only added to the industry’s woes. But, even the Ministry of Home Affairs’ March 30 notification allowing the free movement of all goods, regardless of whether they are essential or non-essential, is unlikely to bring road freight back to normal in a hurry . The real problem, experts say, is the complete collapse of the manufacturing and infrastructure value chain, since most factories, retail outlets and construction sites have shut shop for the period unless they’ve been classified as essential. ACTIVE COVID-19 CASES Ladakh 11 Chandigarh 18 J&K 70 Delhi 372 Punjab 47 Himachal Pradesh 4 Uttarakhand 14 Uttar Pradesh 153 Bihar 28 Assam Haryana 25 24 Rajasthan 176 Gujarat 76 West Bengal 57 Madhya Pradesh 98 6 Karnataka 113 Kerala 254 of all coronavirus patients in India are in the age group of 21-60 years 8% 0-20 years 42% 21-40 years 33% 41-60 years 17 % Above 60 years Reduce the chances of inhaling the virus by wearing a Telangana 150 protective mask that Andhra Pradesh 159 is cleaned thoroughly using a combination Puducherry 4 of approaches Tamil Nadu Chhattisgarh 6 362 Goa 75% Odisha 5 Maharashtra 404 Source: Health ministry P R A M D A S @ Kochi Chief engineer K Bobby Kuruvilla on board vessel M T Neptune Countries deny us permission to step on their soil and they are apprehensive about extending a helping hand. We find it difficult to get provisions, technical support and spares — K Bobby Kuruvilla said. “Countries deny us permission to step on their soil and they are apprehensive about extending a helping hand. We find it difficult to get provisions, technical support and spares. While all countries need the supplies we deliver, 60% COST SOARS FOR ESSENTIAL GOODS TRANSPORT -Union health ministry Caught between Covid and the deep sea BORDERS remain closed. Airstrips are shut. But merchant vessels continue to traverse the seas with the onerous task of connecting continents and keeping supply chains open. While the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc across the world, seafarers cannot afford to shirk responsibility In these . trying times, however, they f i n d i t h a rd t o p ro c u re provisions. “Over 90 per cent of India’s trade is done across the seas and we are risking our lives to keep the wheels of the economy turning,” K Bobby Kuruvilla, chief engineer of the vessel M T Neptune, told TNIE. An Ernakulam native, he has been at sea for the past six months. “The times are tough, but the ostracism pains us,” he COMPOSITION OF ROAD FREIGHT RUNNING AT 30% CAPACITY they treat us as aliens.” Bobby’s ship set off from Galveston in the US on March 26 and is currently at Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The contracts of many seafarers have expired. But they are stranded at sea due to the restrictions imposed by various countries. There is a communication breakdown which poses challenges to merchant vessels. “We hear disturbing news and want to be with our families,” Bobby said. “But travel and quarantine restrictions keep us confined to the vessel. Sailors often face challenges that are unforeseen. We battle heavy seas, strong winds and even pirates, but the challenge posed by Covid-19 is entirely dif ferent. It has brought the world to its knees. I had joined duty on October 26 and am unsure when I can return home.” TNIE understands that similar is the case with several other Malayalee shipmen stuck in their vessels battling severe physical and mental ● More on P4 stress. “As far as the government is concerned, there are no obstacles to freight movement on paper now. But, 60% of the road cargo pie comes from the manufacturing sector, another 10-15% from infra and export-related activity These sectors are hardly . operating now,” pointed out S P Singh, senior fellow, Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training. India’s trucks haul an average 6,000 mn tonnes a year, or 500 mt a month, but the lockdown has taken out nearly 75% of this business out of the equation, says IFTRT. CONTINUED ON: P10 AS the deadly coronavirus spread its tentacles wider across the country, Kerala on Saturday took its fight to the next level by starting rapid anti-body tests to check for community transmission. With more positive cases being reported, the state is also planning to recommend use of face masks by all, especially considering that the lockdown restrictions will be lifted soon. On Saturday 11 new positive , cases were reported in the state, while eight recovered from the disease. Of the 11 cases, six are from Kasaragod and one each from Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Palakkad and Kannur districts. While five persons had returned from Dubai (three in