CHENNAI WEDNESDAY MAY 20, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION AMPHAN HAS WEAKENED BUT ODISHA, BENGAL ON EDGE Cyclone ‘Amphan’ weakened into extremely severe cyclonic storm on Tuesday afternoon as it moved closer to the coast AMPHAN’S HIT POTENTIAL REMAINS STRONG However, its hit potential remains strong. “Hence, we have prepared according to that,” said S N Pradhan, director-general, National Disaster Response Force. Fifteen NDRF teams have been deployed and five in reserve in seven districts of Odisha, while 19 teams have been actively deployed and two in reserve in six West Bengal districts, he added | P5 14 lakh SET TO CROSS BENGAL COAST TODAY ■ ■ On Tuesday, it lay centred over west-central Bay of Bengal, 420 km south of Paradip (Odisha), 570 km southwest of Digha (West Bengal) and 700 km southwest of Khepupara in Bangladesh It is likely to move northeastwards over Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts Wednesday afternoon or evening TO BE EVACUATED, OF WHICH WEST BENGAL HAS ALREADY MOVED 3 LAKH 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 States hit the most by coronavirus account for 60% of GDP, says Crisil EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad INDIA’s Lockdown 4.0, extended till May 31, is likely to take its economy one step closer to the death’s door. That’s because, the eight most-affected Covid-19 states also happen to be the life blood of our national output and data compiled by Crisil Research on Tuesday introduces us to this crushing reality . These states — Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana — account for 60% of the GDP, 58.4% of total workforce 65.5% of manufacturing output, 60% of construction output, and 53% of services. There’s more. In terms of gross value added (GDP minus taxes and subsidies), these states account for a staggering 64% of agriculture, 63% of industry and 53% of services sector. Until last week, the eight states had districts under red zones higher than the national average and though lockdown 4.0 allowed re-opening parts of the economy many of them de, cided to maintain status quo until month-end. While Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat being most dependent on output from industry and services are vulnerable to output losses, Andhra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh are fiscally vulnerable both due VIRUS LOAD FACTOR Maharashtra 35,058 11,745 Gujarat Rajasthan 5,507 UP 4,605 West Bengal 2,825 AP 2,474 Telangana 1,597 Figures are total confirmed cases as on Tuesday Source: Union Health Ministry to relatively higher debt ratios and dependence on revenue from petroleum, liquor, and stamp duty . Similarly, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu have higher share of informal workforce, which is vulnerable to job losses, but those with higher dependence on agriculture like Rajasthan, UP, and West Bengal could do better as a normal monsoon is expected to support it. States dependent on fuel and liquor taxes, and realty duty are at peril, and with lockdown, revenue from these sources dried up. “Taxes on petroleum, stamp duties and registration are dependent on economic activity and usually tend to dip during slowdowns,” it noted. According to Crisil, the fall in excise duty from liquor — a relative inelastic source of revenue accounting for 10% of the own tax revenue of states — will diminish states’ coffers. Among the relatively less-hit states, restrictions on economic activity could hurt Karnataka and Kerala, where the share of industry and services is higher, while in others like MP , Punjab, and Bihar, a higher share of agriculture could cushion the economy this year. While all states were nearuniformly hit during the first and second lockdown phases, the third and fourth would impact them differently on economic and fiscal parameters, says a research report. 200 NON-AC TRAINS DAILY FROM JUNE 1 Online booking to start soon. This is in addition to the existing AC special trains EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi STARTING June 1, the Railways will deploy 200 special non-AC passenger trains daily for the benefit of stranded migrants, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday . In a tweet, Goyal said, “Apart from the Shramik Special Trains, Indian Railways will run 200 non-AC trains daily as per the time table from June 1, whose online booking will start soon.” Currently the Railways op, erates 30 special trains to 15 destinations from Delhi. These special trains, called Rajdhani Express, are fully air-conditioned and accept bookings online. The national transporter has thus far ferried around 14 lakh stranded people to their home states in almost 1,600 Shramik trains. The rail minister also said the number of these trains would be increased to help migrant workers reach their homes. He urged the