VILLUPURAM SUNDAY FEBRUARY 28, 2021 `8.00 PAGES 24 CITY EDITION U.S. OWES INDIA $216 BN AS ITS DEBT SOARS TO $28 TRILLION Republican opposing Biden’s $1.9 tn Covid relief package warned it would worsen the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio BORROWING FROM NOT FRIENDLY COUNTRIES DEBT DOUBLED DURING OBAMA YEARS On a day the House of Representatives approved the package in a 219-212 near party-line vote, Republican Senator Alex Mooney said US will have to borrow more to fund the stimulus from countries that aren’t friends. The biggest creditors are Japan and China, whom the US owes $1 trillion each. The $29 trillion debt means the US has borrowed $84,000 per citizen ■ ■ Mooney said the national debt doubled during Barack Obama’s tenure and added $10,000 per citizen in the past one year alone The relief package aims to tackle the economic fallout from the pandemic, including direct financial aid to average Americans, support to businesses and boost the national vaccination drive $104 tn ESTIMATED ADDITION TO THE NATIONAL DEBT BY 2050 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 Vaccine at private hospitals to cost L250 Initially, 20K facilities will get Covishield alone; list of 20 comorbidities finalised Comorbidities for determining eligibility Significant left ventricular systolic dysfunction S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA hospitals and the government, the vaccine makers will get `150 per jab while hospitals THE Union ministry of health will earn `100 per shot for eveand family welfare on Satur- ry dose of the vaccine adminday fixed the cost of Covid-19 istered. “States have been exvaccines, set to be offered to plained that the private those above 60 years and peo- hospitals functioning as Covple over 45 years with speci- id vaccination centres can be fied comorbidities, at `250 per subject to a ceiling of `250 per shot in private hospitals and person per dose along with also finalised a list of 20 un- the electronic and financial d e rly i n g c o n d i t i o n s, o r management mechanism in comorbidities. this regard,” the ministry Top sources in the ministry said in a statement. also said that in the beginAround 10,000 private hosning, only Covishield, devel- pitals empanelled under the oped by Oxford UniPradhan Mantri Jan versity-AstraZeneca, Arogya Yojana, nearwill be made availaly 687 hospitals emble in about 20,000 panelled under the private hospitals Central Government There are two where the expanded reasons why only Health Scheme and Covid-19 vaccination Covishield would other private hospibe available in drive is set to begin. tals empanelled unThe list of como- private hospitals der state health inbidities includes in the beginning. surance schemes can First, Bharat those having diabetes Biotech’s Covaxin participate in the for over 10 years or has supply issues. vaccination drive, it with complications Secondly, people added. and hypertension on have greater faith The price of the in Covishield treatment. T hose vaccines was fixed afwith diabetes or hyter several rounds of Officials pertension will not meetings between qualify to get the government officials, shot. Also, people diagnosed led by V K Paul, member with solid cancer since July (health) Niti Aayog, who last year, lymphoma, blood heads the National Expert cancer or myeloma, those Group on Covid19 Vaccine with HIV and acid attack sur- Administration, and reprevivors with involvement of sentatives of the two vaccine the respiratory system will manufacturers, Bharat Bioalso be eligible to receive the tech and the Serum Institute shots. Apart from this, a host of India. of heart diseases, transplant The price for each dose of patients and people with se- the vaccine for individuals vere disabilities have also will be less than the price at been included in the list of which the government had comorbidities. procured the vaccines in the As per the agreement be- first and second phases of the tween the manufacturers, vaccination drive for healthrepresentatives of private care and frontline workers. @ New Delhi Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami pays tribute to former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at her memorial in Chennai on Saturday | P JAWAHAR Deal done: AIADMK allots 23 seats to PMK, dialogue on with BJP EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai JUST a day after the election dates were announced, the ruling AIADMK sealed the deal with its ally PMK, by allotting , the latter 23 seats. It was announced by party coordinator O Panneerselvam in the presence of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, and senior PMK leaders, GK Mani and Anbumani Ramadoss, among others. Identification of constituencies would be done soon, he said. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Anbumani said his party had settled for a lesser number of seats as the AIADMK had fulfilled a key demand — separate reservation for Vanniyar community He expressed . confidence in Palaniswami returning to office. Couple of hours after this development, senior AIADMK leaders, SP Velumani, P Thangamani, and KP Munusamy, called on DMDK founder, Vijayakanth. Earlier in the day according , to agency reports, senior BJP leaders held talks with Palaniswami and Panneerselvam. Later, BJP’s State unit chief, L Murugan, said his party had identified “60 winnable seats” and the final numbers would be arrived upon soon. Sources said Palaniswami and Panneerselvam are likely to call on Union Home Minister Amit Shah on S u n d ay t o f i n a l i s e t h e agreement. 15th Legislative Assembly ends on a sombre note T M U R U G A N A N D H A M @ Chennai PENSIVE mood prevailed among AIADMK legislators during the four-hour-long concluding session of the 15th Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu. Speaker P Dhanapal, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam recalled how they rose from their humble beginnings, and how the late stalwarts of the party moulded them as leaders. In short, it was a reluctant farewell of sorts. AIADMK MLAs who raised queries during the Question Hour and during the other occasions, without fail, started their speech with a recount of their political journey, while the Speaker gave a lengthy account of the business conducted during the past five years. At the start of the session, the Speaker cautioned ministers to answer questions keeping in mind the fact that the model code of conduct was in place. Hence, all the ministers gave a uniform reply — “Your demand will be routed to the concerned department.” Opposition benches, once again, remained vacant. CONTINUED ON: P4 SARATH KUMAR CALLS ON KAMAL Chennai: Raising chances of a possible third front, All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi founder and actor R Sarath Kumar met with Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan on Saturday. Sarath Kumar said the meeting was to explore the possibility of ‘good people with similar points of views’ getting together | P4 EXPRESS READ Counter-terrorism ops in J&K to continue: Army The fresh ceasefire between India and Pakistan will have no bearing on counter-terrorism operations, the Army’s northern commander Lt Gen Y K Joshi and General Officer Commanding (GoC), 28 Infantry Division, Maj Gen V M B Krishnan said on Saturday No AG nod for contempt move against Gogoi Attorney General K K Venugopal has refused to grant sanction to initiate contempt proceedings against former Chief Justice of India (CJI) and Rajya Sabha lawmaker Ranjan Gogoi for his alleged statements against the apex judiciary | P7 IN a show of strength, Congress dissenters, termed G23, said the party had weakened in the past decade and vowed to work for strengthening the party . “We have assembled here and had also gathered earlier and we will unitedly strengthen the party,” senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said while addressing the Shanti Sammelan in Jammu on Saturday . Besides Sibal, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Raj Babbar, Manish Tewari and Vivek Tankha addressed the sammelan, the first coming together of the dissident Congress STOCK STATUS Vaccine availability Karnataka Covishield Kerala Covishield Covishield, Tamil Nadu Covaxin Covishield, Telangana Covaxin Covishield, Andhra Pradesh Covaxin Covishield, Odisha Covaxin State S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi WHILE the Covid-19 vaccination drive is entering the next phase on Monday to cover everyone above 60 years and those above 45 years with co-morbidities, states are still grappling with basic details. According to sources, many states are in the dark about how many doses, or which vaccine, will they receive. Officials in the Union health ministry said talks are on with Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech to gauge the available stock of vaccine vials K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi SOON after activist Disha Ravi was granted bail in the toolkit case, a section of social media users targeted additional sessions judge Dharmendra Rana for making observations critical of the government. Judge Rana facing a volley of online abuse and threat after issuing a judgment is not an isolated case. This was highlighted by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday when he said a ‘disturbing trend’ of activists criticising judges for unfavourable verdicts had emerged. While stating that criticism of judgments in good faith is healthy for democracy legal experts suggest, ed punitive action against those transgressing the ‘criticise the judgment, not the judge’ dictum. Senior Supreme Court advocate Sanjay Hegde said: “Most of the ill-informed criticism of Judge Rana is due to a sentence, saying sedition cannot be used to minister to the wounded vanity of governments. That sentence is a quote from a British judge, ruling in favour of an Indian citizen against the colonial government of pre-independence India. Most ill-informed criticism can and must be shrugged off, but if there is anything particularly vicious, the High Court must take preventive or punitive steps at an appropriate time.” leaders at a single platform. Not happy with the party for not accommodating Azad in some capacity in the party Sibal , said, “When we felt they were freeing Azad from parliament, we felt very bad. We felt he should not been freed from parliament. He is a very senior party leader and I don’t I don’t understand why Congress is not utilizing services of the experienced Azad.” Azad, who arrived in Jammu on Friday after retiring from the Rajya Sabha, said with Gandhi’s ideology, they would fight the new struggle. “We will carry forward his ideology and self service of Gandhi will remain with us.” Current prolonged use of oral corticosteroids/immunosuppressants Decompensated cirrhosis Severe respiratory disease with hospitalisation in last two years Lymphoma/leukaemia/ myeloma Diagnosis of any solid cancer or or after July 1, 2020 or currently on cancer therapy Sickle cell disease/bone marrow failure/aplastic anemia/thalassemia major Primary immunodeficiency diseases/HIV infection Disabilities due to intellectual disabilities/muscular dystrophy/acid attack with involvement of respiratory system/ persons with disabilities having high support needs/multiple disabilities Post cardiac transplant/ left ventricular assist device Moderate of severe valvular heart disease Coronary artery disease with past CABG/PTCA/MI and hypertension/ diabetes on treatment CT/MRI documented stroke and hypertension/diabetes on treatment Angina and hypertension/ diabetes on treatment Post cardiac transplant/ left ventricular assist device Diabetes (>10 years or with complications) and hypertension on treatment End stage kidney disease on haemodialysis/CAPD States in a fix as Centre scrambles to finalise last-minute jab details NOW, JUDGE WHO GAVE DISHA BAIL GETS THREATS Why not use Azad’s services to unite Congress, ask dissenters FAYA Z WA N I @ Srinagar Heart failure with hospital admission in past one year Dissident Bengladeshi writer dies in jail Mushtaq Ahmed, who had been lodged in jail since May 2020 for allegedly spreading anti-government content on social media, died inside a prison near capital Dhaka | P9 WITH THIS ISSUE PRESENT TENSE, FUTURE HAZY PLUS 12 PAGES that can be immediately dispatched to states. An estimated 12 crore people come under this vulnerable group, of which 11 crore are people older than 60 years. Sources added that while the government has fixed a price of `150 per dose for vaccine makers in private hospitals, manufacturers are not happy . “The issue during the price negotiation was that how can the price of the vaccine in private hospitals be lower than the rate at which the Central government had procured it earlier for the first phase of vacci- nation,” said an official. “The companies were very reluctant in accepting the price,” the source added. Officials in a few states, meanwhile, said they need additional doses at least a day before the next phase starts but there is no clarity on when and how much will arrive. “We do not want a situation where entitled beneficiaries queue up for vaccines at a health facility and we have to tell them that enough vaccines are not available,” said a health department official from West Bengal.
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