VILLUPURAM FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 11, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION RAT -VE IN ALL SYMPTOMATIC CASES NEED RT-PCR TEST: GOVT Covid symptomatic persons must be administered RT-PCR tests if their Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) results are negative WHAT ABOUT ASYMPTOMATIC CASES? Apart from symptomatic persons, those who were asymptomatic at the time of the Rapid Antigen Test, but developed symptoms within the next two to three days, must also be administered the RT-PCR test. In a letter to the states, the Centre said, “this is to ensure that symptomatic negative cases don’t remain untested and don’t spread the disease” 95,735 MECHANISM TO MONITOR RAT RESULTS ■ ■ The Centre has also urged the states to set up a monitoring mechanism at the district and state levels to analyse RAT results The directive comes amid concerns that the current spike in Covid-19 cases across India could be the result of over-reliance on RAT which misses positive cases about 50% of the time FRESH COVID CASES IN INDIA BETWEEN WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY MORNING 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 Jaishankar, Wang discuss LAC flare-up Rafale induction a stern message to those eyeing India’s sovereignty, warns Rajnath PUSHKAR BANAKAR & HARPREET B A J W A @ New Delhi/Ambala EXTERNAL Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Moscow on Thursday even as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, in an apparent reference to China, said the induction of the Rafale figher jet is a stern message to the entire world, especially those eyeing India’s sovereignty . This was the first face-to-face meeting between Jaishankar and Wang after the June 15 violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Galwan Valley in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The two leaders had a telephonic conversation a day later. Tensions escalated further on Monday with both sides accusing each other of opening gunfire on the southern bank of the Pangong Tso. India and China have an agreement in place since 1996, which prohibits the use of firearms within 2 km radius of the LAC. The Jaishankar-Wang meet comes close on the heels of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh meeting his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe on the sidelines of the SCO defence ministers’ meeting. Earlier in the day Jaishankar , met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and the Chinese foreign minister in a RussiaIndia-China (RIC) trilateral on the sidelines of the SCO foreign ministers’ meeting, where India assumed the chair of the grouping. However, sources said the LAC situation did not come up for discussion there, as only regional and global issues were discussed. Meanwhile, speaking at the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (L) and his Russian and Chinese counterparts Sergey Lavrov and Wang Yi, ahead of a meeting, in Moscow on Wednesday | PTI AGGRESSIVE LINE IN CHINESE GOVT MOUTHPIECE “Facts have proven that Indian nationalist forces yield to coercion, but not to persuasion. They very much need another lesson in failure before believing that China’s commitment to long-term border peace is not weakness,” Chinese govt mouthpiece Global Times said in an editorial induction ceremony of the Rafale at Ambala Air Force Station, Singh said, “The induction of Rafale jets is a big and stern message for the entire world, especially to those eye- ing our sovereignty This kind . of induction is very important for the kind of atmosphere that has been created on our borders.” The first fleet of five Rafale jets was formally inducted into the `Golden Arrows’ squadron of the IAF at this 78-year old air base in presence of French Defence Minister Florence Parly, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria. The five aircraft had arrived in Ambala on July 27. Singh said that the Indian Air Force’s deliberate and swift action near the LAC displays their commitment towards national security “The rapid de. ployment of IAF assets at forward bases created a trust that our Air Force was fully prepared to meet its operational obligations,’’ he said. Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said the induction of Rafales could not have happened at a more opportune time. “The Rafale aircraft along with the skills of the 17 Squadron of the `Golden Arrows’ will form a lethal combination and will challenge our adversaries,” he asserted. After SC’s whip, Centre sets up panel Proposal to reopen schools draws mixed to assess waiving interest on interest reaction from states EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE S EPTEMBER 21. That is from when schools can partially reopen, as per the Unlock 4.0 guidelines issued by the Centre. However, not all states are comfortable with the idea. Parents across the board are wary because of the pandemic though some senior students are upbeat. While Delhi and Congressruled Punjab turned it down, southern states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Telangana appear to be sitting on the fence for now. According to TN school education minister K A Sengottaiyan, any decision on reopening shall be taken only after there is some relief from the pandemic. Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, too, are yet to make up their minds. However, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand are gearing up to open schools for students of classes 9-12. As for Kerala, it will take up the matter at a state cabinet meeting on September 16. According to experts, it is inevitable that schools will have to open soon. “Online mode cannot replace the traditional classroom teaching method completely Hence students, es. pecially in higher classes, can be allowed to get guidance from teachers on an individual basis at schools,” said noted educationist R V G Menon. Kar nataka plans to announce its own guidelines shortly According to S Suresh . Kumar, minister for primary and secondary education, the state government has already taken steps for facilitating regular student-teacher interaction. “Not just of 9-10, children of all classes are engaged through Vidyagama,” he said. Vidyagama is a programme under which teachers meet stu- dents in their neighbourhood to conduct activities and clear their doubts. In Andhra Pradesh, the government is “mulling whether to ask teachers of all subjects to come every day in the regular school hours or whether to have specific days for specific subjects,” said Principal Secretary (Education) B Rajasekhar. Neighbouring Telangana and Maharashtra are yet to take their call.”A decision will be made based on the situation,” said R Rohini, District Education Officer of Hyderabad. Odisha doesn’t have plans to open schools anytime soon. All educational institutions in the state have been directed to remain closed till Durga Puja. Delhi, too, is wary. “Many parents requested us not open schools. I want to assure all of you that