KANNUR l FRIDAY l SEPTEMBER 11, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION RAT -VE IN ALL SYMPTOMATIC CASES NEED RT-PCR TEST: GOVT WHAT ABOUT ASYMPTOMATIC CASES? Apart from symptomatic persons, those who were asymptomatic at the time of the Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), 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” Covid symptomatic persons must be administered RT-PCR tests if their Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) results are negative 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 RATs which misses positive cases about 50% of the time 95,735 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 Abuse certain, but cops in search of clinching evidence to nail culprit A J AY K A N T H @ Kochi SIX months have passed since the sexual abuse of a Class IV student of a Palathayi school in Kannur first came to light, shaking the conscience of Kerala society. While the medical examination report proved the girl was sexually abused, the Crime Branch (CB), which was entrusted with the task of conducting a detailed probe four months ago, continues to struggle in unearthing evidence to nail the perpetrator. Though the victim had given detailed statements to the police and counsellors about the alleged culprit, who is a teacher of her school, the investigating officers have not been able to find any corroborating evidence, including digital evidence, to link the accused with the crime. The Crime Branch officers have been criticised, alleging that they purposely omitted the victim’s medical report in the final report submitted before the Thalassery Pocso court to help the accused. The medical report prepared by a senior doctor of the Thalassery General Hospital on March 18, 2020 clearly stated that the victim was sexually assaulted. “The Crime Branch has totally ignored the medical report proving sexual assault Loan interest: Centre sets up panel to assess waiver EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi HOURS after the Sup r e m e Court gave the Centre t wo m o r e 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. The 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 nonperforming 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. PALATHAYI WHO MESSED UP? PART-I and went ahead with a final report by evoking only Sections 323 and 324 of IPC (voluntarily causing hurt) and Sections 75 (punishment for cruelty to child) and 82 (care and protection of children) of the Juvenile Justice Act. They completely dropped relevant sections of the Pocso Act,” said Mohammed Shah, the victim’s counsel. A senior CB officer monitoring the probe begged to differ. “We haven’t dropped the Pocso charges. We’ve clearly submitted before the court that a detailed probe is on to prove Pocso charges against the accused. We need to find whether any other persons are involved in the crime. As of now, we’ve only filed a report based on the evidence collected so far,” the officer said. The documents analysed by TNIE showed that of the statements of 19 witnesses submitted by the Crime Branch in the final report, 18 — except by the victim — do not relate to Pocso ● More on P5 charges. Jaishankar, Wang discuss LAC flare-up Rafale induction a stern message to those eyeing India’s sovereignty, warns Rajnath 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 induction ceremony of the Ra- 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 State may see rise in Covid fatalities, warns Shailaja elderly population and the prevalence of comorbidities in the state indicate a likely increase in deaths, she said. Highlighting the health department’s challenges, Shailaja said 90 per cent of people who died due to the virus were those above the age of 60. ● More on P2 E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @Kochi HEALTH Minister K K Shailaja has warned that further relaxation to lockdown curbs may result in more Covid fatalities in the state, with the hospitals even running short of ventilators. Factors including a large Proposal to reopen schools draws mixed reaction EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE HOW MUCH KIDS ARE AT RISK 18 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 Congress-ruled 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, Kar nataka, 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 FRIDAY VELLORE 0.2 - 8.8% of child Covid-19 cases in the US, based on data from 44 states gathered by the American Academy of Pediatrics, required hospitalisation, suggesting moderate to severe symptoms l OPEN QUESTION TO REOPEN FOR CLASSES 9-12 TO STAY SHUT NOT YET DECIDED 19 Haryana 1 1 Nations that have reopened safely Some Scandinavian countries reopened with strict rules, and have had no outbreaks tied to schools THE GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE This map shows the status of school systems around the world based on UNESCO data. Postreopening experiences of selected countries are explained below Israel Israel managed to control its Covid-19 outbreak early, in May, and pushed ahead with school reopenings. But the government was forced to shut many schools a few weeks later when cases increased rapidly among students and teachers. Later, older people got infected too FULLY OPEN | PARTIALLY OPEN | CLOSED | ACADEMIC BREAK