CHENNAI THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 03, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 20 LATE CITY EDITION AIIMS, HEALTH MINISTRY RELEASE FAQs FOR DOCTORS AIIMS and Union health ministry on Wednesday released guidelines to help doctors better manage Covid-19 patients UNNECESSARY DRUGS TO BE AVOIDED ‘USE PLASMA THERAPY WITH CAUTION’ According to the guidelines, there is no evidence to support the use of antifibrotic agents such as pirfenidone (to prevent lung fibrosis) and methylene blue, an oxidation reduction agent. Doctors have also been asked not to use favipiravir, an antiviral that has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India for use in mild to moderate cases | P9 ■ ■ The FAQs said convalescent plasma collected from ABO matched donors can be given to patients at risk of developing severe Covid in early stages of the disease “However, it should also be considered an experimental therapy and should be used with caution,” the document said 8,01,282 ACTIVE COVID-19 PATIENTS IN INDIA, ACCORDING TO UNION HEALTH MINISTRY 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 WHERE INDIA STANDS IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY SLUMP Of the 60 countries that have released GDP growth/ contraction figures for the AprilJune 2020 quarter, India is the third-worst affected China Vietnam Taiwan South Korea Norway Indonesia Australia Israel Sweden US Japan Germany Canada Singapore Austria Colombia Philippines Malaysia Italy France Mexico UK Spain India Peru Macau +3.2 +0.3 -0.6 -3 -5.3 -5.4 -6.3 -7.8 -8.3 -9.1 -9.9 -11.3 -13.0 -13.2 -13.3 -15.7 -16.5 -17.1 -17.7 -18.9 -19.0 -21.7 -22.1 -23.9 -30.2 -67.8 Figures are year-on-year growth of GDP in % Source: Eurostat, Bloomberg Army gets better tactical position in Finger 4 area Some readjustments in deployment of troops also carried out on the northern bank of the Pangong lake; talks inconclusive M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi IN a significant initiative, the Indian Army consolidated its tactical positions around Finger 4 on Sunday while they thwarted Chinese attempts to position themselves in new locations on the southern bank of the Pangong Lake. “To consolidate tactical positions, India has picked up ridges which are at heights around the Finger 4 as militarily things would not have been tenable if the situation turned hot,” a senior officer explained. The Indian Army has its administrative camp on the foothills of the Finger. Explaining the significance of the initiative, the officer said, “Heights are important in mountains for movement and reactions. The Chinese till now had an upper hand as they sat on the high ridges. Now we are around them at places where they were not there.” However, the Army sought to deny reports of Indian troops occupying heights at Finger 4, saying what happened on the ground were ‘readjustments’. “As part of the precautionary deployment carried out on 30 August 2020, some readjustments of our positions on north bank of Pangong Tso Lake on our side of LAC had also been carried out,” it said. Chinese troops entered up to Finger 4 and had not agreed to move back to their previous position of Finger 8. The mountain spurs jutting towards the PUBG TOO ON BANNED LIST India on Wednesday increased its squeeze by banning 118 more mobile apps, including PUBG, citing data privacy concerns and threat to national security | P13 Some of the 118 that have been barred PUBG Mobile PUBG Mobile Lite Baidu Exp. Edition Baidu APUS Security Alipay FaceU Cut Cut CamCard Hi Meitu WeChat reading Government WeChat Tencent Weiyun APUS Launcher Pro ShareSave by Xiaomi Learn Chinese AI VPN for TikTok Beauty Camera Plus Tencent Watchlist lake are termed as the fingers in military parlance. The Army not only thwarted Chinese attempts but also consolidated Indian military deployments on the higher features overlooking the important Spanggur Gap and also on Rechin La. On Monday Army spokesper, son Colonel Aman Anand had said, “Indian troops pre-empted PLA activity on the southern bank of Pangong Tso Lake, undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwarted Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground.” India had blocked Chinese attempts to occupy heights and positioned its soldiers at Rechin La, which is about 2.5-3 km from Rezang La along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on the Indian 224 Total Chineselinked mobile apps banned by India so far 59 Apps were part of the first lot that were banned in June 29. It included TikTok and UC Browser 47 More clones and variants of those banned in June were barred later side. On Tuesday China accused , India of crossing the LAC, which was promptly rebutted. Since then, three Brigade Commander-level flag meetings have taken place but without any consensus on resolving the new tension. In the military movement of Sunday a person, nel of the Special Frontier Force (SFF) lost his life in