The great rush amid sharp spike Migrant workers stand in close proximity outside the Hatia railway station in Ranchi to board trains to go back home. Workers have been making a beeline for transport facilities amid a sharp rise in number of cases and fears of another complete lockdown leaving them stranded | PTI kollam l monday l april 19, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l city EDITION 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 RT-PCR test must to enter state, daily cases cross 18k Domestic travellers should undergo test within 48 hours prior to entering state or immediately after arrival, says health dept advisory E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram @ New Delhi Amid dire scarcity of medical oxygen for Covid patients, the Centre on Sunday banned the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes — except in nine specified industries. The decision was taken based on the recommendations of the Empowered Group-II, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said, adding it will come into effect from Thursday . Parallelly, the Railways decided to roll out an Oxygen Express to ease transport bottlenecks (see graphic). Delhi is staring at an unprecedented health crisis as it has less than 100 ICU beds vacant in its hospitals, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal revealed. On a day when over 25,000 people tested positive for Covid, Kejriwal said: “I spoke to Home Minister Amit Shah today and informed him of our dire need of beds and oxygen. We are constantly in touch with the Centre and getting help from it.” Also, the case positivity rate jumped from 24% to 30% in just 24 hours, he informed. He wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to increase the number of beds reserved for Covid patients in Central government hospitals NATIONWIDE April 17 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,40,423 1,25,751 1,303 April 18 2,61,500 1,38,423 1,501 did in admitting that the present requirement of Covid beds and other healthcare facilities is more than the state administration’s capacity . In Madhya Pradesh, six critical Covid patients died at the Government Medical College Hospital ICU at Shahdol allegedly due to low oxygen pressure. The hospital though attributed it to co-morbidities. Social media sites were flooded with requests for help in arranging beds and oxygen. OXYGEN Express to plug Empty tankers demand-supply gaps to roll out from Mumbai today to bring liquid medical oxygen from Vizag, Jamshedpur, Rourkela and Bokaro Full-fledged service of Oxygen Express likely in a few days after green corridors are created 30.38% 24.17% 2.38% Chhattisgarh Goa 5.17% 15.43% 18.99% 23.33% Rajasthan 1.74% 17.80% 4.30% Madhya Pradesh Ladakh 1.22% 15.97% Haryana 2.83% 15.86% 0.94% 15.30% 3.58% Puducherry 14.47% 13.54% 13.91% 0.57% 3.05% 7.34% Chandigarh Maharashtra from 1,800 to 7,000. Delhi also sought uninterrupted supply of oxygen, which has reached a critical stage. Another grim data point was the national case positivity rate, which doubled to to 16.69% in 12 days. “The daily positivity rate in the last 12 days has doubled from 8% to 16.69%,” the Union health ministry said in a statement. And the national weekly positivity rate increased from 3.05% to 13.54% in the last one month (see chart). In Gujarat, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel was can- Dadra and Nagar Haveli E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Delhi SOS as Delhi has less than 100 ICU beds; positivity rate doubles to 16.69% in 12 days ■ 11 Mar-17Mar ■ 11 Apr-17Apr India Oxygen ban on industry to save lives Change in weekly positivity rate of states/UTs 24.24% The deserted AIIMS during the weekend lockdown in New Delhi on Sunday; and a patient on oxygen and drips on a stretcher, apparently due to the lack of Covid beds, receiving primary care outisde the Kanpur LLR Hospital | PTI Expand jab drive, empower states, ex-PM tells Modi E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday wrote to incumbent Narendra Modi offering five suggestions to tackle the second wave of the pandemic. Highlighting the need for an intensified vaccination drive, Singh urged the Centre to look at percentages, not absolute numbers, to assess its impact. While over 12 crore people in India have been vaccinated as on April 18, in percentage terms it is below 9%, a far cry from 24% in the US, 56% in Israel or 28% in Chile. In the letter, Singh urged the Centre to data on doses ordered for the next six months and their scheme of distribution to help states appropriately plan. Singh appealed for greater leeway for states in defining frontline workers, who can be vaccinated even if they are below 45 years of age. He also advised the Centre to augment private facilities to improve production while allowing the import of shots cleared by credible international agencies without insisting on bridging trials. The decision follows proposals made by Maharashtra and MP governments requesting the Railways to help bridge the demand-supply gap Tankers would be placed on flat wagons (roll-on-rolloff) as part of the plan Heed them Publicise the number of doses ordered for the next six months. Place advance orders to meet the target Make distribution formula transparent so that states can plan