THIRUVANANTHAPURAM l tuesday l april 20, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l late city EDITION In a First for another planet, NASA Mars copter takes flight NASA’s Ingenuity rose into the thin air above the dusty surface of Mars on Monday, achieving the first powered flight by an aircraft on another planet Ingenuity logs 39.1 seconds of flight The solar-powered helicopter became airborne at 12:33 Local Mean Solar Time (Mars time) – a time the Ingenuity team determined would have optimal energy and flight conditions. Ingenuity climbed to its prescribed maximum altitude of 10 feet and maintained a stable hover for 30 seconds. It, then, touched down on Mars surface after logging 39.1 seconds of flight ■ $85 million Autonomous flight demonstration ■ Ingenuity’s initial flight demonstration was autonomous – piloted by onboard guidance, navigation, and control systems The flight was full of unknowns. The Red Planet has just one-third of Earth’s gravity and its atmosphere is extremely thin with only 1% the pressure at the surface compared to our planet | P12 Cost of the high-risk helicopter demo flight on mars surface 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 18+ part of Liberalised vax regime To be effective from May 1; states can procure directly from manufacturers, who can also sell in open market; up to states, private players to procure foreign jabs Sum i Sukan ya Dutta @ New Delhi Heeding calls to reduce the age cap, the Centre on Monday opened its phase 3 vaccination drive to include all above 18 years of age from May 1, after a series of meetings Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with different stakeholders. It also substantially eased its grip on vaccine manufacturers, empowering them to release up to 50% of their stock to states and also sell the jabs in the open market at a pre-declared price. Importantly, foreignmade ready-to-use vaccines will be available only in the market or procured by states but not by the Centre. States have also been permitted to procure additional vaccine doses directly from the manufacturers, and open up vaccination to any category of people above the age of 18 for it. Prominent among those who had pressed the Centre to expand the beneficiary basket were chief ministers Amarinder Singh (Punjab) and Uddhav Thackeray (Maharashtra). The decision to allow everyone above 18 years to get the vaccine also came on a day when the Centre reportedly extended a credit line of `3,000 crore to the Pune-based Serum Institute of India and `1,500 crore to Bharat Biotech. Manufacturers will make an advance declaration of the price for 50% supply that will be available to states and in the market, before May 1. Based on this price, state governments, private hospitals and industrial establishments among others can procure doses from the manufacturers. Private hospitals have to procure their supplies exclusively from the 50% earmarked for other than the Central government channel. “This would augment vaccine production as well as availability, incentivising vaccine manufacturers to rapidly ramp up their production as well as attract new vaccine manufacturers, domestic and international. It would also make pricing, procurement, eligibility and administration of vaccines open and flexible, allowing all stakeholders the flexibility to customise to local needs and dynamics,” said the Centre. All vaccinations, however, will be part of the national vaccination programme, and mandated to follow all protocol such as being captured on CoWIN platform, linked to Adverse Event Following Immunisation reporting and all other prescribed norms. Also, the second dose of all existing priority groups wherever it has become due, will be given priority . Criteria for distribution of Centre’s share The Centre, from its share, will allocate vaccines to states based on the criteria of extent of infection and performance. Wastage of vaccine will also be considered in this criterion and will affect the criteria negatively. Based on these parameters, state-wise quota would be decided and communicated to the states adequately in advance 2-week night curfew in state from today; curbs on counting day of polls E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram Migrant workers at Kaushambi bus stand on the Delhi-UP border to board buses for their native places on Monday | Parveen Negi Delhi, parts of UP in lockdown, HC fiat to T’gana govt on curbs E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi / Lucknow / Hyderabad Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced a week-long lockdown starting Monday night till April 26. Barring essential services, all other activities will be banned. “After reviewing the entire situation, the government feels it is pertinent to impose a lockdown in Delhi for a few days... During this, all essential services with regard to food, medicine would continue” said Kejriwal. The CM added that the heathcare infrastructure in the national capital, which is reeling under an explosion of coronavirus cases, is stretched beyond capacity and the lockdown is to ensure it doesn’t collapse. The decision was