HYDERABAD THURSDAY APRIL 08, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION 2 JUDOKAS TEST COVID +VE, TEAM OUT OF OLY QUALIFIER Entire 19-member judo contingent for Asia-Oceania meet in Bishkek has been quarantined. Other sports too not spared The Bhopal hospital has created a SAI ward to admit infected athletes UNCERTAIN DAYS AHEAD FOR SQUAD SAI BHOPAL INUNDATED WITH CASES A day after one judoka contracted Covid-19, a second athlete also returned a positive test on Wednesday. As a result, all members are in isolation. The Judo Federation of India (JFI) have dialled Indian Embassy, seeking their help in flying those who tested negative back to India. Since they were not allowed to compete, India decided to pull out of the competition | P11 ■ As many as 36 people, including 24 athletes at SAI’s Bhopal facility, test positive across two rounds of testing. Interestingly, few of the judokas in Bishkek were training in Bhopal ■ In the IPL, RCB’s Daniel Sams tested positive. ISL side Bengaluru FC also reported three positive Covid-19 tests 1 week NEW SAI SOP SAYS NATIONAL CAMPERS TO BE TESTED ONCE EVERY WEEK 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 Sparring match on vax politicalisation Dovish RBI opts for pause on rates, flags inflation risk Maharashtra, Andhra send SOS for more stock; Centre says some states are trying to mislead and spread panic S A N A S H A K I L @ New Delhi THE Centre and the Opposition -ruled states clashed over vaccine availability on Wednesday when India recorded a day’s high of 1,15,736 fresh cases, crossing the 1-lakh mark for the second time in three days. The Union health ministry came down hard on Oppositionruled states for playing “petty politics” over vaccination and stated that there is no dearth of vaccine stock, hours after Maharashtra, Delhi, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh said that they have sent SOS alerts to the Centre over Covid vaccine scarcity . “The lackadaisical attitude of the state government has singularly bogged down the entire country’s efforts to fight the virus,” Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said referring to the Thackerayled Maharashtra government. He also criticised the Congress-led government in Chhattisgarh for being ‘perhaps the only government in the world where its leaders were inciting vaccine hesitancy’ and blamed its leaders for spreading “misinformation” and “panic” re- garding vaccination. Vardhan blamed states for their alleged attempts to distract attention from their failure to manage the Covid-19 pandemic and described the allegations of vaccine shortage as “baseless”. Referring to Delhi, Maharashtra and Rajasthan governments’ demand to open vaccination for all adults, Vardhan said that the Centre has been transparently updating all the state governments about the demand-supply dynamics and the resultant jab strategy . In his letter, Harsh Vardhan also pointed to the lack of Covid-19 facilities in Rajasthan, Punjab as well as BJPruled Karnataka and Gujarat. “Many other states also need to bring their healthcare systems up to the mark. For example, the quality of testing needs to improve in Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat. In Punjab, high case fatality rate needs to be improved by early identification of those needing hospitalization,” he said. Vardhan said irresponsible statements by some state functionaries were spreading panic among the people. GET THE SHOT IN YOUR OFFICE New scheme to allow vax at govt and private workplaces Should have about 100 eligible and willing employee beneficiaries In districts, task force chaired by District Magistrate to identify workplace In cities, task force headed by Municipal Commissioner to identify workplace Beneficiary has to be 45+; Co-WIN registration must Workplace management to designate senior staff as nodal officer to coordinate with authorities | P7 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE The bodies of eight Covid-19 victims placed on a single pyre due to shortage of space at a makeshift crematorium in Maharashtra’s Beed district on Tuesday | PTI Telangana rules out lockdown, curfew E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad AFTER the Telangana High Court found fault with the State’s low vaccination numbers, Health Minister Eatala Rajender announced that the existing vaccination capacity will be doubled and the pandemic would be contained without imposing any lockdown or curfew. Speaking to the media on Wednesday, the Health Minister said that from the present 50,000 to 60,000 vaccine doses administered on a daily basis, the capacity will be ramped up to 1,50,000 per day . “The State is working to improve the daily capacity of both testing and vaccination. We have a capacity of conducting one lakh tests and for vaccination, we are adding the capacity to go up to 1.5 lakh per day Eatala said. ,” He said that while there is no need to panic, the government, nonetheless, is closely monitoring the rise of the pandemic at the level of the CMO. He further stressed that people must not panic as there will be no lockdown in the State but must follow all Covid-19 protocols. FIGURE IT OUT 1,15,736 new cases registered in the country in 24 hours as of Wednesday morning; 96,982 cases reported on Tuesday 630 59,856 deaths reported