Preeti Sudan CENTRE EFFECTS MAJOR BUREAUCRATIC RESHUFFLE Anita Karwal Ravi Mittal CHENNAI MONDAY APRIL 27, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 32 LATE CITY EDITION A K Sharma Amit Khare Tarun Bajaj 2 KEY PMO OFFICIALS TO STEER ECONOMY Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan, due to retire on April 30, has been given a three-month extension on the crucial post AMIT KHARE BACK IN I&B AS SECRETARY Sudan, a 1983 batch Andhra-cadre IAS officer, is a key member of the national task force on coronavirus outbreak management. Tarun Bajaj and Arvind Kumar Sharma, two key officers in the PMO, have been appointed Economic Affairs Secretary and MSME Secretary. Road Transport & Highways Secretary Sanjeev Ranjan has been shifted as Shipping Secretary ■ ■ CBSE chairperson Anita Karwal, who faced backlash two years ago following the question paper leak controversy, has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Education and Literacy Higher Education Secy Amit Khare has been given addl charge of I&B, with incumbent Ravi Mittal being shifted to Dept of Sports 23 IAS OFFICERS APPOINTED AS SECRETARIES IN VARIOUS DEPTS AS PART OF THE REJIG 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 DON’T BLAME MUSLIMS FOR CORONA: RSS Bhagwat alludes to Tablighi meet, says entire community should not be held responsible for the mistakes of a few More docs at key GH test positive, hostel shut S I N D U J A J A N E @ Chennai IN a major development, the men’s hostel of PG doctors at the Madras Medical College in the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH), has been shut down after a sweeper there tested positive for COVID-19. Subsequently, the management tested 102 PG doctors who were staying there, and the hospital dean R Jayanthi told Ex- press that two of them tested positive. However, a press statement sent later in the evening claimed the results of the two doctors are pending. The development comes just days after the cardiology department was shut down after four PG doctors there tested positive. Earlier on Saturday, six cancer patients and two staff nurses tested positive at a cancer hospital in the city, sparking fresh concerns. Sources told Express the infection began at the RGGGH. A patient who was diagnosed with cancer at the RGGGH was referred to this hospital for a IS RGGGH TURNING INTO A HOTSPOT? At least nine doctors, two staff nurses, two patients, and one pharmacist at the RGGGH have tested positive, according to multiple sources NATIONWIDE CONFIRMED CASES TOTAL DEATHS RECOVERED CASES 26,917 826 5,914 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai BREAK THE CHAIN WITH UMBRELLA Thanneermukkom grama panchayat in Kerala’s Alappuzha district has mandated that everyone must carry an open umbrella whenever they step out of their houses to ensure physical distancing. Two open umbrellas, not touching each other, will ensure minimum distance of one metre from one another. In the picture, Kerala ministers A C Moideen and Thomas Isaac hold open umbrellas to ensure physical distancing as part of the Break the Chain Umbrella project. The local body has distributed umbrellas to its residents at subsidised rates | SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT 64 new cases in TN, 60 cured; 15 of Chennai family positive EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai ON a day when five cities across the State entered an ‘intense lockdown’, Tamil Nadu recorded 64 new COVID-19 cases and one death, taking the total number of cases to 1,885 and the toll to 24. Meanwhile, 60 patients were discharged from hospitals after getting cured. There were five children below 10 years of age among the fresh cases. Of the 64 cases, 28 are from Chennai, 15 from Madurai, seven from Virudhunagar, four each from Villupuram and Namakkal, two from Tirupur, and one each from Kallakurichi, Ramnad, Salem, and Tiruvallur. “A 42-year-old man admitted in a private New Delhi: Despite rabi crops output is better than last year, harvesting and procurement concerns haunt farmers. Against last year’s 99.87 million tonnes of wheat, the production went up to 102.19 million tonnes this year | P7 Covid may hit central nervous system New Delhi: Scientists at IIT Jodhpur have found that loss of smell and taste of infected patients makes their central nervous system and the underlying structures in the brain prone to viral infection with devastating effects | P8 WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 32 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID), 4 OF CITY EXPRESS What are latest figures? Till date 87,605 samples have been taken, among them 1,885 were tested positive and 77,133 tested negative. Testing of 568 samples are under process and 8,019 samples are repeat samples of same persons, says the latest health bulletin hospital died on Saturday ac,” cording to media bulletin issued by the Directorate of Public Health. With as many as 1,020 patients cured, the State now has 838 active cases. 