announced after a high-level meeting with lieutenant governor Anil Baijal. After the announcement, serpentine queues were seen outside liquor shops with tipplers making a beeline to stock up booze. There were large crowds at the city’s inter-state bus terminals and railway stations as thousands of migrant workers set out to go to their native places. Kejriwal appealed them not to leave Delhi as this is a short lockdown of seven days. Meanwhile, the Allahabad NATIONWIDE April 18 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,61,500 1,38,423 1,501 April 19 2,72,191 1,44,178 1,619 High Court on Monday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to impose strict restrictions including closing of malls, shopping complexes and restaurants till April 26 in five cities — Allahabad, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Na g ar and Gorakhpur. The HC slammed the state government for “not planning” for a second wave of the pandemic and also criticised the State Election Commission for holding the panchayat elections at this time. Similarly, the Telangana High Court on Monday directed the state government to issue within 48 hours Covid-19 guidelines to minimise footfalls in liquor shops, restaurants, marriage halls and cinemas, among other crowded places. Vardhan mocks MMS, Cong hits back E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi `3,000cr-worth heroin seized off Kerala coast E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi THE Indian Navy intercepted a Sri Lankan fishing vessel in the Arabian Sea off the Kerala coast on Sunday night and seized narcotic drugs worth `3,000 crore. Officers aboard patrol vessel INS Suvarna intercepted the boat on suspicion and found 300kg of heroin concealed in its storage tank. The vessel was seized and brought to Kochi port on Monday . Narcotics Control Bureau and other agencies are interrogating the five detained Sri Lankan crew members. It was the third major seizure by the Navy and Coast Guard off Kerala coast during the past two months. While a fishing boat was intercepted off Vizhinjam coast on March 7 and seized 300kg heroin, three Sri Lankan fishing boats were seized on March 18 off Lakshadweep ● More on P5 coast. Reacting sharply to former PM Manmohan Singh’s letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi giving suggestions on how to tide over the pandemic, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday said even Congress-ruled states don’t seem to agree with him. “It is saddening, Dr Singh, that while you very well understand the importance of vaccination as an important method of fighting the Covid-19 battle, people in responsible positions in your party as well as in the Boris cancels trip British Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancels India visit, will instead speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this month to launch their plans for bilateral partnership state governments formed by your party do not seem to share your view,” Vardhan wrote in his reply to Singh. Tweeting his reply, he said, “History shall be kinder to you Dr Manmohan Singh ji if your offer of ‘constructive cooperation’ and valuable advice was followed by your leaders as well in such extraordinary times!” Meanwhile, the Congress demanded an apology from Harsh Vardhan for his uncharacteristic remarks on the former PM. The party said the remarks were meaningless as the letter was addressed to PM Modi and not to the health minister. It also pointed out that the Centre has accepted most of the suggestions in Singh’s letter to the prime minister. “It is a welcome move that Government has woken up to Congress call of vaccination for all. Hope PM considers the other suggestions given by Dr. Singh & other experts as well,” tweeted Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. adds India red list of from where India on UK The UK are banned.to itsban comes countriescases of the B.1.617 flights The amid 77 red list variant, first found in India, being detected in Britain Hong Kong suspends connecting flights All Hong Kong flights connecting it with India stand suspended from Tuesday till May 3. The suspension applies to Pakistan as well as the Philippines Manmohan tests positive for Covid Former PM Manmohan Singh, 88, on Monday tested positive for Covid-19. He was admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi with a mild fever on Monday afternoon. He is stable and doctors are monitoring his condition. Singh had taken both the doses of Covid vaccine. PM Narendra Modi was among those who wished him speedy recovey Maharashtra Some relief as Covid cases dip to 58,924 a day after logging the highest 68,631 positive cases on Sunday West Bengal Cases climb in poll-bound state, hitting its highest single-day spike of 8,426 caught red-handed Cop cheats ‘thief’, steals `50k using ATM card E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kannur A SENIOR civil police officer of Taliparamba station landed in a soup after illegally withdrawing `50,000 from the account of the sister of a person arrested in a theft case, using an ATM card. E N Sreekanth, against whom action was