their drive. Centre may retain 10% for distribution Let states define categories of frontliners who can be vaccinated Strengthen and expand the private manufacturing facilities Allow import of shots cleared by credible international agencies like USFDA The dimensions of the tankers were determined after a meeting between Railway Board, transport commissioners and industry representatives Ramps have been created at destination stations for smooth roll out Insurance cover ends for healthcare workers S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi The Centre has quietly decided not to extend an insurance scheme of `50 lakh for healthcare workers who die in the line of Covid-19 duty beyond a year, it has emerged even as the country is in the middle of a ferocious wave of the infection. A circular sent by Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan to states last month said that the scheme had concluded on March 24. The Centre had last year announced the scheme to incentivise healthcare workers as part of its `1.7 lakh crore Covid-19 relief package. “Approximately 22 lakh ‘Sad and insensitive’ Doctors expressed dismay. “It’s really sad and insensitive on the part of the government,” said former IMA president Ravi Wankhedkar health workers would be provided insurance cover to fight this pandemic,” the official statement had said. “Safai karamcharis, ward-boys, nurses, ASHA workers, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists and other health workers would be covered.” It also covered workers in the private sector. While there is no official data on the number of frontline Rahul bites the bullet, cancels poll rallies E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Announcing the suspension of all his public rallies in West Bengal, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday urged other leaders to consider the consequences of holding huge public rallies. “In view of the Covid-19 situation, I am suspending all my public rallies in West Bengal. I would advise all political leaders to think deeply about the consequences of holding large public rallies under the current circumstances,” he said on Twitter. In another tweet in Hindi, Rahul wrote: “One has seen such a crowd of the sick and the dead for the first time.” While the Congress has little stake in the West Bengal elections, it’s the biggies like the Trinamool Congress led by Mamata Banerjee and the BJP that are locked in a no-holdsbarred fight for power. Though both parties are yet to react, Trinamool candidate from Bhawanipur Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said he has decided not to hold any major rallies in view of the Covid-19 situation. Bhawanipur goes to polls on April 26. It is the seat held by Mamata in the outgoing Assembly Both Mamata and BJP . leader Amit Shah held roadshows in different parts of Bengal on Sunday . Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill lauded Rahul Gandhi and said the BJP must follow him. Shergill said Rahul Gandhi was “leading by example” by cancelling his rallies in the interest of public health and safety . Shergill tweeted that BJP leaders must follow Rahul Gandhi’s footsteps to end this naked dance of death due to Covid case explosion. workers who died of Covid-19 in India, according to the Indian Medical Association, at least 739 MBBS doctors, including three doctors in the second and ongoing wave of the pandemic, have succumbed to it. The scheme was first implemented for 90 days and later extended for a year. Bhushan did not respond to queries by this newspaper on the content of his letter. Night curfew, complete Sunday lockdown in TN Chennai: On a day Tamil Nadu recorded more than 10,000 new Covid cases, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced a set of restrictions starting Tuesday early morning, to control the spread of the disease. The key announcements include a Statewide curfew from 10 pm to 4 am, and postponement of the Class 12 board exams. The ‘Sunday lockdown’, too, is back, and even grocery stores will have to remain shut. On other days, shops must close at 9 pm, and only 50 per cent occupancy will be allowed. Stepping up its containment efforts amid a worsening Covid-19 situation, the state government on Sunday brought in a new travel advisory, making RT-PCR tests mandatory for all people coming to Kerala from other states, irrespective of their vaccination status. According to the health department advisory all domestic , travellers should undergo RTPCR test within 48 hours prior to entering the state or immediately after arrival. The new restrictions were imposed on a day the state recorded its highest-ever daily Covid case count — 18,257. The test positivity rate (TPR) stood at 16.77%, when 1,08,898 samples were tested in 24 hours. This is the first time that sample testing has crossed one-lakh mark in the state. On Saturday , the state had reported 13,835 cases and a TPR of 17.04%. The high number of patients on consecutive days was the result of the mega testing campaign on Friday and Saturday, by including around 3 lakh people. With the steep rise in the number of patients, Chief Secretary V P Joy has issued an order allocating `5 crore each to the district collectors to meet the expenses for Covid measures. According to the health department