KOTTAYAM l TUESDAY l APRIL 07, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION CORONAVIRUS SHRINKS THE WORLD’S TOP BILLIONAIRES The world’s top 100 billionaires have lost $408 bn in the past two months, wiping out all gains made in past 2.5 years, says a report JEFF BEZOS MUKESH AMBANI LOSES $19 BN IN 2 MONTHS AMAZON BOSS STILL WORLD’S RICHEST According to Shanghai-based Hurun Research, India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani’s net worth declined $19 billion in two months to $48 bn due to massive stock market correction. Ambani is the second biggest wealth loser globally, after French fashion giant LVMH’s chief executive Bernard Arnault, whose wealth dropped $30 billion to $77 billion, the report said ■ ■ ■ Gautam Adani’s wealth eroded by $6 billion, HCL Tech’s Shiv Nadar $5 bn, while banker Uday Kotak lost $4 billion Among major global losers are Carlos Slim, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Michael Bloomberg Amazon’s Jeff Bezos continues to be the richest with $131 billion 25% CORRECTION IN THE INDIAN EQUITY MARKETS IN THE PAST TWO MONTHS 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 Move to get 25,000 rapid Extend lockdown: KCR; UP on same page test kits hits Chinese wall MASKS ARE NO SILVER BULLET, SAYS WHO EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad/Lucknow/New Delhi The first consignment from a Singapore company is stuck in Hong Kong due to clearance formalities. Kerala plans to approach Centre State govt to stagger lifting of lockdown restrictions formalities as a lot of Chinese kits have been sent back KERALA’S ambitious move from countries like Spain and to bring one lakh rapid anti- Italy. As this company is body test kits — for wide- based in Singapore, and since spread tests to prevent com- the kits have been validated munity transmission — has by the Indian Council of Medhit a Chinese wall. A ship- ical Research, they will not ment of 25,000, the first con- face a similar hurdle. But the signment of rapid antibody new formalities will have to test kits from a Singapore be followed. company, is stuck in a CusPCR and antibody tests are toms’ queue following newly the two most common ways imposed Chinese clearance to test for coronavirus. The formalities. Kerala is now Rapid PCR test is the confirplanning to approach the Un- mation test for virus infecion Government, seeking to tion. Currently the state uses , expedite the real-time PCR tests. procedures. The state is now facT h e s t at e h a d ing a shortage of placed orders for PCR test kits. Orif a person is one lakh kits with ders have already tested antibody Sensing Self, a Sin- positive, it shows been placed with gapore-based comthree companies, that he or she’s pany having its facPune-based MyLabs infected. The tory in China. The second advantage being one of them. company had dis- is that if we test it On April 3, the patched the order, on health workers state received 1,000 but it was held in or policemen and rapid RT-PCR kits discover that they Hong Kong due to from Pune, using have antibodies, Customs’ formali`57 lakh from we need not fear ties. Sources say the Shashi Tharoor’s the disease clearance procedure MP fund. On Moncould take at least Senior health official day 1,000 more were , two more days. delivered while the “As per the information re- final batch of 1,000 is expectceived today we need to move ed to arrive on Wednesday. , through the Embassy a sen- But these are for PCR tests, ,” ior official told TNIE. not for antibody tests. “Only then can we expeAs per ICMR guidelines, dite procedures. We will ap- even if antibody is positive, proach the Government of PCR test has to be done to India to expedite clearance, confirm the presence of viso that they approach the rus which causes the infecGovernment of China. We tion. Compared to rapid RTwon’t be sending any special PCR tests, wherein samples aircraft.” of throat or nasal swab are The state gover nment tested, the antibody test is hopes to bring it by Air India very simple. which operates flights to It can be done with a drop Hong Kong and Shanghai. of blood and results would be China has laid down new out soon. A N I L S @ T’Puram KERALA CASE DIARY 13 new cases were reported on Munday cases have been confirmed so far WHICH ALL DISTRICTS REPORTED NEW CASES THE restrictions will continue in the state in a partial manner even after the lockdown ends on April 14. The task force, constituted by the state government to formulate suggestions regarding lockdown restrictions, has recommended that the curbs should be lifted only in a gradual and phased manner, depending on the nature of spread and number of infection cases. The restrictions should be lifted in each region after looking into the prevailing scenario. Even after lockdown is over, there will be strict regulations in the state as seven districts in Kerala — Kasaragod, Kannur, Ko zhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur, Er nakulam and Thiruvananthapuram — have been declared hotspots. “The restrictions would be relaxed in a gradual manner, allowing only essential services. Also public events and gatherings where more people come together should be completely avoided. A decision on lifting the restrictions should be taken depending