state governments to help workers in registering themselves at the nearest mainline station. “State governments are requested to help workers and register them with the nearest mainline station and give the list to the railways, so that EXPRESS READ Class X board exams rescheduled to June 15 Chennai: The State Board exam for class 10 will now be conducted between June 15 and 25, said School Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan on Tuesday. Earlier, exams were scheduled to begin on June 1. The Minister said the government had taken this decision after discussing logistics with stakeholders | P3 PTI ARRESTING VISUALS AIRLINES START BOOKINGS FOR DOMESTIC TRAVEL Private airlines have started accepting online bookings for travel from June 1 onwards, even though the Centre is yet to announce resumption of commercial flight services, which have been on hold since March 25 | P7 the railway workers can run special trains. Workers are requested to stay put in their place, the Indian Railways will take them to their desired destination,” Goyal tweeted in Hindi. Railways has been running Shramik special trains since May 1 ferrying over 2 lakh stranded Indians each day. The national transporter, in a statement last week, had said the daily capacity of the Shramik trains would be increased to around 3 lakh passengers. Earlier in the day the Min, istry of Home Affairs revised the guidelines for movement of stranded workers via special Shramik trains. Now, consent of receiving states is not needed for trains to pull in with migrant workers. The Centre will take the final call on train schedule, stoppages P7 and destination. PANDARINATH B WHO to probe virus source, gets 30 days from US to test China-negative EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi ON a day the beleaguered World Health Organization agreed to a comprehensive independent inquiry into the zoonotic source of the coronavirus and how the WHO managed its international response, US President Donald Trump sought to further turn the screws, setting a month’s ultimatum to the global body to demonstrate its ‘independence from China’. Trump threatened to make his suspension of funding permanent and withdraw the US from the WHO, a warning that left him isolated on the global stage, as China rubbished it and the European Union said this was @ Chennai AMID stories of migrant workers struggling to get back home comes a horrific incident of five workers from Odisha allegedly being beaten up by a brick kiln owner and his associates in Tiruvallur district on Monday. The reason was their seeking permission to go back home. Two of the workers suffered serious injuries and were hospitalised. The workers alerted a few ac- meeting on Tuesday Led by the . European Union and Australia, the resolution was supported by 62 countries, including India. China agreed to be its cosponsor at the last minute. The probe will open at the earliest possible opportunity. Apart from looking into its source, the probe will examine the route of introduction of the novel coronavirus from animals to humans. Meanwhile, India was elected to WHO’s powerful Executive Board along with 10 other countries. Also, Trump revealed he is taking hydroxychloroquine to ward off the virus, despite public health officials saying it P9 may be unsafe. If the WHO does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of US funding to the WHO permanent Donald Trump, US President CONTINUING RISE TN crosses 12K-mark with 688 fresh cases E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai THE State crossed 12,000 mark with 688 people testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday , 552 being in Chennai alone. The State also confirmed three more deaths taking the toll to 84. The total number of cases stands at 12, 448, out of which 7,672 are in Chennai. Among fresh cases, 87 are people who returned from abroad and other States. The State also tested 9, 844 persons on Tuesday . On the brighter side, 489 people were discharged from hospitals. The deceased include a 64-year-old man from Tiruvallur, a 72-year-old man and an 82-year-old man from Chennai, who all died at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. Meanwhile, a team comprising Manoj V Murhekar, Director of National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai, and Prabhdeep Kaur, ICMR scientist-E, called on CM Edappadi K Palaniswami and congratulated the government for the measures being taken to P2 contain the spread of the coronavirus. FRESH CASES 688 DEATHS 3 RECOVERED 489 NUMBER OF CASES IN CHENNAI 552 TOTAL CASES 12,448 Now, dental clinics across India get amber light S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi AMID growing doubt over the efficacy of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in the treatment or prevention of Covid-19, the Centre advised dentists