visakhapatnam l wednesday l december 23, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city 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 P9 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 tta @ 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. Passengers from the United Kingdom arrive at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai on Tuesday | PTI 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) elections in Jammu & Kashmir. Notably, the BJP made inroads and won three seats in Muslimmajority 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 CPI(M) was ahead in 116 seats (93 won and leading in 23 seats). The BJP has emerged the Party positions JAMMU Results declared 107 BJP 63 NC18 Congress 11 Ind 11 Apni Party 2 JKNPP 1 BSP 1 DDC seats in Jammu region: 140 KASHMIR Results declared 126 NC37 Ind 29 PDP 25 Cong 9 Apni Party 8 PC 6 CPM 5 BJP 3 JKPM 3 PDF 1 DDC seats in Kashmir region: 140 single largest party. It was ahead in 73 seats, having won 65 seats and leading in eight. But the BJP can run and have DDC chairman only in six out of 20 districts in J&K. It will have its DDC chairman in Jammu, Doda, Reasi, Kathua, Samba and Udhampur. Independents were ahead in 55 seats (36 won, 19 leading). Top leaders of Gupkar Alliance, which was formed in October to fight for Article 370 restoration, had stayed away from the poll campaign. However, the Gupkar Alliance suffered a major setback in Srinagar, where it could manage to get only three seats. Independents emerged a dominant force here with seven seats. 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 Tension prevailed at Ramakrishnapuram when the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) demolished illegal structures on gover nment lands on Tuesday . D Pattas for the lands were given to tribal farmers for cultivation of crops in 1975. But the lands were given to others on lease in violation of the stipulation that they should not be used for non-agricultural purposes. Based on complaints received from the village secre- The GVMC removes illegal structures on government land at Ramakrishnapuram in Vizag on Tuesday | G Satyanarayana tariat staff, the GVMC cracked a whip on encroachers. The GVMC officials said as part of the drive against illegal structures in the city, they re- moved 13 sheds and 50 thatched houses constructed on government land in survey No 26 in Zone II of Madhurawada. The GVMC has 837 acres of land in survey Nos. 26 and 27. Of the total land, 136.36 acres are involved in court disputes. It was found that 40 acres were encroached and temporary sheds and thatched houses were constructed on the land. A GVMC official team, led by Deputy City Planner D Rambabu, removed all the illegal structures. However, the evicted people alleged that the GVMC removed their sheds and other struc- nations that have barred flight from Britain 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) 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 designated to treat Covid pa- tients with the new strain of virus. Those who tested negative, will be shifted to the designated ward in Covid hospit a l i f t h e y d eve l o p symptoms within seven days of their arrival. All international travellers should submit self declaration form on the online portal http://health.ap.gov.in at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel. They should also give an undertaking that they 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: Central 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. GVMC removes illegal structures on govt land @ Visakhapatnam took many hours, resulting in a bit of chaos and confusion at airports 40 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 demolition drive E x p r e s s New s Se r v i c e Screening process India is part of about UK returnees to be tested at airports, quarantined Gupkar Alliance scores big in local body polls, 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 tures without giving them any notice. One of them, Raja said they were staying in the land for the past two decades. The people said they were given lands during the tenure of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and banks had provided loans for raising banana plantations. Even physically challenged people were not spared during the GVMC demolition drive as a house belonging to Netala Appala Suri was removed, they said. The evicted people said they would approach the court against the demolition of their structures by the GVMC. 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. 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 from Telangana recently has been posted as , Secretary of Municipal Administration and Urban Development. Orders to this effect were issued 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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23-12-2020 of The New Indian Express-Vishakapatnam