KOTTAYAM l THURSDAY l JUNE 25, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION MAKE COVID-19 TESTING WIDELY AVAILABLE: ICMR PUSH FOR RAPID ANTIGEN TESTS Since widespread testing is necessary to bring Covid-19’s spread under control, all symptomatic individuals in the country must be able to get themselves tested without any hassle, the new advisory says. To speed up the process, all hospitals and accredited labs have been told to use the faster and cheaper antigen-based testing in addition to RT-PCR tests In light of mounting Covid cases, the ICMR on Tuesday issued a new advisory listing additional strategies to boost testing DAILY CASES TOUCH NEW HEIGHTS ■ ■ A negative result in antigen-based testing would lead to an RT-PCR test, to ensure that the sample is negative. But those testing positive needs no further testing, the advisory says India recorded a fresh 15,968 Covid-19 cases in a day on Wednesday. The total confirmed cases now stand at 4.56 lakh 73.5 lakh SAMPLES HAVE BEEN TESTED FOR COVID-19 IN INDIA TILL JUNE 23 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 LOC GALWAN VALLEY JAMMU & KASHMIR LAC LADAKH Urban and multi-state co-op banks in RBI grip Cabinet okays the ordinance route for central bank’s supervision; C4.84 lakh crore deposits of around 8.6 crore customers secured EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi A satellite image taken on June 22 along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh shows structures built by troops on the tense border region | AP AMID DIPLOMATIC TALKS, CHINA KEEPS UP ITS BLAME GAME Eastern Ladakh. The Indian side conveyed its concerns on the recent developments in INDIA and China on Wednes- Eastern Ladakh, including on day held diplomatic talks and the violent face-off in Galwan agreed to maintain communi- Valley area on 15th June that cation to resolve the existing had resulted in casualties. In situation peacefully even as the this regard, it was emphasised Chinese defence ministry and that both sides should strictly foreign ministry continued to respect and observe the Line of blame India for the June 15 vio- Actual Control (LAC),” a statelent face-off and reiterated ment from the Ministry of Extheir claim to the Galwan Val- ternal Affairs said. ley area. According to the MEA, the Also, Chinese detwo sides reaffirmed fence ministry spokesthat they should sinNo contact person Wu Qian’s between def cerely implement the claim that the defence understanding of disministers ministers of both engagement and deChinese defence sides were in commuescalation that was ministry nication over phone reached between senspokesperson Wu after the June 15 inciior commanders on dent, was rubbished Qian’s claim that June 6. “The two delethe defence by India. “No convergations agreed that sation took place be- ministers of both implementation of sides were in tween the two ministhis understanding exters,” highly placed communication peditiously, in accordsources in the minis- over phone after ance with the bilateral the June 15 try of defence said. agreements and protoincident, was At the 15th meeting cols, would help enrubbished by of the Working Mechsure peace and tranIndia anism for Consultaquillity in border tion and Coordination areas and the developon India-China Border Affairs, ment of broader relationship the Indian side was represent- between the two countries. ed by Joint Secretary (East Earlier in the day, the ChiAsia) Naveen Srivastava while nese defence ministry demandthe Chinese delegation was led ed that Indian troops to be withby the director general of the drawn from Galwan Valley and department of boundary and accused Indian diplomats and oceanic affairs of the Chinese media personnel of spreading foreign ministry . ‘large amounts of fake news’. “The two sides discussed in Its foreign ministry spokesperdetail the developments in the son Zhao Lijian accused the InIndia-China border areas, in dian side of going against the particular the situation in bilateral agreement. P U S H K A R B A N A K A R & M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi Army Chief Manoj Mukund Naravane speaks to a soldier as he reviews the ground situation in Eastern Ladakh, days after an India-China clash, on Wednesday | PTI T H E U n i o n C ab i n e t o n Wednesday approved an ordinance to bring 1,482 urban cooperative banks and 58 multistate cooperative banks under the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) ambit. RBI supervision will begin from the date the President grants his approval, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said at a virtual press conference after the Cabinet meeting. The ordinance will help protect the savings of about 8.6 crore customers of these banks, who collectively have `4.84 lakh crore in deposits. T he proposal was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech, in the wake of Punjab and Maharashtra Bank fiasco last year. In February, the Union Cabinet amended the Banking Regulation Act to strengthen cooperative banks. The Cabinet also approved two schemes announced by Sitharaman under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package last month, including the establishment of an Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund and 2% interest subsidy under the ‘Shishu’ category of the flagship Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY). Other decisions 2% interest subvention approved on prompt repayment