ARUN ANGELA KOTTAYAM l FRIDAY l MAY 29, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION MONSOON ONSET OVER KERALA WILL BE ON JUNE 1, SAYS IMD The southwest monsoon is likely to arrive in Kerala as per its normal schedule, the India Meteorological Department said LOW PRESSURE LIKELY IN ARABIAN SEA On May 15, the IMD had forecast the monsoon might hit the southern state only on June 5 — four days after its normal onset date of June 1. “A low pressure area is likely to form over southeast and adjoining east central Arabian Sea during May 31 to June 4... Conditions are likely to become favourable from June 1 for onset of southwest monsoon over Kerala,” it said ■ Forecast EXPECT REPRIEVE FROM HEAT WAVE ■ ■ North India, which is reeling under intense heatwave, may get a relief as maximum temperatures are set to recede from Thursday For the past four-five days, temperatures in north and central India have soared over 47 degrees Celsius at a few places Heavy rainfall is likely over south peninsular India on May 28-31 OF I.M.D. (JUNE 5) AND SKYMET (MAY 28) TURNED OUT TO BE WRONG 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 SC orders free food, water, transport for hapless migrants THE 16 ON TRAINS WHO’LL NEVER MAKE IT HOME Directs help to all those who set out on foot notified to them for the period they are waiting for their turn TAKING note of the plight of to board a train or a bus,” the migrant workers stranded bench said. across the country following While the originating state the Covid lockdown, the Su- shall provide meal and water at preme Court on Friday ordered the station, once the train all originating states to provide starts rolling, railways will them free food and shelter as have to provide the same. The also provide free transport to court stressed on coordinated those keen to going back to efforts to deal with the crisis. their native places. “How do you ensure that noA three-judge body asks the mibench headed by Jusgrant to pay or trouPUSH FOR tice Ashok Bhushan bles him? What we POLICY said: “There are sevare saying is that the “There had been eral lapses that we migrants should be instances where have noticed in the least concerned with one state sends process of registrathe means of paytion, transportation migrants but at the ment,” the bench border another and providing food said, adding that the state says we are and water to the mistate shall oversee not accepting the grants. It is seen that the registration of even after registra- migrants. We need migrant workers and tion, migrants have a policy on this,” the ensure their boardbench said to wait for a long ing the train or bus at time for their turn to an early date. come. Large number of mi“We further direct that those grants are still proceeding by migrant workers found walkfoot, though solicitor general ing on the roads, immediately says there are instructions to be taken to shelters... As and states to facilitate a bus or vehi- when the state governments cle, if any migrants are seen put in a request for trains, railwalking on foot.” ways has to provide them,” the “All migrant workers who bench ordered. are stranded at various places It sought all information on shall be provided food by the migrants and their transportaconcerned state or UT at places tion plan by June 5, the next which shall be publicised and date of hearing. K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi RAJESH KUMAR THAKUR, N A M I TA B A J PA I A N D M U K E S H R A N J A N @ Patna/Lucknow/Ranchi MORE than 3,800 Shramik special trains, started on May 1, have transported 50 lakh migrant workers to their homes. Their lives torn apart by penury hunger and uncer, tainty on account of the sudden lockdown, these exhausted yet relieved migrants have found comfort and safety in their native villages. But at least 16 of them were not so lucky Seven each from . Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and two from Jharkhand died even before they could be reunited with their families and village folk. Uncared for and unmourned, two of them even died anonymously with no takers for their bodies. Avreena Khatoon Cadets of Scouts & Guides provide drinking water to migrants travelling to their native places in a Shramik Special train at Mathura | PTI Another death, biggest spike in Kerala 84 CASES REPORTED ON THURSDAY 526 under treatment 1,088 555 cases have been confirmed so far have recovered so far 7 deaths + 1 Mahe native died in Kannur Telangana native dies Anchayya, 68, a Telangana native who was under treatment after testing positive, died in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram THE state witnessed the biggest single-day spike of 84 Covid-19 positive cases on Thursd ay, eve n a s a n e x p e r t committee asked the government to take adequate steps assuming that community transmission had already occurred. However, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan once again said community transmission has not happened so far but war ned that the situation could change. The chief minister, in his media briefing, said while there is an upward trend in cases, the encouraging