in the last 24 hours; 446 deaths on Tuesday; cumulative toll 1,66,177 recovered on Wednesday; cumulative recoveries stand at 1,17,92,135 As you know, we share hundreds of kms of border with Maharashtra from where over 60 per cent of India’s cases are originating. Patients from that State are coming here as well. But, in terms of tests, medicines, oxygen and treatment, the Health Department is ready 24x7 and fully equipped Eatala Rajender, Health Minister @ New Delhi THE Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday kept interest rates unchanged to support g rowth but remained cautious amid risks to the economy arising from the second wave of Covid infections and high inflation. Announcing the decision to keep the policy rate at 4%, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said the central bank will do “whatever it takes” to support economic recovery . RBI also retained its FY22 GDP growth forecast of 10.5% with the warning that re-imposition of lockdown in some states could hurt the economy . “The recent surge in infections has imparted greater uncertainty to the outlook,” Das said. “Localised and regional lockdowns could dampen the recent improvement in demand conditions and delay the return of normalcy he added. ,” Inflation remained a concern, as RBI raised its inflation forecast for Q2 and Q3 Rahul Gandhi in West Bengal? Maybe in Naxalbari T HE game is going into the bloody slog overs in Bengal, but where is Rahul Gandhi? Call it a secondary mystery wrapped inside a nail-biting political thriller. It’s a missing piece of jigsaw no one seems to have much noticed—or considered—despite it having the potential to decide a cliffhanger. Now, it’s quite natural that when it comes to Bengal—the mother, or perhaps the big sister of all battles—attention has tended to be concentrated upon the primary antagonists. Like a convex lens focusing sunlight, the pitched battle of attrition between the Trinamool and the BJP has been setting off a lot of fires in the media. Who has time, then, to think about the Congress—a dwin- NIL GAME TDP ASWARAOPET MLA MECHA NAGESWARA RAO JOINS TRS Based on a letter given by Nageswara Rao requesting the Speaker to merge the Telugu Desam Legislature Party and TRS Legislature Party in the Assembly, the Legislature Secretariat issued a bulletin later in the evening | P4 WEST BENGAL SANTWANA BHATTACHARYA dling presence here, atrophying even in its old pockets of influence? If at all it gets talked about, it’s because of the curious alliance it has helped put together, the Sanjukta Morcha, which has it partnering with the Left and a party floated by an Islamic cleric. The Morcha is in play in 294 seats, but it may be tough going for them. The Congress is fighting some 92 of those, but even by its own internal estimations, the party stands a good chance of halving its tally in the state Assembly from 44 to 22. Others say even that’s optimistic, and reckon the Morcha’s overall pickings would be between 25 and 60 when play ends. But 92 seats are not piffling stakes, so the question remains: Where is Rahul? Or Priyanka Gandhi, for that matter? Even the other usual national faces of the Congress have all been conspicuous by their absence. What’s up? The standard reading is Bengal offers such a dismal picture that they are giving it a wide berth, and focused on Assam and Kerala, where they are truly in the game. But there’s also a sense that the Congress central command is uncomfortable campaigning Medtronic engg, innovation centre to attract `1.2K cr investment against Mamata Banerjee. Many of the party’s UPA allies—the NCP RJD and DMK— , are outright supporting Mamata as the lone woman soldier holding out against a rampaging BJP. Even the Samajwadi Party, though not in the UPA, sent Jaya Bachchan to the battlefield—she held a press meet backing Mamata, and letting on that her party leader Akhilesh Yadav had clearly taken the West Bengal CM as a valuable anti-BJP force. So is there actually reluctance to fight the good fight? Not so, say key party insiders in New Delhi. Out in Kolkata, Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya, speaking while leading a padayatra for a candidate to file nomination papers, conCONTINUED ON P7 firms that. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad GST is not citizen-friendly, says SC E X P R ESS N E WS S E RV I C E @ New Delhi GOODS and Services Tax (GST) is not at all citizen-friendly ac, cording to the Supreme Court. The observation came when a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud was hearing a plea against the government’s powers of provisional attachment under the Himachal Pradesh GST Act. While reserving the order, the bench criticised the man- ner in which the indirect tax law was being enforced by authorities saying taxmen can’t assume that all businesses are fraudulent. “Parliament had aimed to give the GST a citizen-friendly tax structure. But, the purpose of the Act is lost by the manner of enforcement in our country it said on Tuesday ,” . Pulling up tax officers for raising huge demands without accountability, the bench said, “Just because you have the account numbers, you can’t start attaching and even block the receivables.” The plea was filed by Radha Krishna Industries, alleging attachment of property under Section 