Scan the QR code now to experience a whole new virtual world of fun, games and learning. VILLUPURAM 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 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. To combat lockdown fatigue, The New Indian Express brings you a curated ready reckoner of web-based entertainment MUSIC, CINEMA AND EDUCATION 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 up paramaters for exit of lockdown bers told this newspaper. “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. week,” one of the group mem FULL COVERAGE: P5,6,7,8,9 S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi IN THE SPOTLIGHT NEW CASES TOTAL CASES Ranipet 0 27 Vellore 5 11 Tiruvannamalai 0 9 Tirupattur 5 16 Tiruvallur 0 13 Salem 1 14 Erode 26 58 Namakkal 8 41 Nilgiris 0 4 Coimbatore 0 60 Karur 0 23 Tirupur 4 26 Nagapattinam 1 12 Tiruvarur 1 13 Tiruchy 0 36 Dindigul 0 46 Madurai 1 25 Ariyalur 0 1 96 NEW CASES AS TN NEARS STAGE-III, GOVT EYES LOCKDOWN EXTENSION? Tenkasi 1 3 Kanniyakumari 8 14 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai TAMIL Nadu may enter StageIII of COVID-19 outbreak, and the State government is taking all possible measures to prevent that from happening, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said on Thursday . However, as there are many cases being reported every day across the State, the government will consult with a 19-member panel of senior doctors and 12 committees headed by IAS officers on extending the lockdown. “Our first batch of rapid test kits, containing 50,000 units, will arrive on Thursday night and 20,000 kits promised by the Centre are expected to come on Friday Palaniswami said after ,” a meeting at the Secretariat. Thoothukudi 5 22 Tirunelveli 16 56 Ramanathapuram 0 2 The State has placed orders for a total of 4 lakh kits. Meanwhile, the number of fresh cases in the State jumped by 96, taking the tally to 834. Of these, 84 have links with the Delhi event. “Of the 12 persons who are not connected to the Delhi event, three have interState travel history and nine are contacts of persons who earlier tested positive, including a private doctor who contracted the infection from a patient,” said Health Secretary Beela Rajesh. She further said that 1, 480 people who attended the Delhi event from TN have reported to the authorities. Earlier, the CM clarified how the rapid tests would be conducted. “First, family members of those who tested positive A relief of `10 lakh will be given to the kin of traffic constable Arun Gandhi who died in harness following a cardiac arrest Edappadi K Palaniswami would be checked. Later, tests will be conducted on those who have come in contact with the positive patients. Then, the entire area where the patient resides will be tested.” Palaniswami assured that Tamil Nadu was well-equipped to handle the situation. “We have 3,371 ventilators and orders have been placed to procure another 2,500. As many as 32,371 beds have been kept ready in government and private hospitals for treating patients.” Responding to the criticism that the Centre had allocated just `510 crore for Tamil Nadu, much less than what has been g ive n t o o t h e r S t at e s, Palaniswami said his government had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 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 NATIONWIDE 5,865 169 478 CONFIRMED CASES TOTAL DEATHS RECOVERED CASES TESTING 1.3 lakh samples have been tested so far, according to ICMR CAUGHT OFF-GUARD Thundershowers brought respite from heat to residents of Chennai city on Thursday evening. A scene near Vandalur | ASHWIN PRASATH 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, aggregate demand won’t exacerbate pressure on headline prices. BIG-TICKET OUTREACH Create mechanism to put money in migrant labourers’ pockets 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- the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. “Let us wait for their response,” he said. When asked if the State was going to offer more relief to those affected, Palaniswami said it was already under process. “Assistance is being offered to 15 welfare boards and 8.2 lakh workers who come under it. This includes cleanliness workers, khadi and village industries workers, fishermen, transpersons, small vendors, village priests, ulemas, folk artists, denotified communities, narikoravas, film artists, and workers in cracker manufacturing industries,” he said. Palaniswami said that so far, `101 crore has been received as contribution to the CM’s Public Relief Fund. “Even a small amount like `100 will be utilised to save people,” he said. P5 Situation fluid, RBI reserves GDP growth projection; Fed adds $2.3 tn to stimulus 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 WITH lockdown in place, stories of policemen playing good samaritan and helping people in need are surfacing. A case in point is Sayed Abudhahir, a 23-year-old constable from Manapparai. The cop had, on April 6, arranged for a vehicle to ferry a pregnant woman for delivery and donated blood during the lockdown when donors are unable to come forward freely like before. On April 6, Abudhahir was on duty at a check post near Kamarajar Statue in Manapparai. Around 2 pm, he noticed a couple walking sadly on the road and questioned them. Elumalai, a construction worker, and his pregnant wife Sulochana said they were coming from a private hospital. They were from Irattiapatti, which is 10 km away and had come to the hospital by ambulance as it was Sulochana’s due date. However, the hospital had no stock of O positive blood required to perform C-section and asked them to arrange for a donor immediately . With the lockdown in place, the couple did not know how to reach a donor. Abudhahir convinced a taxi driver to take the couple back to the hospital. He also volunteered to donate blood as his group was also O positive. As policemen are regularly tested by mobile units for the coronovirus, the hospital allowed him to donate blood in the evening after a few tests. Sivaganga 1 6 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 M S T H A N A R A J @ Tiruchy Thanjavur 0 11 Theni 1 40 Virudhunagar 0 11 Kancheepuram 0 6 Chennai 7 163 Chengalpattu 4 28 Villupuram 0 20 Kallakurichi 1 3 Cuddalore 0 13 Perambalur 0 1 Proposal to stagger CATEGORY 4: States/districts with two or more cases per 10 lakh population. They will remain under complete lockdown Hero in khaki saves mom & baby Even as the number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise, the government is doing everything possible to prevent the State from entering community spread phase, says Chief Minister 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 Sciences. P12 The pandemic struck when the economy was tur ning 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 The meas. ures taken by RBI and the government are expected to miti- gate the adverse impact on domestic demand and help spur economic activity when normalcy is restored, it added. Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve fired yet another stimulus shot on Thursday worth $2.3 tn to support economy. The fresh stimulus package aims to help businesses, households and local governments facing a cash crunch. “Our highest priority must be to address this public health crisis, providing care for the ill and limiting further spread of the virus,” said Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell. The move comes after the US Department of Labor revealed 6.6 million more Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. MISSED CHANCE WIMBLEDON INSURED BUT LATE CUT FOR IPL 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. P11
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