OPENED TOO SOON? Kenya Mexico New daily Covid-19 infections in Israel, 7-day rolling average The country took the extreme step of cancelling the academic year and telling students they have to repeat it — the only nation to do so. Kenya said this was to give a level playing field for those cannot access remote learning The federal government signed a $20 million deal with TV networks to broadcast study programmes, as 94% of families in the country of 126 million have TVs 2500 1500 Lockdown begins Schools reopen 1000 500 0 Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep 5 19 2 14 2 1 It is too early to call students to school. We have to wait till the Covid-19 curve flattens C K Punnose, a senior teacher 6 13 11 10 6 16 Anupam, a Class XII teacher Rajasthan The state government has refrained from giving any official response to the SOPs from the central government When they resume, classes should be in batches of 10-12 students 17 As every class has over 80 kids, downsizing classes will force the teacher to repeat a lecture several times The map shows how states are responding to the Central government’s new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) PAGE 12 3500 3000 2000 Punjab Schools won’t be reopened now as cases are still increasing, said School Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla 4 Tamil Nadu The state’s school education minister KA Sengottaiyan has said that any decision on reopening of schools shall be taken only after there is some relief from the pandemic 18 Delhi 7 15 9 4 8 12 3 5 Odisha School and Mass Education Minister Sameer Ranjan Dash said they will be shut till Oct 25 Uttarakhand Uttarakhand is following the SOPs of the central government We are not in favour of reopening of schools when Covid-19 spread is at its peak The situation is more risky than ever. I would prefer my child to take online classes than going to school Anurodh Jain, head of a parents’ association in the state Vinay Sheel Sharma, father of a Class 11 student 8 9 Madhya Pradesh The state government is yet to take a call on allowing limited reopening under the SOPs Telangana R Rohini, District Education Officer of Hyderabad, said no decision has been taken yet Kerala The state’s Director of General Education is preparing a roadmap on reopening schools The SOPs are shocking at a time when the Covid-19 curve is actually peaking Parents don’t want kids to go to school. We know what happened with US schools Online mode cannot replace traditional teaching. The return to normal should be in a careful, phased manner Karnakata The state will issue its own SOPs in a few days. It has told all schools to complete admission by Sep 30. Minister of primary and secondary education S Suresh Kumar said the state is already arranging regular student-teacher interaction for all classes Anurodh Jain, head of Parents Association in Indore 7 PK Ilamaran, president of the Tamil Nadu Teachers’ Association 10. Jharkhand 11. Bihar 12. West Bengal 13. Assam 3 MA Hussain Sohail, head of a parents’ association in the state RVG Menon, noted educationist on September 16. According to experts, it is inevitable that schools will have to open soon. “Online Human activity wiped out 2/3rds mode cannot replace the traditionwildlife in 50 yrs al classroom teaching method completely Hence students, espe. cially in higher classes, can be allowed to get guidance from teachers on an individual basis at American spacecraft named after Kalpana Chawla schools,” said noted educationist R V G Menon. Karnataka plans to announce its own guidelines shortly Accord. ing 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. United Kingdom Since classes resumed in Aug and Sep, 62 schools in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England have reported coronavirus cases, with many institutions now closed again 14 United States France Schools have reopened without taking adequate precautions, especially in states such as Florida, where infections rates are too high. In one summer camp in the Georgia in June, half of the 364 children attending tested positive. Photographs of maskless school students in hallways have been shared widely on social media. Students and staff have tested positive in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Tennessee, forcing such states to close schools that had reopened France has closed 22 of its 62,000 schools since in-person classes resumed last week. Overall, schools have reported 250 suspected cases per day since Sep 1, when they reopened for the first time 15 16 Maharashtra School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad said they there were no clear guidelines for reopening the schools physically after studying the central government’s SOPs. She said the state government is being cautious as the pandemic is not yet over Andhra Pradesh Principal Secretary (Education) B Rajasekhar said reopening plans are being chalked out 17 Chhattisgarh A government statement said the SOPs are being considered Uttar Pradesh The state is following the SOPs from the Union government All students of class 9 to 12 should not be allowed to attend classes in one go The schools are seeking an affidavit from parents, that means they will not take responsibility Prof Narava Prakasa Rao, state convener of Right To Education