report is that people contracting the disease through contact is comparatively low in the state. In a report presented to the chief minister on Wednesday, the expert committee on Covid-19 said it could not be confirmed that community transmission has not occurred in the state, and called for widening the ambit of testing to rule out the same. July date for prescription of remdesevir in India? S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi STARTING July Covid-19 pa, tients in the country could get access to Ebola drug remdesivir, which has caught global attention for showing some promise in reducing the infection recovery time in a large number of patients across 60 sites globally under a trial by a premier US health agency . The US National Institutes of Health last week said its data from trials showed remdesivir offers the most benefit for Covid-19 patients who need extra oxygen but not mechanical ventilation. Four Indian companies— Jubilant Life Sciences, Hetero, Mylan and Cipla have signed license deals with USbased Gilead Sciences that manufactures remdesivir, a broad spectrum anti-viral drug, but the production is yet to start. “Once the Indian companies start producing remdesivir, its use will be considered in India,” Dr R R Gangakhedkar, chief epidemiologist with the Indian Council of Medical Research, told this newspaper. Manufacturing the drug is taking time as it is an intravenous formulation and its bulk supply is expected to be ready only by July first week, said officials, adding that the Covid-19 treatment protocol could be amended later to include remdesivir based on the latest evidence. So far in India, the drug is being tried only as part of the World Health Organization’s solidarity trial— undertaken to assess the efficacy of several repurposed drugs against Covid-19. The baby girl born to Gincy, a native of Alappuzha who had recovered from Covid-19, at the Government Medical College Hospital, Manjeri, on Thursday | P4 Of the 84 new cases reported in the state on Thursday, 79 were returnees — 31 from abroad and 48 from other states — while five contracted the virus through contact. Three persons from recovered from the illness on the day . Meanwhile, a Telangana native, who was under surveillance after testing positive, died in Thiruvananthapuram. The deceased, Anchayya, 68, and his five family members had arrived here after boarding the Jaipur-Thiruvananthapuram train by mistake. While Kasaragod accounted for 18 of the new cases, the remaining were from Palakkad (16), Kannur (10), Malappuram (8), Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur (seven each), Pathanamthitta and Kozhikode (six each), Kottayam (three) and Kollam, Alappuzha and Idukki (one each). With this, the total number of active cases in the state rose to 526. The chief minister said those circulating fake news on social media about people in home quarantine will be dealt with firmly . “The police have been directed to charge them under non-bailable sections. The Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode cyberdomes have been asked to take initiate necessary actions in such cases,” he said. S i x m o re p l a c e s h ave been declared hotspots in the state, taking the total number to 82. Lal Babu Kamat Working as a security guard in Surat for a decade, the 50-year-old had lost his job re- in infection of air passengers @ Kozhikode SOCIALIST leader, Rajya Sabha MP and writer M P Veerendrakumar, 84, passed away following a heart attack at a private hospital here around 11pm on Thursday . Suffering from heart problems, he had withdrawn from active politics for a while. State president of Loktantric Janta Dal, he had served as a union minister and state minister. Veerendrakumar had adorned many coveted positions and was former president of Press Trust of India and Indian Newspaper Society, and chairman and managing director of Mathrubhumi. Born into a Jain family of Kalpetta, Veerendrakumar came into politics through Samyuktha Socialist Party in 1968. Later, he became a central leader of various Janata Party outfits including Janata Dal, Janata Dal (S) and Socialist Janata Democratic be- LIQUOR SALES USING BEVQ APP 3.5 lakh 2.25 lakh tokens generated CONTINUED ON: P7 Following the Patna High Court’s suo-motu cognizance of the video of a child trying to wake up his dead mother, the Bihar government informed the court that the deceased was mentally unstable and had died a natural death during the course of her journey from Surat EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE A man with the liquor bottles he bought from a Bevco outlet at Gandhinagar in Kochi on Thursday | A SANESH people downloaded app on first day MP and ex-Union minister K’TAKA COUNTERS Veerendrakumar no more Big TN surge DHINESH KALLUNGAL & S H I B U B S @T’Puram/Kochi AFTER 60-ODD sober days, liquor sales resumed in Kerala on Thursday But spirits are yet to . soar. An underdeveloped app, technical errors and total confusion dampened enthusiasm of lakhs of liquor consumers who were waiting for the liquor vends to reopen. Despite the newly-launched virtual queue