a mine blast close to the area of operations. The SFF comprises personnel of Tibetan origin. In Washington, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called out China, saying it is engaged in a “clear and intensive intensifying pattern of bullying” its neighbours from Taiwan to the Himalayas. He hoped for a peaceful resolution of the LAC P9 situation. Oppn fumes as Question hour scrapped in Parl session EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi OPPOSITION parties on Wednesday hit out at the Centre for its decision to do away with the Question Hour in the monsoon session of Parliament starting September 14. Reacting sharply to the news, several Opposition MPs said it reflects the autocratic mindset of the BJPled government. The MPs said the government cannot run away from key questions on important issues ranging from Covid-19, lockdown, state of the economy, job crisis and trouble with China on the LAC. According to notifications issued by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats, there will be no Question Hour in the upcoming session. Besides, private members’ bills will not be taken up, while Zero Hour will be restricted. “If this is true, it is not just a violation of a member’s right, but it also means that the government is uncomfortable answering questions on their gove r n a n c e. G ove r n m e n t i s answerable to people and any move to cancel Question Hour reflects the autocratic mindset of Government,” said senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Mallikarjun Kharge. The Congress said questioning the government is the lifeblood of parliamentary democ- Big bureaucratic reform initiative to build capacity gets Cabinet approval M A N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi SEEKING to shift the focus of civil servants from rules to roles, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to launch “Mission Karmayogi”, which aims to continuously reskill and add to their capacity . The whole programme will be monitored by the prime minister, who will head an HR Council consisting of experts drawn from India and abroad. To create the necessary infrastructure, a special purpose vehicle will be floated to provide technological support, including building digital resources. The National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building has been designed because bureaucrats generally work in silos with few exchange of ideas, bogged down as they are in file work. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the new programme will radically improve the human resource management practices in the government. Within the ruling dispensation, there is a sense that bureaucrats have not really been delivering as per expectation, hence the new initiative. However, it drew mixed reactions from veteran civil servants. Rooted in Indian culture, learning from abroad The programme aims to ensure that civil servants remain entrenched in Indian culture and sensibilities while learning from the best institutions and practices across the world. Mission Karmayogi will focus on individual civil servants and institutional capacity building, with resources and benefits being made available to the ranks of section officers to secretaries. Officials will be allowed to choose their fields of interest “The main challenge currently is the politicisation of the civil services. The political masters control the civil services, wielding punitive powers to transfer. Despite talented youngsters joining the civil services with a lot of idealism, the civil services have been controlled by the politicians,” said Shankar Sen, a former IPS officer, who had been Director of the Sardar Patel Police Academy Hyderabad. , However, Badal Chatterjee, a former civil servant, concurred with the government, saying the intentions were always there in spirit and the Cabinet has only sought to put them in letter. “Barring individual excellence, bureaucrats have been seen working as babus, sticking with files, while their field experiences and motivation of serving the public is taking a back seat,” said Chatterjee, while speaking to this newspaper. racy. By doing away with this tool of accountability, the BJP government seeks to pass laws without any discussion, the party alleged. “Parliament overall working hours remain the same so why cancel Question Hour? Pandemic excuse to murder democracy ,” tweeted TMC MP Derek O’Brien. Congress Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “This Govt seeks to reduce Parliament to a notice-board.” No time, says BJP There won’t be enough time for questions as the two Houses will convene only for four hours daily, BJP leader Anil Baluni said, adding that unstarred questions will be allowed. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had spoken to all parties and they all supported this move, he claimed. “But now they have changed their stand,” he alleged EXPRESS READ I-T sleuths initiate proceedings against Sasikala’s properties Chennai: Sleuths from the Income Tax Department (Benami Prohibition) on Wednesday stuck notices at an under construction bungalow allegedly belonging to ousted AIADMK leader VK Sasikala who is currently lodged at Parapahana Agrahara prison in Bengaluru. The sleuths had recently attached 65 properties of Sasikala worth `300 crore under the Benami Act. The land opposite former CM J Jayalalithaa’s residence Veda Nilayam, containing a total of nine grounds and 820 square foot in door number 95, was allegedly purchased by Sasikala through a shell company | P3 Controversy at Justice Mishra’s farewell as Dave’s mike muted New Delhi: Controversy continued to surround Justice Arun Mishra even on his retirement day with Supreme Court Bar Association president Dushyant Dave alleging his mike was muted on purpose during the virtual meeting. According to Dave, his mike was muted when it was his turn to speak | P9 TIMELY GESTURE Fulfilling career dreams of Covid warriors’ kids SAHAYA NOVINSTON LOBO @ Chennai A happy Senthamizh, flanked by her parents, after receiving admission letter to join college | DEBADATTA MALLICK SENTHAMIZH was always fascinated by agriculture, and aspired to study it as a subject in college. But her parents, who work with the police department, were so busy with the Covid containment works that they could not help their daughter, who passed Class 12 this year, pursue her dreams. The department anticipated that something like this would happen this year — as other priorities of the frontline warriors took a backseat. It made ar rang ements for Senthamizh and 122 others like her to pursue a career of their choice. Of them, 50 have been given a full waiver of their course fee. The initiative is a brainchild of Police Commissioner Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal, who reached out to various institutions with a request for admissions to children of police fighting Covid. “I have never been away from my parents for so long,” says Senthamizh. “They sent me to our native village when the pandemic began. I guess they did not want me to be around them to save me from the risk of exposure to the virus. But, whenever I contacted them about college admission, they were busy. The course I wanted to pursue have limited seats in a few colleges. I was worried I would not get admission by the time my parents get free.” Senthamizh’s father is a sub inspector; her mother is a constable. The Commissioner’s initiative revived the teenager’s hopes. She got enrolled for a B.Sc course in Plant Biology and Biotechnology . P2 SETC to resume inter-district bus services from Sept 7 B A N B U S E LV A N @ Chennai AFTER almost six months, public bus services in all districts will resume from September 7. The State Express Transport Corporation (SETC), which caters to long distance commuters, has decided to introduce non-AC buses from Chennai to various districts. The Southern Railway’s seven special trains, which were being operated till June 29, will also resume services on the same day . “Initially 400 non-AC sleeper , and semi-sleeper buses would begin services from the midnight of September 6,” said K Elangovan, Managing Director of SETC. “The vehicles will leave from the CMBT as usual. For now, no services are being offered to travel to other States.” As the demand is likely to be low due to the pandemic, the focus is only on high-demand routes, added officials. As per the government guidelines, buses will operate with only 60 per cent capacity Online ticket . bookings will begin soon. Private buses, on the other hand, are unlikely to resume operations immediately, as it would be financially unviable. “Right now we do not have the permission to resume services. Even if permission is granted, we cannot do business with just 60 per cent occupancy,” said A Afzal, president of Tamil Nadu Omni Bus Owners’ Association. “The only way to do it would be to double the fare.” On Day 1 of the Unlock 4.0, about 6,090 buses —which accounts for 27 per cent of the fleet of eight transport corporations — resumed services. The TN COVID BATTLE FRESH CASES DEATHS 5,990 98 Chennai reported 1,025 fresh cases on Wednesday, while Coimbatore reported an increase with 579 testing positive. It was followed by Cuddalore (405), Salem (403), Chengalpattu (390) and Tiruvallur (285). The State now has 52,380 active cases, while Chennai city has 12,537. Pvt buses unlikely to resume services Initially, 400 non-AC sleeper and semi-sleeper SETC buses will begin services from the midnight of September 6. Private buses, on the other hand, are unlikely to resume operations immediately, as it would be financially unviable. transport corporation reportedly incurs a loss of over `9 crore per day on account of suspension of bus services. “Now that inter-district services are allowed, all six divisions of TNSTC will resume operations, gradually,” an official said.
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