on the nature of spread and the number of fresh cases. After the Nizamuddin meet, the numbers (of Covid-29 cases) have increased,” said a ● More on P4 source. people under surveillance have recovered 266 currently under treatment Kasaragod 9, Malappuram 2, Kollam 1, Pathanamthitta 1 The PM also asked ministers to work with state governments and district administrations for micro-planning and work on solutions to immediate challenges, including availability of ventilators, masks and other equipment to deal with Covid-19 E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi IN the first virtual Cabinet meeting held through video-conferencing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Council of Ministers on Monday brainstormed the strategy to ensure business continuity after the lockdown is lifted. Sensing an economic upheaval in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, PM Modi tasked each ministry to come up with a list of measures they will 1, 52, 009 people under house surveillance 2 Kerala govt, which plans to raise D2,000 crore through Salary Challenge, may issue order this week HAD SUCCUMBED TO THE DISEASE BREATHING SPACE A view of the Paharganj area in Delhi, which under normal circumstances would have been humming with activity | ANIL SHAKYA Govt suspends MP discretionary fund, netas say development will take a hit K U M A R V I K R A M @ New Delhi WHILE the Centre on Monday decided to suspend Members of Parliament Local Area Development scheme for two years, several MPs have raised concerns that various development works underway in their respective constituencies may come to a grinding halt. According to the Centre’s plan, MPLAD funds for two years worth `7,900 crore will be diverted to the national pool to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Under the scheme, MPs execute developmental works spanning various sectors including roads, infrastructure, take to lessen dependence on other countries. Given the shortage of critical equipment including ventilators to battle the coronavirus outbreak, the Prime Minister told his ministers that self-dependence in medical sector is an immediate priority . “The government must work on war-footing to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the economy. The ministries should prepare a business continuity plan,” Modi told the ministers. The PM also asked the ministers to prepare a graded plan to open departments slowly where hotspots don’t exist. This means that restrictions could stay in places which are reporting new cases, while rest of the regions may see a gradual return to the normalcy “The crisis offers an op. portunity to become self-dependent in the medical sector. Ministers should submit actionable suggestions on boosting manufacturing and exports,” Modi said. HUMAN TO ANIMAL TRANSMISSION NY zoo tiger +ve, race begins to save wildlife R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi A tiger at Bronx Zoo in New York City became the first wild animal to test positive for coronavirus, sending zoos across the world into spasms of activity and India directing all its national parks, tiger reserves and sanctuaries to minimise human-animal interaction. lifting of the lockdown, saying harvesting would otherwise take a big hit. The civil aviation ministry too sought a staggered easing of restrictions. In Hyderabad, KCR said: “Economy no doubt is going to suffer but it could be revived back into life. But we cannot bring back lives, once we lose them.” KCR pointed to the report of Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which suggested that State worried over Malayalis living outside In virtual Cabinet, Modi calls for biz continuity MINISTERS TOLD TO WORK WITH STATE GOVTS with coronavirus strain is found in the state,” said Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Awanish Awasthi. He took a sharper position than that of Chief Secretary R K Tiwari, who said the lockdown may be extended if the situation didn’t improve after April 14. But at a meeting of an empowered group of secretaries in Delhi, chaired by the Union home secretary the agriculture , ministry pushed for a graded lockdown should extend till June 3 in India for any improvement in the situation. “The BCG is a reputed organisation. It has come out with its report for the world in which he made the recommendation of extension of lockdown till June 3 for India,” he said. KCR urged Modi to consult all chief ministers before deciding on the duration of extension. “The crisis is unprecedented and the decisions also have got to be drastic. It will be in the interest of the people,” he added. In UP, the proposal to defer the end of the lockdown drew momentum from the spike in cases linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi. @T’Puram 1, 52, 804 59 327 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE TELANGANA Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Monday became the first leader of a regional party to openly recommend the extension of the ongoing lockdown beyond April 14 — by one or two weeks. He shared his thoughts with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their telephonic call on Sunday . Uttar Pradesh appeared to be thinking likewise, albeit for a longer duration, though