KOTTAYAM l FRIDAY l JULY 31, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION TRUMP DEMANDS ELECTIONS BE POSTPONED AMID COVID For the first time, US President Donald Trump on Thursday floated the idea of delaying the November 3 election DON RAILS AGAINST MAIL-IN VOTING ARE HIS CLAIMS ON FRAUD RIGHT? The president once again railed against the mail-in voting system set to be used widely in November due to Covid-19. “With Universal Mail-In Voting, 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. Delay the Election until people can securely and safely vote???,” he tweeted. As per the rules, only Congress can change the election date ■ ■ Experts do agree that chances of fraud are higher when votes are cast via mail than in-person at a poll booth. But, there’s no evidence to suggest mail-in voting leads to widespread fraud. His demand comes as several polls in recent weeks have shown him trailing rival Joe Biden, even in some conservative states 6 points JOE BIDEN’S LEAD OVER TRUMP IN LATEST POLL BY RASMUSSEN REPORTS 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 State starts calibrated reopening of sectors Modi snubs China’s A day after Centre announced its Unlock 3.0 guidelines and lifted night curfew, state govt decides to restart KSRTC long-distance services, allow controlled fishing activities EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram People purchase goods from small shops at Nadakkavu in Kozhikode on the eve of Bakrid on Thursday as some of the major markets in the city remained closed since they were in the containment zones. Bakrid will be celebrated across the state by adhering to the Covid-19 protocol | T P SOORAJ Asymptomatic health workers can stay at home T’Puram: The asymptomatic healthcare workers can now stay at home and undergo strict room quarantine with the permission of the Covid nodal officer at their institution. The treatment plan will be implemented on a trial basis, said the CM. P2 Coastal health action plan ready T’Puram: The Health Department has decided to roll out a coastal health action plan in the 222 fishing villages in the state. The plan envisions testing facility and CFLTCs within a village. P2 MLA booked for violating protocol T’Puram: The Pangode police have booked Vamanapuram MLA D K Murali for protocol violation during a function on July 19. Murali allegedly violated social distancing norms while attending a DYFI programme. AFTER many weeks of stringent Covid-related restrictions, the state government on Thursday announced the resumption of long-distance KSRTC bus services from Saturday and the lifting of trawling ban next week. With the Centre’s Unlock 3.0 guidelines set to remove night curfew from August 1 and allow gymnasiums and yoga institutes to function, the state government too is hinting at a calibrated reopening of various sectors. “KSRTC will resume longdistance services within the state from August 1,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said during his daily briefing. With the suspension of longdistance services, KSRTC -since June 26 -- has been using relay services connecting neighbouring districts to facilitate long-distance travel. The schedules were arranged in a manner allowing for passengers to alight in the nearest district to catch connection buses to further their journeys. The relay services will run parallel to the long-distance services for at least a week, said an officer with KSRTC. “The number of long-distance buses will be less to start with, but will be increased gradually depending on the passenger demand,” said the officer. The services will follow the Covid-19 protocol, with no stoppages within containment zones. With the trawling ban coming to an end, controlled fishing in strict adherence to the Covid protocol will be allowed in the state from August 5, the CM said. Auctioning of fish will be banned. Boats will be allowed to operate, including in containment zones, every alternate day based on their registration numbers. Fish obtained from containment zones can be sold only in those areas and fishermen are not allowed to move out to sell fish. “Excess catch will reach markets through cooperative societies,” he said. After work, fishers are to return to the same place from where they set out for fishing. Local-level committees, comprising harbour management society members, fishermen representatives and officials, will be constituted to fix the price and to control the fishing activities and sales. ● More on P4 506 +VE VS 794 RECOVERIES Only the results that came until Thursday afternoon were considered due to technical issues on the ICMR website. 75% of the new patients infected through local transmission The state witnessed yet another cremation by a Christian church on Thursday. The body of Kalappurackal Lucy, 91, was consigned to flames at St Michael’s Church cemetery in Chembumukku, Ernakulam. P2 We had expected a huge surge in cases. However, the rate of spread has not crossed our estimation and Kerala is faring well when compared to other states — Pinarayi Vijayan, CM SIX MONTHS OF STATE’S COVID FIGHT | P2, 4 T’Puram: A day after heavy downpour, no districts experienced significant showers in the past 12 hours that ended at 5.30pm on Thursday. However, the IMD has issued an orange alert in Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Idukki districts on Friday. P5 Customs officer transferred ON A RAFT AND A PRAYER Villagers use plantain tree to move to safer places from the flooded Goalbil area in Assam’s Baksa district on Thursday | PTI Promoting students without holding exams against norms, UGC tells Supreme Court K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi THE University Grants Commission (UGC) on Thursday told the Supreme Court that all universities and educational institutions are obligated to conduct final year examinations by September end as per its July 6 guidelines. The UGC filed a 50-page affidavit on a batch of petitions challenging its July 6 directive. “It is submitted that the UGC has issued such guidelines to protect the academic future of students across the country which will be irrepara- bly damaged if their final year/terminal examinations are not held, while also keeping in mind their health and safety,” the affidavit stated, adding that