MADURAI WEDNESDAY AUGUST 12, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 LATE CITY EDITION FACTORY OUTPUT SHRINKS FOR 4TH STRAIGHT MONTH Industrial production contracted 16.6% in June, at a slower pace than in May, amid a gradual reopening of factories MINING SECTOR DRAGS JUNE FIGURES IMPROVEMENT OVER APRIL, MAY Production fell 17.1% in the manufacturing sector in June, 19.8% in mining and 10% in power, as per the Index of Industrial Production. The overall 16.6% year-on-year contraction compares with a growth of 1.3% in June last year. For the April-June period, industrial production shrank by 35.9%, with the manufacturing sector contracting by 40.7% ■ ■ This is the 4th consecutive month factory output has shrunk, though the decline is lower compared with a staggering 57.6% y-o-y fall in April and 34% in May Production of primary goods in June declined by 14.6%, capital goods by 36.9% and intermediary goods 25.1% | P10 107.8 IS THE INDEX OF INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION FOR JUNE 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 CMs flag money woes as PM moots stricter testing Fund from NDRF sought EPS pointed out that the State has fully exhausted the State Disaster Response Fund, and sought an immediate grant of `1,000 crore from the National Disaster Relief Fund Modi says contacts of suspected cases should be traced and tested within 72 hours; Chief Ministers want relaxation in borrowing limits EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during a discussion with the Chief Ministers of 10 states via video-conferencing on Covid-19 situation on Tuesday | PTI These tests (RT-PCR) cost nearly `5 crore per day. I request the Central government to fund 50 per cent of the cost of RT-PCR tests from the PM CARES fund Edappadi K Palaniswami, CM ‘Need more ventilators’ Stating that the experts treating critically ill Covid patients have requested for a higher degree of ventilator care, Palaniswami requested funds for procuring high-end ventilators EPS seeks more Central funds to combat Covid pandemic E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai BRINGING to notice the fiscal crunch faced by the State government in fighting the Covid pandemic, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allot more funds to the State. During a video conference with Modi, Palaniswami also sought a share from the PM-CARES fund to finance the RT-PCR tests for Covid detection. While seeking an increase in the Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package allotted to Tamil Nadu from the present `712.64 crore to `3,000 crore, Palaniswami told Modi that Tamil Nadu is conducting an average of 65,000 Covid-19 tests every day “These tests . cost nearly `5 crore per day I request the Central government to . fund 50 per cent of the cost of RT-PCR tests from the PM - CARES fund.” The Chief Minister further said the tax revenue of the State is likely to fall short of the Budget estimates, and to make up for this shortfall, the State be allocated a special grant of `9,000 crore. @ New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked states to do contact tracing and testing within 72 hours of identifying Covid-19 cases, even as financial woes topped the concerns raised by chief ministers during the Covid-19 review meeting. Chief ministers of the 10 most affected states — Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, West Bengal, Bihar, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu — participated in the video-conference meeting. The CMs’ demands included higher allocation from State Disaster Relief Funds for Covid-19 expenses and higher borrowing limits under the Fiscal Responsibility Budgetary Management provisions without conditions. “There has been a 50% dip in the revenue in the first quarter. The Centre should give a liberal financial package to fill the gap, besides also helping in building the infrastructure for online education,” said Punjab CM Two critical ISRO facilities in Sriharikota shut even as northern dists feel virus heat E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai OPERATIONS were suspended at two critical facilities handling the GSLV Mk-3 and Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) projects at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on Tuesday after a surge in the coronavirus infections among the employees. Meanwhile, the Covid kitty of Tamil Nadu continued to swell after 5,834 fresh cases and 118 deaths were reported on the day, driving up the tally to 3,08,649 and the toll to 5,159. While Chennai’s share to the daily caseload came down to 986, its neighbouring districts and other northern districts continued to reel under the surge in infections. The situation in the undivided Vellore district, which comprises Vellore and the newly formed districts of Ranipet and Tirupathur, remains a cause for concern. As of Tuesday the , tally in the combined district was around 17,000 even as the district administrations scrambled to bring the situation under control. Among the 118 deaths reported on the day, 11 victims didn’t have any comorbidities. ‘Govt hospitals performing well’ Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, in a press release, said as per the chief minister’s order, government hospitals are also handling non-Covid cases. The minister said that from March to till date, over 27 lakh people were treated