Kasaragod and one each in Kannur and Ernakulam), three persons (Alappuzha, Kollam and Kasaragod) were Nizamuddin returnees. Of the remaining cases, one person had come from Nagpur to Palakkad and the other two (Kasaragod) contracted the disease due to close contact with positive cases. Meanwhile, health officials collected 171 samples for the rapid RT- P C R t e s t s f r o m Thiruvananthapuram district. Of these, 32 samples are of Pothencode residents suspected to have come in close contact with Abdul A z e e z , wh o d i e d d u e t o Covid-19. According to officials, the results of the tests will be announced on Sunday . As part of the measures to contain the virus spread, the state health department might recommend the public to wear masks, and continue with the KERALA CASE DIARY HIGHEST EVER SINGLE-DAY SPIKE IN CASES In a first, state starts rapid tests, may ask all to wear masks 11 306 fresh cases were reported in Kerala on Saturday cases have been confirmed so far in the state 254 are currently under treatment 50 have recovered 2 had succumbed to the disease RAPID TESTS 171 32 samples collected from T’Puram dist samples taken from Pothencode residents suspected to have come in contact with the person who died due to Covid-19 Test results to come on Sunday preventive measures like social distancing and personal hygiene. As per sources, the department is also planning to initiate a project through which reusable facemasks can be made at home. “The Chief Minister himself had called for wearing of facemasks by all. He also said mask is not just for preventing contraction of the virus but also preventing transmission,” a health official said. LOCKDOWN VIOLATION 41 ON MORNING WALK ARRESTED; 11 BOOKED FOR HOLDING PRAYER Kochi/T’Puram: As many as 41 people, including two women, out for morning walk were arrested in Kochi under the Kerala Epidemic Diseases Ordinance, 2020 for violating the lockdown advisory. Meanwhile, the police arrested 11 persons for organising a mass prayer at a mosque at Palode in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday. All of them were later released on station bail. The Kochi City police said they had warned the residents after it emerged that some of them were hitting the streets repeatedly for their morning stroll. But this didn’t deter them and they continued with the daily routine, which forced the police to arrest them. Meanwhile, those arrested for organising mass prayer at Jamaath mosque at Chittoor near Peringammala on Friday included the priest and president and secretary of Jamaath Committee. A map showing clusters of the novel coronavirus spread across India’s districts | P12 PM directs officials to ensure availability of ventilators Karnataka not to open border with Kerala E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Bengaluru: Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Saturday said that it is important for Karnataka to shut its border with Kerala, for the safety of people in the state. Reacting to former prime minister H D Deve Gowda’s request to open the Karnataka-Kerala border, Yediyurappa said it is the government’s responsibility to take care of every individual in Karnataka. The CM said a study was conducted and evidence found to prove that coronavirus cases had spread in Karnataka from Kasaragod and other parts of Kerala which have reported many Covid-19 cases. P5 PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday directed officials to ensure that safety gear is available to all medical personnel, leading the country’s battle against the novel coronavirus. Presiding over a joint meeting of the 11 empowered groups, Modi directed the officials to ensure that ventilators are available in sufficient numbers for use in critical care and that masks and gloves produced in sufficient quantities. With the government advising the use of masks by general public and BJP chief J P Nadda calling upon party workers to popularise its use, the PM is keen to ensure that masks are available. Also, with the 21-day lockdown ending on April 14, the government wants to ensure that masks and gloves are available at affordable prices for the people, who will start coming out of their homes. The PM also took stock of the space available across the country to set up quarantine facilities. On Wednesday Modi will interact with the floor leaders of all , political parties that have more than five MPs. The attempt is to make them aware of the steps taken by the government to deal with the situation arising out of the pandemic. SPREAD OF SICKNESS FROM KASHMIR TO KANYAKUMARI PLUS 12 PAGES WITH THIS ISSUE
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