taken by Rural SP Navaneeth Sharma, also has a theft case registered against him in connection with the incident, according to Taliparamba CI B Jayakumar. In the light of the incident, state police chief Loknath Behera called for a detailed re por t from Sharma. The chain of events leading up to the illegal withdrawal of money started with the arrest of Gokul, 28, of Pulimbaramba, near Tali- paramba on April 3, for stealing the ATM card of Manoj Kumar of Chokli at Bakkalam. Gokul had robbed Manoj after offering to help repair his auto-taxi in which he was travelling with his sister. After Manoj realised that his ATM card and `2,000 were stolen from his purse, he lodged a complaint with the Taliparamba police. Following an investigation, a police team led by Taliparamba DySP K E Premachandran arrested Gokul. By the time the police managed to lay their hands on Gokul, he had already withdrawn `70,000 from the account of Manoj. Gokul told officers that he had credited the amount to the account of his sister. When Gokul was taken into custody he had his sister’s , ATM card with him. ● More on P5 TO RESTRICT crowding and people’s movement, the state government has decided to impose a two-week night curfew — 9pm to 5pm — from Tuesday . A meeting chaired by Chief Secretary V P Joy however, decided to allow emer, gency travelling at night by private vehicles. Public transport will not be disrupted. Curbs will be imposed on the counting day of polls. Victory celeb r a t i o n s h ave b e e n banned. Three lakh tests will be conducted in the state on Wednesday and Thursday. As many as 13,644 fresh cases were reported on Monday, after 87,275 samples were tested. Test positivity rate was 15.63%. On Sunday, 18,257 new patients were added to the list after 1,08,898 samples were tested. The meeting also decided to reduce the working hours of malls and theatres by one-and-a-half hours. They will have to ● More on P4 down shutters at 7.30pm. PSC PUTS OFF EXAMS PSC postpones written exams and interviews scheduled from April 20 to 30 till further notice. 1 The state decides to go ahead with the ongoing SSLC and PlusTwo examinations. P4 2 The state police begin checking those arriving by private vehicles at Walayar on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. P4 3 The state seeks free vaccine for poor patients. P4 4 In a memorandum submitted to the governor, Ramesh Chennithala highlights shortage of vaccines. P4 5 3 lakh Pooram gets nod but no pomp, public tests to be conducted in the state on Wednesday and Thursday E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @T’Puram The famed Thrissur Pooram will be held without its usual pomp as the core committee meeting headed by Chief Secretary V P Joy decided not to allow public participation in the festival, which was opposed strongly by the Pooram organisers in Thrissur. The state government has decided to impose fresh restrictions considering the opinion of the district administration, including the police and health authorities. The Devaswoms had gone ahead with preparations for the Thrissur Pooram, slated for April 23, following an assurance from the state govSTATEWIDE April 18 Fresh cases Active cases Deaths April 19 18,257 93,686 25 13,644 1,03,004 21 ernment before the elections. But in the changed scenario, the meeting of various stakeholders has decided to withdraw guidelines set for the conduct of the pooram. The sample fireworks and d i s p l ay o f c a p a r i s o n s (chamaya pradarshanam) have been cancelled, while the main firework display will be held amid strict restrictions. T he time allotted for Kudamattom (changing of umbrellas), the highlight of Thrissur Pooram, will be curtailed. Permission was granted to hold cheru poorams (processions of temples participating in Thrissur Pooram), Madathil Varavu and ● Elanjithara Melam. More on P4 Active cases cross 1 lakh Active cases in the state crossed the one-lakh mark after 13,644 patients were added to the list on Monday. Test positivity rate was 15.63%. DAD SANU CONFESSES TO KILLING VAIGA A N I L K U M A R T @ Kochi SANU Mohan, father of 11-year-old Vaiga who was found dead in Muttar river in Kochi on March 22, has confessed that he killed her in the flat and later dumped the body in the Muttar river, the police said on Monday . Talking to reporters here, City Police Commissioner C Nagaraju said Sanu killed his daughter after strangling her. He also ruled out the involvement of another person or persons in the crime. “The prima facie investigation suggested that it is a clear case of murder. He has a lot of financial liabilities and he owes a large Sanu Mohan being taken to the Thrikkakara police station | A Sanesh amount to several people. He thought he could not take this forward. He said he doesn’t want to leave his daughter behind after he goes away That is the motive . behind the murder. Sanu also confessed that he killed his daughter,” said ● More on P5 Nagaraju. 16 pages, including 4 pages of THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Express
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20-04-2021 of The New Indian Express-Thiruvananthapuram