THRISSUR l SATURDAY l JUNE 13, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION U.S. MAY SUSPEND H-1B VISA AS UNEMPLOYMENT BITES SUSPENSION COULD STRETCH INTO OCTOBER The White House said President Donald Trump is considering a range of options to protect the jobs of American workers BUSINESSES WARY OF PROPOSED ACTION The proposed action, if implemented, would restrict only the new H-1B holders from coming to the US for work, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday citing senior administration officials. Those already in the country are unlikely to be affected. The suspension could stretch into the government’s new fiscal year beginning on October 1, the daily reported ■ ■ Apart from H-1B, H-2B visa for seasonal workers and the J-1 visa for short-term workers could also be suspended In a letter to Trump, the CEO of the US Chambers of Commerce sought assurances that the proposed actions won’t lead to a talent shortage when the US economy begins its recovery phase 4.4 crore U.S. WORKERS HAVE FILED FOR JOBLESS BENEFITS SINCE MARCH 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 Delhi situation horrendous and pathetic, says SC Top court issues suo-motu notices to Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Friday called patient care during the Covid-19 pandemic in Delhi as “horrendous” and “pathetic” and asked the Arvind Kejriwalled city government to explain the rationale behind reducing testing when the number of cases is shooting up. The SC also reprimanded Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and West Bengal for not handling the crisis well and observed Covid-19 patients were treated “worse than animals”. It issued notices to their chief secretaries with a direction to bring on record relevant statistics on p at i e n t m a na g ement system, number of patients, availability of beds, doctors etc. The bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay K Kaul and M R Shah was hearing a suo motu matter on treatment of Covid-19 patients in staterun hospitals and handling of dead bodies when it took a grim view of the situation in Delhi. “The large number of beds in Government Covid Hospital being vacant in a situation where patients suspected of Covid-19 are running from pillar to post to get admission in any hospital tells about the mismanagement and sorry state of Government hospitals in Delhi. The State is not only duty-bound to increase the number of beds but also to provide appropriate infrastructure and staff for manning the Covid-19 patients,” the bench stated in its order. Coming down hard on the city government, the bench said, “This is a very sorry state of affairs. There is no adherence to the Central government’s guidelines either. Hospitals are not giving due care to the dead bodies,” the bench recorded in its order. When Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that showing no respect to a dead body is also an offence under the Indian Penal Code, the bench asked him as well as the Delhi government counsel, “What have you done despite knowing all this? Patients are crying in pain and there is nobody to attend to them. One video from LNJP hospital showed how badly the dead bodies are being treated. There is absolutely no respect for dead bodies too.” The bench noted more than 2,500 beds are vacant in the Delhi government’s hospitals because nobody wants to go there. The court also sought response from the Central government and LNJP Hospital on these issues. The matter will be heard again on Wednesday . 3 NURSES WHO REACHED KUWAIT FROM KOCHI +VE 78 1,303 cases reported on Friday people under treatment 2,322 999 cases have been confirmed so far Three Malayali nurses who reached Kuwait from the Kochi airport have been tested positive for Covid in the Gulf country. The nurses left for Kuwait City after spending their annual vacation in Kerala 19 DEATHS recovered 216 2 Keralites died in Delhi on Friday Keralites have died in the Gulf so far. On Friday, five persons passed away HIGH COURT STAYS BUS FARE HIKE ORDER AFTER GOVT APPEAL Kochi: A division bench of the High Court stayed the order of a single judge allowing bus operators to collect increased fare from passengers in view of the Covid-19 situation. The court stayed the order on an appeal filed by the state governmen. P4 Cases spike in Thrissur; Guruvayur temple bans entry of devotees again EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram GURUVAYUR Sree Krishna temple will ban entry of devotees from Saturday . Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the government approved the Guruvayur Devaswom managing committee’s decision in the wake of the rise in Covid-19 cases in Thrissur district. “Chavakkad Municipality and a grama panchayat near the temple (Vadakekkad) have been declared containment zones. Also, the number of Covid-19 cases has increased in Thrissur forcing the committee to take the decision,” Kadakampally said. Cases have been spiking in Thrissur, ever since returnees from abroad and other states started reaching the state. In the last one week, 123 new cases were reported. With 14 fresh names added to the patients’ list on Friday alone, the number of active cases in the district stand has gone up to 157. Kadakampally said the government is of the view that all kinds of crowds should be avoided. Two prescheduled weddings at the temple will be permitted on Saturday while only rituals will continue as normal from ● More on P4 Sunday . COVID DEATH TOLL IN STATE GOES UP TO 19 Kannur: The death toll due Covid-19 rose to 19 in Kerala on Friday. Irikkur, Kannur, native Hussan Kutty, 71, who reached Kannur from Mumbai by train on June 9, is the latest victim. Hussan, who had been under observation since his return, breathed his last at the District Hospital in Kannur. After he developed fever and diarrhea, Hussan was first admitted to Ancharakkandi hospital on Wednesday. His condition deteriorated on Thursday night and he died following a cardiac arrest at 11.15pm. The results of his swab samples on Friday showed he was infected. Employers impound ID cards, deny wages to detain migrants D H I N E S H K A L L U N G A L @ T’Puram AFTER leaving the migrant workers to fend for themselves in the initial phase of the lockdown, employers in Kerala are now trying to forcibly prevent them from returning home. The job providers are resorting to measures like impounding ID cards and personal belongings as well as non-payment of wages. In the latest incident, around 10 migrant workers from Odisha, who were allegedly forcibly detained by the employer in Malappuram district, were released after a video shot by the labourers made its way to the chief secretary. It showed the workers of Lulookkas Sand, a product of Friends’ Crushers at Valillapuzha, pleading with the authorities to save them from their employer. The video was received by the Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development (CMID) which sought the intervention of the chief minister and the chief secretary to release them from the custody of the employer. In a swift move, the labour commissioner intervened in the matter and freed them from RAJESH KUMAR THAKUR @ New Delhi ONE Indian national was killed and three others were injured on Friday when Nepal’s security forces opened fire at a group of Indians at the India-Nepal border along Bihar’s Sitamarhi district. The Director-General of the Sashastra Seema Bal, a Central police force guarding India’s border with Nepal, Rajesh Chandra said the incident happened in Nepal’s territory, and at least 15 rounds were fired. “The incident happened deep inside Nepal (around 1.5 kilometers inside) and was a local issue triggered by an altercation. It is not something that was brewing for a long time,” Chandra said. But the shooting comes amid rising tensions between India and Nepal over a plan by the Nepalese government to include disputed territories —Lipulekh, Limiyadhura and Kalapani—in the new political map. Residents of the Janakinagar village in Sitamarhi’s Sonabarsa border area said the firing took place in the early hours of Friday when a group of Indians went to work at a field in Narayanpur, which is now a part of the Himalayan nation, if one goes by their new political map. The firing reportedly happened amid an altercation between Indian workers and Nepali forces, who objected to their presence in the area. The deceased has been identified as Vikesh Yadav, 25, son of Nageshwar Rai of Jankinagar. Uday Thakur, 35, Umesh They tried to snatch our weapons: Nepal Nepal officials said a group of workers from India tried to snatch weapons from Nepali officials during an altercation, which led to the firing. Police on the Indian side said this claim is being investigated Ram, 40 and Shivdayal Rai, 45 are the three injured. They are undergoing treatment to a private clinic in Sitamarhi, the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Sitamarhi district Anil Kumar said. The Sitamarhi SP claimed that the police force has been deployed and the situation was under control from both sides. Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development has sought action against those forcibly detaining workers desperate to return home custody. The labourers were then taken to Palakkad to catch an overnight train to Odisha after the department had made all arrangements for their safe departure, said the office of the labour commissioner. When TNIE contacted the private crusher, the firm remained in denial about detaining the workers. Instead, the company claimed the labourers had asked them to stay back till their papers were ready A simi. lar incident has come to light in Ernakulam in which the papers of four workers from West Bengal were held back to prevent them from returning home. They were also allegedly beaten up by the employer when they ● More on P4 tried to escape. E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram The number of samples tested in Delhi was 6,018 on May 27 but it slipped to 5,077 on June 11, while Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu tested 16,000 and 17,675 samples, respectively. Noting that non-testing of patients is not a solution, the Supreme Court asked the Delhi government increase testing by govt hospitals and private laboratiories CIVILIAN KILLED IN FIRING