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 Eateries, bars and restaurants in Pune district BENGALURU SATURDAY APRIL 03, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION ordered to be shut for seven days from Saturday Will order complete lockdown across state if situation doesn't improve in 2 days, says CM Uddhav Thackeray Children and youngsters constitute 47% of new cases Chhattisgarh Lockdown in Durg district of the state from April 6-14 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 Maharashtra, 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 P8 from these eight states. 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 Gyms, pools to shut, 50 pc Modi promises more med colleges in TN seating in theatres, hotels SHOBANA RADHAKRISHNAN @ Madurai State Govt announces strict measures in the light of rising Covid-19 cases in many districts TAMING THE VIRUS IN K’TAKA Government’s list of measures to check the virus spread 50% A health worker administers Covid vaccine to a woman, as part of the vaccination drive, at C V Raman Hospital in Bengaluru on Friday | MEGHANA SASTRY EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru HOURS after Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba reviewed the Covid-19 situation during a virtual meeting with Chief Secretaries of high-prevalence states, Karnataka on Friday announced a slew of measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The state has been witnessing a consistent rise in Covid-19 numbers even as large public gatherings and rallies continue to be held. “The number of cases are rapidly increasing in Bengaluru, Kalaburgi, Bidar, Mysuru and other places. There will be no lockdown or night curfew, but measures will be taken to contain the spread,” Karnataka Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar said after the meeting. Restaurants, pubs, bars, clubs and cinema halls will have to strictly stick to 50 per cent seating capacity in Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts, including BBMP area, Mysuru, Kalaburgi, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Bidar and Hubballi-Dharwad, while gyms and swimming pools will remain completely shut. In case of any violation in pubs, bars or clubs, the facility shall be closed till the epidemic is over, a government order said. The order further states that gyms, party halls, club houses, swimming pools will remain closed in apartment complexes. At places of worship, individuals are permitted to visit and offer prayers only, without having gatherings or functions. Strict Covid-appropriate behaviour — like ensuring wearing of masks, physical distancing, provision of hand sanitiser — should be ensured in places like markets and department stores. These are part of the stringent measures taken by the State Government and will be in effect till April 20. Classes 6-9, including Vidyagama, shall remain suspended, but Classes 10, 11 and 12 will continue in the existing mode although attendance in person will not be mandatory. Classes for higher and professional courses will be suspended, except for those due for board/university examinations and health sciences. P3 Restricted seating capacity at restaurants, pubs, bars, clubs and cinema halls Classes 6-9, including Vidyagama, to be suspended, but Classes 10, 11, 12 to continue, but attendance in person not compulsory Boarding schools to be closed, except for students of Classes 10,11, and 12, and higher and professional courses appearing in board/varsity exams and health sciences Offering of prayers allowed only at places of worship, without gatherings Gyms, party halls, club houses, swimming pools in apartment complexes and elsewhere to stay shut F R I DAY F I G U R E S 4,991 State sees the highest daily spike so far 34,219 Active cases 10,06,229 MADURAI will get a state-ofthe-art 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 Palan- EXPRESS READ Eshwarappa defends letter to Governor Bengaluru: Rural Development and Panchayatraj Minister K S Eshwarappa’s defended his letter to Governor Vajubhai Vala, saying, “I am a loyal party man... I cannot be a mute spectator to what was happening in my department.” P4 2 cops hurt in US as car rams Capitol barricade Washington: A car rammed into two Capitol Police officers at a barricade outside the US Capitol on Friday, and the driver got out of the vehicle while appearing to brandish a knife before being shot by authorities. Both officers and the driver were taken to the hospital. TOTAL CASE TALLY 95.34% Recovery rate (1,631 discharged today) 4.64% Positivity rate Forex reserves fall to $579.285 billion 1.25% Mortality rate (6 more deaths, toll at 12,591) Mumbai: The country’s foreign exchange reserves declined by $2.986 billion to reach $579.285 billion in the week ended March 26, RBI data showed on Friday. In the previous week ended March 19, the forex kitty had increased by $233 million. No action against officials: Chief Secy gets HC notice EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru TAKING serious note of the lack of action against officials, the Karnataka High Court on Friday issued notice to the Chief Secretary and competent authorities/heads of various government departments. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj was hearing a public interest petition filed by social activist Sai Datta seeking action against them for not acting on the reports of the Lokayukta or Upa Lokayuktas against erring public servants in as many as 342 cases. Along with the chief secretary and heads of departments, the court also ordered notice to the Karnataka Lokayukta. The petitioner contended that Lokayukta and the two Upa Lokayuktas are empowered to investigate into the al- legations or grievances relating to the conduct of public servants, including the Chief Minister, ministers, MLAs and also mal-administration, and submit a report to the competent authorities or heads of the departments concerned, under Section 12 of the Kar nataka Lokayukta Act. The Lokayukta or Upa Lokayukta can also recommend action against erring public servants if the alle- gations are found to be true during enquiry . The competent authorities/ heads of the departments concerned should examine the report within three months and intimate the Lokayukta or Upa Lokayukta regarding the action taken or proposed to be taken against such public servants. However, the competent authorities have not acted upon the reports of the Lokayukta or Upa Lokayukta in 342 cases. CONTINUED ON: P5 