advisory, all people coming to the state should register on e-Jagratha portal. Domestic travellers taking RT- STATEWIDE April 17 Fresh cases Active cases Deaths April 18 13,835 80,022 27 18,257 93,686 25 Highest daily cases Date Cases TPR @T’Puram/Thrissur WITH the state recording an all-time high of more than 18,000 Covid-19 cases on Sunday a big question mark hangs , over the conduct of Thrissur Pooram — Kerala’s largest annual cultural event. Even as the two participating devaswoms — Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady — have been raising allegations of a concerted effort from certain quarters to sabotage the festival, Chief Secretary V P Joy has called a meeting on Monday to discuss the conduct of the Pooram, which is scheduled to be held on Friday (April 23). Meanwhile, the district administration has pointed out that the Covid situation was alarming in Thrissur, which reported a test positivity rate of Kasaragod Collector’s TrAvel rule draws ire Samples tested 16.77% April 18, 2021 18,257 16.77 1,08,898 Test positivity rate on Sunday April 17, 2021 13,835 17.04 81,211 1,08,898 October 10, 2020 11,755 17.46 66,228 Samples tested in 24 hours October 16, 2020 10,606 13.85 76,551 PCR test on arrival should undergo room isolation at their respective places of stay till the test result is out. If RT-PCR test result is negative, the person shall follow strict Covid protocol during their stay in the state, the order stated. Those who are not willing to undergo the test should remain in room isolation for 14 days Pooram: Chief secy to hold crucial meet today E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Volunteers help an elderly woman enter the Covid vaccination centre set up at Jimmy George Indoor Stadium in T’Puram on Sunday | B P Deepu close to 22% on Sunday. Besides, of the 14 wards declared as containment zones in the district, as many as seven are in the Thrissur corporation limits, where the event will be held. Alleging that District Medical Officer K J Reena was trying to sabotage the festival even though all participating temples were ready to follow the Covid guidelines, Paramekkavu devaswom secretary G Rajesh said they had even requested the government to form a medical board to advise district officials on the matter. “During the multiple meetings convened ahead of the festival, we had made it clear that we will follow all government instructions. However, bringing in stricter regulations will put us in trouble as the preparations are already ● More on P4 over,” he said. Kasaragod: The move by District Collector D Sajith Babu — to make either a Covid negative certificate or proof of vaccination (two doses) mandatory to enter Kasaragod and other towns — drew ire from many quarters. While a top police official said the decision was practically impossible to implement, MLA N A Nellikkunnu shot off a letter to Chief Secretary V P Joy calling the move “stupid”. P4 from the date of entry into Kerala and carry out self-observation regarding symptoms. The state had made RT-PCR mandatory for all international travellers from January . Inspection of e-passes at Walayar and other checkposts on Kerala and Tamil Nadu for people entering the state will begin from Monday . Universities postpone examinations E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram AS the state continues to witness a steep surge in Covid cases, all offline university examinations that were scheduled to be held from Monday have been postponed indefinitely. The revised dates will be announced later. Calicut University, Kerala University MG University Ma, , layalam University, Kalady Sanskrit University, Kerala Technological University and Kerala University of Health Sciences are the varsities that have postponed their exams. “Kerala University is likely to begin the rescheduled exams from May 10. A decision will be made as per the circumstances at the time,” the Controller of Examinations said. The varsities announced the decision after Governor Arif Mohammed Khan instructed all vice-chancellors to postpone the exams following a request from Shashi Tharoor, MP. In a tweet on Saturday, Tharoor had criticised the conduct of examinations at a time when the state’s Covid situation was worsening. Search ends, Vaiga’s dad nabbed from K’taka E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kochi After almost a month since the body of his 11-year-old daughter was found under mysterious circumstances from the Muttar river on March 22, Sanu Mohan, 40, was nabbed from Karnataka on Sunday . As per the information sourced from the police here, Sanu was arrested by the Karnataka Police from Karwar in north Karnataka and handed over to the Kerala police later. He was brought to Kochi on Sunday midnight. Sanu was arrested based on the crucial information shared by a Malayali employee of a hotel in Kollur where he had stayed between April 10 and 16. The Kerala police, in association with their Karnataka counterparts, had been carrying out a search in Mangaluru and Kollur for the past few days. “After we got information about Sanu’s location on Saturday a team was deployed to Kol, lur to trace him,” said a police ● More on P5 officer. WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) YOUR LIFE COACH
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