tirupati l wednesday l december 23, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l anantapur EDITION ‘Air pollution killed 1.7 Lakh Indians in 2019’ 1.4% GDP lost due to poor air quality As much as 18% of the total deaths last year were due to air pollution, says a new paper published in Lancet Planetary Health According to the paper, air pollution shrank India’s GDP by 1.4%. However, the study found household air pollution decreased in India, resulting in 64% drop in the death rate attributable to it between 1990 and 2019. ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava attributed this to govt schemes such as the ‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana’ and ‘Unnat Chulha Abhiyan’ `2.6 lakh cr Northern states biggest losers ■ ■ The scientific paper noted that the economic loss due to air pollution as a percentage of the state GDP was higher in the northern and central India states, with the highest in Uttar Pradesh (2.2% of the GDP) and Bihar (2% of the GDP) Delhi had the highest per-capita economic loss at $62 P7 Loss to Economy as premature deaths shrank India’s productivity 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 20 fliers from UK positive, Nov 25 start date for scan The fresh caseload Six of those who tested positive were on a flight that landed in Delhi at 11.30 pm on Monday; two in Kolkata on Sunday night; four in Ahmedabad on Tuesday; and eight, in Amritsar, including a crew member. All had taken direct Air India flights from London Flight ban kicks in; detailed SOP issued to states to track passengers; samples of all those infected will be subjected to spike gene test S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi With at least 20 fliers from the UK testing positive for Covid-19 upon their arrival in India on Tuesday, the government tightened its screening protocol a day after announcing a temporary flight ban, as a new variant of the virus in Britain is creating havoc. To do so, the Centre opened the window for tracking incoming fliers from November 25 by sharing with all states the full list of international arrivals from the UK since that date. The list includes those who transited via Britain as well. Fliers who arrived between November 25 and December 8 need to be contacted by the district surveillance officers and advised to self-monitor their health. Those with symptoms must be administered the RTPCR test and if they test positive, their genetic sequencing must be done, the standard operating procedure said. As for those who arrived between December 9 and 23, district surveillance officers have to track them daily till 14 days after their arrival in India. The new variant is estimated by the European Center for Disease Control to be more transmissible and affecting the younger population, the SOP pointed out. The variant has a set of 17 changes or mutations. The ban on flights from the UK comes into effect from Wednesday and will continue till December 31. Fliers arriving from the UK on Monday-Tuesday will be mandatorily subjected to RT-PCR tests and those testing positive quarantined institutionally . Samples collected from positive patients will be subjected to spike gene-based RT-PCR tests in appropriate labs to assess whether they carry the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 identified in the UK. If anyone has the new variant, the patient will remain in a separate isolation unit. All others will follow the normal treatment protocol, the advisory said. Those who contract the new variant, too, will get treatment as per the existing protocol. They will take a repeat test on the 14th day after the initial positive test. In the sample is still positive, further samples may be taken until two consecutive samples taken 24 hours P7 apart test negative. In the first major electoral exercise after Article 370 revocation, the Gupkar Alliance on Tuesday emerged the single largest group in the District Development Council (DDC) polls for 280 seats in Jammu & Kashmir. Notably the BJP made in, roads and won three seats in Muslim-majority Kashmir — in Srinagar, Bandipora and Pulwama. In the 280 DDC seats, elections for which was held in eight phases, People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration comprising NC, PDP, PC, ANC, JKPM, CPI and CPM was ahead in 116 seats (86 won and leading in 30 seats). Results out Party BJP J&K NC Independent J&K PDP INC JKAP JKPC CPI (M) JKPM PDF BSP JKNPP Total Result awaited Total DDC seats Seats Won 65 54 39 25 20 10 6 5 3 1 1 1 231 49 280 The BJP has emerged as the single largest party. It was ahead in 73 seats, having won 65 seats and leading in eight others. The inde pendents have emerged as the third dominant force with 55 seats (36 won and leading in 19). Top leaders of Gupkar Alliance, which was formed in October to fight for Article 370 restoration, had stayed away from the poll campaign and let the second-rung leaders lead the campaigning. PDP leader Waheed Para, who was arrested by NIA last month in militancy-related case, won the polls even without campaigning from his hometown Pulwama seat. E x p r e s s New s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Acting on the direction of the Centre, the State government has made it mandatory for the passengers arriving from the United Kingdom to be screened and subjected to RT-PCR test at the airports in Andhra Pradesh. The government on Tuesday issued Covid instant order pertaining to the standard operating procedure (SOP) to be followed by those arriving from In the wake of increasing number of harassment cases for loan repayment, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday directed officials to take stringent action against the errant mobile app-based private lending agencies. The Chief Minister said a strict vigil should be kept on the activities of online call money organisers and app-based agencies who lend money at an exorbitant interest rate and resort to d u b i o u s m e a n s fo r l o a n recovery . Meanwhile, Director General of Police D Gautam Sawang said a special drive will be conducted across the State to curb the excesses of app-based lending agencies. During an inter- 2 more cases filed Two more cases of harassment by app-based lenders were reported in Krishna district. The cases were registered