tirupati l tuesday l april 27, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Wear masks even at home, govt says amid covid surge It is high time people followed Covid-appropriate behaviour inside their homes as well, says NITI Aayog member (health) Dr V K Paul Don’t step outside, don’t invite guests The statement came days after a new assessment published in The Lancet said there is consistent, strong evidence to prove that the SARSCoV-2 virus, which is behind the Covid-19 pandemic, is predominantly transmitted through the air. Paul added that people should avoid stepping out of their houses unnecessarily and also not invite guests at home | P7 ■ $190 No mask means 90% risk of infection ■ “The way the infection has spread, it will be better if we wear mask inside our homes if we’re sitting with someone,” Dr Paul said “If the mask is not worn properly, there is 90% chance an infected patient can transfer virus to an uninfected person,” said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Thailand p.m. Prayuth Chan-ocha fined FOR NOT WEARING MASK IN A MEETING 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 Tirupati declared red zone with curfew from 7 pm E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ Tirupati The entire Tirupati city has been declared a containment zone and more restrictions are put in place to combat surge in Covid cases. Night curfew will be enforced from 7 pm itself in the Municipal Corporation of Tirupati (MCT). MCT Commissioner PS Girisha, Tirupati Urban Superintendent of Police Ch Venkata Appala Naidu and MLA Bhumana Karunakar Reddy took stock of the Covid situation in the MCT limits on Monday and declared the entire temple town a containment zone. All the divisions in the city have active Covid cases. Hence, night curfew will be enforced from 7 pm to 5 am in the city instead of 10 pm to 5 am, Girisha said. Tirupati accounted for 239 new infections out of the total 860 in Chittoor district in the 24 hours ending Monday 9 am and more than 2,500 cases since Thursday last. They held a meeting with representatives of Chamber of Commerce and auto trade unions and proposed a slew of restrictions to contain the virus spread. Karunakar Reddy warned that stringent action will be taken against private hospitals if they overcharge Covid patients. A task force committee headed by an IPS officer will take action against the errant private hospitals, he said. The MLA appealed to auto drivers to strictly follow social distancing norms and not to ferry more than two passengers at a time. The Tirupati Chamber of Com- Full lockdown imposed in K’taka, partial in Kerala E x p r ess n e w s se r v i c e @ Bengaluru/Kochi/Chandigarh A Covid-positive patient on oxygen support waiting for admission in a car outside the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital in Delhi on Monday | Parveen Negi Bengal has highest case spike rate now Fresh infections spiralling at 9.5% in state, followed by Karnataka; highest test positivity rate in Kolkata E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ New Delhi At 9.5%, poll-bound West Bengal has the highest Covid-19 case growth in the country now, data shared by the Union health ministry showed. It was followed by Karnataka, which has a near explosive growth rate of 9%, while Delhi, reeling under a huge medical oxygen crisis, has the second lowest growth rate at 1.5% after Maharashtra (0.5 %), among the surge states. And at about 50%, Bengal’s capital Kolkata now has the highest test positivity rate. The stark West Bengal data showed a mirror to the Election Commission of India that till recently chose to ignore all violations of Covid-appropriate behaviour in the run up to the eight-phase elections in the state. Despite massive mask-less political rallies that created an uproar, the poll panel tried to wish them away till last week when it got a stinker from the Calcutta High Court and was forced to act. India, now the worst-hit in the pandemic globally, has been reporting nearly 1,500 or more daily deaths since April 20. On Sunday the highest , 2,812 fatalities were recorded. There are also concerns that the fatality count is being majorly undercounted in most cities and towns. The country now has 28,13,656 active cases of which 3,52,991 were registered in the last 24 hours, but the Centre has not disclosed the number of people hospitalised, on oxygen support, in ICUs or those on ventilators. In a health ministry press briefing on Monday, several government authorities, including V K Paul, member, Niti Aayog and Randeep Guleria, director, AIIMS Delhi, stressed that no healthcare infrastructure in the world can take the load of such huge numbers. Both Paul and Guleria, senior members of the national Covid-19 task force, urged patients to follow home isolation protocols unless hospitalisation is absolutely required. In view of the surge in Covid-19 cases, the Karnataka government on Monday announced a 14-day curfew across the state, while Kerala decided to enforce restrictions far more strictly starting Tuesday . Briefing reporters, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said all commercial activities will remain prohibited, but manufacturing units (except garments factories), agricultural production, medical supplies production and construction activities will be allowed. “No public transport will be allowed, but movement of cargo and goods vehicles will not be hindered. Shops selling croceries, milk, meat and other essentials will be allowed to open between 6 am and 10 am every day. Night curfew, which is already in place between 9 am and 6 am, will continue. If cases do not come under control, then we may have to extend these restrictions for another week,” Yediyurappa said. In Kerala, an all-party meeting on Monday decided against total lockdown, but gave the nod to enforce restrictions far more strictly As part . of the move, malls, bars, liquor outlets, cinema halls, clubs, sports complexes, swimming pools, gymnasiums and entertainment parks will be closed from Tuesday until further orders. All social, political, cultural and religious functions/ gatherings are also prohibited until further orders. Meanwhile, the Punjab government also announced