SAMBALPUR l wednesday l december 23, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l 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 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 Odisha mandates 14-day quarantine for UK returnees 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. E xpress News S erv i ce @ Bhubaneswar Passengers arriving from UK at the Chennai International Terminal being taken to quarantine centres | Ashwin Prasath 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 In Kolkata, those sitting near the two passengers who tested positive were asked to stay in home isolation for two weeks Screening process took many hours, resulting in a bit of chaos and confusion at airports India is part of about 40 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) TN student returns home from UK, tests Covid positive EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai AMID scare of a highly infectious strain of Covid gripping the United Kingdom, it has come to light that 12 passengers who have arrived in India from there have tested positive for the virus. This includes one person who landed at the Chennai Airport after a stop in Delhi. Reports claim the new strain is 70 per cent more transmissible than the earlier version. “Samples from the passenger in question have been sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune,” said Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, who inspected the airport on Tuesday “A genomic analysis will be . performed to check if the patient has contracted the new strain. All the passengers who entered Tamil Nadu from UK in Samples from the passenger in question have been sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune J Radhakrishnan, Health Secretary the last 10 days are being monitored via e-pass list,” he added. The State Health Department is on high alert after receiving information that 138 air passengers from the UK have entered Karnataka without a Covid-negative certificate. “As a preventive measure, we have begun checks along the Karnataka border. The State is prepared to track passengers entering the State through any transit point,” the Health Secretary said. The patient from UK has been admitted to The King In- stitute in Guindy Chennai. “He , is asymptomatic and is being monitored. The patient is a student pursuing a course in the UK.” Radhakrishnan asked people not to panic, as the government was taking all necessary precautions. “We are allowing passengers from other countries only if their RT-PCR test, taken 96 hours prior to arrival, shows them negative for the virus.” In the wake of a nationwide alert over the new and highly infectious coronavirus strain, Odisha Government on Tuesday made 14-day quarantine mandatory for people who have returned from UK in last two weeks. The returnees or visitors from UK, who have tested positive for Covid-19 will undergo institutional quarantine while those negative will remain in home quarantine. The decision was taken after the Centre issued an SOP directing the States to take necessary precautionary measures and put in place required surveillance and quarantine measures for the new virulent strain. As per an order issued by the Health and Family Welfare department, passengers with travel history of UK or transiting through the airports in UK and returning to Odisha will now have to remain in mandatory home quarantine with self-monitoring and periodic checks by the Rapid Response Team for 14 days. If any person is found symptomatic within the quarantine period, RT-PCR test will be conducted. Additional Chief Secretary of Health department PK Mohapatra said the passen- Gupkar Alliance leads SIT reveals sickening details on 5-yr-old’s killing in 116 J&K DDC seats Nayagarh minor murder E xpress News S erv i ce F aya z W a n i @ Srinagar 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 in Jammu & Kashmir. Notably, the BJP made inroads 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). 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 independents 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. However, the Gupkar Alliance suffered a major setback in Srinagar, where it got only 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 three seats. Independents emerged a dominant force in Srinagar with seven seats followed by J&K Apni Party with thee seats and the BJP one. While the PAGD contested the polls on the plank to demand restoration of Article 370 and statehood, BJP fought the polls on the plank of development and asserted that Article 370 had gone forever and cannot be restored. The Congress, which initially aligned with PAGD but later ended its alliance with PAGD, was ahead in 25 seats (18 won and leading in seven). The J&K Apni Party of influential businessman and former PDP leader Altaf Bukhari won nine seats and was leading in P7 five. @ Bhubaneswar The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Tuesday came out with sickening details on the rape and murder of the Nayagarh minor girl. The prime accused allegedly committed an act of necrophilia after strangulating the five-year-old to death. The accused, a 17-year-old, was allegedly addicted to child pornography and confessed to have watched obscene videos till the wee hours of July 14. The next morning, he allegedly committed the crime, SIT chief Arun Bothra said on Tuesday . Interestingly, the accused