ACTIVE CASES NATIONWIDE CHENNAI WEDNESDAY MAY 27, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION AMID W.H.O. SUSPENSION OF TESTS, INDIA SUPPORTS HCQ CURED/DISCHARGED DEATHS 80,722 60,490 4,167 41.61% NAUSEA, PALPITATION AMONG SIDE EFFECTS DRUG MEANT FOR FRONTLINE WORKERS “We found no major side affects except for nausea, vomiting, palpitation occasionally. Hence in our advisory we have recommended that it should be continued for prophylaxis as there is no harm. Benefit may be there,” ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said. ICMR’s statement came a day after WHO suspended the drug’s testing in Covid-19 patients | P7 Hydroxychloroquine should be continued in preventive treatment for Covid-19, the Indian Council of Medical Research said Tuesday ■ ■ ■ “Looking at the risk benefits, we have found that our frontline workers should be given it,” said the ICMR director-general HCQ is an old anti-malarial drug which is still being widely used The drug became suddenly popular when the US government started using it for Covid-19 treatment RECOVERY RATE FROM COVID-19, WHILE FATALITY RATE STANDS AT 2.87% 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 of GDP in real terms could be permanently lost. So, going back to the growth rates seen before the pandemic is unlikely in the next three fiscals 10% Why such a bleak prognosis Over two months of nationwide lockdown, higher-than-expected economic cost, and the Centre’s muted policy push to revive demand pulled down growth projections India bracing for its 4th RECESSION Crisil projects Indian economy to shrink 5% in FY21 due to Covid-19 pandemic, pegs the 1st quarter growth at a shocking -25%, says it will take at least three years to grow back to pre-Covid levels STATE OF THE NATION EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Andhra Pradesh @ Hyderabad 4.4% 43.5% 53.1% 3.4% 8.1% Karnataka 4% 41.3% 34.8% 23.9% 13.6% Kerala 71.9% 14.4% 15% Maharashtra 70.9% 25.1% 4% 2.8% 31.7% Punjab 55.6% 12.7% 4.8% 35% Rajasthan 53.5% 11.5% Telangana 4.4% 13.8% Uttar Pradesh 8.1% 17.7% -6% 33.6% 52.7% 44.1% 38.1% % contribution to India GDP % contribution of districts to total GSDP Red zone Orange zone Green zone Source: Crisil THE Covid-19 lockdown has brought India’s economic activity to a standstill, and latest economic forecasts reinforce fears of a sharper de-growth. After crunching some numbers on Tuesday, research firms Crisil and SBI Research were convinced that FY21 GDP will shrink 5% and 6.8%, respectively . These estimates are in line with foreign research houses, which first delivered the shocker last week that India is course to witnessing its worst recessions this fiscal. It’s down to the wire, but if it happens, it will be for the fourth time the country will course through a recession. Incidentally, the past three recessions seen in 1958, 1966 and 1980 were all tied to one reason — unfavourable monsoon — which broke the economy’s back. This time, however, agriculture, which accounts for 17% of the GDP, could swing the balance and end up as the last man standing for growth, provided monsoon plays ball. But even if agriculture clocks its trend-line 2.5% growth, non-agricultural GDP is likely to contract 6%, leaving the economy in the lurch. “The recession staring at us today is different. For one, agriculture could soften the blow this time by growing near its trend rate, assuming a normal monsoon. Two, the pandemic- Fitch cuts projection Fitch Ratings on Tuesday forecast a 5% contraction of Indian economy in the current fiscal, on account of slump in economic activities and stringent lockdown. It had earlier projected 0.8% growth for 2020-21 induced lockdowns have affected most non-agriculture sectors. And three, the global disruption has upended whatever opportunities India had on the exports front,” said Dhar makirti Joshi, chief economist, Crisil. He believes it is a long road to recovery and the famed 7-8% growth is at least three years away . The lockdown extension, higher economic costs and an economic package that lacked K U M A R V I K R A M @ New Delhi WHILE over 41,000 fliers reached their destinations on Tuesday, cancellation of flights continued for the second successive day since the resumption of domestic services across the country . Sources said while lots of flights operated at 50-60% of their capacity much lower pas, senger load factor and the cap on flights by a few states were primarily responsible for the cancellation of flights. Like Monday, there was needless confusion as many passengers learnt about their flight cancellation only upon reaching their airports. They shared their anger and despair on social media. muscle derailed economic activity the costs of which have , begun to show up in hard numbers. This, Joshi believes, is far worse than the initial expectations. “Given one of the most stringent lockdowns in the world, April could well be the worst performing month for