KOTTAYAM l THURSDAY l JUNE 11, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l CITY EDITION MASSIVE `7,853CR PROJECT TO REDEVELOP ICONIC STADIUM Sports ministry initiates plan to redevelop Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi under public-private partnership model TARGET OLYMPICS AND MORE ADDITIONAL SPORTS, EXTRA ZING Sports ministry wants to upgrade the stadium into a facility that can host not just international competitions but also a venue that could be ready to host Olympics in the near future. The project would be executed with private sector partnership by leveraging the mixed/real estate development available around the sprawling 102-acre complex | P13 ■ ■ ■ The feasibility study of Ernst & Young suggests to add facilities for basketball, badminton, tennis, swimming, cycling There could be new housing complexes to be used as service apartments and sports hostels Sports retail shops, food court and recreational centres proposed 102 acres AREA OF LAND ON WHICH THE STADIUM COMPLEX IS SITUATED 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 Coronavirus didn’t kill but they died anyway 65 NEW PATIENTS, 57 RECOVER 65 cases reported on Wednesday 2,161 cases have been confirmed so far 18 DEATHS Kerala heaved a sigh of relief on Wednesday when 57 patients recovered from Covid-19. The number of fresh cases too came down slightly, to 65. 1,237 are under treatment 905 recovered KERALA COVID DEATH TOLL RISES TO 18 Three more Keralites died in the Gulf due to coronavirus, taking the total number to 208. Abdul Hameed, 50, from Malappuram died in Saudi Arabia while Abdul Jabbar, 58, from Thrissur died in Oman. Radhakrishnan Nair, 57, from Chengannur, died in Dubai Kannur: Kerala recorded its 18th Covid death on Wednesday. P K Mohammed, 70, a native of Payanchery in Iritty, Kannur, breathed his last on his way to the hospital. He tested positive earlier in the day. Mohammed had returned from Muscat, Oman. His son had contracted the virus earlier. Meanwhile, the 87-yearold man from Engandiyur, Thrissur, who had died while being shifted to the MCH on June 7, was confirmed with infection earlier in the day. Sunny TC, a 62-year-old Kottayam native, died while under treatment for Covid-19 at the LNJP Hospital in New Delhi E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram THE health department found itself in a tight spot on Wednesday as two persons committed suicide at the Covid isolation ward of the Government Medical College Hospital here. Unni, 33, a Covid-19 patient who fled from the hospital and was brought back on Tuesday, was found hanging at 11.30am and later, around 5pm, Murukeshan, 38, who was under observation for the infection, killed himself. Health Minister K K Shailaja ordered a high-level probe into the suicides. “What happened was very unfortunate. The health secretary has been asked to probe the matter immediately If there are . lapses, strict action will be taken,” she said. Meanwhile, the State Human Rights Commission registered a suo motu case and sought responses from the hospital superintendent and Unni had breakfast and returned to the isolation room. When the nurse went to the room to hand over a prescription, she found him hanging from the fan — A hospital source T O B Y A N T O N Y @ Kochi Goes against trend as case mortality ratio for females elsewhere is lower than males S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi ATMANIRBHAR ON THE FIELD A retired serviceman from the armed forces plows a lone furrow using traditional farming techniques in his farm in Belagavi, Karnataka on Wednesday | ASHISHKRISHNA H P Cheque bouncing, loan repayment delays could soon be decriminalised EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi TO help businesses tide over financial difficulties caused by the nationwide lockdown, the Centre plans to decriminalise minor economic offences such as cheque bounces and delays in repayment of loans. To make this happen, as many as 19 legislations will have to be suitably amended. These include the Negotiable Instruments Act (cheque bounce), SARFAESI Act (repayment of bank loans), LIC Act, PFRDA Act, RBI Act, NHB Act, Banking Regulation Act and Chit Funds Act. The finance ministry has shared its proposal and invited public comments from all stakeholders. Based on the feedback, the Department of Financial Services will take a Athirappilly project only with consensus: Minister EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE 19 laws up for revamp Negotiable Instruments Act, SARFAESI Act, LIC Act, PFRDA Act, RBI Act, NHB Act, Banking Regulation Act, Chit Funds Act, Insurance Act, and NABARD Act are among the 19 laws that the finance ministry has proposed to amend call on whether a particular section should be modified to decriminalise to improve ease of doing business. Till now, the accused in such small offences faced fine or imprisonment or both depending on the gravity of the charges. With the changes, the finance ministry aims to create a system wherein a penalty levied is sufficient to act as a deter- new the same. It’s a routine procedure, being done over