schools will remain closed till we are fully in control of the coronavirus,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said last month. There is no change in his position. According to Ashok Agarwal, president of the All India Parents Association, 80% of parents in Delhi are against school reopening. Though Rajasthan has not yet offered any official reaction, most teachers, students and parents don’t want schools to re-start from September 21. Assam is planning informal voluntary classes for students above Class V from the last week of this month. Haryana will start classes for students of classes 10-12 in two government schools on a trial basis, as most parents have given their consent, said a state government official. (With inputs from our bureaux in Bengaluru, T’Puram, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Delhi, Lucknow, Raipur , Patna, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ranchi, Bhopal and Mumbai) HOURS after the Supreme Court gave the Centre two more weeks to frame its position on the loan moratorium, the Union finance ministry constituted an expert committee to make an overall assessment on waiver of interest on interest. T he committee will be chaired by former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Rajiv Mehrishi and will have Ravindra H Dholakia, former member of the RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee, and B Sriram, former managing director of SBI and IDBI Bank, as members. The panel will submit its report in a week. Earlier on Thursday the apex , court extended its previous order on loan moratorium, saying accounts that have not been declared non-performing assets (NPAs) as on August 31 cannot be declared as such until further notice. The interim order will continue until the next hearing on September 28. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, while giving time to the Centre, observed that if the Centre is not ready to take any steps on interest on interest, it was keen to do so as the court saw it as a penal interest. During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought time to file a comprehensive affidavit on the decisions taken so far. The bench accepted his plea and asked him to place all decisions taken by the RBI and the banks before it for further consideration. “A decision must be taken after considering the interest of all classes of creditors and all the sectors of the economy the ,” court told Mehta. PRAYING BEFORE PREYING Priests from Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Christian communities perform ‘Sarva Dharma Puja’ during the induction ceremony of Rafale jets, at the Indian Air Force base in Ambala, Haryana on Thursday | PTI Green nod for Srivaikuntam Dam to route water for industrial belt S V K R I S H N A C H A I TA N YA @ Chennai THE regional empowered committee of the Union Environment Ministry (MoEF) on Thursday approved the proposal from the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board (TWAD) to release water from Srivaikuntam dam to industries for 25 years. The committee has asked the Environment and Forests Department to revoke the Government Order (GO), dated March 17, 2008, which permits TWAD to supply the dam water for drinking purposes only . The decision was taken during the 42nd meeting of the committee at its regional office in Chennai on August 14, of which TNIE has accessed the details. TWAD had earlier commissioned 20 million gallons of water per day (MGD) (roughly about 9.2 crore litres), under the Closed Circuit Scheme in 2011, for supplying drinkP2 ing water in Thoothukudi. Power connection norms simplified for farmers in State E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai IN a major relief for farmers, the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has eased the procedure of applying for power connections in agricultural land by amending the Electricity Distribution Codes. The guidelines will help farmers shift power connections from one place to another, and simplify the process of in- stalling ‘changeover switch’. The new amendments will benefit farmers who are co-owners of agricultural wells, and are unable to get a consent letter from their partners. “They can produce indemnity bonds, in lieu of the said consent,” stated a release. Similarly, to get a service connection, farmers owning a minimum of 0.5 acre land, can provide an ownership certificate from the Village Administrative Office. They also don’t have to purchase pump sets, motors and capacitors, in the initial stage, and a 30-day notice will be provided to report readiness to avail the connection. Within a survey field number or in a sub-divided field number, a farmer will be eligible for one connection to each well, if it is independent and physically separated, and irrigates a minimum of 0.5 acre land. Shifting of existing connections will be permitted, even if the land alone is sold for non-agricultural purposes, while retaining the well and connection. Meanwhile, no document other than motor or capacitor details is necessary to get , approval for installing a changeover switch, which will be accorded within 15 days of receiving the requisition letter, the release said. COVID SNAPSHOT POSITIVITY RATE BELOW 10%, SAYS MIN E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai HEALTH Minister C Vijayabaskar on Thursday said the test positivity rate in the State is less than 10 per cent, except in Krishnagiri and Cuddalore districts. Speaking to reporters at Government Stanley Medical College Hospital, he said, “Only in Krishnagiri and Cuddalore, the positivity rate is 11.7 per cent, and we will be bring it under control in a day or two. In districts where cases are high, we are conducting fever camps, and doing aggressive testing. We are also tracing for Influenza-LikeIllness cases on field.” ‘Fine will be imposed on violators’ Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said, fine will be imposed on those violating social distancing norm and not wearing masks. He added, people were found flouting the norms in public. MIN SPEAKS Health Minister C Vijayabaskar on Thursday said that the State would follow ICMR protocol for Oxford University’s Covishield vaccine trials “As more relaxations are in place, beds also should be increased in private hospitals to meet the demand,” the minister said FRESH CASES DEATHS ACTIVE CASES TALLY 5,528 64 48,482 4,86,052 Patient discharged within 3 days of admission, dies E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Tirunelveli / Tenkasi A Covid-19 patient, who was discharged from a government hospital within three days, died at Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital here on Thursday morning. The 49-year-old man, a resident of Alwarkurichi, was admitted to Government Headquarters Hospital in Tenkasi on September 3 after he fell sick. Sources said that though he tested positive for Covid-19 at the headquarters hospital, he was discharged by the authorities on September 6. P5
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