BY NEPAL FORCES NEAR BORDER Around 10 migrant workers from Odisha were released after a video shot by the labourers reached chief secy Retired ASI, 67, fatally bludgeons ex-constable wife, 71, hangs himself WHY NOT TEST MORE, COURT ASKS SHOOTING TORRID TIMES TO OFFER PRAYERS Devotees show their identity cards in front of a camera before entering the Kuttichira Hydros Mosque in Kozhikode on the first Friday since the places of worship were reopened after relaxations were allowed | T P SOORAJ 11,000 S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi FOR the first time, India reported more than 10,000 Covid-19 cases in a day period on Friday As many as 10,956 fresh . cases—44 short of 11,000— were reported in the 24-period till Friday morning. There were also a record 396 deaths during the period. The total number of cases in the country now stands at 2.97 lakh. As many as 8,498 people have lost their lives to the infection. On the positive side, over 1.47 lakh people have re- India’s Covid-19 tally overtakes that of UK’s, now 4th in the world covered from Covid-19. With Friday’s new cases, India’s case count has surpassed that of the UK to become the fourth-highest in the world. Only the US, Brazil and Russia are ahead of India, according to the global dashboard maintained by the US’s John Hopkins University The high number of cases being reported is despite India lagging far behind other worst-hit countries in terms of testing. India’s testing rate stands at 3,889 per million people. In contrast, the US’s testing rate is 70,256 per million. “If we test more we will find 10-20 times or maybe even higher infection size. India needs to aggressively ramp up its testing capacity,” said Dr Arvinder Singh Soin, researcher and a senior doctor at M e d a n t a h o s p i t a l i n Gurugram Maharashtra reported 3,607 new cases and 152 deaths on Friday. Delhi saw 1,877 cases and 101 more deaths—the highest single-day toll for the UT. Maharashtra—the state with the highest case burden—now has a whopping 97,648 cases. NATIONWIDE CURED/RECOVERED 1,47,194 1,41,842 8,498 ACTIVE CASES DEATHS The test-positivity rate in Delhi is now 23, the highest in the country, meaning for every 100 tests done, 23 turns out to be positive A RETIRED assistant sub-inspector committed suicide after bludgeoning his wife --- a former head constable --- to death at Thozhuvancode near Vattiyoorkavu here on Friday . The incident took place allegedly following an argument between the two over a property dispute. The wife, K Leela, 71, succumbed to injuries at the Medical College Hospital while the husband, P Ponnan, 67, ended his life by hanging from a tree. According to the Vattiyoorkkavu police, the i n c i d e n t o c c u r re d around 7am at the couple’s elder daughter Anjali’s new house where Ponnan had been staying. When Leela, who was living at her younger daughter Ambili’s place nearby, came to Anjali’s house, Ponnan stopped her and started arguing over the property . “Ponnan and Leela were living separately Leela came to the new house and . they started quarrelling over the property partition. Apparently, the argument turned fierce and Ponnan hacked Leela on the neck using a wooden plank. Anjali came out hearing the screaming of Leela, who soon fell unconscious. We’ve recovered the plank from the spot. The postmortem examination of the bodies has been completed,” Vattiyoorkavu Circle Inspector A S Santhakumar said. COMFORT ZONE Find WFH too taxing? Now, relax and work from a resort S H I B U B S @ Kochi WORKING from home or WFH, the Covid-induced new normal, sometimes can add to your stress. But those finding WFH a trying experience now have another option. They can make themselves at home in the comfort of a resort and enjoy the work while soaking in the ambience. Many may find the idea interesting, provided it does not burn a hole in the pocket. It will not since some of the resorts/hotels have already come up with work from resort packages, offering the guests a quiet ambience, uninter rupted high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity, office furniture and even chairs and table to help them work near the pool or a private beach on the property . According to the resort owners, they are offering it at slashed rates (many are offering it for Rs 7,000 a week). This, according to them, will keep the show running and mark their live presence in the market during the pandemic. “We have set the password of our Wi-Fi connection as ‘livewithcovid’. It is a fact that we will have to live with the virus for a while. The business was We cannot expect any international tourists at present. Hence, we need to come up with new ideas to lure domestic tourists/locals. Work from the resort is one such option — Deepak Ashok, nil for the last three months. We cannot expect any international tourists at present. Hence, we need to come up with new ideas to lure domestic tourists/locals. Work from the resort is one such option we are trying to explore. We are getting a tremendous response,” said Deepak Ashok, a partner of Cliff Stories Resort, ● More on P4 Varkala.
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