BHUBANESWAR z MONDAY z SEPTEMBER 28, 2020 z `7.00 z PAGES 44 z LATE CITY EDITION BENGALURU AIRPORT SIGNS MOU WITH VIRGIN HYPERLOOP The MoU to hold a pre-feasibility study for a Hyperloop corridor from the airport to the city centre was signed on Sunday REACH CITY CENTRE IN JUST 10 MINUTES TO HELP EXPAND AIRPORT CAPACITY The hyperloop, once completed, is expected to bypass the city’s traffic congestion and reduce travel time between Kempegowda International Airport and the city centre to just 10 mins. The pre-feasibility study, which focuses on technical, economic and route feasibility aspects, is projected to be completed in two phases of six months each, a press release said ■ ■ Karanataka chief secretary said, “A hyperloop would not only allow for faster travel times, it would create a 21st century passenger experience and expand airport capacity” A hyperloop moves passengers or cargo at high speeds through a low-pressure tube in electrically-propelled pods 1,080km/hr MAXIMUM SPEED AT WHICH VIRGIN HYPERLOOP TRANSPORTS PASSENGERS 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 Farm Bills get President’s assent WHEN JASWANT SINGH GOT ANGRY GENERAL V P MALIK (RETD) Farmer organisations plan Kurukshetra meet from Oct 8 to make the agitation pan-India H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh HOURS before three contentious farm sector Bills became law after President Ramnath Kovind’s assent, farmer leaders here decided to hold consultations with their counterparts across the country from October 8 at Kurukshetra to evolve a panIndia agitation strategy so as to pressure the Centre to recall the new legislations. According to a gazette notification, the President gave assent to The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, The HIGHEST-EVER CHASE IN IPL Rahul Tewatia scripted a sensational turnaround as Rajasthan Royals chased down Kings XI Punjab’s total of 223 in 19.3 overs, the highest-ever in IPL. Needing 51 off 18 balls, they hit eight sixes of 11 balls. Sanju Samson was Man of the Match for 85. For KXIP, Mayank Agarwal scored 106 P11 ODDS: RCB 6/5 MI 3/4 TODAY’S MATCH BANGALORE MUMBAI LIVE: Star Sports1/Hotstar @ 7.30pm EXPRESS READ CM announces opening of tourism sector Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday announced opening of tourism sector that was badly hit due to a series of lockdown following the Covid-19 outbreak. At an event organised to mark World Tourism Day, he called upon tourists to visit Odisha and enjoy stays amid safety protocols | P2 Covid funeral in open spaces worry locals Paradip: HOLDING funeral in open spaces has sparked the fear of transmission of Covid in Jagatsinhhpur district. In the absence of electric crematoriums in Paradip and Jagatsinghpur towns, an NGO - which has been assigned the job of Covid cremations in the district - is carrying them out in open spaces | P4 WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 44 PAGES, INCLUDING 32 OF edex (TABLOID) Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020. The Opposition had urged Kovind to return the Bills, saying they were passed without following due process. While the farm agitation continues to rock Punjab, elsewhere it has not found similar resonance. Bharatiya Kisan Union’s (Rajewal Group) Punjab president Balbir Singh Rajewal said, “a meeting was held today in which leaders of farm organisations from Punjab, Haryana, Ra- jasthan and Uttar Pradesh took part. To make the agitation panIndia, it was decided that on October 8 a marathon meeting will be held at Kurukshetra for twothree days. Two to three repre- MODI’S HARDSELL Reaching out to farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the farm sector and farmers are the very basis of Atmanirbhar Bharat, adding the farm Bills ensure freedom to sell their produce anywhere at higher rates | P7 T HE demise of Jaswant Singhji is a big loss to the country as we lost a politician of the old school who used to be very dignified and committed to his responsibilities. He used to respect every person in uniform and was liked by everyone for his oratory and unassuming nature. He was close to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Singh passed away after long illness at the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi. He was 82. While I was Chief of Army Staff, he was the Minister of External Affairs and we go to interact during the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meetings. He always used to participate in the meetings very actively and had lots of inputs to offer. Although he never showed his anger in public, he became agitated after I briefed him about the autopsy report of Capt Saurabh Kalia (who was captured by Pakistani intruders on May 15, 1999). Pakistan had returned his mutilated body on June 9. P8 sentatives of all famers’ organisations from across the country will be invited for the brainstorming seasons.” Meanwhile, farmers in Punjab squatted on the AmritsarDelhi railway track on Sunday to wrap up their three-day ‘railroko’ agitation. From October 1, they intend to launch an indefinite ‘rail-roko’ in Punjab. Sarwan Singh Pandher, general secretary of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, an umbrella group that is leading the agitation, said BJP leaders will not be allowed to enter Punjab villages in protest. 