restrictions by advancing weekday curfew by two hours. Punjab CM Amarinder Singh said that the state was enforcing lockdown from 6 pm to 5 am. Snag disrupts o2 supply to Our IPL Space patients in Maharaja hosp Invisible helping hands Several people across India have used Twitter as a platform to launch one of the biggest SOS campaigns to help people to survive Covid crisis A novel initiative Fr John Puthuva, the vicar of a church in Kalady near Kochi, has been visiting patients to offer them comfort. He also launched #VaccineChallenge drive | P11 E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ Vizianagaram Around 15 Covid-19 patients on ventilator support in the government-run Maharaja Central Hospital had to be shifted to other hospitals in the district in the early hours of Monday following disruption in supply of oxygen due to some technical glitch. Two patients reportedly died after oxygen supply got disrupted between 3 and 3.30 am, but officials denied it stating that the deaths were ‘not because of (lack of) oxygen supply .’ District Collector M Hari Jawaharlal said a technical glitch caused low pressure in supply of oxygen to those who were on ventilator support. “We immediately rushed to the hospital and ensured that there was no problem to the patients on oxygen support,’’ he said. The Collector said alternative arrangements were made by bringing bulk oxygen cylinders and an oxygen tanker from Visakhapatnam to P4 the district hospital. covid scare Woman’s body shifted on bike in S’kulam E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ Srikakulam A man was forced to shift her mother’s body on a bike with the help of a family member to their hamlet, which is 18 km away from Palasa, on Monday due to reluctance of ambulance drivers to shift it amid spurt in Covid-19 cases in the district. G Chenchu (50) hailed from Killoyi tribal hamlet in Mandasa. As she was critically ill, her son Narendra and son-in-law Ramesh took her to Neela- The body of a woman being shifted on a bike in Srikakulam district on Monday | Express mani Durga Hospital in Palasa, where she was referred to a diagnostic centre for a CT scan. She underwent a scan at Sri Krishna Diagnostic Centre. She breathed her last even as the scan report was awaited. Dr Mohan Babu, going by the scan report, said she had symptoms of Covid. When no one came forward, the duo shifted the body to their hamlet on a bike. VRO Tulasi Das said the last rites of the woman were perfor med in the evening as per Covid-19 protocol. merce and shops and commercial establishments have voluntarily decided to restrict business hours from Tuesday. All the business and commercial establishments will be closed by 2 pm. The MCT has proposed to decentralise markets and reopen makeshift markets at nine places in the city to avoid overcrowding. They suggested that Tataiah Gunta Gangamma temple authorities perform Gangamma Jatara in Ekantham in view of Covid like last year during lockdown. NATIONWIDE April 25 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Take your shot 3,49,691 2,17,113 2,767 April 26 3,52,991 2,19,272 2,812 April 25 25,36,612 doses April 26 31,74,688 doses Total: 14,50,85,911 doses Modi thanks Biden New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked US President Joe Biden during a phone conversation on Monday evening for extending support to India. Summer vacation for SSC students from May 1 to 31 Vijayawada: Amid mounting pressure from parents as well as opposition parties to defer the conduct of SSC and Intermediate exams, the State government on Monday announced summer vacation for SSC students from May 1 to 31. However, SSC and Intermediate exams will be held as per schedule. Education Minister A Suresh said the summer vacation for SSC students was announced as their syllabus was completed and in view of spurt in Covid cases. Teachers need to come to schools from June 1 to make preparations for SSC exams scheduled from June 7, he said. Family members of Covid-19 patients wait outside KGH in Vizag on Monday | G Satyanarayana More restrictions in place to combat Covid-19 spread E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ Vijayawada In the wake of spurt in Covid-19 cases, the State government has imposed stringent restrictions to curb the spread of virus. Speaking to mediapersons on Monday, Principal Secretary (Health) Anil Kumar Singhal said, “We have decided to close sports complexes, gyms and spas till further orders. The existing alternative seating in public transport vehicles, including APSRTC buses and cinema halls will continue and they will be allowed to operate with only 50% capacity .” All the managements of government and private offices have been asked to ensure 5 feet distance between two seats of employees. Attendance at weddings and other social functions is limited to just 50 that too with Covid Appropriate Behaviour. District Collectors have been directed to implement the restrictions strictly he said. , According to Singhal, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy took serious note of reports that some private hospitals are fleecing patients by charging exorbitant rates. At a review meet on Covid, the Chief Minister directed officials to implement a three-tier structure for effective Covid management in the State. “At the district-level, the collectors segregate all private hospitals permitted to treat Covid-19 cases into clusters and appoint a district-level officer as in-charge for each cluster. They will inspect these hospitals frequently receive complaints from pa, tients, look into their grievances and take appropriate action against the managements. Each cluster will have 5-8 private hospitals. Complaints pertaining to unauthorised treatment of Covid cases in nearby hospitals will P3 also be probed, he said. STATEWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Samples tested April 25 April 26 12,634 4,304 69 9,881 4,431 51 62,885 74,041 hospital infrastructure Dial 104 for info on Covid services 1902 to lodge complaints Total beds in 371 hospitals - 31,997 Available beds - 18,001 (at 10 pm) Available ventilators - 2,792 Remdesivir stock in State - 32,810
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