15 of family has Covid-19 Fifteen members of a family living in a multi-storey building in Thiru Vi Ka Nagar tested positive on Saturday A recent prayer . meeting attended by them in the same building is blamed for the infections. Corporation officials suspected a couple among them, both sanitary workers, as the source of infection. All the infected people are below the age of 40. The family members lived in different floors of the three-storey building and the prayer meet was held on the ground floor recently . Meanwhile, Krishnagiri district officials breathed a sigh of relief after a man who initially tested positive, tested negative in the second confirmatory test for COVID-19. Krishnagiri therefore remains the only district in Tamil Nadu not to have reported any cases. As per the latest health bulletin, as many as 1,20,362 people have been under home quarantine and 1,838 are under hospital isolation. IN a welcome move, the State government on Sunday promulgated an ordinance to punish persons who prevent a ‘decent burial’ of COVID-19 victims. The move — coming in the wake of recent incidents of public opposition to such burials, especially in the case of two medical doctors — has been well received by members of the public. A government statement said that as per Section-74 of the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939, those objecting to the burial of victims of notified diseases, may face a jail term ranging between one and three years. In a separate move, to boost the immunity of frontline workers, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced the State would supply zinc and multivitamin tablets to them for the next 10 d ay s s t a r t i n g M o n d ay. Palaniswami said that frontline workers who are fighting against COVID-19 including the public health department, TOP 5 DISTRICTS WITH COVID CASES Sl No District Total cases 1 Chennai 523 2 Coimbatore 141 3 Tirupur 112 4 Dindigul 80 5 Madurai 75 TA M I L N A D U CONFIRMED CASES RECOVERED DEATHS ACTIVE CASES 1,885 1,020 24 838 police, revenue, municipal administration and others are being given personal protective gears and face masks. Besides, to boost the immunity power of them zinc tablets and multivitamin tablets would be given to them for ten days from Monday . Meanwhile, the TN State Apex Co-operative Bank has announced gold loan schemes with low interest rates as a part of relief measures, said a statement on Saturday . The interest rate has been fixed at 6 per cent per annum. People can obtain a loan amount of `25,000 to `1,00,000, the statement said adding that a loan amount of `3,300 can be availed for every gram, as opposed to the market rate P3 of `3,000. SUPPORT BOOSTED CM announces various measures, including waiver of storage charges and low-interest loans, to help farmers. Farmers need not pay the 60-day rental charges for storage godowns and instead use the godowns for 180 days Farmers can also avail loan, either for 50% of the market value of their goods or `3 lakh, whichever is lower, by pledging their produce Govt permits residents of Corporations, municipalities and town panchayats to defer payment of water and property taxes until June 30 INDIANS ABROAD EXPRESS READ Rabi output better than last year the cardiology department of RGGGH where he initially went for treatment. Meanwhile, PG doctors staying in the men’s hostel have been moved to an alternative facility. They have all been placed under isolation. “We are still trying to treat non-Covid patients with the available strength. We are not referring patients elsewhere,” h o s p i t a l d e a n J ay a n t h i P4 claimed. Preventing burials may result in 3-year jail term E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Mumbai ALLUDING to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi last month, which became India’s super spreader of the deadly coronavirus, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday asked people not to harbour ill-will against an entire community for the mistakes committed by a few individuals. He urged all people to help the affected persons without any discrimination. In his online address from Nagpur during the ongoing lockdown to mark Akshay Tritiya, he said: “All 130 crore Indians are our family We are one.” . Without naming the Tablighi We should reduce the Jamaat, Bhagwat said, “We should not use of plastics and blame the entire community for the other items that harm mistakes of a few individuals. People the environment. The who are more mature in both commutime has come to nities should come forward and start change our behaviour a dialogue to remove prejudices and save the among people’s minds.” environment Commenting on the Palghar inciMohan Bhagwat, RSS chief dent in Maharashtra earlier this month, the RSS chief indirectly blamed the police and the attackers for the lynching of two saints. “The villagers should not have taken the law into their own hands. Both saints were innocent. Let us keep aside statements by different sides and think whether it is right to kill innocent people,” he said. Pointing out that there were some people who always incite violence, he said: “We should keep distance from these violence-inciting people. They are experts at