Overcast sky masks solar eclipse Bad weather and social distancing norms prevented many across India from witnessing the celestial phenomenon A narrow stretch in northern India that included parts of Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttarakhand got to see to the ring of fire. The rest of the country got to witness only a partial eclipse CHENNAI MONDAY JUNE 22, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 28 VELLORE EDITION Patna Chennai Bengaluru Coimbatore Mumbai New Delhi Scores of temples, including Tirupati Balaji temple and the ‘Chardham’ shrines of Uttarakhand, closed on Saturday night and reopened for prayers only on Sunday afternoon once the eclipse was over Hyderabad The partial phase of the eclipse began at 9.16 am and lasted till 3.04 pm. The annular phase began at 10.19 am and ended at 1.58 pm. The phenomenon was live-streamed online due to Covid-19 Kolkata Ghaziabad 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 Army commanders on LAC get a free hand Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong summoned to lodge strong protest against the June 15 violence in Galwan area 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 WHILE giving Ar my commanders along the Line of Actual Control the freedom to improvise depending on Chinese aggression, India on Sunday summoned Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong to lodge a strong protest against the June 15 violent face-off. It also emerged that the US is talking to both sides to try and defuse the border crisis. “It is a very tough situation. We are talking to India. We are talking to China. They have got a big problem there. They have come to blows, and we will see what happens. We will try and help them out,” US President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held an hour-long meeting with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs to assess the LAC situation. Taking independent decisions to deal with the ‘belligerence’ of the Chi- VERY TOUGH SITUATION “It is a very tough situation. We are talking to India. We are talking to China. They have got a big problem there,” says US President Donald Trump nese troops was discussed and re-emphasised, sources said. The surprise Chinese attack on June 15 on Indian soldiers in Galwan’s Patrolling Point 14 with rods and bamboo sticks studded with nails came as a rude shock to the soldiers bound by protocols. “Indian Army’s discipline and commitment towards the protocols was misused by the Chinese troops who ambushed them in a planned manner, which led to the loss of 20 lives. Now the commanders are free to impro- vise their reactions befitting the Chinese actions and to reply them in their own language.” a senior officer said. An important indication came from Finger 4, which has been the most complicated stand-off point. “We have been asked to not hold ourselves but to show strength at Finger 4 after the Galwan incident,” a source said. We i d o n g ’s s u m m o n i n g comes days after both sides blamed each other for the June 15 face-off. H-1B POLICY Trump set to announce fresh curbs on work visas PEAK-ASANA Members of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police practice yoga to mark the 6th International Day of Yoga, on Sunday at Khardung La in Ladakh | PTI INVITING TROUBLE FRESH CASES Sivaganga 7 Thoothukudi 2 Tirunelveli 25 DEATHS ‘IAS’ GROOM IN A SPOT FOR TRAVEL SANS PASS nal from Coimbatore, and he @ Madurai did not want to miss the ceremony either. So he tried his EVEN though the govern- luck by printing a fake desment has been issuing e- ignation on the invitation passes for weddings, a new- card, in which he designated ly-wed man decided to take himself as an IAS (trainee). a creative route to get to his When stopped by the police reception ceremony ar- at a check-post on Dindigul ranged in Kodaikanal as he main road, he flashed the did not have official card instead of an No e-pass ID or e-pass. permission. When or ID, just caught by the police The cops smelled a card en route, he claimed something fishy. he was an IAS offic“When we asked The man did er and produced his not have a pass him for his official wedding invitation to travel from ID, he started acting card as proof. He Coimbatore to like he was offendtook the act a bit too Kodaikanal and ed. But, on seeing far by even repri- tried to use his the card printed as manding the per- wedding card. IAS (trainee) we sonnel on duty for knew he was fake. It had a fake mistreating him. designation as However, probe reThe cops sent him IAS against his vealed that he had home with a small not cheated anyone name gift — a fraud case else in such fashion. registered against his name. He had pulled this trick only A resident of Kodaikanal, out of desperation to get to 26-year-old K Velumani mar- the reception,” said Koodal ried his girlfriend in Coim- Pudur Inspector Kathiravel. batore before the lockdown “The bride also knew he was began. However, the recep- not an IAS officer. So we let tion got delayed, and was fi- him attend the function,” he nally scheduled to be held added. On Saturday the man , on June 19. He could not get was arrested, a case booked an e-pass to reach Kodaika- and he was released on bail. