KANNUR l monday l February 01, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l city EDITION 1 in every 4 Indians exposed to coronavirus: sero-survey 25% of the population has shown evidence of past infection of Covid-19, the third national serosurvey done by ICMR has revealed Cities close to achieving herd immunity? The survey estimates India’s actual Covid-19 infection size at 30 crore though the number of confirmed cases stands at just over 1 crore. “The figures are much higher in many cities, strengthening the epidemiological theory that some cities may be approaching herd immunity as evident in the falling daily numbers of new cases,” an official told TNIE | P7 37,44,334 Epidemic to weaken at 70% exposure ■ The serosurvey carried out in Dec and Jan tested blood samples of 400 randomly selected persons from 70 districts across 22 states ■ Scientists and researchers in many countries have estimated that the coronavirus epidemic will slow down rapidly when 60-70% of the population in an area gets exposed to the virus and recovers Vaccinated against Covid as on Sunday, according to Union health ministry 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 Committed to PM’s dignity, kisan’s self-respect: Tikait Would FM tick these checkboxes today? No radical change in income tax slabs, but expect some tax breaks for the salaried class Modi says country saddened by insult to the Tricolour at Red Fort E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Farmers raise slogans during their ongoing protest against the new farm laws, at the Singhu border in Delhi on Sunday | Shekhar yadav A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government was just a phone call away to talk to the farmers’ unions, the Tikait brothers said they will honour Modi’s dignity while also being committed to protecting their self-respect. Bharatiya Kisan Union leaders Naresh and Rakesh Tikait said they were open to talks to find a middle path, but their definition of a middle ground was different from what the Centre has in mind. “Talks are necessary A solution should be . found. These farmers have been protesting for over two months now.... The middle path could be that the Centre assures farm- ers it won’t implement the three laws during its tenure. We will also try convincing the farmers,” Naresh said. As for Rakesh Tikait, he said farmers would not succumb to pressure but they don’t want the government or Parliament to ‘bow down to them’ either, adding they respect Modi’s dignity Rakesh demanded the re. lease of farmer leaders to prepare a conducive environment for talks. While the Tikaits are part of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmers’ unions, their position was more nuanced than the blunt statements of the morcha so far. The morcha on Sunday formed a committee to trace those who went missing after Another senior journalist booked by UP Police Suspension of internet undemocratic: Morcha The UP Police lodged an FIR against The Wire’s editor Siddharth Varadarajan who had tweeted the story of the family of Navreet Singh, a protester who died on Republic Day. The family disputed the police claim that he died after his tractor rammed a barricade The morcha condemned the arrests of journalists, and the suspension of internet services at protest sites. “It (govt) is also fearful of the coordinated work of the farmers’ unions across different protest sites... This is undemocratic and illegal,” it said in a statement Release of big movies to be delayed UDF begins campaign with ‘communal’ strike at CPM S h i bu B S @Kochi E x p r e s s N e w Se r v i c e @ Kasaragod Though cinemas have reopened in the state after the nearly 10-month-long shutdown, it might be a while before theatre owners are able to fully shake off the pandemic blues. This follows the postponement of the release date of some of the keenly anticipated Malayalam movies. The decision to reschedule the release of movies, including Mammootty-starrer ‘The Priest’, was taken by the respective producers. The move was prompted by the spike in Covid-19 cases and the state government’s curbs on screenings. Despite the Centre’s relaxation allowing theatres to function at 100 per cent capacity con, sidering the spike in Kerala, the state may stick to its decision to allow only 50 per cent of the seating capacity . “So far, we have been informed by producers of ‘The Priest’ and Kunchacko Boban-starrer ‘Mohankumar Fans’ that they have put off the release. It was the take of the producers, who are apprehensive of recovering the production cost of the movies in the prevailing scenario,” said Rejaputhra Renjith, president of Kerala Film Producers’ Associa● More on P5 tion. The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) kick-started its campaign for assembly elections on Sunday by painting the LDF and the BJP with the same brush and accusing the CPM and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of “deliberately trying to communalise” Kerala. Speaker after speaker at the launch of the ‘Aishwarya Kerala Yatra’ — the UDF’s statewide election campaign — targeted the CPM for trying to demonise the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML). “The chief minister is pitting Hindus against Muslims and Muslims against Christians,” said Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, who is lead- WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) ing the yatra from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram. “Why does Vijayaraghavan (CPM state secretary in-charge) hate the Muslims so much? Why