TIRUNELVELI SUNDAY FEBRUARY 28, 2021 `8.00 PAGES 26 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 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 ■ $104 tn DEBT DOUBLED DURING OBAMA YEARS ■ 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 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 S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ 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 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. A I A D M K M L A s wh o 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 WITH THIS ISSUE PRESENT TENSE, FUTURE HAZY PLUS 12 PAGES — 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 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. THE Union ministry of health and family welfare on Saturday fixed the cost of Covid-19 vaccines, set to be offered to those above 60 years and people over 45 years with specified comorbidities, at `250 per shot in private hospitals and also finalised a list of 20 und e rly i n g c o n d i t i o n s, o r comorbidities. Top sources in the ministry also said that in the beginning, only Covishield, developed by Oxford UniversityAstraZeneca, will be made available in about 20,000 private hospitals where the expanded Covid-19 vaccination drive is set to begin. The list of comobidities includes those having diabetes for over 10 years or with complications and hypertension on treatment. Those with diabetes or hypertension will not qualify to get the shot. Also, people diagnosed with solid cancer since July last year, lymphoma, blood cancer or myeloma, those with HIV and acid attack survivors with involvement of the respiratory system will also be eligible to receive the shots. Apart from this, a host of heart diseases, transplant patients and people with severe disabilities have also been included in the list of comorbidities. As per the agreement between the manufacturers, representatives of private hospitals and the government, the vaccine makers will get `150 per jab while hospitals will earn `100 per shot for every dose of the vaccine administered. “States have been explained that the private hospitals functioning as Covid vaccination centres can be subject to a ceiling of `250 per person per dose along with the electronic and financial management mechanism in this regard,” the ministry said in a statement. The price of the vaccines was fixed after several rounds of meetings between government officials, led by V K Paul, member (health) Niti Aayog, who heads the National Expert Group on Covid19 Vaccine Administration, and representatives of the two va c c i n e m a nu f a c t u re r s, Bharat Biotech and the Serum Institute of India. EXPRESS READ Disha bail: Judge gets threats 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. This was highlighted by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. He said a ‘disturbing trend’ of activists criticising judges for unfavourable verdicts had emerged. STOCK STATUS Vaccine availability Karnataka Covishield Kerala Covishield Covishield, Tamil Nadu Covaxin Covishield, Telangana Covaxin Covishield, Andhra Pradesh Covaxin Covishield, Odisha Covaxin State Comorbidities for determining eligibility Heart failure Post cardiac Coronary artery with hospital transplant/left disease with past CABG/ admission in ventricular PTCA/MI and hypertension/ past one year assist device diabetes on treatment Significant left ventricular systolic dysfunction Moderate of severe valvular heart disease 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 muscular dystrophy States in a fix as Centre scrambles to finalise last-minute jab details 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 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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