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 iswami, 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 said, “One example is the issue EC suspends 5, orders booth repoll 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 P R A S A N TA M A Z U M D A R @ 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- Moral policing: Youth stabbed in Mangaluru E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Mangaluru A group of Bajrang Dal men allegedly attacked and stabbed a man, who was travelling to Bengaluru in a private bus along with his female friend, near Pumpwell here on Thursday night. The Mangaluru city police arrested four members of the Bajrang Dal on Friday and booked them for rioting, promoting enmity between communities, assault and attempt to murder. They were later produced before a local court. Mangaluru City Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar told the media said that Aswid Ansar Mohammed and his female friend Ashwini Shanubhag, who were classmates earlier, were heading to Bengaluru in search of a job. “The incident occurred around 9.30 pm on Thursday when a group of Bajrang Dal members stopped the bus in which the two were travelling, and assaulted and stabbed the man. The woman, aged 23, also has suffered injuries,” the commissioner said. The arrested are Balachandra (28) from Attavar, Dhanush Bhandary (25) from Kanduka, Jayaprashanth (27) from Shaktinagar and Anil Kumar (38) from Urwa. Dhanush, a historysheeter, is facing four cases of murder. “In the last three months, as many as four such cases of attack have taken place. We are investigating into who instigated them to assault the duo,” P5 the police commissioner said. Balachandra Dhanush Bhandary Jayaprashanth Anil Kumar It’ll take 135.6 years to close global gender gap: WEF report PULWAMA 3 MILITANTS KILLED BY SECURITY FORCES Three militants, including two who were involved in an attack on BJP leader Anwar Ahmed’s house in Srinagar, were killed in an encounter with security forces on Friday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, police said in a statement | P8 THE fear that the Covid-19 pandemic hit women the hardest across the globe and “raised new barriers to building inclusive and prosperous economies and societies” has been proved to be true in the just published ‘Global Gender Gap Report -2021’ by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The report states that the hardest hit sectors by lockdowns and “rapid digitalisation are those where women are more frequently employed. Combined with the additional pressures of providing care in the home, the crisis has halted progress toward gender parity in several economies and industries,” writes Saadia Zahidi, managing director and head of the Centre for the New Economy and Society WEF. , “Gender-sensitive recovery strategies will be critical in making up ground lost during 2020 to prevent long-term scarring in the labour market,” cautions Zahidi. The 15th edition of the WEF gender gap report is an index on ‘gender parity’ in 156 countries and is based on its graded evaluations on four broad benchmarks — women’s participation in politics and economy and their access to health and education in each of these countries. According to the report, South Asia is the “second lowest performer on the index after the Middle East and North Africa, with 62.3 per cent of its overall gender gap closed. The progress has been too slow in the recent past, and this year, it has actually reversed. The projected time needed for this region to close gender gaps is now estimated at 195.4 years,” the report warns. Globally, on the current trajectory, it will now take 135.6 years to close the gender gap 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 that 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 acti n g d e c i s ive ly o n t h e s e complaints. Rejig in B’luru police likely with Pant’s promotion BALA CHAUHAN @ Bengaluru EMPOWERING WOMEN B A L A C H A U H A N @ Bengaluru of AIIMS. Despite being in power for many years, they didn’t even think of bringing AIIMS to Madurai. It was our government that did it.” Modi added that the project would ensure quality healthcare for people of the region. The DMK and Congress pretend to be the only custodians of Tamil culture, but their actions contradict their words, he alleged, and added: “In 2011, the UPA came to power in Delhi. The same UPA government banned jallikattu. A UPA leader even called it a barbaric practice. In 2016, the TN Congress manifesto called for a ban on jallikattu. They should be P5 ashamed of it.” worldwide, the Global Gender Gap Report -2021 by the World E c o n o m i c Fo r u m ( W E F ) states. India, the report suggests, is the “third worst performer in the region, having closed 62.5 per cent of its gap. Because of its large population, India’s performance has a substantial impact on the region’s overall performance. Home to 0.65 billion women, India has widened the gender gap from almost 66.8 per cent one year ago, to 62.5 per cent this year,” the report noted. CONTINUED ON: P5 A change of guard in the city police force is likely this month-end with the scheduled promotion of incumbent Police Commissioner and Additional Director General of Police Kamal Pant as Director General of Police (DGP) on April 30. Pant, an IPS officer of the 1990 batch, is also the seniormost ADGP in Karnataka, followed by his batchmate and former police commissioner Bhaskar Rao. With DGP (Training) P K Garg retiring on April 30, one post of DGP will fall vacant. While there is speculation that the government may retain Pant as Bengaluru City police commissioner for some time at least, since he has not completed his oneyear tenure, the names of the top contenders for the hot seat have already started doing the rounds. “Other than his promotion, there is no reason for the government to shift Pant from the commissioner’s post. He is non-controversial and has provided clean administration in the city since his appointment as commissioner in August last year,” said sources. Meanwhile, the name of ADGP (Intelligence) B Dayanand, of the 1994 IPS batch, is a new addition, and of “considerable importance” to the list of officers who are in the race for the commissioner’s post. Other than him, the names of ADGP (Law & Order) Pratap Reddy of the 1991 batch, ADGP (Fire & Emergency Services) Sunil Agarwal (1991) and ADGP (Recruitment & Training) Amrit Paul (1995) are in the reckoning,” said sources.
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