Jawahar Surisetti, a noted academician Given the rising cases, we can’t even think of sending our wards to schools. My son has to take 12th board exams but I would not send him Geetika Dixit, a parent Mask shortages still a problem, say US medicos ANIMAL POPULATIONS don, is the 13th edition of the biennial publication trackPARIS: Global animal, bird ing wildlife populations and fish populations have around the world. plummeted more than twoWWF International directhirds in less than 50 years tor general Marco Lamberdue to rampant over-con- tini told AFP of the staggersumption, exper ts said i n g l o s s o f E a r t h ’ s Thursday in a stark warning biodiversity since 1970. to save nature in order to “It’s an accelerating desave ourselves. crease that we’ve been moniHuman activity has se- toring for 30 years and it converely degraded three quar- tinues to go in the wrong ters of all land and direction,” he said. 4 0 % o f E a r t h ’s “In 2016 we docuoceans, and our mented a 60% dequickening destruccline, now we have a tion of nature is 70% decline,” LamAll this is in a likely to have untold blink of an eye bertini added. The last half-decconsequences on compared to the millions of years ade has seen unprecour health and that many edented economic livelihoods. The Living Planet species have been g r o w t h u n d e r living on the pinned by an exploIndex, which tracks planet sion in global conmore than 4,000 speMarco Lambertini, sumption of natural cies of vertebrates, WWF International resources. war ned that indirector general Whereas until creasing deforesta1970, humanity’s tion and agricultural expansion were the key ecological footprint was drivers behind a 68 percent smaller than the Earth’s caaverage decline in popula- pacity to regenerate resourctions between 1970 and 2016. es, the WWF now calculates It warned that continued we are over using the planet’s natural habitat loss in- capacity by more than half. While aided by factors such creased the risk of future pandemics as humans ex- as invasive species and pollupand their presence into ever tion, the biggest single driver closer contact with wild of species lost is land-use changes: normally, industry animals. 2020’s Living Planet Re- converting forests or grassport, a collaboration between lands into farms. This takes an immense toll WWF International and the Zoological Society of Lon- on wild species. A lion looks towards the Nairobi skyline | AFP S’pore noise tech drowns out urban din N95 ACOUSTIC SHIELD FRESNO: White House officials say US hospitals have all the medical supplies needed to battle the deadly virus, but frontline health care workers, hospital officials and even the Food and Drug Administration say shortages persist. Critical shortfalls of medical N95 respirators — commonly referred to as N95 masks — and other protective gear started in March, when the pandemic hit New York. Pressure on the medical supply chain continues today and , in “many ways things have only gotten worse,” the American Medical Association’s president, Dr. Susan Bailey, said in a recent statement. “N95s are still in a shortage,” said Mike Schiller, the American Hospital Association’s senior director for supply chains. “It’s certainly not anywhere near pre-COVID levels.” Early in the pandemic the White House failed to heed stark warnings — specifically about N95s — from high-level administration officials. SINGAPORE: Sick of noise from construction work, speeding trains and car alarms flooding in through the open window of your tiny apartment in a crowded metropolis? Scientists believe they have found a way for city dwellers to let in fresh air while reducing the urban cacophony -- and it is a bit like popping massive, noisecancelling headphones onto your flat. Under the system devised in Singapore, 24 small speakers are placed on the metal grille of an open window to create what researchers ter med an “acoustic shield”. When noise such as traffic or a subway train is detected, the speakers generate sound waves that cancel out some of the din -- much in the same way some high tech headphones work. It is like “using noise to fight noise,” said Gan WoonSeng, from Nanyang Technological University . BANANA BRUNCH A mahout feeds elephants at Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park in Ranchi district, Jharkhand, on Thursday | PTI ASTRONAUT’S LEGACY SPACEFLIGHT WASHINGTON: American commercial cargo spacecraft bound for the International Space Station has been named after fallen NASA astronaut Kalpana Chawla, the first India-born woman to enter space, for her key contributions to human spaceflight. Northrop Grumman, an American global aerospace and defence technology company, announced that its next Cygnus capsule will be named the “S.S. Kalpana Chawla”, in memory of the mission specialist who died with her six crewmates aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 2003. “Today we honour Kalpana Chawla, who made history at @ NASA as the first female astronaut of Indian descent. Her contributions to human spaceflight have had a lasting impact,” the company tweeted on Wednesday . “Northrop Grumman is proud to name the NG-14 Cygnus spacecraft after former astronaut Kalpana Chawla. It is the company’s tradition to name each Cygnus after an individual who has played a pivotal role