CHENNAI SATURDAY MARCH 13, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 22 LATE CITY EDITION INDIA REVIEWS COVISHIELD AS 10 NATIONS SUSPEND USE The Centre is looking into hospitalisation and deaths in people who took the Covid-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca-Oxford University AUSTRIA, DENMARK REPORT DEATHS NO REASON TO STOP VACCINE, SAYS W.H.O. While Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg have withdrawn the use of one batch of AstraZeneca vaccine, others including Denmark have suspended all batches for two weeks. So far, 22 cases of blood clots have been reported among 3 million people vaccinated in Europe. Austria and Denmark reported one death each due to “severe blood coagulation” ■ “We haven’t found anything of concern with respect to Covishield so far,” said Dr Narendra Arora, advisor to the national panel on Adverse Events Following Immunisation ■ Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said on Friday that there is no reason to stop using AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine 90% OF 2.63 CRORE VACCINATIONS CARRIED OUT SO FAR IN INDIA COMPRISED COVISHIELD 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 ON A CAMPAIGN TRAIL: EPS ENTHRALLS SALEM CROWD “This election is between Dharma and Evil,” said Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami while campaigning in Vazhapadi region of Salem district First-timers & family: DMK strikes a balance S K U M A R E S A N @ Chennai “If Dharma should win, people must vote for AIADMK. What has DMK ever done for people apart from corruption?” the Chief Minister asked 24 DAYS TO GO ”DMK is a party for the family. If it comes to power, land grabbing will resume. Goonda raj will return. My duty, unlike theirs, is to work for the people,” said Palaniswami FULL STORY ON P4 Quad’s mega vaccine push for global good India to manufacture one billion doses by 2022; Japan and US to fund initiative, Australia to provide logistics support Factory output back in negative territory, retail inflation soars E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Friday participated in the first-ever Quad Summit meet virtually where a combined initiative to boost India’s vaccine manufacturing capacity was announced even as sources said the stand-off against China on the LAC, too, came up for discussion. Dwelling on the vaccine initiative, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said it will leverage strengths from each of the member countries to achieve the target of manufacturing one billion doses by the end of next year. “Japan and the US will finance the initiative while Australia will provide logistical support to the programme,” Shringla said. A joint statement titled Spirit of the Quad released after the summit said the four countries will expand safe, affordable, and effective vaccine production and equitable access to hasten economic recovery and benefit global health. “We recognise that none of us can be safe as long as the pandemic continues to spread... We will collaborate to strengthen equitable vaccine access for the Indo-Pacific, with close coordination with multilateral organizations including the WHO and COVAX,” it added. A joint working group has been formed to oversee the implementation of the vaccine programme. Similarly Shring, la said, two more joint working groups have been constituted DOUBLE WHAMMY to work on other important agenda of the Quad like technology and climate change. Earlier, addressing the Summit virtually, Modi said the grouping was a positive extension of the country’s ancient philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which regards the world as one family . The meeting was also attended by US President Joe Biden, Australian PM Scott Morrison and his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga. The Quad grouping, comprising India, Australia, Japan and the US, is seen as a platform to counter the Chinese aggression in the region, especially the South China Sea. “Today’s summit meeting shows that Quad has come of age. It will now remain an important pillar of stability in the region,” Modi said. Announcing the vaccine programme, Biden said, “We are launching a new ambitious joint partnership that is going to boost vaccine manufacturing for the global benefit and will boost vaccination programmes in the Indo-Pacific P11 region. Stand-off at LAC The stand-off in Eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control was discussed during the Quad Summit and members had sympathetic views, sources said Inclusive Indo-Pacific “We are united by... our commitment to a free, open and inclusive IndoPacific. Our agenda today — covering areas like vaccines, climate change and emerging technologies — makes the Quad a force for global good,” Modi said DASHING hopes of a sustained economic recovery in, dustrial production growth slipped back to the negative zone by contracting 1.6% in January And, retail . inflation in February shot up to 5.03% driven by food prices and crude oil. The contraction in Index of Industrial Production (IIP), which measures factory output, comes after a 1.56% growth in December 2020. According to data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on Friday, the manufacturing sector output contracted 2% in January while the mining output declined 3.7%. Meanwhile, , power generation grew 5.5% in January . The worst performance was witnessed by the capital goods sector, which recorded a contraction of 9.6% during the month under review, followed by a decline of 6.8% in the consumer non-durable section and 0.2% in the consumer durables segment. “We remain circumspect regarding the intensity of the rebound in household consumption immediately after the vaccine rollout widens, as some categories of households may choose to rebuild the savings that they had drained during the lockdown and post-lockdown period,” said Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, Icra. Meanwhile, food