bhubaneswar l Tuesday l april 20, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 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 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 | P14 $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 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 P9 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 Weekend shutdown returns to all urban areas in Odisha E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Migrant workers wait at Kaushambi bus stand on 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 during the lockdown. “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 the Chief Minister 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 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 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 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 Corona warrior scheme to be continued: Govt E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has clarified that the government is in talks with another insurance company for extension of the `50 lakh cover scheme for healthcare workers on Covid-19 duty under the Pradhan Mantri , Garib Kalyan Package. Launched last year, this scheme was discontinued according to a letter to the states from Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan. The letter said the insurance coverage was coming to an end on March 24 this year. In its clarification, the health ministry has added that it has been extended till April 24. The ministry said a “new dispensation will be provided to cover the Corona warriors, for which the ministry is in talks with the insurance company (New India Assurance)”. 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 India on UK red list 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. The UK adds India to its red list of countries from where flights are banned. The ban comes amid 77 cases of the B.1.617 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 @ Bhubaneswar Setting an example in these dire Covid times, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday announced the BJD’s decision not to hold public rallies or campaign meetings for by-election to Pipili Assembly constituency scheduled on May 13. Announcing the decision in a series of tweets, the Chief Minister said the BJD as a responsible party will not like to put the lives of people in danger. “We contest elections to serve people,” he said and added, “If the campaign has potential to endanger lives, I would earnestly appeal to political parties and Election Commission of India to reconsider both the duration and method of campaigning.” Stating that every life is precious and he always considered people of Odisha as his family members, the Chief Minister said, “India is a mature democ- racy and together we can come out with a solution.” The announcement by the Chief Minister came a day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi suspended all election campaigns in West Bengal. The Pipili bypoll, which was originally scheduled to be held on April 17, was postponed to May 13 following the demise of Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj, who succumbed to Covid-19, on Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 18 April 19 3,664 1,309 2 4,445 1,503 4 and buyer to shop owner during the entire period of their stay in the establishment. Hotels and restaurants will also not allow outside persons, other than their in house resident guests, to dine inside. However, hotels and restaurants can serve take away food to customers, buyers and clients. They can also take online orders and deliver food. Besides, no street vendor can serve food to consumers at the venue. They can, however, serve take away food, it stated. The SRC maintained that Covid protocols will have to be strictly observed by organisers of such facilities. He warned that any violation of Covid-19 protocols will attract closure, sealing and cancellation of licence. The government has also prohibited jatra, opera and open air theatres as Covid cases continued to rise rapidly across the State. However, cinema halls and theatres will be allowed to operate with up to 50 per cent (pc) of the hall capacity with strict adherence to Covid protocols during the entire period of the show. CONTINUED ON: P7 F r esh r est r i ct i ons No dine-in allowed in hotels and restaurants 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 recovery 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 BJD won’t hold campaign rallies for Pipili bypoll: Naveen E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e As Covid-19 situation continues to worsen at an alarming pace, Odisha government on Monday announced strict measures including weekend shutdown in all urban areas of the State from April 24. Earlier on April 15, the government had imposed weekend shutdown in 10 Western Odisha districts neighbouring Chhattisgarh. Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena announced that the weekend shutdown has been extended to Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and all urban areas in rest of the 20 districts as the situation has become serious. Night curfew will continue in urban areas of the 20 districts from 9 pm to 5 am and in 10 districts neighbouring Chhattisgarh from 6 pm to 5 am. The new guidelines issued by the government has imposed strict regulations on markets and shops. Haats and markets will be decentralised and allowed to operate with minimum 30 feet distance from shop to shop. Number of buyers to the shop will be regulated by the market association and shop owners in such a way that physical distance of six feet is maintained between buyer to buyer ODISHA April 14. The Election Commission issued a fresh notification on Monday stating that polling will be held on May 13 between 7 am and 6 pm. The election process will be completed before May 18, it added. Meanwhile, president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik constituted a committee headed by working president of OPCC Pradip Majhi to recommend name of the party candidate. The committee will meet on Tuesday over the matter. Entertainment and amusement parks, meena bazaar allowed with 50 persons ceiling Cinema halls, theatres to operate with 50 pc capacity Street food vendors cannot serve food, only take aways allowed No food court allowed in malls for seat-in dining Jatra, opera, open air theatres prohibited Hotels, kalyan mandaps, resorts, clubs & association buildings barred from allowing social functions Birthday, thread ceremony, anniversary etc., not allowed outside house No outside guests in any social functions Marriage and funeral/last rites functions allowed with 50 and 20 persons respectively List of participants to be submitted to local authorities before 24 hours INSIDE odisha logs record spike of P2 4,445 fresh covid-19 cases express read HC orders `10 lakh compensation to kin of victims Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Monday directed the State government to immediately pay a compensation of `10 lakh each to the families of four sanitation workers who were asphyxiated in sewage tanks in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar recently. The Court issued the direction while taking suo motu notice of a report published in The New Indian Express on April 16, 2021 on the death of two sanitation workers - Bishnu Naik of Badamba and T Prabhakar of Pattapol area of Cuttack - due to asphyxiation while manually cleaning a sewer line at Sector-10, CDA on April 15 | P3 Posco evinces fresh interest in steel plant project Bhubaneswar: South Korea Ambassador Shin Bongkil on Monday rekindled the hope of Posco investing 12 billion US dollar (approximately `90,000 crore) in a steel project in Odisha. Participating in a roundtable on ‘South Korea and Odisha: Promoting Bilateral Business Opportunities’ organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce in association with IPICOL through virtual mode, Bongkil said Korean steel giant Posco has plans to make one of the single largest FDI in the history of India with an investment of US $12 billion to set up an integrated steel plant in Odisha | P3
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