across the country to start taking the medicine in order to avoid infection while allowing restricted dental services in all areas of the country except containment zones. The guidelines issued by the Union health ministry on Tuesday said dental clinics in orange and green zones can provide dental consults, but added that only emergency and urgent surgeries and procedures can be carried out after taking specified precautions. In case of containment areas, only emergency dental proce- Brick kiln owner assaults Odisha workers EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE n o t t h e t i m e fo r f i n g e r pointing. “The WHO failed to independently investigate credible reports that conflicted directly with the Chinese government’s official accounts, even those that came from sources within Wuhan itself,” Trump wrote to WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Trump is looking to shift the blame for mishandling the outbreak in an election year, since the US alone has recorded over 92,000 fatalities because of the virus. A resolution on the evaluation of the WHO’s performance was unanimously adopted at the World Health Assembly’s A humongous rush of migrants (left) waiting for buses at Palace Road to reach the Chikkabanavara railway station in Bengaluru, from where they will board trains to their respective states, on Tuesday; and migrants (above) rest in Thane, Maharashtra, as they wait to take a lift in cargo vehicles to reach their native places tivists, who, in turn, informed the Revenue Department. Officials rescued 244 other workers and housed them in a marriage hall. Police areon the lookout for the accused who are absconding. When the officials and activists reached the brick kiln at Pudukuppam village near Vengal on Monday night, they found the workers staying in abysmal condition and being given a paltry sum as wage. Arrangements have been made to send them to their native State by train. K Krishnan, a social activist who helped rescue the workers, said a few of them even decided to walk back to Odisha against the will of their employer, which angered him. “Most of the workers did not have access to proper food. They told me that even if they had to die, they would prefer dying at home,” Krishnan said. dures can be performed. Since dental services involve a high risk of cross-infection between patients and doctors, the ministry said oral cancer screening should be deferred until a new policy or guidelines are issued. Dental clinics were asked to ensure ventilation and air circulation with natural air using exhaust blowers, avoiding ceil- ing fans. They were directed to contact every patient telephonically within 24 hours and in a week’s time to check if they have developed any Covid symptom that should warn the dental staff to undertake appropriate action. The patients should also be advised to inform back to the dental clinic should there be any adverse CONTINUED ON: P7 symptoms. Health experts calling on Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami at the Secretariat in Chennai on Tuesday CHALLENGE OF A LIFETIME A Koyambedu returnee’s tale of pain & hunger L A L I T H A R A N J A N I @ Madurai AFTER toiling day and night for the last 35 years in the megacity of Chennai, Mani (name changed) managed to save just `20,000. In the post-demonetisation India, that’s just 10 notes of `2,000. Even that money was worth no more than plain paper, when he wanted to get home to Chockalingapuram in Madurai earlier this month. On May 5, Mani left from Chennai. It took him three days to cover 500 km. Hitching rides with trucks passing by, and walking a considerable distance, Mani got home on May 8, only to test positive for COVID-19. Officials said the 48-year-old was the first one in the district with a connection to the Koyambedu market to test positive. He’s now recovering at the Gov- ernment Rajaji Hospital. “I left for Chennai in 1985, after I failed my Class-VIII exams,” recounts Mani. He worked there in juice shops, tea stalls, and hotels for years. Around three-and-a-half years ago, he became a loadman at the Koyambedu market. It is not an easy job, and the hardships keep growing with years. “My day used to begin at 2.30 in the morning,” says Mani. “I unload sacks of onions and potatoes from trucks coming from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. The work continues till 6 pm.” After a few hours of rest, the cycle continues. For every sack of vegetables unloaded, Mani gets `10. “On a good day I unload around 250-350 sacks.” Mani realised staying at the market was easier than having to comP4 mute up and down.
Express Publications (Madurai) Limited publishes the prestigious English language newspaper The New Indian Express from 21 centres in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Orissa.
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