the articulation came from the bureaucracy and not the political class. “The lockdown will not be removed till a single person The WHO said wearing masks alone would not be enough to defeat the virus. “Masks should only ever be used as part of a comprehensive package of interventions. There is no black or white answer, and no silver bullet,” WHO chief said The 4-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia is believed to be infected by a zoo employee who hasn’t showing symptom yet. The Union environment ministry, the Central Zoo Authority and the National Tiger Conservation Authority also directed the use of safety gear by staff, isolation of sick animals and sending their sam- ples for testing in three veterinary labs marked for testing. The three labs are the National Institute of High Security Animal Disease, Bhopal, National Research Centre on Equines, Hisar, Haryana and Centre for Animal Disease Research and Diagnosis, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly UP , . education, water and health. Preference is given to priority areas such as drinking water, public health, education, sanitation, roads, etc. Many MPs including Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari of the Congress, and RJD’s Manoj Jha opposed the suspension of the scheme during 2020-21 and 2021-22. “Centre’s decision to cut salaries &pensions of MPs is welcome. It’s a good way for us to show solidarity w/ people suffering across the country. But the Ordinance ending MPLADS funds for 2 years & pooling them into a Consolidated Fund run by the CentralGovt is problematic,” Tharoor tweeted. He also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the decision. MPLADS is a Central Sector Scheme fully funded by the Government of India under which funds are released directly to the district authorities on the recommendation of Parliamentarians. Each MP has annual entitlement of `5 crore, which is released in two equal instalments directly to the District Authority of the MP concerned. Kochi: As Kerala battles the Covid-19 with extra vigil and caution, the death toll of Malayalis outside the state touched 18 on Monday, even as over 30 Malayali nurses working in Delhi and Mumbai hospitals contracted the virus. On Monday, six Keralites living abroad died due to the pandemic. In comparison, only two persons have died from Covid-19 within the state — the last death reported six days back. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the way Covid-19 is progressing across the globe is worrying. P4 Non-Covid-19 patients can go to K’taka hosps T’Puram: After much hue and cry, Karnataka gave its nod to admit non-Covid-19 patients from the border areas of Kasaragod into the hospitals in Mangaluru. The patients should produce a medical certificate and details regarding treatment and hospital before the medical team stationed at Thalapadi check post. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Kerala has arranged facilities in Wayanad for patients coming from Karnataka and TN. One person died in Kasaragod on Monday, taking the total number of deaths due to the border road blockade to 10. 1936-2020 M K ARJUNAN, MASTER OF MELODIES, PASSES AWAY E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ KOCHI HIT MAKER, HIT PAIR M K ARJUNAN, who composed music for more than 700 songs in 200 films and was regarded as the master of melody in Malayalam films, passed away at his home in Palluruthy near here on Monday. He was 84. Arjunan Master, as he is fondly called, was born on August 25, 1936, as the youngest of 14 children. His father died when he was just six months old. He received his first lessons in music at a young age when his mother sent him and his brother to Jevakarunyananda Ashram, Palani. M K Arjunan began his career by composing for smalltime amateur plays and soon became a sought-after name. Later, he began to associate with top troupes like Changanassery Geetha, People’s Theatre, Kalidasa Kalakendram, Desabhimani Theatres, Alleppey Theatres and KPAC. He would go on to compose n Karutha Pournami released in 1968 marked M K Arjunan’s debut as a composer, but it was the songs of Rest House (1969) that made him popular n Rest House also marked the M K Arjunan launch of Sree Kumaran Thampi-M K Arjunan, one of the most successful lyricistcomposer pairs of Malayalam cinema. They went on to associate in nearly 50 films around 800 songs for 300 plays. The next logical step was the Malayalam film industry. Stalwarts like G Devarajan, K Raghavan and M S Baburaj were ruling the roost at that time, but young Arjunan established his identity after making his debut as a composer in Karutha Pournami in 1968. Sreekumaran Thampi and Arjuanan master emerged as the most prolific lyricistcomposer pair in Malayalam film industry back then. They worked together in 50 films and gave some of the most memorable hits ever. Despite setting the score for hundreds of songs, the master composer had to wait till 2017 to receive his first state award — that is 50 years since he began his career — for the movie Bhayanakam. Arjunan master is also credited with giving music maestro A R Rahman his first break in films as a keyboard player in 1981 release Adimachangala.
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