doing so. It is their strategy to divide the society and ignite violence. We as alert and matured citizens should maintain distance from such elements.” Bhagwat urged people to follow all public health restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus. He also had words of praise for the government, saying that India’s timely action had kept the spread of the virus under check as compared to other countries. “The RSS itself is involved in a massive countrywide effort to help people tide over the problems. More than three lakh dedicated volunteers are working at more than 55,000 locations across the country The RSS, through its network, . distributed over 33 lakh ration kits and two crore food packets till April 24. We have to work for others without taking any credit,” he said. Bhagwat also advocated the Swadeshi model of economics for the post-coronavirus phase to make P5,6,7,8,9,11 the country self-reliant. chemotherapy session. “However, he also had COVID-19. Five other patients and two nurses have caught the infection from him,” sources said. “All the eight positive patients are undergoing treatment at a government hospital. The unit in which the patient was admitted was closed and disinfection works were carried out,” sources added. The patient is believed to have contracted the infection at Kerala braces for 3 lakh Parents press govt to evacuate stranded students Gulf returnees by Sept P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi C Y N T H I A C H A N D R A N @ T’Puram BY September, Kerala will witness massive reverse migration with 2.5-3 lakh Keralites returning home jobless from West Asia owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. The scale of return will be unlike the Gulf War of 1990-91, the global recession of 2008 or the enactment of Nitaqat Law by Saudi Arabia in 2011 that mandated minimum 10% reservation for Saudi nationals in businesses in the private sector, migration expert Irudaya Rajan told TNIE. During the Gulf War, 10 lakh Malayalis, mostly from Kuwait, returned to the state. Though the flight from Gulf countries was lower during the recession, thousands of jobs were affected. When the Nitaqat Law was implemented, the state govern- ment and various private firms rose to the occasion and many did not lose jobs. However, Covid-19 impact could be much worse. “Though Gulf migrants have faced several crises, the latest setback is going to cost the state dearly,” said Rajan, a member of the high-level expert committee appointed by the Kerala government to study the ramifications of the pandemic. He felt an additional one lakh migrants from Kuwait, who don’t possess valid documents, are set to return after the government there announced public pardon. “The remaining Gulf Cooperation Council countries may follow suit,” said Rajan, who is hopeful a majority of them may go back to West Asia when the economy gets CONTINUED ON: P5 better. File picture of Indian students in Wuhan before boarding a special flight Hospital beds and quarantine facilities Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has asked authorities to make special arrangements of hospital beds and quarantine facilities for those Indians who will be brought back from different parts of the world 100 stuck in Saudi Arabia seek airlifting Repatriation requests have come from around 100 Indians stranded in Saudi Arabia, too. Many in this group have been languishing as they have been fired from jobs and have not been paid for a few months AS calls for evacuations of Indians stranded across the world grow, the Centre has started preparing to bring them back. Indians abroad have been posting videos, writing emails to authorities and doing everything in their power to come back home or to ensure their loved ones return. One such parent is Sridharan, director of a Chennaibased property development company. His son is a student of a top university in the US. “We have formed a group of 500 people on WhatsApp and are writing to the Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister regularly to bring back our stranded children from all over the US. There are 18-19 year olds who are stranded and are temporarily living with friends. We hope the government will bring them back soon while duly following all the medical procedures,” he said. The WhatsApp group called ‘ irlift for Indian Students’ has A some students and parents of children stranded in the US. Sridharan said the parents were ready to pay for the flights of the students and also for quarantine facilities once they are repatriated. “We understand that migrant workers are also stranded and the government should bear their expenses. But we are willing to pay for our children’s return and quarantine. After they return, they can be quarantined in hotels like the Delhi government is doing. If anyone violates their quarantine, their passports should be revoked,” he said. Meanwhile, sources said the Centre is planning to operate special flights early next month to bring back stranded Indians from across CONTINUED ON: P7 the world.
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