Scan the QR code now to experience a whole new virtual world of fun, games and learning. KOTTAYAM l FRIDAY l APRIL 10, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION HERE’S YOUR 360° GUIDE TO STAY ENGAGED ONLINE IMMERSIVE VIRTUAL REALITY To combat lockdown fatigue, The New Indian Express brings you a curated ready reckoner of web-based entertainment MUSIC, CINEMA AND EDUCATION From Mahabalipuram to Washington, DC and the Salar Jung Museum to the Louvre - take guided tours to India’s and the world’s best art galleries, museums, travel destinations and even landmark zoos. Don’t miss the live cherry blossom cams. Also, get the best VR gaming experiences including the latest from the Batman series and a return of the Half-Life franchise. Here’s our curated list of live music streams and theatre from venues as diverse as London’s Royal Opera House to living rooms of DJs. We also give you movies handpicked to enjoy with your family. Don’t miss our essential guide of online educational resources to get you through the lockdown. 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 Top docs drawing Border blockade claims 1 more life; state up paramaters for plans to airlift critically ill to other parts exit of lockdown CM says airlifting from Kasaragod will be done based on nature of the case; 12 people have lost lives so far bers told this newspaper. @ New Delhi “We are looking at the medical angles, which will be the AS the three-week nationwide basis of relaxation or extenlockdown winds down, a group sion of the lockdown, but of of top epidemiologists is busy course these are larger adminbrainstorming on the medical istrative and economic issues parameters on the coronavi- that also need to be taken into rus outbreak that will deter- account,” he added. mine the extension of full or A draft lockdown exit stratpartial lockdown in India. egy proposed by the Centre, A 12-member group under meanwhile, has bunched all community medicine expert states into four categories (see Dr D C S Reddy has been box). It suggests complete exformed by the natension of lockdown tional task force on that have Odisha extends in areasinto virus Covid-19 to come up turned it till April 30 hotspots, but is with evidence-based recommendations Odisha became the ready to offer some on the lockdown. It first state in India to relief in places that has so far evaluated extend the ongoing have no fresh cases issues like rate of of infection over the lockdown till April progression of the last seven days, 30. It also infection transmissources said. Of promulgated an sion, extent of concourse, restrictions ordinance barring tact tracing and isowould be back if people across the lation of suspects, new cases are restate from leaving death patterns and ported in those home without the preparedness of areas. putting on masks the health systems “It is obvious that in all states to deal the the lockdown with the rising cases. cannot be lifted in one go and The group includes several therefore the draft exit plan prominent virologists, infec- suggests that the categorisatious disease experts, epidemi- tion of states be done based on ologists working in institu- the number of infected peotions like the National Centre ple,” an official in the Union for Communicable Disease, health ministry said. AIIMS, Delhi, World Health For instance, states with the Organisation, Indian Council highest number of cases will of Medical Research and the fall under Category 4 and will Public Health Foundation of remain under complete lockIndia. “We are likely to finalise down with all non-essential our proposal by the end of the services suspended. FULL COVERAGE: P5,6,7,8,9 week,” one of the group memS U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA KERALA CASE DIARY 12 357 new cases were reported on Thursday cases have been confirmed so far 258 under treatment 97 have recovered 11 2 succumbed to the disease of the 12 new positive cases infected through close contacts A 62-year-old man, who has been in home quarantine in Tiruvalla, passes away Testing labs in all 14 districts soon: CM T’Puram: The state will soon have Covid testing centres in all districts, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here on Thursday. Four more labs will be set up within four days. The attempt is to ensure one lab for each district. He also said the government has given the nod for testing swab samples at private laboratories. