THRISSUR l Thursday l October 22, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION 16.7 lakh Indians died in 2019 due to air pollution: Study Outdoor and household particulate matter pollution contributed to the death of 1.16 lakh infants in the first month of their life Causes stroke, heart attack, lung cancer More than half of these deaths were associated with outdoor PM2.5 and others were linked to the use of solid fuels such as charcoal, wood, and animal dung for cooking. Long-term exposure to outdoor and household air pollution contributed to deaths from stroke, heart attack, diabetes, lung cancer, chronic lung diseases and neonatal diseases, the report said ■ 21% Largest risk factor for death ■ The new analysis reported in the State of Global Air this year says air pollution is now the largest risk factor for death Particulate air pollution exposure during pregnancy is linked to low birth weight and pre-term birth, which can trigger serious complications that may lead to death Of neonatal deaths attributable to ambient / household air pollution 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 Modi to meet 15 More charges of negligence, bribery against MCH leading global fund houses SHRC asks health secy to conduct probe Foreign investors look up to India for stable returns, to tap long-term opportunities here E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra will soon meet 15 leading global fund houses which are keen to invest in India, Tarun Bajaj, secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), said on Wednesday . “Fund houses from all over the world are in touch with us and want us to provide good assets with stable returns,” Bajaj said while addressing a virtual event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry. The decision follows conversations between funds and the Indian government on long-term investment opportunities here. The announcement also comes on a day when RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said India is at the cusp of an economic recovery . Bajaj, however, did not reveal names of the funds which would be meeting the PM. The DEA secretary added that the government was looking at channelising domestic savings and domestic assets. “There is a lot of capital available in the country and now it’s increasing unlike 10 years ago, when money was not available. For instance, the government is in talks with regulators to tinker rules to allow Employees Provident Fund to put money in the infra sector,” the official said. He also revealed that the Union Cabinet will soon consider a new public sector enterprises policy which will al, low for the privatisation of the public sector enterprises. “It is an open secret, but till it gets the stamp of the Cabinet we are not satisfied. It should happen very soon,” Bajaj said, adding monetisation of assets is a focus area of the government and that it is getting a lot of traction. T’Puram: The Human Rights Commission has sought a detailed probe into the allegations of medical negligence leading to the deaths of patients at the Ernakulam MCH. P2 Covid warriors under cloud of medical negligence | P2 Past missteps give credence to negligence charge | P2 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi ALLEGATIONS of medical negligence against the Ernakulam Medical College Hospital (MCH) continued to surface on Wednesday with more bereaved families joining the clamour for accountability and justice. They even alleged that the hospital sought money for “special treatment” of patients. Import norms relaxed, Egyptian onions to land E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi/Mumbai With onion prices going north because of heavy rains damaging standing crops in Maharashtra and Karnataka, the Cent r e o n We d n e s d ay announced easing of its import norms till December 15. Parallell y, T a m i l Nadu kept options open to supply onions through ration shops if needed. While the retail cost in Chennai was over `100 per kg, state Minister for Cooperation Sellur K Raju tapped the Farm Fresh network for now to sell the kitchen staple at a subsidised `45 a kg. India is already importing onions from Egypt and Iran. While Maharashtra’s popular Lasalgaon variety of big onions fetches a retail price of `90-100 per kg, the Egypt and Iran consignments come at half the cost — `40-50. The downside is the imported varieties aren’t as hot on the palate as the Indian ones. The charges were raised even as the doctor, who lent credence to the whistleblower nurse’s account of lapses causing deaths, stuck to her statement, punching holes in the hospital’s denial of culpability. Director of M e d i c a l E d u c at i o n Remla Beevi, who has been asked to look into the deaths, held a meeting with express read NIA not sure of terror motive in smuggling Kochi: After alleging terror funding and destabilising the economy of the country all this while, the assistant solicitor general has told the NIA Court that the real objective of the accused persons behind the smuggling of gold through the diplomatic channel is yet to be established. P4 State slashes Covid test charges T’Puram: The state government has slashed the charges of Covid-19 tests. As per the revised charges, RT-PCR and Truenat tests will cost D2,100 each. P4 the MCH authorities and said a detailed report would be submitted to the government. On Wednesday, families of two more patients --Baihakki and Jameela, who died at the hospital on July 24 and August 17 respectively --raised allegations of serious negligence on the part of the hospital staff. Lending strength to their claims, Dr Najma Salim refuted the hospital authorities’ argument that she was not on duty when C K Harris, whose death was blamed on negligence, and Baihakki were undergoing treatment in the ICU. “We had received an audio message from Baihakki, seeking extra money for special treatment at the hospital,” said Nisthar K A, Baihakki’s elder brother. More on P4 Sivasankar faces arrest as ED wants to quiz him in custody P R A M D A S @ Kochi AN arrest appears imminent for M Sivasankar with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) informing the Kerala High Court on Wednesday that a custodial interrogation of the former principal secretary is required to carry out a detailed investigation into his role in the gold smuggling case. Three central agencies — the ED, the Customs and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) — are probing Sivasankar’s role in the smuggling of gold through the diplomatic channel. While the High Court has restrained the Customs and the ED from arresting Sivasankar till Friday, his petition seeking anticipatory bail in the NIA case will come up at the NIA Court on Thursday . Sources told TNIE the ED has in its possession the mirror images from digital devices of key accused Swapna Suresh. ● More on P4 Sivasankar actively participated in various activities with Swapna and others who have been booked for grave offences under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. He is also linked to “serious economic offences — ED
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