12 Bills in 36 hours get Oppn fuming EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bhubaneswar MEMBERS will get only around 36 hours during the eight days of the Monsoon session of the Assembly to discuss 12 Bills to replace ordinances and other important issues. Pointing this out, the Opposition Congress and BJP have lashed at the State Government for the undue haste being shown to push the Bills through. “In such an extraordinary situation, the State Government should not come out with legislations that affect a large number of people,” leader of the Congress Legislature Party Narasingh Mishra said. What was the hurry to bring the Universities and Agriculture Bills in such a short session of the Assembly, Mishra OVER 3,000 Covid-hit police personnel have resumed duty in Odisha. Their mental strength and willpower have helped them to go back to work immediately after recovering from Covid-19 amid the manpower crisis. A senior officer of Odisha Police said over 4,000 personnel have been infected so far. Thirty-two personnel have succumbed to the deadly virus. “The infected police personnel were asked to join whenever they feel comfortable and have fully recovered,” he added. In Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, where the virus surge is on, about 1,500 police personnel have been infected while four have succumbed so far. A senior officer posted in Bhubaneswar rejoined duty last week Jaswant Singh Ji will be remembered for his unique perspective on matters of politics and society... I will always remember our interactions. Om Shanti Narendra Modi, Prime Minister BJD MLA spills beans on Covid management tion of the Chief Minister and Health Minister,” he said. DISCONTENTMENT in O p p o s i t i o n C o n g re s s the ruling BJD over mis- and BJP soon picked up management of the Cov- the issue. Congress whip id-19 situation by Odisha i n t h e A s s e m b l y Ta r a Gover nment has spilled Prasad Bahinipati thanked into the open with a party the BJD MLA for admitle gislator Umakant Sa- ting the truth about the mantray supporting the failure in Covid manageOpposition on the issue. ment by the Government. The Opposition’s allegaB a h i n i p at i , h oweve r, tion of gross mismanage- warned Samantray about ment in treatment of Cov- G o v e r n m e n t a c t i o n id-19 patients in Odisha is against him for telling the not entirely truth. “Samantray wrong, the ruling should be preBJD legislator pared to face acsaid and added tion for telling the that the Gover ntruth,” he said. ment should inSenior BJP legcrease the numislator Jayanarayber of ICU beds an Mishra said and set up more not only the BJD d e d i c a t e d legislator but evehospitals. ryone in Odisha “I a g ree with will say that Covthe allegations of id management the Opposition o f t h e G ove r n that compared to ment is a total I agree with the the rise in numf a i l u r e. “ W h a t allegations of the ber of Covid pasteps the GovernOpposition that tients in the State, ment has taken at compared to the the panchayat levthe ICU beds in rise in number of el? While the Covthe dedicated hosCovid patients in id patients were pitals are much the State, the ICU beds in the kept in the instiless,” he said and dedicated tutional quaranadded that nonCovid patients are hospitals are much t i n e c e n t r e s a t less panchayat level, not being provide d w i t h p ro p e r Umakant Samantray, there was no toilet facility for treatment in BJD MLA them,” he said. hospitals. Referring to the Samantray also found fault with the Biju treatment of positive paSwasthya Kalyan Yojana tients in private hospitals, the BJP leader alleged that (BSKY) cards. “The fact remains that these hospitals are looting the poor people are not get- the people by charging ting the benefits of BSKY `50,000 from each patient in leading private hospi- every day. “How many tals who are not accepting people have the capacity to the cards as the State Gov- pay this hefty amount? er nment has not signed Where is 5T? I had said in MoU with them. We will the Assembly that 5T is raise this issue in the As- only a farce and now has sembly and draw the atten- been proved,” he said. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bhubaneswar Assembly staff gather for Covid-19 tests ahead of the Monsoon session of the House in Bhubaneswar| IRFANA said and added that it will take two to three days to discuss these legislations in detail. The Universities Bill will affect the entire education system and needs a thorough debate, he said. He also questioned the urgency in introducing Bills for contract farming and opening mar- ket yards. The Government should have held these Bills till normalcy returns. The Government is only taking advantage of the situation to bulldoze the bills, he said and added that the ruling BJD has a huge majority and nobody can stop it from passing them in five minutes. Opposition chief whip and AFTER RECOVERY, 3,000 POLICE PERSONNEL JOIN DUTY IN ODISHA A S I S H M E H TA @ Bhubaneswar JASWANT SINGH 3 JAN 1938 z 27 SEP 2020 and pointed out that he faced severe weakness while undergoing treatment in a hospital here. “I decided to rejoin after feeling better and also because many officers have been infected and are under isolation,” he said. An inspector, who was admitted to a dedicated Covid hospital, reported for work on Sunday to facilitate public services. “I was feeling weak and at times gasping for breath. However, my health condition has significantly improved and I am ready to perform my duties,” he said. A senior police officer of Commissionerate Police said the personnel experiencing fatigue and breathlessness are being instructed to go for further evaluation. “Police hospital doctors are advising them what