un- derwent a polygraph test at State Forensic Science Laboratory (SFSL) and the report says that he gave ‘deceptive responses’ to all the questions related to the incident, Bothra told mediapersons here. “Though there are no eye witnesses, the accused allegedly confessed about the crime to two persons, one of whom managed to record his video. The SIT will submit the video before the court as extra judicial confessions which can be used as evidence,” he said. During investigation, the SIT found that the accused used his sister’s mobile phone every night to watch such videos and He put the body in a sack along with her frock, went to a nearby pond and disposed it off. To avoid attention, he filled the sack with fallen coconut tree branches Arun Bothra, SIT chief would return the device after deleting the downloaded content and clearing the search history. The police found a locked folder in the mobile phone and the youth was reluctant to share its password. The team has requested Google to share details of the browsing history and the searches deleted by the accused in his sister’s device. The accused lives with his mother and sister and their place is hardly 100 metre away from the victim’s house. His sister was fond of the victim who would visit their house along with other children regularly for blackberries. The victim, police said, went alone to the youth’s house on the fateful day when his mother and sister were not present. During interrogation, he told SIT that he took the victim to a room near the backyard of his house where he removed her frock and attempted to take out the leggings which the girl protested. He is believed to have strangulated her after that. continued on: p5 After 28 years, CBI court holds Kerala priest, nun guilty of Sr Abhaya’s murder E xpress News S erv i ce @ T’Puram X’Mas decor St. Vincent pro cathedral church near Satya Nagar being decorated for Christmas celebration in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday | Biswanath Swain express read Insolvency law on ice for 3 more months Srimandir doors to unlock today Nepal Communist Party likely to split New Delhi: The government has extended the suspension of fresh proceedings under the insolvency law by three more months. A notification was issued by the Corporate Affairs Ministry on Tuesday | P10 Puri: The Sri Jagannath temple will open its doors for devotees on Wednesday after an interregnum of nine months’ closure owing to Covid19 restrictions. The district administration has made elaborate arrangements for the reopening | P4 Kathmandu: The ruling Nepal Communist Party was on the verge of a split with its faction led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ removing Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli from the post of party chairman | P9 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). 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 Con- gers, who have returned from UK or transited through any UK airport since December 7 will have to submit a self-declaration mentioning their date of return. “They will remain in home isolation for 14 days from their arrival date. If they develop symptoms and test positive, they will be shifted to institutional quarantine for necessary treatment. As suggested by the Centre, their samples will be sent for genome sequencing,” he said. At a time when the number of Covid positive cases is declining steadily in the State, Mohapatra said, any interjection of a SARS-CoV-2 variant through passengers with air travel history may pose critical risks for management of the pandemic. The Health department has asked the directors of Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA), Jharsuguda airport, Director of Capital Hospital, Commissioner of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), Collector and CDM&PHO of Jharsuguda to initiate precautionary measures for the distinct cluster of SARS-CoV2. “They have been directed to ensure strict adherence to the SOP issued by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,” Mohapatra added CBSE exams won’t be held before Feb E xpress News S erv i ce @ New Delhi Cental Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) 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. He said the board exams would be held later, but did not specify dates saying it would be announced soon. Unlike classes, the board exams would not be held online since “many schools are in rural areas”, the minister said. “CBSE board exams will be conducted on a reduced syllabus,” the minister said, adding that 30% of the total syllabus for the exams has been scrapped. There will also be 33% inter nal choice in the exam, he added. agrarian Unrest Sr Sephy Fr Thomas Kottoor gregation, 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 P5 the two priests. Farmer unions to decide on talks today New Delhi: Protesting farmer unions deferred a decision on the Centre’s offer for fresh talks to Wednesday, even as Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar expressed hope the impasse will be resolved soon | P7 Kerala guv says no to special House session T’Puram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has declined approval for a special Assembly session planned on Wednesday by the Left front government to discuss and pass a resolution against the contentious central farm laws
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.