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram/ Kasaragod MISERY CONTINUES WITH 12 persons losing their lives in Kasaragod district without access to tertiary health care, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said the government would consider airlifting seriously ill patients to hospitals in other parts of the state. “Airlifting of patients doesn’t mean everybody will be provided with such a facility It’ll . be done depending on the nature of the case,” Pinarayi told mediapersons in the capital on Thursday . “For the people in Kasaragod, the nearest centre for seeking medical assistance is Mangaluru in Kar nataka. Their mindset is such that they don’t consider other medical centres in the state. This will be changed,” he said. Kasaragod does not have a tertiary health care facility and the 12 persons who died without access to tertiary Only one patient, with a head injury, went to Mangaluru on Thursday Woman who fled Mangaluru hospital on Wednesday underwent an emergency operation in Kannur, condition stable health care lived within 10km from Thalappady, the KasaragodMangaluru border. At least three were natives of Dakshina Kannada and two of them came to this side of the border to be with their granddaughters just before the lockdown. Most of them died of cardiac arrest. The district does not have a cardio medical facility . On Wednesday night, Abdul Saleem, 69, of Uppala (10km from Thalappady) died of cardiac arrest. His family said he developed complications on Monday but could not be taken across because of the lockdown and blockade of patients by Karnataka. He died in a local hospital. After 11 similar deaths, the Karnataka government opened its borders for patients from Kasaragod, but with 10 conditions on Tuesday. But on Wednesday, it introduced another clause that patients would be treated only at K S Hegde Hospital at Deralakatte. On Wednesday, the hospital admitted two patients, one a cardiac patient and another with abdomen pain. The patient with abdomen pain fled from the hospital in the night after being allegedly denied care for hours. On her way back, District Medical officer Dr A V Ramdas arranged for drips at Sunrise KIMS in Kasaragod and she underwent an emergency operation in Aster MIMS in Kannur. “She is fine now and regained consciousness,” her husband Ashar Palackode said and thanked the state government for its help. INTERVIEW | SHASHI THAROOR INDIA MAY SOON GET LOW-COST FOOL-PROOF RAPID TEST KITS Pinarayi Vijayan has written a letter to the PM calling for immediate steps as the nonresident Keralites in the UAE are apprehensive that a community spread could be imminent. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE CATEGORY 2: States/districts with one case per 10 lakh population. All transport services to resume but Category 3 and 4 states to remain out of bounds CATEGORY 1: States that have less than five cases and no report of fresh infection in the last seven days. All restrictions to be lifted CITING that the Indians living in the UAE, especially Dubai, are going through miserable days after Covid cases went up in the region, the Kerala Muslim Culture Centre (KMCC) approached the Kerala High Court seeking a directive to the Centre to take steps to evacuate them. Meanwhile, the Muslim Youth League is mobilising a mass petition drive to alert the prime minister. Nearly three million Indians are living in the UAE of wh o m o n e m i l l i o n a r e Keralites. In the petition to the High Court, KMCC, which is the largest Indian expatriate organisation in the Gulf region, said people could not return to India since the Centre had imposed a ban on all ● More on P4 flights. Situation fluid, RBI reserves GDP growth projection lockdown exit CATEGORY 3: States/districts with 1-2 cases per 10 lakh population. Lockdown will continue, but some restrictions might be eased, including access to essential services. Rail, bus, air transport services may resume, but only for interstate travel. Economic activities, educational and other services to remain suspended E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi CM writes to Modi The country may soon get a low-cost rapid testing method to detect Covid19. Thiruvananthapuram-based Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology is working on such a testing method that could give conclusive results for Covid-19 in just 15 minutes, at D200 per person. This was disclosed by MP Shashi Tharoor in an interview with TNIE Chief Reporter Sovi Vidyadharan. Full interview on P2 Proposal to stagger CATEGORY 4: States/districts with two or more cases per 10 lakh population. They will remain under complete lockdown Petition in HC seeks directive for evacuating Indians in UAE NATIONWIDE 5,865 478 169 CONFIRMED CASES TOTAL DEATHS RECOVERED CASES TESTING LONELY PATH 1.3 lakh samples have been tested so far, according to ICMR Thousands used to climb the Malayattoor hill to offer prayers at the St Thomas Church during the Holy Week leading to Easter. However, the path wears a deserted look on Maundy Thursday as the church remains closed owing to the lockdown | EXPRESS THE coronavirus pandemic will certainly cripple India’s economy but it’s a bit too early to assess the impact as the situation remains fluid, according to the Reserve Bank of India. While RBI released its April 2020 monetary policy report on Thursday, it did not make any economic growth projections. Typically, RBI gives 6-18 month projection for domestic growth and inflation every six months. This time, it chose not to project growth estimates. As for inflation, it expects retail prices to ease from 4.8% in Q1 to 4.4% in Q2. For full year, it’s expected