of Shishu loans under the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana for a period of 12 months H15,000 CRORE Additional investment for further development of Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund set-up SHWE OIL AND GAS PROJECT Kushinagar Airport in UP declared as an International Airport Private sector participation in space activities approved in Myanmar approved Tenure of commission to examine the issue of sub-categorisation within Other Backward Classes in the Central List to get extension The Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund, with a corpus of `15,000 crore will be used to help animal husbandry improve milk , production, boost exports and create jobs. The Centre will provide 3% interest subvention to eligible beneficiaries. Javadekar added that this will help create 35 lakh jobs. Borrowers under the ‘Shishu’ category of the Mudra scheme already get collateralfree loans of up to `50,000. They will now get 2% subsidy for outstanding as on March 31, for 12 months, Javadekar said. The scheme is meant to incentivise people who regularly repay their loans. The PMMY was launched by Modi on April 8, 2015 for providing loans up to `10 lakh to non-corporate, non-farm small and micro enterprises. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday approved additional investment of $121.27 million (about `909 crore) by ONGC Videsh Ltd for further development of two blocks in Myanmar. This will be used for the Shwe oil and gas project in Myanmar blocks. OVL had invested $722 million as of March 31 last year in the project. The Cabinet meeting also decided the extend the tenure of a commission that is examining the issue of sub-categorisation within the Other Backward Classes, by six months - till January 31, 2021. This was done in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown. The I&B minister also said the Cabinet has approved the declaration of Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh as an international airport. SSLC results on June 30, HSE on July 10 Cancel final-year univ exams, says UGC panel E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi THE results of the SSLC and HSE/VHSE examinations will be announced on June 30 and July 10, respectively . “The valuation of the SSLC answer sheets has been completed while that of HSE papers will take three more days to get over. Hence the delay in announcing the HSE/VHSE results,” General Education Department Secretary A Shahjahan said. The state had postponed some of the examinations due to the Covid outbreak and subsequent lockdown, and conducted them only last month. As many as 4.78 lakh students had appeared for the SSLC examination and 8.9 lakh for HSE/VHSE. The students who missed the examinations due to lockdown will be allowed to appear for them during the Save a Year exams. A University Grants Commission (UGC) panel has recommended that final year exams in universities and colleges across India be cancelled in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Students can be evaluated on the basis of their performances in previous semester exams as well as the internals, the panel told the Union human resource development ministry on Wednesday . Wait till The panel, led by Haryana University October to vice-chancellor R C Kuhad, said exams for start classes the final semester, due in July as per the revised academic calendar, can also not be The UGC panel held as Covid-19 continues to pose a threat. recommended So, what if students are unhappy with that the new the results based on their previous perforacademic year, mances? The panel suggested that they which was to can be given a chance to improve their start in scores by taking the exams later on, once September for the pandemic threat subsides. senior students The UGC is expected to release a comand in August for prehensive guideline for institutions of freshers, be put higher education, later this week. on hold till In April, as Covid-19 cases in India were October. rising, the UGC recommended that the exams be pushed to July The new recommendations were made . after the HRD ministry asked the higher education regulator to revisit its earlier guidelines and suggest alternate ways to assess students. “The ministry made it clear that the foundation for revisited guidelines shall be the health and safety of students, teachers,” an official said. IMF pegs contraction of India’s GDP this year at 4.5% EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad INDIA’S economy is going hell for leather with the IMF projecting FY21 GDP growth to contract by 4.5%. Such a sharp revision from its April estimate of 1.9% growth offers a withering assessment of the economic slowdown prolonged by the pandemic-induced lockdown and slower recovery . But IMF’s latest World Eco- nomic Report estimates, in its own words, are inscrutable due to a higher-than-usual degree of uncertainty which is to say , that the actual growth decline could be fiercer than all forecasts. Global growth too is projected to shrink 4.9% in 2020 as against its previous estimate of 3%. But the startling news is not so much about the extraordinary collapse in growth, but its recovery, the direction of HIGHEST GDP CONTRACTION (Numbers in %) -6 -8.4 Canada -9 -12 -15 -7.8 Germany -10.2 UK -12.8 Italy -12.8 Spain -8 US -10.5 Mexico -12.5 France which the multilateral agency has no hold on. If forced lockdowns choked economies’ lungs, an uncertain recovery has left countries gasp for breath, literally landing them at the death’s door. Two things await us -- a faster recovery and a potential second wave of infections. The world’s fortunes and individuals’ fate depends on which one reaches us first and survives longer than the other. Until three months ago, India was one of the only two emerging economies with a potential to turn in positive growth. Now, that job is left to one country, which unsurprisingly, is China. Having reopened its economy in April, it’s expected to punch in positive growth of 1% this fiscal and 8.2% next. In 2020, barring China, all other countries, for the first time, will witness negative growth, as per IMF. 17 of 35 workers +ve on return, migrants’ comeback in trouble DHINESH KALLUNGAL & G O P I K A V A R R I E R @ Thrissur HAVING hitched a risky ride on midnight trains and buses to their home states from Kerala after the coronavirus outbreak, migrant labourers may not find it easy to return to the state. Not when around half the workers from one group test positive for Covid-19, as happened in Thrissur. As many as 17 migrant labourers — out of 35 West Bengal natives brought by a private contractor for work on the KSEB power grid — have tested positive, 12 on Wednesday . The health authorities are keeping their fingers crossed on the result of the remaining 18 migrants, whose samples have been collected. While these 17 cases were unexpected, the development has pushed the total number of active cases in Thrissur to 127. “All 35 were placed under quarantine in Chalakudy after their arrival on June 15. Among those infected, 12 labourers are aged between 20 and 40,” District Medical Officer Dr K J Reena told TNIE. While their number is not a big proposition, the percentage of cases in a group that came from West Bengal is worrying. It is set to have a direct bearing on the arrival of migrants, who had gone to their native places but are now exploring ways to return to work. Many employers have started approaching the state government seeking permission to bring migrant workers back to the state. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said a surveillance system will be put in place at border railway stations. Migrant labourers arriving to the state will have to KERALA CASE DIARY 152 cases reported on Wednesday 1,693 are under treatment 1,888 State reports 150+ cases for first time 3,603 cases confirmed so far 22 DEATHS recovered GOVT CLIMBS DOWN ON -VE CERTIFICATE T’Puram: The state government on Wednesday said Covid -ve certificate is mandatory only for NRKs returning from countries where test is available. P2 T’PURAM COLLECTOR ADMITS TO LAPSES Thiruvananthapuram District Collector Navjot Khosa has said there were lapses on the part of GH and MCH in the case of delay in testing Rameshan of Vanchiyoor, who died of Covid. undergo a 14-day quarantine. But the expenses for the sequestering facility will have to be borne by the contractors, he said. “Some migrant labourers arrived without valid documents and others didn’t have a contractor. They were not allowed to enter the state. Such migrant labourers should be shifted to the nearest institutional quarantine facility The . respective district administration should ensure it,” he said. EXPRESS READ SNDP union secy found hanging in office room Alappuzha: The body of K K Mahesan, the secretary of SNDP Yogam Kanichukulangara Union, was found hanging inside its office on Wednesday. Mahesan was a close aide of SNDP Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan. The police recovered a note. P4 Actor abduction: HC no to spl judge transfer Rehana booked for offensive video Kochi: The High Court has kept in abeyance the order transferring Honey M Varghese, Special Judge, Ernakulam, who is currently hearing the actor abduction case involving actor Dileep, to Kozhikode. Examination of the victim and some witnesses had been completed. P5 Tiruvalla: The Tiruvalla police registered case against Rehana Fathima on Wednesday for allowing her children to paint on her semi-nude body and posting a video of the same on social media. The case was registered followed a complaint lodged by BJP OBC Morcha leader Arun Prakash. P4 Gang tries to con actor using TikTok ‘groom’ and Asharaf Saidu Mohammed, 52, Kundaliyoor – based FOUR people have been ar- on the complaint filed by rested for allegedly trying to Shamna’s mother Roulabi. extort money from actor They are on the lookout for Shamna Kasim. Police said two others. the four approached the The gang first conactor with a marriage tacted the actor, also proposal, showing known as Poorna, in her the photograph March with the proof a TikTok model posal and gave her from Kasaragod as the Kasaragod man’s the groom, and later contact. Claiming to threatened and demandbe from Kozhikode, Shamna Kasim they visited her house ed `1 lakh from her. Maradu police arrestat Maradu on June 3 ed the four hailing from and told her that they wanted Thrissur -- Rafeeq Moham- to take the proposal forward. med, 30, Ambalathu House, However, Shamna’s parents Va d a n a p p a l l y ; R a m e s h grew suspicious when the visKrishnan, 35, Korattikkara, itors started taking photoKunnamkulam; Sarath Siva- graphs and videos of the dasan, 25, Kaippamangalam; house and property ● More on P4 . E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi
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