STATES CRACK THE WHIP DELHI Is witnessing the fourth wave of Covid-19 infection Fourth wave seems less serious than previous ones as there are fewer deaths and Govt not planning hospitalisations, a lockdown as says CM Arvind of now Kejriwal MAHARAShTRA 47,827 cases across state, 8,832 in Mumbai on Friday l Eateries, bars and restaurants in Pune district KARNATAKA ordered to be shut for seven days from Saturday School hostels, l Will order complete lockdown across state if situation gyms, club doesn't improve in 2 days, says CM Uddhav Thackeray houses and l Children and youngsters constitute 47% of new cases pools shut villupuram l saturday l april 03, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l city EDITION 2nd wave fast-n-furious, 10 states fighting infection explosion S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi At least 10 states are fighting the fresh Covid-19 wave, according to government data. The second wave, which started in February in a handful of states led by Maharasthra, has now spread to more states. Till last month, it was Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat that were riding the second wave of the pandemic. But now, four more states — Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana — are showing alar ming growth rates in active cases. Worryingly, the seven-day moving average of the test positivity rate, which is 6.3% nationally is seen rising in some , states including West Bengal, Odisha, Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand. Over the past 24 hours, the country has recorded 81,466 new cases taking the cumula- tive active cases to 6,14, 696 — the highest since October. In the past 21 days, cases have zoomed from 18,377 (March 10) to 81,466 (April 1). In the first wave, which peaked in September last year, daily cases had jumped from 18,000 to 80,000 plus in 65 days. Trends suggest India may soon surpass the peak of 93,277 cases recorded on September 17. Not just infections, Covid deaths are also rising. For more than a week now, the daily death count has been above 200. On April 1, this number touched a whopping 469. Experts say the second wave could be more intense than the first one. The oft-cited reason for the infection explosion is the relaxed, careless behaviour by public and lax health administration. However, the role of mutant virus in driving the transmission is also under investigation. According to Union health ministry data, eight states -Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Kar nataka, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh -- have shown a steep rise in cases. As much as 81.25% of the new cases are from these eight states. P10 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 I-T raids houses of Stalin’s kin, other DMK leaders EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai/Karur/Thanjavur/Vellore/ Puducherry/Tiruvannamalai Four days ahead of the elections, the Income Tax (I-T) department on Friday raided the houses of DMK leaders across the State. This prompted the party to seek the Election Commission’s intervention, saying the BJP-led Central government is misusing the department to “threaten” it. e x p ress read OPS highlights AIADMK governance at Theni Theni: Campaigning at Anaikaraipatti in Theni district, Deputy Chief Minister and AIADMK’s Bodinayakanur Assembly constituency candidate O Panneerselvam on Friday said the Amma government has ensured food security to all people, and it will be extended further. “So far, 12 lakh houses have been built for the homeless across the State. In Theni alone, 22,400 families have benefitted. By 2023, all the homeless will get new houses,” he said | P4 The I-T department said the raids pertained to “handling of cash of politically exposed persons for the ongoing elections”, and added that “several incriminating materials” have been found. The searches were still underway late on Friday . Among the houses raided were those of party chief MK Stalin’s daughter Senthamarai in Chennai, Karur constituency candidate V Senthil Balaji in Rameswarapatti, DMK union MK Stalin’s daughter Senthamarai’s house in Chennai | Aadittheesh Murali s e c re t a r y S M u r a s o l i i n Thanjavur, and MP CN Annadurai at Devanampattu village. Taking to Twitter, Stalin wrote: “The BJP, as usual, is abusing its power as their defeat is sure since there is no support from the public. We are not AIADMK to fall (at the BJP’s) feet for fear of intimidation. No fear. Let us boldly oppose. People will give you a clear answer to your mistakes on April 6”. Continued on P4 EC suspends five, orders booth repoll P rasanta M a z umdar @ Guwahati The Election Commission on Friday suspended five polling personnel, including a presiding officer, and ordered repoll at a polling booth in Assam after a polling team, travelling with polled EVMs in a car registered in the name of a BJP MLA’s wife, was held hostage and allegedly attacked. A sub inspector of police tasked with escorting the polling party was also suspended for leaving them stranded and not ensur- ing their safe arrival at their destination. With the incident triggering a flutter, the EC explained it was raining heavily and the polling party of No 149 Indira MV School of Ratabari seat was returning with escorts when the vehicle broke down and got detached from the convoy While an alternative vehi. cle was being arranged, the polling party boarded a ‘passing vehicle’ without checking its ownership. When the car slowed down in the traffic at Kanaishil in Karimganj around 10 pm, it was surrounded by about 50 people who started pelting stones. The mob abused the officials and did not allow the car to pass, the EC said. The mob said the vehicle belonged to sitting MLA of Patharkandi and BJP candidate Krishnendu Paul, and alleged the EVMs were being taken to be tampered with. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra lit into it, saying the EC needs to start acting decisively on these complaints. 3 DAyS TO GO Salem is AIADMK fort: EPS A man cycles in Chennai on Friday, when the city witnessed temperatures crossing the 40 0 C mark | Ashwin Prasath Heat wave pushes temp in State 4-60 C above normal EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai As many as 27 districts in Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, are under the grip of a heat wave, with maximum temperatures likely to be 4-6 degree Celsius above normal, the Regional Meteorological Centre here said on Friday . While Chennai’s mean temperature for April is 34.5 degree Celsius, the city’s automatic weather station at Nungambakkam clocked a sizzling 41.6 degree Celsius around 1.15 pm on Friday. This is the first time Chennai’s daytime temperature breached the 40-degree mark this year. The automatic weather sta- tions at West Tambaram, Meenambakkam and Madhavaram also recorded temperatures above the 40-degree mark, touching 41.8, 41.3 and 41.1 degree Celsius respectively on Friday afternoon. The hottest places in the State are Erode, Vellore, Karur and Tiruttani. Erode, which saw the temperature cross 43 degrees Celsius, has been among the five hottest places in the country for the past few days. N Puviarasan, director of the Area Cyclone Warning Centre, said heat wave conditions are likely to prevail in most districts of Tamil Nadu t i l l Ap r i l 4 . C h e n n a i , Kancheepuram, Chengalpet, Vellore, Ranipet, Tirupattur, Tiruvallur, Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram, Kallakurichi, Cuddalore, Salem, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Namakkal, Karur, Tiruchirapalli, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam, Madurai, Sivagangai, Virudhunagar and Pudukottai will experience temperatures 4-6 de g ree Celsius above normal. From April 5, heat wave conditions will be limited to a few interior districts such as Dharmapuri, Karur, Salem, Namakkal, Krishnagiri, Dindigul, Tiruppur, Erode and Coimbatore, with the maximum temperature likely to be 4-5 degree Celsius above normal. Salem/Chennai: “Salem is the fort of AIADMK. In the last Assembly elections, we won 10 out of 11 seats here,” Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said while campaigning at Attaiyampatti in Salem district on Friday. He also justified the party’s alliance with the BJP | P4 DMK ‘invites’ PM Modi to campaign Chennai: A section of DMK candidates on Friday took to Twitter to cheekily invite PM Narendra Modi to campaign for their rival candidates, as they believed it would increase their winning margins. Nearly 100 DMK candidates tweeted in such a way | P6 Tiruppur garment firm shut as 31 test positive E xpress N ews S ervice @ Tiruppur On a day when Tamil Nadu reported more than 3,000 new Covid-19 cases, a garment export unit at Washington Nagar in Kannakampalayam panchayat here was shut for two days starting Friday after 31 workers tested positive. A source from the Health Department said the cluster was discovered during contact-tracing after a worker at the unit was found to be infected. Of the 165 employees, 31 tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday morning. All of them were admitted to the Tiruppur Government Hospital, and their health is said to be stable. Health workers and housekeeping staff were deployed to disinfect the premises, and workers also distributed kabasura kudineer to residents in the surrounding area on Thursday and Friday . Over 3,000 new cases in State Tamil Nadu on Friday reported more than 3,000 new Covid-19 cases for the first time in 160 days. Of the 3,290 new cases, 1,188 were in Chennai. A total of 12 new Covid deaths were reported. The State now has a total of 18,606 active cases. Modi promises med colleges in 1 out of every 3 dists in TN Says medical and technical courses will be taught in local languages S h o b ana R ad h akris h nan @ Madurai Madurai will get a state-of-theart All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised on Friday. Besides this, medical colleges will be set up at one in three districts of Tamil Nadu, more UG and PG seats will be offered, and medical and technical courses will be taught in local languages, he asserted. Modi made these promises during a public meeting of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at Amma Thidal here. Sharing the dais with Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and other leaders, he began his campaign for the elections by chanting “Vetri Vel Veera Vel”. Alleging that the Congress and DMK have mastered the art of not working but spreading lies about those who work, he BJP functionaries from Madurai present a picture of Meenakshi Amman Temple to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the city on Friday | kk sundar said, “One example is the issue culture, but their actions conof AIIMS. Despite being in pow- tradict their words, he alleged, er for many years, they didn’t and added: “In 2011, the UPA even think of bringing AIIMS to came to power in Delhi. The Madurai. It was our government same UPA government banned that did it.” Modi added jallikattu. A UPA leader that the project would eneven called it a barbaric sure quality healthcare practice. In 2016, the TN for people of the region. Congress manifesto called The DMK and Confor a ban on jallikattu. gress pretend to be the They should be ashamed DAyS TO GO only custodians of Tamil of it.” Continued on P4 3
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