India this fiscal,” he said. Crisil expects Q1 GDP to shrink by 25%, while SBI e s t i m at e s a n eve n sharper contraction of 40%. That’s because states could lose a staggering ` 30 lakh crore, with red zones taking maximum loss of 50%. Include orange zones and the loss nearly doubles to 90%. Taken together, the top 10 states, where much of red and orange zones exist, account for 75% of total GDP loss with Maharashtra contributing 15.6% of total loss followed by TN (9.4%) and Gujarat (8.6%). Meanwhile, Q4 GDP is likely to print at 1.2% (`1.4 lakh crore loss in absolute numbers) taking FY20 growth rate to 4.2%, which sounds far respectable than FY21 projections. Official data is expected to be released on Friday . S GURUMURTHY WRITES ON `20L-CR COVID STIMULUS PACKAGE, COMPARING IT WITH WHAT HAS BEEN OFFERED ELSEWHERE IN THE WORLD | P7 Cancellations continue, blame it on low passenger load factor As of 5 pm, airports had handled 325 departures and 283 arrivals with 41,673 passengers, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri said. The numbers are expected to scale up by midnight. While the Delhi airport had over 25 cancellations, the figure was more than 20 at Bengaluru. Cancellations happened big time at major airports like Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad, where state govern- Bengal cap on flights While domestic flight services will resume in West Bengal from Thursday, its Kolkata and Bagdogra airports will handle only 20 flights per day ments have restricted the number of incoming flights. Officials said the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi handled around 277 flights on Tuesday, 100 short of its estimated figure. On the plus side, Andhra Pradesh joined the flight resumption map. But Vijayawada and Vizag airports handled just eight flights each during the day . The normally busy Chennai airport had only 20 pairs of arrivals and departures on Tuesday, as Tamil Nadu has taken a calibrated approach to the resumption of arrivals. Also, complaints on refunds of air tickets poured in. CONTINUED ON: P7 THE NEW NORMAL FOR FLYERS CHENNAI Asymptomatic passengers will be Attention asked to undergo Please: home quarantine for Passengers have to undergo the following steps A flyer shows his e-pass at the exit gate of the arrival terminal at Chennai airport on Tuesday | ASHWIN PRASATH 2,138 Crisil expects non-agricultural GDP to contract 6% in FY21, but agriculture could cushion the blow by growing at 2.5%. However, the overall growth will still be -ve Passengers tested so far at Chennai Airport 41 Passengers tested positive All incoming passengers to undergo thermal screening 14 DAYS Symptomatic passengers will be taken to nearest health care facility for RT-PCR test If tested negative, home quarantine advised for 14 days. For departure passengers, thermal screening is conducted. Symptomatic ones are sent for testing. SUO MOTU CASE SC finally steps in to address distress among the migrants K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi TAKING suo motu cognizance of the “unfortunate and miserable conditions of migrant workers walking on foot and cycles from long distances,” the Supreme Court issued notices to the Centre and state governments on Tuesday . A three-judge bench comprising justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M R Shah observed that “although the government of India and the state governments have taken measures, yet there have been inadequacies and certain lapses. We are of the view that effective concentrated efforts are required to redeem the situation.” The intervention comes 10 days after another bench had declined to entertain a public interest litigation on the ground that the court cannot stop migrant workers from walking on the roads or on railway tracks. “How can anybody stop this when they sleep on tracks? There are people walking and not stopping. How can we stop it?” the bench had observed when the petitioner referred to the Aurangabad accident in which 16 migrants were killed by a freight train when they were asleep on the track. The three-judge bench, in a Uturn of sorts, stated it was time “to extend a helping hand to these migrant labourers.” “They have also been complaining of not being provided food and water by the administration at places where they were stranded. In the present situation of lockdown in the entire country, this section needs succour and help,” the court noted CONTINUED ON: P7 on Tuesday . STAY FIRM ON LAC INFRA, RAJNATH TELLS ARMY M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi IN the first political reaction on the Sino-Indian stand-off, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said the Army must give a matching response on the border with China and should not slacken the ongoing infrastructure improvement on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border between the two countries. Later in the day there were re, ports of Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking stock of the LAC situation in a meeting with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs, but it could not be independently confirmed. Earlier, Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting with the three service chiefs and the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat. “The minister was briefed on the situation and the steps taken by the Army a source said, adding that ,” the meeting went for a little more than an hour. While it was affirmed that the situation will eventually be resolved through diplomatic means, India will maintain its hold on the ground on its side of the border. It was decided road construction along the LAC will continue. China initiated the stand-off by objecting to the construction activity on the Indian side between Finger 3 and Finger 4 and also on an arterial link to Galwan Valley being built as an offshoot of the 255 km-long Darbuk-Shyok and DBO road. China also forcefully stopped the Indian Army patrol on the intervening night of 5-6 May at Finger 5 on the Northern Flank of the Pangong Tso Lake. A cleanliness worker disinfects a Plus Two exam paper evaluation centre at a school in Tirunelveli on Tuesday | V KARTHIKALAGU CM ups the ante as tally touches 17,728 E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai CHIEF MINISTER Edappadi K Palaniswami on Tuesday directed officials to implement special measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus infection in the State with a special focus on areas under the Chennai Corporation. He gave the advice while chairing the fourth round of an expert committee meeting at the Secretariat. During the meeting, matters such as testing strategies, treatment protocols, flattening the death curve, protection of vulnerable groups and preparedness in hospitals were discussed in detail. Meanwhile in a new high, nine people, including seven from Chennai, succumbed to Covid-19 in the State on Tuesday taking the toll to 127. Also, , the State recorded 646 fresh cases driving up the tally to 17,728. The day witnessed 611 patients being discharged taking the total number to 9,342. The number of active cases stands at 8,256. Among the day’s victims, eight had co-morbid conditions such as systemic hypertension and diabetes Water release while one had no co-morbidities. ordered Chennai’s situation remained grim Following requests with 509 more cases reported on the from farmers, CM day, taking the city’s overall tally to Palaniswami on 11,640. Meanwhile, a 24-year-old CoTuesday ordered imbatore native, working at a fivethe release of water star hotel in Chennai, has tested posfrom Pechiparai, itive after his arrival at Coimbatore Perunchani, Chittar airport. In a statement on Tuesday, I and II dams from IndiGo said the passenger had travJune 8 onwards elled on its flight 6E 381 from Chennai on Monday evening. “He was seated on-board with all precautionary measures. The operating crew has been grounded for 14 days and we are notifying other passengers,” the statement said. Among fresh cases, 54 people were returnees from outside, including five from Dubai and 35 from Maharashtra. As many as 9,677 people were tested on the day taking the , total number of people tested to 4.12 lakh. ACTIVE CASES TN WIDE 8,256 CURED/DISCHARGED DEATHS 9,342 127 COVID HERO Charity starts at ‘home’ for this Tiruchy landlord S O W M YA M A N I @ Tiruchy ‘THE Lord works in mysterious ways,’ goes the saying. For some tenants near Tiruchy, it was as if “the Lord” appeared in the guise of landlord when their monthly rent was waived. An owner of four building complexes in Thuvakudi near Tiruchy 51-year-old Balamuru, gan didn’t think twice when some of his tenants, most of them daily wage workers, brought sweat-laced notes to pay April’s rent. “I know how much they are suffering with- out any income during the pandemic. This is the least I can do,” says the landlord, who runs a grocery shop on a rented property . Balamurugan has 14 tenants including construction labourers, salesmen and catering workers. Among them, only two have a steady income. “I depend on daily wages. When went to the landlord to pay the rent, he refused to take it. I felt so good because I could use it for daily expenses,” says Nirmala Devi, a tenant who works in a catering company . Balamurugan and his wife also sold grocery items at cost to their tenants | EXPRESS By renting out small houses (375 square feet), Balamurugan earns `36,000 per month of which `25,000 goes as EMI for housing loan. Even though he used to earn around `20,000 per month from the shop, the lockdown has affected his profits. “It was a little tough to manage without the rent, but it is okay,” says Balamurugan. He also teamed up with some friends and provided groceries to needy people. “It was my mother who taught me to help others,” says Balamurugan.
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