in human spaceflight,” the company said on its website. “Chawla was selected in honour of her prominent place in history as the first woman of Indian descent to go to space,” it said. “While Chawla made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the space programme, her legacy lives on through her fellow astronauts and those she has inspired to follow in her footsteps.” “Her final research conducted onboard Columbia helped us understand astronaut health and safety during spaceflight. Northrop Grumman is proud to celebrate the life of Kalpana Chawla and her dream of flying through the air and in space,” it said. The S S Kalpana Chawla capsule is scheduled to launch on the NG-14 mission atop a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Vir- ginia on September 29. The spacecraft will arrive at and be attached to the space station two days later. For the NG-14 mission, the Cygnus spacecraft will deliver approximately 3,629 kg of cargo to the space station. Chawla was born in Karnal, Haryana on March 17, 1962. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College in India in 1982. Chawla then moved to the US to pursue her graduate education; in 1984 she received a Master’s in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas. fale 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- Confirmed cases inch towards one lakh-mark Kerala’s Covid-19 infection tally touched 99,266 on Thursday 3,349 3,058 12 more die of Covid, taking toll to 396 cases of local spread Set to break many records by becoming the only Congress leader in the country to represent an assembly segment for 50 years, Oommen Chandy is training his sights on a 12th run from Puthuppally. He speaks to Principal Correspondent Abhilash Chandran about his conviction that the UDF will return to power, though the high command will decide on the next CM. Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala too deserves the chair, he says. He questions Jose K Mani’s decision to align with “those who hunted K M Mani.” FULL INTERVIEW: P4 OOMMEN CHANDY Congress leader & former chief minister of Kerala Kamaruddin’s Fashion Gold business had all traits of ponzi scheme IN AUGUST 2007, Chitra Bhaskar (named changed) invested `1.80 lakh in IUML leader M C Kamaruddin’s gold business. The receipt, signed by Kamaruddin and two other directors, was in the name of Fashion Gold Mahal Pvt Ltd. The receipt acknowledges that she is a shareholder. Thirteen years later, Chitra found that Fashion Gold Mahal Pvt Ltd does not exist and she is knocking on the doors of lawyers to help her legally . Kamaruddin, MLA, started four companies between 2006 and 2012 to sell gold jewellery and raised around `140 crore from 749 common investors. All of them are in trouble as the business has gone kaput. At least 31 persons — most of them women — have pressed ch a r g e s o f ch e at i n g against Kamaruddin and his business partner T K Pookoya Thangal, a religious leader and an influential member of Muslim League. Chitra was baffled when she realised that she was issued a share certificate in the name of a non- active cases 1,657 4 COMPANIES RAISED L140 CR G E O R G E P O I K AY I L @ Kasaragod 26,229 fresh cases reported ‘CONG HIGH COMMAND WILL DECIDE ON NEXT CM’ newindianexpress com l 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 INTERVIEW Research in the West suggests that children are at relatively low risk of developing severe Covid-19. But the main concern is the kids’ role as vectors. How likely they are to spread the virus is not yet clear 11 09 2020 While parts of India are gearing up to partially open schools from September 21, many other countries have already done so and have had mixed results. Here are the takeaways from the reopening experiments done by various countries and the lessons they offer to our policymakers 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 existing company by Kamaruddin. In 2017 — 10 years after Chitra was deceived --- Naseema of Padna invested `8 lakh in cash and gold jewellery in the gold business of Kamaruddin and Thangal. She said that was the alimony she got when her husband divorced her. Naseema used to collect `8,000 on the second of every month from Kamaruddin’s jewellery store. The agreement between them was the company would pay `8,000 every month and return her investment on a three months’ notice. “I’m dependent on the money to raise my two daughters,” she said. ● More on P4 more recover 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. EXPRESS READ KSRTC set to launch inter-city bus services After Aug surplus, more rainy days ahead T’Puram: While the Railways mulls the cancellation of Jan Shatabdi Express and Venad trains, the KSRTC is launching new inter-city AC bus services. The ThiruvananthapuramErnakulam service starting from Friday will be non-stop, while the Ernakulam-Kozhikode service from Saturday will stop at Thrissur and Changuvetti. T’Puram: After August’s surplus rainfall, Kerala will witness rainy days in September too, as another low pressure is set to form over the Bay of Bengal. A cyclonic circulation persists over the east-central Arabian Sea, while low pressure may form over west-central Bay of Bengal. This may bring more rain to the state next week.
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.