CHENNAI SUNDAY FEBRUARY 28, 2021 `8.00 PAGES 28 LATE 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 | P12 ■ ■ 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 subject to a ceiling of `250 per person per dose along with the electronic and financial THE Union ministry of health management mechanism in and family welfare on Satur- this regard,” the ministry day fixed the cost of Covid-19 said in a statement. vaccines, set to be offered to Around 10,000 private hosthose above 60 years and peo- pitals empanelled under the ple over 45 years with speci- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya fied comorbidities, at `250 per Yojana, nearly 687 hospitals shot in private hospitals and empanelled under the Central also finalised a list of 20 un- Government Health Scheme d e rly i n g c o n d i t i o n s, o r and other private hospitals comorbidities. empanelled under state health Top sources in the ministry insurance schemes can paralso said that in the begin- ticipate in the vaccination ning, only Covishield, devel- drive, it added. oped by Oxford UniThe price of the versity-AstraZeneca, vaccines was fixed afwill be made availater several rounds of ble in about 20,000 meetings between private hospitals government officials, There are two where the expanded reasons why only led by V K Paul, memCovid-19 vaccination Covishield would ber (health) Niti Aaybe available in drive is set to begin. og, who heads the NaThe list of comor- private hospitals tional Expert Group bidities includes in the beginning. on Covid19 Vaccine First, Bharat those having diabetes Biotech’s Covaxin Administration, and for over 10 years or has supply issues. representatives of with complications Secondly, people the two vaccine manand hypertension. have greater faith ufacturers, Bharat in Covishield Also, people diagBiotech and the Senosed with solid canr um Institute of Officials cer since July last India. ye a r, l y m p h o m a , The price for each blood cancer or myeloma, dose of the vaccine for indithose with HIV and acid at- viduals will be less than the tack survivors with involve- price at which the government of the respiratory sys- ment had procured the vactem will be eligible. cines in the first and second As per the agreement be- phases of the vaccination tween the manufacturers, drive for healthcare and frontrepresentatives of private line workers. hospitals and the government, The Centre had paid `200 the vaccine makers will get per dose for Covishield by Se`150 per jab while hospitals rum Institute of India and will earn `100 per shot for eve- `295 per dose for Covaxin by ry dose of the vaccine admin- Bharat Biotech, excluding istered. “States have been ex- taxes, when it had procured plained that the private 110 million and 55 million doshospitals functioning as Cov- es of the two vaccines respecid vaccination centres can be tively last month. @ 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. A 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. 3rd front forming? Sarath Kumar calls on Kamal Haasan EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai IS a third front slowly brewing in Tamil Nadu? Giving rise to speculation, actor-turned-politician R Sarath Kumar, founder of All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK), met with Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan on Saturday The meeting assumes sig. nificance as it comes just a day after AISMK left the AIADMK alliance to join hands with entrepreneur TR Pachamuthu’s IJK, which bid farewell to the DMK combine the same day . On Saturday IJK representa, tives accompanied Sarath Kumar, when he went to Kamal’s office. “The meeting was to explore the possibility of good people with similar points of views coming together,” said Sarath Kumar after the meeting. “MNM office-bearers will speak with us. We are waiting for a good answer,” he said. It is understood that Kamal has not yet committed to the alliance. However, he did hint the possibility of forming a third front in TN and Puducherry. “Our doors are open... We will announce the alliance soon,” said Kamal, while talking about a MORE ON: P4 third front. 15TH TN ASSEMBLY COMES TO AN END Chennai: The four-hour-long concluding session of the 15th State Legislative Assembly on Saturday saw AIADMK legislators reflecting upon their journey from their humble beginnings to how the late party stalwarts helped mould them into leaders. In short, it READ ON: P4 was a reluctant farewell of sorts. 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 | P9 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. Rana’s is not an isolated case of a judge facing online abuse and threat after delivering a verdict. This was highlighted by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Patna on Saturday when he said a ‘disturbing trend’ of activists criticising judges for unfavourable verdicts had started. 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 CONTINUED ON: P10 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 Bangladeshi 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 | P12 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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