83 of the Act is ‘draconian’. The provision allows the tax department to attach any property (including bank accounts and accounts receivable) during the pendency of tax proceedings. EXPRESS READ TTD to suspend Sarva Darshan from April 12 Tirumala: The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has decided to suspend the issuance of Sarva Darshan tokens at Tirupati from April 12 as the there has been a surge in the Covid cases. Sarva Darshan tokens will only be issued till Sunday evening. Chittoor is one of the five Covid hotspot districts. On Wednesday, Chittoor recorded 296 new infections and its cumulative tally crossed the 91,000-mark. Of the daily count of 296 in the district, 120 cases were reported in Tirupati urban and 48 cases in Tirupati rural | P5 EC notice to Mamata for alleged violation of MCC New Delhi: The Election Commission on Wednesday issued a notice to West Bengal chief minister and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee for her alleged appeal to Muslim voters not to split their votes among different political parties. She has been asked to respond to the notice within the next 48 hours | P7 by 0.2% and 0.1% to 5.2% and 4.4%, respectively With . this, RBI is projecting inflation at 5% in FY22. RBI also committed to buy government bonds worth `1 lakh crore under ‘the secondary market government securities acquisition programme’ or G-Sap. While the RBI stance was on expected lines, experts say the focus was on supporting growth. “The RBI policy was more dovish than expected with the central bank recognising the risks associated with the rising infection cases in the county and continuing its support for growth. Fears of any premature tightening either through rates or liquidity management by some sections of the market have been put to rest by RBI’s dovish tone,” said Abheek Barua, chief economist, HDFC Bank. In another development, RBI has proposed to allow cash withdrawals from digital wallets such as Paytm and prepaid cards issued by P9 non-bank entities. BLAZING FURY A major fire broke out on an open rooftop where used tyres were dumped near City Central Library at Afzalgunj in Hyderabad on Wednesday morning. Some thatched houses were also gutted. No casualties were reported Luckily the fire did not spread to the nearby petrol pump. District Fire Officer M Srinivas Reddy said it is suspected that a miscreant could have torched the tyres to extract the metal in them | R V K RAO THE newly expanded state-ofthe-art Medtronic Engineering and Innovation Centre (MEIC) set up by Medtronic PLC, a global leader in medical technology in Hyderabad, is expected to , attract an investment of `1,200 crore ($160 million) for expansion. The investment is planned over five years to foster global innovation and create job opportunities. The research and development facility was inaugurated by Industries Minister KT Rama Rao at a virtual event on Wednesday. In recent times, Medtronic has been spending $2.3 billion annually in research and development. The 150,000 square feet centre currently employs engineers in the areas of software development and testing, test automation, mechanical design, analysis and hardware. With this expansion, the MEIC aims to leverage the sizeable pool of diverse and skilled talent in India to continue its pioneering work in the medical technology space and add further to Medtronic’s over 150 patents and more than 400 IP disclosures globally that MEIC has been a part of. CONTINUED ON P3 CONTEMPT CASE HC tells Nalgonda Collector to put in social service at orphanage EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad DISCIPLINING officials to show respect to courts, the Telangana High Court on Wednesday ordered Nalgonda District Collector Prashanth Jeevan Patil to put in social service at an orphanage two hours a week for six months and asked retired district civil supplies officer P Sandhya Rani to provide food to inmates of the orphan- Civil supplies officer asked to provide food A division bench of the State High Court also asked retired district civil supplies officer P Sandhya Rani to provide food to inmates of the orphanage on Sri Rama Navami and Ugadi as punishment in a contempt of court case age on Sri Rama Navami and Ugadi as punishment in a contempt of court case. A division bench of the High Court gave the orders after the contemnors sought suspension of the order of a single judge issued in the past, which imposed `2,000 costs on each of them or jail for six weeks for not implementing the court orders issued in 2016 relating to restoration of supply of rice to Parameswari Rice Mill in Warangal district for custom milling. Patil was the Joint Collector of Warangal district at that time. The court gave the order after the mill owner filed a petition that his mill was closed down by the district administration on the grounds that there were some discrep- ancies in the operation of the mill. The district authorities also seized half of the stock stored at the mill and then they filed a case against owner of the mill and also stopped supply of paddy to the mill, following which the owner approached the court. But the court order was not implemented, forcing the petitioner to file a contempt petition in the High Court.
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.