inflation rose steeply to 3.87% in February compared with 1.89% in the previous month. , Inflation in the ‘fuel and light’ category remained elevated at 3.53% during the month. While retail inflation at 5.03% is still below RBI’s upper tolerance level of 6%, experts feel it could make the central bank sit up and take notice. “As we had suspected, perhaps the low point for inflation is behind us for some months to come. From a monetary policy perspective, the rising inflationary risks (fuel prices, demand pressures etc), although still nascent, could trigger some caution from the RBI,” said Sakshi Gupta, senior economist at HDFC Bank. IMAYAM CHOSEN FOR SAHITYA AWARD Renowned writer Imayam’s novel, Sellatha Panam, has been chosen for Sahitya Akademi award for 2020 | P7 Why delay in action against Mamata back home, parties take accused cop? HC asks State conspiracy angle fight to the EC EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai THE Madras High Court on Friday questioned the State government on the delay in taking action against the Special Director General of Police (DGP), accused of sexually hara s s i n g a wo m a n I P S officer. Taking suo moto cognizance of the issue, Justice N Anand Venkatesh said while the special DGP had not been suspended yet, action was taken against the SP who allegedly waylaid the woman officer. “The SP was only an arrow, but the special DGP was the bow. Is the latter so powerful that the State cannot suspend him?” the judge asked public prosecutor A Natarajan. Seeking a status report on the investigation by March 16, the judge said that the court would monitor the probe closely . The judge also refused to vacate the prohibition against publicising the name of the accused in addition to the victim, saying, “The court did not want a parallel media trial to happen in this case.” Meanwhile, advocate Abdul Saleem, representing the special DGP, submitted that while the accused was cooperating with the investigation and had filed his submission before the internal complaints committee, a committee member had commented that the accused must be hanged without a trial. It was made even before the proceedings started, he said. E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Mamata Banerjee being wheeled out of a Kolkata hospital on Friday | PTI HOURS before West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was discharged from a Kolkata hospital after doctors found her recovery from a recent leg injury satisfactory , the BJP and the Trinamool Congress on Friday approached the Election Commission of India here seeking a thorough probe into the alleged attack on her. The Trinamool delegation submitted a memorandum claiming the alleged attack was pre-planned and demanded an immediate, thorough and unbiased investigation. The memorandum said the attack happened just a day after the West Bengal DGP was abruptly transferred. The BJP’s memorandum claimed that the Trinamool was spreading canards against the EC. As for the poll panel, it could take action against police personnel in charge of Mamata’s security sources said. It is wait, ing for reports from the state government and the two observers appointed for the Assembly elections before deciding on the nature and quantum of the punishment. P11 Kamal to fight in Kovai Coimbatore: Banking on his party’s decent show in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan has chosen Coimbatore South constituency for his maiden contest. He would be locking horns with candidates of the BJP and Congress | P4 NINE doctors, six doctorateholders, 13 engineers... the DMK candidates list is a good mix of youngsters, seasoned politicians, and, as expected, family members of yesteryear heavyweights. Among the 173 names announced on Friday were Udhayanidhi Stalin, the DMK president’s son; Vetri Azhagan, grandson of veteran K Anbazhagan; and Dr Ezhilan, son of former State planning commission vice-president M Naganathan. In terms of gender, the ratio remained skewed as just 12 women made the cut. “It should be presumed that Kalaignar is contesting,” DMK chief MK Stalin said, recalling his father M Karunanidhi’s memory in his message to the cadre. “This is not a list of candidates, but winners,” he said. The DMK will take on its archrival and ruling party, the AIADMK, in about 130, and the BJP in 14, of the total 234 constituencies. Most sitting MLAs — 79 of them in total — have been given a ticket. A few of them missed the bus because of alliance compulsions. Despite being known for its dynasty politics, the party denied tickets to family members DMK chief MK Stalin with the list of candidates on Friday | P JAWAHAR of former ministers Veerapandi Arumugam, Pongalur Palaniswami, Erode NKKP Raja and Theni Mookaiya. Instead, several newcomers who have made a name for themselves in the social media landscape have made the cut, such as Thanga Tamil Selvan, RS Raja Kannappan, and Karthikeya Sivasenathipathi. Thanga Tamil Selvan will take on Deputy CM O Panneerselvam in Bodinayakanur while Sivasenathipathi, who became popular with the Jallikattu protests, will face minister SP Velumani. Stalin said he will file the nomination on March 15. Can’t stay a babu and be EC, rules SC ‘Disturbing’ The top court said it was disturbing to note that a person, while being employed with government, was in charge of EC in Goa E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Friday ruled that no serving government official be appointed as Election Commissioner as the independence of the EC is sacrosanct. A bench headed by Justice R F Nariman pulled up the Goa government for giving law secretary additional charge of EC. “All state election commissions shall be headed by independent persons who do not hold any office under the state government. If they hold any such office, they have to P11 resign before taking charge of the office (of EC),” it said.
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