the years. Since the project has not been abandoned, it’s essential to renew the clearance required for the same,” Mani said. “There is no consensus over the project within the Left front itself. There are also differences of opinions within the UDF and BJP,” Mani said, adding that all other discussions in this regard were ill● More on P4 motivated. rent and will help in “improving business sentiment and unclogging court processes” in the wake of economic crisis caused due to lockdown. For instance, under existing law, violating the provisions of the RBI Act such as inviting deposits without authorisation or avoiding the registration could attract imprisoned up to years plus a fine of up to `25 lakh. If these offences are decriminalised, the fine will be be raised but there will be no imprisonment. The move was already announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Atamnirbhar Bharat package. “Criminalising procedural lapses and minor non-compliances increases burden on businesses,” the finance ministry said in a statement. EXPRESS READ Semi-high speed rail: Alignment gets nod T’Puram: The state Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval to the detailed project report and final alignment of the Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod semihigh speed rail corridor, also called Silverline. Nod was given to the Kerala Rail Development Corporation — in charge of executing the Rs 63,941-crore project — to approach nationalised banks and financial institutions to mobilise fund for land acquisition. P7 ‘29% rise in Asiatic lion population in Gir’ Ahmedabad: The number of Asiatic lions in the Gir forest has increased by 29 per cent, PM Narendra Modi tweeted on Wednesday. “Geographically, distribution area is up by 36 per cent,” he added. Major Generals exchange ideas, more talks lined up on Sino-Indian stand-off M AYA N K S I N G H A N D P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi @ T’Puram THE no-objection certificate issued by the LDF government for the controversial Athirappilly hydro-electric project has kicked up a major political row with coalition partner CPI, opposition UDF and the BJP sharply criticising the decision. Power Minister M M Mani, however, said issuing of NOC was a routine procedure and the government would implement the project only if there is a consensus. But he made it clear the government has not decided to abandon the project. “Since the validity of the central clearances for the Athirappilly project had expired, the KSEB sought an NOC to re- A native of Anad near Nedumangad, he was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit immediately, but could not be saved, sources said. They said he was suffering from acute withdrawal symptoms and did not cooperate with the medical staff. After being brought back from his home on Tuesday, he was given medical counselling. Murukeshan, also a native of Nedumangad, was admitted to the MCH after returning from Tamil Nadu on Tuesday. He worked at a farm there for a few ● More on P5 months. Relative fatality among women higher than men in India: Study Two arrested as NIA cracks theft aboard aircraft carrier IN a major breakthrough in its probe into last year’s theft of computer hardware from Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) Vikrant, which is under construction at the Cochin Shipyard here, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested two persons on Tuesday night. Dayaram Sinkariya, 22, and Sumit Kumar, 23, who were nabbed from their native places Hanumangarh in Rajasthan and Munger in Bihar respect ive l y, wo u l d b e brought to Kochi soon, said NIA officers. “It’s a matter of pride for us. We had collected fingerprints of nearly 10,000 persons who work or had worked in the shipyard. Over 1,000 persons were questioned and their mobile networks traced, after which we could identify the suspects. After receiving all the information, we obtained a search warrant from the NIA Court in Kochi on Monday and three teams were sent to Rajasthan, Gujarat and Bihar,” said a source in the NIA. The source said the duo was produced in the courts concerned, in Rajasthan and Bihar, and transit warrants were obtained. “The recovery of the stolen hardware was carried out. A few equipment are yet to be recovered,” said a source. Sources said the duo was working for a contractor engaged in painting works at the shipyard. “They have been working here since early 2019. They stayed together in Kochi and hatched the conspiracy,” ● More on P5 said a source. Medical Education Department director within three weeks. The hospital sources said Unni, having recovered from Covid, was set to be discharged on Wednesday. “He had breakfast and returned to the isolation room. When the nurse went to the room to hand over a prescription, she found him hanging from the fan,” a hospital source said. A day after Indian and Chinese troops partially retreated along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), bilateral Major General-level talks were held on Wednesday a senior Army , official said. According to sources, both sides exchanged