the final year/terminal semester examinations are important because the “lear ning process is a dynamic interaction where the only way to figure out what students know is to seek evidence of their knowledge and to evaluate it”. The UGC contended that the July 6 guidelines adequately account for the evolving situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, as they provide suf- ficient time till the end of September to conduct the exams and give sufficient flexibility to institutions to conduct exams through online, offline or blended route. It also added that those students who are unable to appear this year would be given a chance at a later date. The affidavit also criticised certain state governments (Maharashtra and Delhi) for cancelling the final year exams and deciding to graduate students and confer degrees without appearing for the exams. AFFABLE SAVIOUR At 79, Dr Pai is Vellarikkundu PHC’s health warrior G E O R G E P O I K AY I L @ Kasaragod HIS doddering gait can be deceiving. Those who don’t know A R Pai can mistake him to be another patient of Vellarikkundu Primary Health Centre (PHC). But then there aren’t many who don’t know him. At 79 years, Dr Pai is still one of the trusted health warriors of the PHC. At a time when the raging Covid has kept many a senior citi- IN a veiled attack on China’s debt diplomacy Prime Minister , Narendra Modi said on Thursday some nations were tricked into dependence partnerships in the guise of development partnerships, adding that India’s development cooperation does not come with any conditions. “History has taught us that in the name of development partnerships, nations were forced into dependence partnerships. It gave rise to colonial and imperial rule. It also gave rise to global power blocks,” Modi said at a virtual event where he jointly inaugurated the Supreme Court building of Mauritius with Mauritian P r i m e M i n i s t e r P r av i n d Jugnauth. “For India, the most fundamental principle in development cooperation is respecting our partners. This sharing of development lessons is our only motivation. That is why our development cooperation does not come with any conditions,” Modi said. China’s debt diplomacy involves striking favourable deals with countries that face huge debts which they cannot pay back. The prime example T O B Y A N T O N Y @Kochi CBI starts probe into Balabhaskar’s death Kochi: Actor Anil Murali, known for his villaineous and character roles in Malayalam movies, breathed his last in Kochi on Thursday. He was 51. The actor was undergoing treatment for liver ailment. The cremation will be held at Thycaud in the state capital on Friday. P5 P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi Disengagement not complete, says MEA Rejecting China’s claim on LAC disengagement, India said on Thursday it is still a work in progress. “There’s been some progress but the disengagement process has as yet not been completed,” said MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava of such tactics is the Sri Lankan port of Hambantota, which is currently in Chinese hands as Colombo is unable to pay back its debt. MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the SC building in Mauritius was an example of India’s ability to implement projects in various parts of the world. “The new Supreme Court building provides state of the art facilities. It is a fully green building. The project has been completed on schedule and at a cost below the initial estimates,” he said. CUSTOMS TO APPROACH MEA FOR QUESTIONING DIPLOMAT Rain subsides, orange alert in 4 dists today Actor Anil Murali dies at 51, cremation today beds ready in 176 places, says CM allaying concerns about state’s readiness 3rd cremation by Church held EXPRESS READ T’Puram: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered an FIR and started probe into the death of violinist Balabhaskar and his daughter in a road accident on September 25, 2018. The CBI T’Puram unit DySP T P Anandakrishnan has been appointed the investigation officer. P5 25,536 debt-trap diplomacy Dr A R Pai and Maya Pai zen indoors, Pai -- the fourth batch (1960) of Kozhikode Medical College -- is out at the hospital every day treating patients. , Every day 60 to 70 patients con, sult him at the hospital. “There are all kinds of patients, those with respiratory infections, urinary infection, dengue cases. I get at least three to four dengue cases daily he says. ,” After the consulting hours, he is available at the government quar- ters next door. “He doesn’t have a fixed consulting fee but some give `50 and he’s happy with that,” says Sudeesh P, who once approached him at 7pm after being bitten by a dog. “Dr Pai ensured I was treated at the PHC,” says Vellarikkundu resident. Dr Pai, a native of Payyannur, has been with the Vellarikkundu PHC as an assistant surgeon on an ad hoc basis for the past three● More on P4 and-half years. Customs Joint Commissioner Aniesh P Rajan, who landed in controversy for his comments soon after the seizure of gold smuggled through the diplomatic channel, has been transferred to Nagpur. SWAPNA SURESH, a key accused in the case of gold smuggling through the diplomatic channel, continues to reiterate the involvement of UAE Consulate former charge d’affaires Rashed Khamis Ali Musaiqri Alshemeili in the incident. The Customs will approach the Ministry of External Affairs for access to Rashed Khamis who has already left India. Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair are in the Customs custody now. According to sources, Swapna maintains that the smuggling was carried out with the assistance of Rashed. They had paid Rashed money in dollars whenever the consignment addressed to him got cleared from the airport. “Rashed is a crucial figure in the case. During interrogation, Swapna, Sandeep, Sarith P S and K T Rameez still point to Rashed’s involvement. There were frequent calls between Swapna and Rashed whenever gold consignments reached the airport. We will try to get access to him. We will approach the Ministry of External Affairs with a request. However, it will be for the UAE to decide. We will complete all formalities from our side as his version is crucial in the case,” a source ● More on P4 said.
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