does he hate the IUML so much?” Chennithala asked. Vijayaraghavan has been consistently accusing the Congress of being subservient to the League and the Muslim-majority party of opening the doors of the UDF to “Islamist” outfits. For mer chief minister Oommen Chandy, who flagged off the yatra at Kumbla in Kasaragod, said the LDF gover nment wasted its mandate by indulging in violent and hate politics and spreading communalism for the past five years. Chennithala said Panakkad’s family always gave thrust to secu● More on P4 larism. ‘Homage’ gaffe leaves Congress red-faced Congress workers carry Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on their shoulders as he arrives for ‘Aishwarya Kerala Yatra‘ in Kasaragod | express Kasaragod/T’Puram: The Congress had an embarrassing start to the ‘Aishwarya Kerala Yatra’ when Veekshanam, its mouthpiece, paid ‘homage’ to the initiative instead of ‘best wishes’. The gaffe apeared in the pullout distributed with Sunday’s newspaper. P4 express read LDF does not want fair policing in Kerala, says Jacob Thomas Soon, registration to be mandatory for camping in tents Kochi: “If impartial investigations are done, the LDF’s functionaries may end up in jail. The Left front doesn’t want fair policing,” retired IPS officer Jacob Thomas told TNIE in an interview, amid speculation that he may contest the ensuing polls on a BJP ticket. P4 Kalpetta: The Tourism department has asked the Adventure Tourism Promotion Society to lay down new guidelines, including mandatory registration, for camping in tents. The move follows the death of a woman who was trampled by an elephant in Meppadi. P5 holy cow! Wrestling body gifted buffalo worth `1.5 lakh F i r o z M i r z a @ Chennai RECEIVING weird gifts for their accomplishments is not new for athletes. Tennis legend Roger Federer was gifted a cow, not once but twice, by the Swiss Open Gstaad. The 23rd Senior Women’s National Wrestling Championship in Agra on Sunday witnessed a similar incident, but this time it’s the governing body that ended up with the gift. In its bid to felicitate the best wrestler of the tournament, a sponsor on Sunday offered to gift a buffalo worth around `1.5 lakh. With the event not having an award in that category, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) decided to accept the gift on behalf of the wrestlers. “A local sponsor wanted to gift the buffalo to the best wrestler. Given the format in which the competition was being organised, every weight category (total 10) has a gold winner so it was not possible to pick the best among them,” Vinod Tomar, WFI’s assistant secretary told this daily , . After much deliberation, the animal was eventually gifted to WFI, he added. Sources claimed that around `15,000 was spent only on the decoration of the buffalo that was brought to the venue with full fanfare. So what’s next? Even the federation is not sure what to do wi h the gift. t A WFI source revealed the animal might be transported to WFI’s headquarters in New Delhi. The federati runs its on office from presid nt Brijbe hushan Sharan Si gh’s official n residence in Delhi. Si is a ngh BJP MP from Kaiserganj, Uttar Pradesh. The buffalo which was gifted to the Wrestling Federation of India in Agra on Sunday | SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT the Republic Day tractor rally . In his Mann Ki Baat radio broadcast, Modi expressed dismay at the riots that day and the ‘insult’ to the Tricolour by a mob that had entered the Red Fort complex to plant a religious flag. The Tikait brothers echoed him but saw a plot in the violence. Meanwhile, the Delhi Police sent over 50 fresh notices to people, including farmer leaders, officials said. Police said some tractors used during the violence have been identified and notices were sent to their owners. The police are also conducting investigations at several locations outside Delhi, including Punjab and Haryana, to locate the people involved in the riots. Rajappan gets PM’s pat for efforts to clean up Vembanad Lake The differently-abled Kottayam native, 72, who embarks on his country boat regularly to remove plastic waste from the lake, was hailed by Modi in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme | P5 BUDGET 2021-22 We can see a Budget which is a budget like never before. 100 years of India wouldn’t have seen a Budget being made postpandemic like this FM Nirmala Sitharaman during her address to the CII Partnership Summit 2020 on January 5 11:00 am Budget presentation begins Budget may increase tax rebate under Section 80C and 80D from L1.5 l to L2 l Standard deduction limit likely to be doubled to L1 lakh increasing the exemption for health expenses Higher tax rebate likely for firsttime home buyers Government to fix some anomalies in the National Pension Scheme with regard to income tax benefits Covid-19 cess to raise revenue on the cards J1,19,847 cr Increasing tax on long-term capital gains from equity and property is a possibility Further increase in import duty on sin goods and luxury items Spending more on health infrastructure is a given, by how much more is the question Budget is likely to set up a separate bank for infrastructure sector More privatisation drive of PSUs, privatisation of electricity distribution expected Substantial increase in defence outlay to deal with a belligerent China Atmanirbhar overdrive to push indigenisation and accelerate growth January GST collection, the highest monthly mop-up so far. Came as a sentiment booster a day before the Budget
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