ARUN ANGELA CHENNAI l FRIDAY l MAY 29, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l LATE 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 TO 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. P8 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 on Wednesday | PTI 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. Lal Babu Kamat Working as a security guard in Surat for a decade, the 50-year-old had lost his job re- 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. CONTINUED ON: P7 VIRAL VIDEO: PATNA HC TAKES COGNIZANCE Following the Patna High Court’s suo-motu cognizance of the video of a child trying to wake up his dead mother, the Bihar govternment informed the court that the deceased was mentally unstable and had died a natural death during the course of her journey from Surat Maha-Centre blame game K’TAKA COUNTERS on over Shramik Specials Big TN surge in infection of air passengers S U D H I R S U R YA V A N S H I @ Mumbai The 30-member group from Bihar stranded under the overbridge near Gummidipoondi on Thursday night | SHIBA PRASAD SAHU The bus that went nowhere, thanks to mistrust JOYEL K PIOUS & SHIBA P R A S A D S A H U @ Chennai TWO private buses stood under a dimly-lit overbridge near Gummidipoondi. They didn’t seem headed anywhere. The drivers and passengers were from two places hundreds of miles apart, within the same one country. They spoke two different languages, yet shared a common angst. They did not understand each other, yet recognised the problem they faced – mistrust. Having lost their livelihood to the lockdown, a group of 30 people from Bihar decided to return home from Chennai. After consulting with their local contacts, they scraped up `85,000 and contacted a private bus operator. The job would cost nothing less than `1.65 lakh, they were told. So they reached a deal – the passengers, mostly labourers, would pay `85,000 upfront; the balance would be handed over by relatives in Bihar when they got there. The deal came as a relief. Food was bought, water packed for the three-day journey. They left the city in two buses on Wednesday evening. They had a good 1,800 km to cover, but the first hurdle came even before reaching the A n d h r a P r a d e s h b o rd e r. Around 10 pm the drivers received a call, after which the The drivers, after taking a detour, told us they would not budge unless the full amount is paid Pintu Kumar, A migrant worker bus took a detour and went under the bridge. The engines went off, replaced by a deafening silence. “The drivers then told us they would not budge unless the full amount is paid,” says Pintu Kumar. The group was shocked. They had not a penny more. The drivers looked as helpless as the passengers. They were following the instructions given to them. And there they sat, in the bus under the bridge, throughout the night. DID THEY LEAVE?: P4 THE stand-off between Ministry of Railways and the Maharashtra government over the operation of Shramik trains has taken a political turn with the latter accusing the for mer of not giving enough trains and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal accusi n g t h e U d d h av Thackeray-led government of not providing passenger details. According to Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, the state — despite having more migrant workers than neighbouring Gujarat — is getting fewer trains. According to estimates, there are 20 lakh migrant workers in Maharashtra while the number is 15 lakh in Gujarat. Government data as on May 27 show 9.73 lakh migrant workers left Maha- rashtra in 682 trains, while 10.15 lakh migrants took off from Gujarat in 699 trains. Over 5 lakh migrants are believed to have left by road from Maharashtra while another five lakh are awaiting their turn to return. Goyal says his ministry is unable to operate the full quota of planned trains from Maharashtra as the state has not been providing the necessary information on time. Agreeing with the minister, railway officials say delay in obtaining details of trains and passengers derails all the planning. “It is important that all states give information on time. It helps us plan better. We are already battling congestion and poor planning in operation of trains causes more delays and more diversions,” a railway official said. CONTINUED ON: P7 July date for prescription of remdesevir in India? S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi REVIVING MSME SECTOR Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami chairs a meeting with officials at the Secretariat to discuss the functioning of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector, on Thursday. Palaniswami also laid foundation for the Noyyal River Rejuvenation Project via video conference facility from the Secretariat STARTING July, Covid-19 patients 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 US-based Gilead Sciences that manufactures remdesivir, a broad spectrum anti-viral drug, but the production is yet to start. EXPRESS READ Fuel too to cost more in Pondy from today Puducherry: After levying Special Excise Duty on liquor, the Puducherry government has steeply hiked the Value Added Tax on petrol and diesel in the UT with effect from May 29. The new prices will be slightly lower than the fuel prices in Tamil Nadu TODAY TOTAL Coronavirus deaths in US top 100,000 Washington: The US has surpassed the “sad milestone” of over one lakh coronaviruslinked deaths, the highest in the world, President Donald Trump acknowledged on Thursday, four months after he assured the nation that the situation was “totally under control” 827 TN TALLY CROSSES 19K Vellore 2 Tiruvannamalai 16 Krishnagiri 1 Salem 7 Madurai 8 Virudhunagar 2 Among the 827 new cases, 117 are returnees from other States “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 Ranipet 1 Tiruvallur 38 Chennai 559 Chengalpattu 45 Kancheepuram 19 Villupuram 3 Nagapattinam 2 Cuddalore 2 Thanjavur 1 Thoothukudi 3 Tirunelveli 1 12 10 8 6 6 2 12 Eleven of the 12 deceased people reported in the official health bulletin on Thursday, were Chennai residents 8 4 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. As it is not available in the market, no other patients can get it even on compassionate grounds. 3 3 May 19 4 May 22 9 7 6 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi/Bengaluru/Coimbatore 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 cases 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. The five found infected in Salem had arrived by the same TruJet flight from Chennai on Wednesday. Their positive swab test report came on Thursday . Of the three cases reported at the Madurai airport, two had arrived from Delhi on separate flights and one from Bengaluru on Wednesday. They are now in institutional quarantine. Karnataka 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. WITH THIS ISSUE 5 DEATH LOAD May 25 May 28 CHENNAI’S BEST WEEKEND GUIDE 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF INDULGE (TABLOID)
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