in Gudur and Bandar taluka police stations and they were transferred to the CID, Krishna District SP M Ravindranath Babu said. action with mediapersons on the sidelines of an official programme at Mangalagiri on Tuesday, the DGP said, “We came to know that most of these app-based lenders are based at Noida, Gurugram and New Delhi and the call centres of a few mobile-apps are located in Hyderabad and Gurugram. Stringent action will be taken against the errant lenders after conducting a detailed inquiry into the matter from all the angles.” The DGP appealed to the public to approach the nearby po- nations that have barred flight from Britain the UK in the wake of emergence of a new strain of Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2). The order specifies that all travellers from the UK must be screened and tested. Those who tested negative will be cleared. But they shall be in a 14-day mandatory home quarantine. Those who tested positive, will be admitted to Covid hospital. They will be kept in a ward dedicated to treat Covid posi- tive patients with new strain of the virus. Those who tested negative, will be shifted to the designated ward in Covid hospital if they develop symptoms within seven days of their arrival. All international travellers should submit self declaration form on the online portal http://health.ap.gov.in atleast 72 hours before the scheduled travel. They should also give an undertaking that they would undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days. “We have issued orders to all the Collectors and SPs to track those who are coming from abroad and take all these preventive measures,” said Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare K Bhaskar. The officials of every district have been given a mandate and action plan for physical monitoring of all those who tested negative in the RT-PCR test and P4 are in home isolation. Aditya Nath Das to succeed Sawhney as cs E x p r e s s New s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada heavenly sight Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirumala is brightly illuminated for Vaikunta Dwara Darshan to be held from December 25 to January 3 | Express express read CBSE exams won’t be held before Feb New Delhi: Cental Board of Secondary Education examinations for classes 10 and 12 will not be held until February 2021, Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said during an interaction with teachers on Tuesday. “I received a lot of requests from students and teachers to postpone the CBSE exams for classes 10 and 12,” the minister tweeted. Spl drive to rein in errant app-based lenders @ Vijayawada took many hours, resulting in a bit of chaos and confusion at airports 40 UK returnees to be tested at airports, quarantined harAssment E x p r e s s New s Se r v i c e Screening process India is part of about We are yet to spot such a virus in our country. We will be safe if we suppress the genomic sequence - Dr V K Paul, NITI Aayog member (Health) Gupkar Alliance leads in 116 J&K DDC seats, BJP single largest party F aya z W a n i @ Srinagar In Kolkata, those sitting near the two passengers who tested positive were asked to stay in home isolation for two weeks lice station and lodge a complaint against the lending agencies if they face any harassment or humiliation from them over loan repayment. According to official sources, a 22-year-old MBA student died by suicide in Visakhapatnam on November 3 following her failure to repay the loan taken from an app-based lender. Meanwhile, several complaints are also being filed by the victims in various police stations across the State against the lenders for resorting to harassment for loan recovery . As expected, senior IAS officer Aditya Nath Das has been appointed Chief Secretary to the G o ve r n m e n t o f A n d h r a Pradesh. While incumbent Nilam Sawhney, who is due to retire from service on December 31, has been appointed Principal Advisor to the Chief Minister in the rank of a Cabinet Minister, after her superannuation. Another IAS officer Y Srilakshmi, who was transferred to the AP Cadre recently, has been posted as Secretary of Municipal Administration and Urban Development. Orders to this effect were is- sued on Tuesday . As the Principal Advisor to the Chief Minister, Sawhney will look after the subjects of health and Covid-19 management, Centre-State relations and bifurcation issues, administrative reforms, including strengthening of village/ward secretariats and other institutions at various levels, district reorganisation and land resurvey etc. Aditya Nath Das, a 1987 batch IAS officer, currently the Special Chief Secretary, Water Resources and Environment, Forest, Science and Technology departments, will take charge as the Chief Secretary after the incumbent Sawhney retires P4 from service. After 28 years, CBI court holds Kerala priest, nun guilty of Sr Abhaya’s murder E x p r e s s New s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram After 28 years, the CBI Special Court here pronounced Fr Thomas Kottoor and Sr Sephy guilty of Sister Abhaya’s murder. Special Judge K Sanil Kumar will pronounce the sentence on Wednesday after hearing the convicts. In a case that has been eagerly watched by the entire country, the court on Tuesday took less than five minutes to pronounce its verdict. Apart from murder (IPC 302), the two were also found guilty of destroying evidence (IPC 201). Sr Sephy Fr Thomas Kottoor When the verdict was read out, Sephy broke down while Kottoor stood straight-faced. Later, Kottoor told the press that he was innocent and that he was not afraid. Abhaya, a 19-year-old Knanaya Catholic nun and member of the St Joseph’s Congregation, was found dead in the well of Pius X Convent in Kottayam on March 27, 1992. The local police and the Crime Branch had termed the death as suicide, but a probe headed by then CBI Kochi unit DyS P Nandakumar Nair revealed it was a cold-blooded murder. The CBI’s finding was Abhaya had gone to the convent’s kitchen to fetch water and saw Fr Kottoor, Fr Jose Poothrikkayil and Sr Sephy in a compromising position. Fearing for their reputation, Sephy bludgeoned Abhaya with an axe and threw her into the well with the help of the two priests. P5
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