DHARMAPURI TUESDAY APRIL 20, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION IN A FIRST FOR ANOTHER PLANET, NASA MARS COPTER TAKES FLIGHT INGENUITY LOGS 39.1 SECONDS OF 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 AUTONOMOUS FLIGHT DEMONSTRATION 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 ■ ■ 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 $85 million 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 S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi HEEDING to 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 NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths APRIL 18 2,61,500 1,38,423 1,501 APRIL 19 2,72,191 1,44,178 1,619 open market at a pre-declared price. Importantly, foreign made 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 vaccines 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 protocols 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 . Delhi, parts of UP in lockdown, 7 die as oxygen supply HC fiat to T’gana govt on curbs cut at Vellore hospital? EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE R S I V A K U M A R @ Vellore 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 during the lockdown. “After reviewing the 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 the lieutenant governor Anil Baijal. After the announcement, serpentine queues were seen outside liquor shops with SEVEN patients in the Covid ward and other critical care wards at the Government Vellore Medical College Hospital (GVMCH) at Adukkamparai in Vellore district died under mysterious circumstances on Monday. While the victims’ relatives said the oxygen supply was snapped, government officials said the deaths were due to clinical conditions. Four of the victims were in the Covid ward. The time of the deaths could shed light on the cause, but officials didn’t disclose this information. Angry kin blamed the hospital authorities. “There was no oxygen supply When we asked . the doctors, they said technicians were attending to it,” said Vinoth, a relative of a patient in a critical care ward. As the bereaved broke down at the GVMCH, sources said there were glitches in the network, cutting the oxygen supply to @ New Delhi / Lucknow / Hyderabad Migrant workers at Kaushambi bus stand on the Delhi-UP border to board buses for their native places on Monday | PARVEEN NEGI 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 six days. Meanwhile, the Allahabad High Court on Monday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to impose strict restrictions including closing of malls, shopping complexes and restau- 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 Cluster at Saravana Stores as 39 employees test positive for Covid turned positive; and on Sunday, 159 swabs were tested, of which 26 returned positive. “Some have been admitted to the Communicable Diseases Hospital and some are in home isolation. They are asymptomatic,” Corporation officials said, adding that everyone living on the street would be tested, and has been advised to stay home. The source of infection has not been identified as “the spread is everywhere”and none has a travel history, officials added. E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai AS many as 39 workers at Saravana Stores in Purasaivakkam tested positive for Covid-19. The home appliance store on Kariappa Street has since been shut, and marked as a containment zone. Officials said the cases were reported from the store’s dormitory but since the , shop and dorm are in the same building, both have been shut. On Friday 166 swab , samples were tested, of which 13 re- 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 T N 75,116 active cases C O V I D T R A C K E R 1,09,533 STATE WIDE people tested on Monday CHENNAI Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths APRIL 18 10,723 5,925 42 APRIL 19 10,941 6,172 44 ‘Clinical issues to blame’ 3,347 new cases 15 deaths 26,194 active cases NEW CASES 970 Chengalpet 735 Coimbatore 535 Tiruvallur THE HOSPITAL AUTHORITIES SAID THERE WERE NO GLITCHES, AND CLINICAL COMPLICATIONS WERE THE SOLE CAUSE OF THE DEATHS DÉJÀ VU Is another spell of reverse migration beginning? C P B A L A S U B R A M A N YA M @ Chennai FEARING a repeat of last year’s distress, associations of people from the Northeast living in the State have called for an urgent consultative meeting on Wednesday The agenda is . to take stock of the pandemic situation and decide the course of action. With the State government announcing a partial lockdown, migrant workers worry that the agony they faced last year will return. In what is feared to be the beginning of another spell of reverse migration, scores of workers from northern States were on Monday seen waiting outside Chennai’s Central railway station with heaps of luggage. Among them was a group of youngsters who work at Thandalam. They had reserved tickets, but reached more than six hours ahead Migrant labourers at Central railway station in Chennai on Monday | R SATISH BABU of their scheduled departure to Balasore in Odisha because they didn’t want to take any chances. Some of the people waiting at the station complained about the lack of tickets and how people are not allowed in without confirmed tickets. With platform tickets costing `50 since mid-March, workers had to think twice to enter the station to squeeze into a general compartment. A native of Bihar, 26-year-old Preetam (name changed), alleged a railway employee demanded a `500 bribe to let him in the station without a confirmed ticket. “Despite paying him, I will be fined again by the TTE for not possessing a ticket. I may as well give that money to the TTE and request him to let me stay on the train,” he said. CONTINUED ON: P4 rants till April 26 in five cities — Allahabad, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar and Gorakhpur. The HC slammed the state government for “not planning” for a second wave and criticised the Election Commission for holding the panchayat elections at this time. Similarly, the Telangana HC on Monday directed the State to issue within 48 hours Covid-19 guidelines to minimise footfalls in liquor shops, restaurants, marriage halls and cinemas, among other crowded places. the critically-ill. But the authorities denied this, claiming clinical complications caused the deaths. Top government officials, including Collector A Shanmuga Sundaram, are conducting inquiries. “The deaths were caused by clinical conditions,” he said even before a detailed inquiry, adding that four of the victims had diabetes mellitus, hypertension and other comorbidities, such as renal failure and cardiac complications. Stating that 59 patients in Covid wards and 62 in nonCovid wards were dependent on oxygen, he added that if there was a problem with the oxygen supply, all these patients would have suffered. The GVMCH has a 10,000-litre oxygen tank and 55 cylinders on standby Moreover, a 6,000. litre tank was commissioned on Monday, Sundaram said. GVMCH dean Dr R Selvi, who was beside the Collector, remained silent.
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