app, BevQ, serpentine lines were seen in front of many outlets, especially in front of bar hotels. The bars are allowed to sell liquor at the same price as outlets operated by state-run Bevco. The absence of QR code scanners at outlets and bars delayed the proceedings further. According to official data, a total of 2.25 lakh people bought liquor from 1,168 outlets in the state on Thursday. Though more than 3.5 lakh people cently after he suffered a paralytic stroke. With the lockdown imposed soon after, his family was stranded in the city without any income. Securing a berth on the Shramik Special train to Darbhanga in Bihar on May 23 finally gave them some hope. But the joy of being able to return home was cut short as Kamat died on the train near Munger. His wife Krishna Devi and three daughters de-boarded at Bhagalpur with his body and went to Darbhanga by road. Krishna Devi alleged that Kamat was on regular medication but had to miss the medicines in the train because there was no water. VIRAL VIDEO: PATNA HC TAKES COGNIZANCE EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi/Bengaluru/Coimbatore M P VEERENDRA KUMAR fore forming LJD. He was first elected to the state assembly from Kalpetta in 1987 and became the forest minister. He became the MP from Kozhikode in 1996 and in 1997. He became Union minister of state for finance and later handled labour and parliament affairs. A prolific writer and orator, he had won Kendra Sahitya Akademi and Vayalar awards. Veerendrakumar is survived by wife Usha, son M V Shreyams Kumar, and daughters M V Asha, M V Nisha and M V Jayalakshmi. BevQ glitches dampen spirits on Day 1 Lack of scanner at outlets to scan QR code GLITCHES KERALA CASE DAIRY The visuals of her toddler son playing with the sheet of cloth covering her lifeless body at Muzaffarpur railway station in Bihar tugged at the heartstrings of the entire country . The 35-year-old died on board the Shramik special train that arrived from Ahmadabad in Gujarat. Divorced by her husband 18 months ago, she had gone to Ahmadabad, where her sister’s family stayed, and took up job in a small scale unit to bring up her two children aged four years and 15 months. Her brother-inlaw Mohammed Wazir alleged that she died due to hunger and heat in the train, but Muzaffarpur district magistrate as well as the Railways claimed that the family had admitted that she had been ill for several days when she was travelling. Delay in generating OTP Skewed allotment of outlets Lack of thermal scanners and break-thechain counters at some outlets Booking available only for a few hours downloaded the BevQ app on the first day itself, only around 70 per cent of them were able to buy liquor. Many even had a harrowing time trying to download the app after its launch on Wednesday as the OTP, which has a validity of five minutes, took 20 or 30 minutes to arrive. Many who had received tokens were unable to open the application as it showed “connection error”. On the technical snag, Bevco managing director Sparjankumar said the software would be streamlined further. “It’s surprising that close to 1 crore requests were received for tokens. Even more baffling is the fact that some have sent over 100 SMSs from one number to get the token, which literally crashed the app,” he said. He said details of containment zones and hotspots, which are rising daily need to be updated , ● More on P4 on the app. AT least 22 air passengers have tested positive for Covid-19 since Monday when domestic flight operations resumed, 17 of them in Tamil Nadu alone on Thursday There were nine cas. es at the Coimbatore airport, Salem had five and Madurai three. With the case count going up, states like Goa and Karnataka have already taken counter measures. While Goa decided to compulsorily test all arrivals unless they were able to produce a negative test certificate, Karnataka requested the Centre to reduce the number of flights from high viral load states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. Of the nine cases of infection at the Coimbatore International Airport, five hailed from Tiruchy, two from Namakkal and one each from Coimbatore and Erode. Since they had flown in from Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai on Wednesday, officials said the cases would be added to the originating city’s tally . All nine have been sent to their native districts for treatment and their co-passengers advised isolation for 28 days. The five found infected in Salem had arrived by the same TruJet flight from Chennai on Wednesday morning. Their positive swab test report came on Thursday Of the three cases re. ported at the Madurai International Airport, two had arrived from Delhi on separate flights and one from Bengaluru on Wednesday They are now in in. stitutional quarantine. In Bengaluru, after a cabinet meeting, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy, said the decision to restrict flights was taken after noticing that travellers from five states were the highest contributors to the spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in Karnataka.
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