views, which would be reviewed at a senior level. Wednesday’s meeting went on for more than fourand-a-half hours, sources said. “More meetings are lined up in future both at the Division Commander and Sector Commander levels to flesh out specific details and arrive at a deescalation plan. These meetings will culminate in the Corps Commander-level meeting,” sources added. Meanwhile, the Chinese foreign ministry said that both sides were trying to ease the situation following diplomatic and military talks. “Recently India and China , held effective communication though diplomatic and military channels and reached a positive consensus. The two sides are following this consensus to take actions to ease the situation along the borders,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said. Indian and Chinese troops have been involved in a standoff since the intervening night of May 5 and 6 after troops from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) attacked Indian soldiers between Finger 4 and Finger 5 positions near the LAC. The Indian Army retaliated, leading to injuries to large number of personnel from both sides. Following the escalation of tensions, Corps Commander-level talks were held on June 6. The dialogue was held between Lt General Harinder Singh, commander of the 14 Corps and Major General Liu Lin, commander of the South Xinjiang Military Region, at Moldo on the Chinese side. The Chinese foreign ministry last week had said the situation along the LAC was stable and controllable. THE biological advantage of higher protection from Covid-19 deaths that women in most other countries have, seems to be completely missing for females in India. The first-ever analysis of gender differentials in Covid-19 deaths in the country has revealed that while the overall number of infected men is higher, relative mortality due to the infection is higher among women than men, in contravention to the global trend. The analysis by researchers associated with the Institute of Economic Growth (IEG) in Delhi, Institute of Health Management Research in Jaipur and Harvard University in the US has shown that 3.3% of all women contracting the virus in the country are dying as compared to 2.9% males (see table). The difference is the starkest in the age group of 40-49 years where 3.2% infected women, as compared to 2.1% males succumbed to the contagion and also in the 5-19 years age group, which has only seen female deaths. The findings of the research, ‘Equal risk, unequal burden? Gender differentials in COVID-19 mortality in India’, have been published in the Journal of Global Health Science and are based on Covid-19 mortalities in India till May 20 when the total con- firmed cases were 112,027 with 3,433 deaths at a case fatality ratio of 3.1 per cent. The total share of the infection burden in males at that time was 73,654 while 38,373 women were infected and the cor responding f atalities among males and females was 2,165 and 1,268, respectively . “The social determinants like access to healthcare and general health and nutrition status which are generally worse for women in India than their male counterparts could explain these differences that defy the global trend,” health economist William Joe from the IEG, who is lead author of the paper, told this newspaper. Globally, similar analyses in countries like the US, China and Italy have shown that the relative death rate is higher among males. It has been attributed to sex-based immunological differences due to female hormones, lower prevalence of smoking in women, and men developing co-morbid conditions such as hypertension at a younger age than women. “Although males share a higher burden of death...females have relatively high risk of Covid-19 death... The difference is found to be statistically significant for three age groups (5-19 years, 30-39 years, and 40-49 years),” the paper said. The study used crowdsourced data compiled by covid19india.org for estimates on age-sex specific Covid-19 case fatality rate. AGE-SEX SPECIFIC CASE FATALITY RATE (IN %) Age group Male Female 0 to 4 years 1.9 (1.2-2.8) 1.1 (1.6-3.4) Both sexes 1.7 (1.2-2.3) 5 to 19 years - 0.6 (0.4-0.9) 0.2 (0.1-0.3) 20 to 29 years 0.3 (0.2-0.4) 0.3 (0.2-0.4) 0.3 (0.2-0.3) 30 to 39 years 0.6 (0.5-0.8) 0.4 (0.3-0.6) 0.6 (0.5-0.7) 40 to 49 years 2.1 (1.8-2.3) 3.2 (2.8-3.7) 2.4 (2.2-2.6) 50 to 59 years 6.7 (6.2-7.3) 6.2 (5.5-6.9) 6.6 (6.2-7.0) 60 to 69 years 14.5 (13.5-15.5) 13.6 (12.4-14.9) 14.3 (13.5-15.1) 70 to 79 years 21.1 (18.9-23.3) 18.6 (16.4-20.1) 20.1 (18.6-21.7) 80+ years All 20.5 (16.9-24.5) 25.3 (20.8-30.2) 22.2 (19.3-25.3) 2.9 (2.8-3.1) 3.3 (3.1-3.5) 3.1 (3.0-3.2) POLICY IMPLICATIONS FROM THE STUDY William Joe, health economist at the Institute of Economic Growth in Delhi, said that the findings could have two significant policy implications. “At no point should governments think that women are at advantage in dealing with the infections and also the health and nutrition support programmes should be continued with enhanced focus even during the pandemic situation,” he said
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