as in-patients in government hospitals while many more visited government-run healthcare facilities as outpatients. During the period, the government hospitals conducted 1,80,571 normal deliveries, 68,479 C-sections and also 1,29,206 deliveries at Comprehensive Emergency Obstetrics and New Born Care centres. When many private hospitals closed down due to the pandemic, government hospitals successfully handled non-Covid cases also, the P4 minister added. TN BATTLE FRESH CASES DEATHS 5,834 118 3,08,649 TOTAL CASES Northern surge Chennai 986 Chengalpattu 388 Kancheepuram 330 TESTS ON TUESDAY 67,492 65,490 Samples People WOMEN WARRIORS Indian army’s women soldiers patrol at Sadhna Pass in Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday. For the first time, women soldiers have been deployed along the Line of Control | PTI WORKING WONDERS Cracker of a class as teacher lights lamp of knowledge A Z E E F A F AT H I M A @ Virudhunagar Once you learn to read, you will be forever free — Frederick Douglass AT her arugamai palli (neighbourhood school), Jeyamary was reading out a children’s story to a group of tots sitting cross-legged. There was pin-drop silence, punctuated by an exclamation from one of them every now and then. The carefully articulated words of their teacher worked wonders in their vivid imagination. Jeyamary a teacher at K Madathu, patti Panchayat Union Elementary School, came up with the idea of setting up a ‘neighbourhood school’ at Thayilpatti near Sivakasi after witnessing the plight of workers at the cracker and matchstick units. With the units resuming operations, the workers were left with the options of either leaving their wards unattended or taking them to their high-risk work places. During a discussion with her friends, Jeyamary presented the idea of helping these workers by taking care of their wards. “It started as story-telling sessions every Friday using some books donated to my school by a publishing house,” Jeyamary said. “The children are also asked to express their thoughts about the stories they read and hear through drawings, speeches, poems and other creative expressions,” she said. Captain Amarinder Singh. He said the 35% cap on Covid-19 expenses in the State Disaster Response Fund is not enough. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said though the FRMB limit has been raised from 3% to 5%, the portion of the unconditional facility is only 0.5%. This, Covid fatality rate less than 2% for first time India’s Covid-19 fatality rate has slipped below 2% for the first time, the health ministry said. Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that less than 1% of Covid-19 patients are on ventilator, less than 3% on oxygen support and less than 4% are in ICU according to her, must be enhanced to 2%. She reminded the Centre it is yet to pay `53,000 crore, while also raising the issue of unpaid GST compensation. Banerjee also sought guidelines on the vaccination, while her Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar called upon the Centre to help with critical health equipment, including 5,000 oxygen concentrator. Kumar also sought two Covas-8800 machines to increase testing facilities in his state. According to Modi’s 72-hour formula, if anyone is tested positive, then all his or her contacts must be traced and tested within three days. “Eighty per cent of the Covid-19 cases are reported from the 10 states, and if the virus is defeated here, the country can emerge victorious,” the PM told the CMs, while sharing the roadmap employed in Delhi to tame the pandemic. He stressed that testing needs to be increased in Gujarat, Bihar, Telangana, West Bengal, and UP . Punjab CM Amarinder Singh asked the Centre to postpone the UGC exit examinations on September 30 saying his state is expected to witness the peak of the pandemic by then. Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray also supported the suggestion to put off examiniations. EVE-TEASING? UP Class 12 topper dies in mishap, kin allege harassment N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow A 20-year-old woman was killed in a road accident while reportedly trying to escape bike-borne eve-teasers in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district on Tuesday . The woman, Sudiksha Bhati, was a brilliant student, a topper who had scored 98% in her CBSE Class 12 exams and was studying at Babson College in the US. She had come home for the holidays and was due to return on August 20. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister ordered the Bulandshahr police to nab the culprits within 24 hours. Sudiksha was going to a relative’s place with her uncle Manoj Bhati when her scooter collided with a bike driven by a hooligan, her father Jitendra Bhati said. He further said Sudiksha was riding pillion when two bike-borne boys started harassing her and began performing stunts, which led to the accident. “She fell down and died on the spot,” he said. Bulandshahr’s district magistrate and police chief rejected the claims of harassment. The uncle Manoj Bhati said she had been harassed by two men. He had also insisted that he was riding on the bike. Officials, however, said Sudiksha was riding pillion with her young brother - “a minor” - when his motorcycle crashed into another bike that had abruptly stopped ahead of them “due to traffic”.
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