remain below 4%, provided the prevailing high uncertainty, ag- gregate demand won’t exacerbate pressure on headline prices. The pandemic struck when the economy was turning around and FY21 growth outlook was looking up led by a bumper rabi harvest, strengthening rural demand, transmission of policy rate cuts, anticipated consumption and investment demand, reduction of GST and corporate tax cuts. But then, Covid-19 pandemic drastically altered this outlook and hangs over our ‘future like the spectre,’ it noted. Inevitably it may , accentuate slowdown, which began in Q1 of FY19. The full impact of Covid-19 will depend on the speed with which the outbreak will be contained and economic activity returns to normalcy . BIG-TICKET OUTREACH MISSED CHANCE Create mechanism to put money in migrant labourers’ pockets WIMBLEDON INSURED BUT LATE CUT FOR IPL J AYA N TA R O Y C H O W D H U R Y, KANU SARDA & RAJESH KUMAR T H A K U R @ New Delhi/Patna MUNNA Kumar, 35, of Muzaffarpur in Bihar was employed as a construction worker in Gurugram, the millennium city with gleaming skyscrapers, shopping malls, upscale eateries and night clubs. The night Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a three-week lockdown in late March, Kumar’s employer gave him the marching order. With no money to pay the rent in his slum cluster, he had no option but to return to his village with his meagre savings. “My employer treated me badly, I will not go back to Gu- rugram now. Even if I have to die of hunger I will do so in my village,” Kumar said, revealing the trauma that will remain imprinted for as long as he lives. Baleshwar Das, 45, of Bihar’s Madhubani district, was employed with a leather products factory in New Delhi. With the factory shut, he and six others began their journey on foot to reach their homes at least 600 km away . Luckily for them, they were picked up by a bus arranged by the Uttar Pradesh government for the journey home. But unlike Kumar, Das said he would return to his workplace the moment the lockdown is lifted as “my life’s savings are still with my employer.” Kumar and Das exemplify the predicament the millions of migrant workers face currently. Accurate data about their numbers is hard to come by as they are seasonal migrant workers and are excluded from official surveys. But it is estimated that nearly 50 million shor t ter m mig rant workers have lost their livelihoods. Analysts estimate that 40 per cent of them were employed in the construction industry 15-20 per cent had jobs , in a host of eateries, small businesses and retail shops and another 20-25 per cent in brick kilns and small workshops. According to an affidavit the Centre has filed in the Supreme Court, a little over 1 million of them who couldn’t make it to their villages and towns are housed in shelter homes and camps run by various state governments and NGOs. Social activist Anjali Bhardwaj, the main petitioner for migrant workers in the SC, said the government must think long term. “To rehabilitate and give assurance to these workers, the Centre should bring in stronger labour laws so that employers can’t throw them out when they return.” Bhardwaj said the workers should be paid by the respective state governments where they were reg- istered. “If not registered, a mechanism should be worked out by the Centre and state governments to give them money .” She cited the example of UK, Germany and Italy, where the government put in place a minimum wage support system. The government seems to be working on these lines. Support programmes like in the US and elsewhere for small businesses are being considered. Experts say special trains and bus services will have to be run to get the migrants back to their workplaces. “This has to be done with proper social distancing,” said Arun Kumar, Malcolm S Adiseshiah Professor at the Institute of Social P12 Sciences. AT R E Y O M U K H O PA D H YAY @ Chennai NEWS emerging that Wimbledon organisers will receive around $141 million from insurance for the event not taking place this year might burn hearts in IPL. Unlike the tennis fiesta in London, the T20 gala does not have cover for cancellation due to COVID-19. Reason? They were late. Wimbledon’s event cancellation policy has a clause on pandemics. Organisers have reportedly been paying $2 million annually as premium since the SARS epidemic in 2003. Deals are struck months in advance. The eight IPL franchises, who insure the seven matches each of them host, started approaching insurance firms around the end of February . Pandemic is normally on the list of unforeseen reasons for which insurers promise cover for cricket in India. But by the time IPL franchises went to them, coronavirus had become a global concern. Companies had struck it off the list. “Had they done it four months ago, they would have been compensated,” said an industry insider. “We are not getting any cover for this. Our legal team will see how to add this point in the policy in future,” said a franchise official.
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