kind breathing exercises they should follow to fully recover their lungs,” he added. A constable in Ganjam was put on ventilator in a hospital in Berhampur for about 10 days and he received two plasmas during treatment. “At one point of time, doctors felt I had slim chances of survival. I developed pneumonia, chest pain and breathing problems during treatment,” said the constable. Arranging plasma for him was also difficult as his blood group is AB negative. “But I recovered, discharged from hospital on August 30 and rejoined duty on September 14,” he added. A sub-inspector posted in Ganjam developed high fever following which he was referred to a hospital in Berhampur. “I was discharged on August 18 and was feeling weak and short of breath while walking. I rejoined on September 18 and now I am able to perform my duties without any problem,” he said. BJP leader Mohan Majhi said that the Government is planning to rush through the bills without discussion. There is no time to discuss the 12 Bills, he said. The legislature party meetings of the BJD and Congress will meet tomorrow to finalise their strategy on these contentious matters. 136 test positive ahead of Assembly session Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the Monsoon session of the State Assembly, as many as 136 out of 758 samples of MLAs, staff and journalists have tested positive for COVID-19. One of them is an MLA. Fifty MLAs including eight ministers have, so far, tested Covid-19 positive and many of them are in home isolation. Exclusive testing camps have been set up for two days for screening. The Speaker had announced that those who test Covid-19 positive during the camps would not be allowed inside the Assembly. Those who tested negative this time will undergo the test again after five days. RUSH FOR BEDS Why the struggle to get beds in Covid hospitals, if there is 40 pc vacancy? EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bhubaneswar ODISHA Government claims that 40 pc beds in designated Covid hospitals (DCHs) are vacant but why are patients having a horrid time in getting admission to hospitals? Across the State, patients are running from hospital to hospital be it the Government designated ones or private facilities only to be refused admission on pretext of full admission. The delay in timely treatment of the the critically ill requiring emergency care has also led to many deaths but they are not being reported as Covid deaths. While the situation is getting worse by the day and the Government is blissful in inaction, the social media is flooded by fervent appeals and prayers by harangued Covid-19 patients and their kin seeking urgent medical care. A cursory glance at the twitter timelines of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) will point to the gravity of the situation where hapless citizens are pleading for help. “Patients are running from hospital to hospital for beds equipped with oxygen supply,” wrote a city resident Satya Praharaj on social media. He requested the State Government to issue an advisory or single point contact so that patients can contact, enquire about bed availability and accordingly get admitted. But, no action has been taken. Not only the DCHs like KIMS, SUM and Hi-tech which are running almost full, the top private hospitals in the Twin City are avoiding patients. Since many patients from outside the twin districts have occupied beds here, people in the twin cities are forced to knock The Health department should share occupancy and vacancy of beds in both DCHs and private hospitals every morning. Once it is done, hospitals cannot hoodwink patients and their relatives Dr Nirakara Bhatta, former OMSA president on the doors of private hospitals for treatment. Though it has already been a fortnight since the State Government directed the private hospitals having 30 beds or more to designate at least 50 pc general beds and 80 pc ICU beds for Cov- id patients, no data is available on how many beds are available in the private facilities. Health experts opined that the Government should release hospital-wise data on availability of beds instead of district-wise so that patients can know and approach them for admission. “The Health department should share occupancy and vacancy of beds in both DCHs and private hospitals every morning. Once it is done, hospitals cannot hoodwink patients and their relatives,” said former president of OMSA Dr Nirakara Bhatta.Going by the numbers, Khurda district, the worst-hit, has 1,552 beds in the State run DCHs for 6,040 active cases; Cuttack has 702 beds for 4,060 active cases while Puri has 98 beds for 1,748 active patients. The Health and Family Welfare department claims 350 beds in Khurda and 368 beds in Cuttack are lying vacant indicating that most of the patients are either in private hospitals or home isolation. Similarly of the 569 ICU beds , and 195 ventilator beds in the DCHs in Khurda, 357 and 104 are occupied. In Cuttack, 168 ICU beds and 56 ventilator beds are occupied out of 278 and 73 beds respectively So where are . the beds and ICUs, if they are available? No one knows because no information is shared. Senior health officials acknowledged that beds in private hospitals are seeing high demand but added that there are adequate resources for now. “There is no need to worry as ICU beds are available now. A new portal has been launched and private hospitals have been asked to update the bed status in the platform regularly,” an official said.
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