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi In a ruling that is likely to have far-reaching ramifications in the real estate market, Gujarat’s Authority of Advance Ruling (AAR) has ruled that the sale of developed plots of land with primary amenities like power or water connections should attract Goods and Services Tax (GST). The addition of such amenities should be seen as a ‘supply of service’, the authority held. While AAR rulings are applicable only to the individual applicant and the jurisdictional tax officer in a particular case, industry experts say this ruling will likely be used as a precedent by other jurisdictions. According to the quasi-judicial body the , sale of ‘developed plots’ where primary amenities like power, water pipelines or even access roads are included, is not the same as the sale of land. The sale of land, an immovable property and exempt from Q & A EXPECT BILATERAL CHILL “We are seeing a very hostile and violently assertive face of China, which is quite at variance with their behaviour in the past three decades... I presume that there will be a slowing down of bilateral contacts and a degree of chill will set in,” Nirupama Rao FULL INTERVIEW: P7 told this newspaper. NIRUPAMA MENON RAO Former foreign secretary & former Ambassador to China WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) En route bearing a male child, she lost her life to Covid-19 June 19. The newborns have tested negative for the virus. Roja’s husband Ramu*, a resident of Palanganatham, gave in to her desire and consulted the Ellis Nagar branch of a leading Chennai-based fertility clinic last year. The woman reportedly conceived twins during the first attempt of IUI. The delivery was scheduled to happen between June 18 and June 20. According to Ramu, Roja had diabetes, which was brought down to normal before the commencement of IUI treatment. However, she had developed hypertension during the pregnancy . Violation of Covid protocol? Recalling his visit to the fertility clinic on June 1, Ramu said, “When we reached the Kancheepuram 64 Chennai 1,493 Chelgalpattu 121 Tiruvannamalai 76 Villupuram 22 Kallakurichi 18 Cuddalore 90 Ariyalur 6 Nagapattinam 24 Tiruvarur 26 Thanjavur 44 Pudukkottai 1 Ramanathapuram 30 TALLY 25,863 active cases The State has tested 29,963 persons on Sunday, against 32,186 on Saturday. As many as 1,438 people were discharged on Sunday, leaving TN with 25,863 active cases. TOLL 2,532 53 59,377 757 Highest single-day spike in cases, deaths in TN FRESH Covid-19 cases and deaths across TN touched alltime highs on Sunday with the State reporting 2,532 cases and 53 deaths. The State capital, once again, topped the districts with 1,493 cases and 42 deaths. The Statewide tally is now 59,377 and toll 757, while the figures for Chennai are 41,172 and 601 respectively . Among those to test positive is Rishivandhiyam MLA Vasantham K Karthikeyan (DMK), who is being treated at a private hospital in Coimbatore. While Chennai and its neighbouring districts of Chengalpattu (121), Kancheepuram (64) and Tiruvallur (120) continue to contribute the most cases to the tally, the rest of the State has started reporting more cases. On Sunday, Cuddalore reported 90 cases, followed by Vellore (87), Tiruvannamalai (76) and Madurai (68). An analysis of data shows that samples tested in Chennai and its surrounding districts rose by 38.7 per cent from June 7 to June 20, while it rose by 39.3 per cent for the rest of the State. However, while only 10 per cent of the cases reported on June 7 were from outside Chennai and its three surrounding districts, that figure tripled to 31 per cent on June 20, showing a huge spike in cases reported from other districts. Three of the deceased had no co-morbidities. Grandson of producer B Nagi Reddy and trustee of Vijaya Hospital Sarath Reddy is among those who died on Friday . GST in play during sale of developed plots ALL FOR A SON DESPITE being a loving mother of two teenaged daughters, 48-year-old Roja* longed for a son. It was this longing that led her to undergo intrauterine insemination (IUI). The insemination proved to be a success and she gave birth to twins – a boy and a girl. However, her happiness lasted only three days, as she died of Covid at Government Rajaji Hospital on Dharmapuri 5 Salem 10 Erode 7 Tiruchy 35 Namakkal 2 Coimbatore 12 Karur 5 Tirupur 4 Dindigul 26 Theni 7 Madurai 68 Virudhunagar 13 Tenkasi 22 Kanniyakumari 6 Tiruvallur 120 Vellore 87 @ Chennai @ New Delhi L A L I T H A R A N J A N I @ Madurai Ranipet 2 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE THOUSANDS of Indians who hold H-1B visas or have applied for one recently were on tenterhooks on Sunday as US President Donald Trump indicated that he is preparing to sign an executive order suspending work visas as millions of Americans struggle with job losses amid the Covid-19 pandemic. An announcement is expected in the next two days. “We are going to be announcing something tomorrow or the next day on the visas. You need them for big businesses where they have certain people that have been coming in for a long time, but very little exclusion and they (restrictions) are pretty tight,” he said in an interview with a local media house. The action is likely to affect H1-B and L-1 visa holders the most. VISA According to Bloomberg News one possibility is that the order would restrict people from entering the US on work visas, including H-1B, for 180 days. Workers who have already been granted those visas, but are outside the US may not be able to enter the country until the order expires. Those already in the US are unlikley to be affected. But, the proposed action may affect those who are waiting for their H-1B visas to be stamped. The stampings were halted as the US consulates closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic. “I returned to India for my H1-B stamping and then the pandemic happened. Now, with the consulates closed and talk of restrictions being imposed, I don’t what to do. I hope renewals would be exempt,” said Sai Srinivas Penumarthi a software engineer. TA M I L N A DU COV I D -1 9 BAT T L E clinic for a routine check-up, she was admitted there over the fear of her contracting the infection if she stepped out frequently As per their advice, we . went to a private hospital on Melur Main Road for Covid test. The results came negative.” On June 14, Roja took anoth- If this is how a Covid patient is handled at the fertility clinic, one would not know how many such patients have been discharged as casually as my wife was - Ramu (name changed) er Covid test and the samples were collected at the clinic. On June 15, the head of the chain of fertility clinics told Ramu that Roja had tested positive. “I was told to get her immediately admitted to the Government Rajaji Hospital. After paying around `55,000 for the 15-day hospital stay and spend, ing around `7 lakh for the IUI procedure, we were out on road all by ourselves.” P4 (*Name changed) LEVY ON ADDING AMENITIES Selling a plot with amenities like power/water connection to attract GST as they are a supply of service, ARR rules Activities like construction of boundary walls and laying cables and water pipelines are part of its development; sellers charge rates on super built-up basis, it pointed out At present, sale of plot attracts only stamp duty GST, attracts only stamp duty— as is the case for a building that has received a completion certificate. But the AAR observed that such transactions would be out of the GST net only if they “exclusively deal with transfer of title or transfer of ownership of land”. In the case of a developed plot with amenities, the AAR held that GST should be applicable since clause 5(b) of Schedule-II of the CGST Act defines the ‘construction of a complex intended for sale to a buyer’ as a supply of service. CONTINUED ON: P10 Remdesivir a week away, but chemists won’t get it V N I L E S H @ Hyderabad HYDERABAD-BASED Hetero Drugs has been given approval by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to manufacture and market the antiviral drug remdesivir. The drug was recently authorised as an investigational therapy under emergency medical use against the novel Coronavirus by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). The DCGI also gave a similar approval to another pharmaceutical company, Cipla. According to a media statement issued by Hetero Drugs, the drug has been granted approval by DCGI for the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed cases of Covid-19 in adults and children, hospitalised with severe symptoms of the disease and has to be administered intravenously in a hospital setting under the supervision of a healthcare practitioner. Speaking to the Express, the company officials said the drug which will be sold under brand name ‘Covifor’ will be delivered within one week. The drug will be delivered only through gover nment channels and will be supplied to only government hospitals as Covid-19 treatment is being done mostly at government hospitals and the drug is still listed by the ICMR as an investigational therapy . The drug will be available in the form of an injectable medicine in 100mg vials and each vial is expected to cost between `5,000 and `6,000. The final price is yet to be decided. The ICMR in its ‘Clinical Management Protocol: Covid-19’ has recommended a 200 mg dose through IV on day 1, followed by 100mg through IV daily for five days.
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