KOCHI l friday l april 30, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE city EDITION Govt allows steroid use for patients in home isolation What medicines one should take at home The latest guidelines state that if Covid symptoms persist beyond seven days, doctor should be consulted for treatment with low-dose oral steroids Remdesivir Injection only in hospitals If fever is not controlled with a maximum dose of Paracetamol 650 mg four times a day, consult the doctor, who may consider advising non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like Naproxen 250 mg twice a day, the Union health ministry said. “Tab. Ivermectin (200 mcg/kg once a day, to be taken on empty stomach) for 3 to 5 days should be considered,” the guidelines stated ■ ■ Inhalational Budesonide (given via inhalers with spacer at a dose of 800 mcg twice daily for five to seven days) to be given if fever or cough persist beyond five days, they added Remdesivir or any other investigational therapy must be administered only in a hospital setting, the health ministry said 10 days Duration of home isolation for patients after onset of symptoms 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 May 1 rollout just not doable e x it p o l l Andhra says it may get doses only in September; even BJP-ruled states can’t kick it off on Saturday Pinarayi projected to retain power; poll of polls gives 137 to Trinamool, 142 to BJP; DMK sweep seen in TN Bengal too close to call E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Chances of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress retaining power in West Bengal appeared too close to call, while Assam is likely to give the BJP another shot at power, if exit poll projections on Thursday are anything to go by. In Tamil Nadu, exit polls predicted a crushing victory for the M K Stalin-led DMK, while the Pinarayi Vijayanled LDF appeared comfortably ahead in the race to retain power in Kerala. As for Puducherry, exit polls put it in the BJP’s pocket. ABP News CVoter predicted Trinamool getting between 152-164 seats, while BJP could get between 109-121 in West Bengal. The Left alliance, including the Congress, is expected to get between 14-25. On the contrary, the Republic-CNX polls gave the BJP a slight edge by projecting 138148 seats for the party in the 294-seat Assembly and 128-138 to the Trinamool. The eightphase polls in West Bengal ended on Thursday . As for Kerala, the LDF is all set to retain power with the poll of polls predicting 84 to LDF, 54 to UDF and 2 to the BJP. If the India Today-Axis exit poll is to be believed, the LDF is expected to win around 104-120 seats, UDF 2036, BJP 0-2 and others 0-2. As for Assam, the BJP-led NDA is likely to beat anti-incumbency to retain power. The India Today-Axis My India exit poll gave 75-85 of Assam’s 126 seats to the NDA. The Congress’s grand alliance is likely to win 40-50 seats, it predicted. In Tamil Nadu, the exit polls predict a landslide for the Opposition DMK alliance, giving it a staggering 165 of the 234 seats that went to polls. The AIADMK, which had the BJP as its ally, could end up with 66 seats. P4 K e r a l a ( T o ta l s e at s 1 4 0) Survey LDF UDF NDA Poll Diary 77-87 51-61 2-3 Times Now CVoter 74 65 1 Today’s Chanakya 93-111 36-44 0-6 India Today-Axis 104-120 20-36 0-2 Republic TV-CNX 72-80 58-64 1-5 ABP CVoter 71-77 62-68 0-2 Jan Ki Baat 68-78 48-58 0 Poll of polls 84 54 91 LDF 41 UDF 1 BJP 7 Vacant W e s t B e n g a l ( T o ta l s e at s 2 9 4) Survey TMC+ BJP+ Left+ Republic CNX 133 143 16 ABP Cvoter 158 115 19 Jan Ki Baat 173 113 6 P-MARQ 158 120 14 Peoples Pulse-INDIA TV 88 192 12 Poll of polls 137 142 13 current seat tally of parties 201 TMC+ 23 INC 19 CPI(M) 34 BJP 6 Others 11 Vacant Ta m i l N a d u ( T o ta l s e at s 2 3 4) Survey DMK+ ADMK+ AMMK+ Oth Republic CNX 165 63 6 P-MARQ 177 52 5 Today’s Chanakya 174 57 3 Axis-My India 185 46 2 1 Poll of polls 173 56 2 3 current seat tally of parties 124 ADMK 104 DMK 1 AMMK 5 Vacant A s s a m ( T o ta l s e at s 1 2 6) Survey BJP+ INC+ Oth Aaj Tak-Axis 75-85 40-50 1-2 Today’s Chanakya 61-79 47-65 0-3 ABP Cvoter 58-71 53-66 0-3 Peoples Pulse 63-68 61-66 0-6 Poll of polls 69 56 The proposed May 1 launch of the mass vaccination programme for all Indian adults looks doubtful with states not having enough vaccines and a chief minister moving the calendar as far ahead as September. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Assam, West Bengal, Punjab, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh have said the inoculation drive may get delayed by weeks or even months. Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are trying hard to meet the launch target but there is confusion on availability of the jabs. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday said doses for the 18-45 years age group will be available only after the current inoculation drive for those above 45 years is completed. And, that will be in September. According to Jagan, it will take four months to complete vaccinating the youth population, which means they will be fully vaccinated only by the end of January . The situation is no different in other states though most prefer not to give a timeline as to when vaccination for 18- to 44-year-olds can start. For example, Kerala, which got 3.5 lakh doses this week and expects another 1 lakh soon, is focusing on inoculating those above 45 years. “In government facilities, a decision has been taken to vaccinate the elderly If we . receive more vaccine doses, then arrangements can be made to vaccinate the youth as well. But for now, it is hard,” said a core team member of Covid-19 Task Force. Telangana is also not sure if it can start the programme on Saturday. “We do not know how many vaccine doses we will get from the manufacturer. From our end, we expected 10 lakh vaccine doses a day We will make a prop. er plan only based on what the manufacturers inform us that they can supply,” said health minister Eatala Rajender. The state has 2.5-3 crore people in the 18-44 years age group. BJP-ruled Karnataka has not officially postponed the May 1 rollout date but the state may be able to start only in May second or continued on P7 third week. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi 1 71 BJP 19 INC 13 AIUDF 11 BPF 12 Vacant P u d u c h e rr y ( T o ta l s e at s 3 0) Survey BJP+ INC+ Oth Republic CNX 16-20 11-13 ABP CVoter 19-23 6-10 1-2 Poll of polls 20 9 1 The Malappuram dist Cong committee president, 56, died following a heart attack on Thursday morning | P5 Woman jumped off train fears yet another attack A N I L K U M A R T @ Kochi Oversight board rap Oversight Board of FB overturned a decision to remove a user’s post under the ‘Dangerous Individuals and Organisations’ category and urged it to avoid mistakes that silence voices of religious minorities Our IPL Space Football star Sunil Chhetri is giving access to his Twitter account to ‘real-life captains’, who are doing amazing work, helping in transmission of info How an NGO in Tenkasi (TN) led by Mohammed Ali Jinna is helping people in the region give Covid victims a decent burial | P11 Social media giant Facebook on Wednesday blocked posts tagged #ResignModi in the wake of the Covid tsunami, but restored them a few hours later claiming it had done so on its own by mistake. A Facebook spokesperson said, “We temporarily blocked this hashtag by mistake, not because the Indian government asked us to, and have since restored it.” For its part, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said the government had not issued any direction to remove the hashtag. NATIONWIDE April 28 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 3,60,960 2,61,162 3,293 Jab-o-meter Take your shot April 29 3,86,654 2,91,484 3,501 April 28 20,49,754 doses April 29 20,84,931 doses Total doses: 15,21,05,563 Asha Murali is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Kochi | Express Asha, a clerk at the higher secondary regional office in Chengannur, was attacked by the assailant immediately after the train started moving from the Mulanthuruthy station from where she had boarded. Rahul said she is not ready to be alone after the incident. “She always needs someone’s presence near her. She can’t stay alone for more than a minute as the incident is flashing in front of her. We hope everything will be alright in a couple of days,” ● More on P3 Rahul said. 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express A long queue of ambulances carrying bodies of Covid victims waiting at Peenya crematorium in Bengaluru | Vinod Kumar T RT-PCR test rate slashed to `500 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram THE rate of RT-PCR test in private labs in the state has been reduced to `500 as the government capped its price on Thursday . It is inclusive of swab charge, PPE kit and test kit. The decision was taken after it was found that the ICMR-approved kits have become cheaper in the market, said Health Minister K K Shailaja. The government had reduced the cost of RT-PCR test from `2,100 to `1,500 on January 1. But it was revised to `1,700 af- ter private laboratories sought a favourable verdict from High Court on February 10. The RT-PCR test cost `2,750 before October last year. The test is conducted free of charge in government labs. The rates in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are `1,200 and `800 respectively . Meanwhile, hinting that the government may act tough after the counting of votes, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said tougher restrictions will be imposed in the state from Tuesday to Sunday in addition to those , already in place during weekend. P4 Migrant camps in state sit on ticking bomb Though the state has not officially released the test positivity rate (TPR) in the migrant camps in the state, officials close to the system said the TPR in migrant camps is almost double that of the state average. P2 EDIT: WHY KERALA MUST AVOID POST-RESULT CHAOS | P6 STATEWIDE Apr 28 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 35,013 15,505 41 Apr 29 38,607 21,116 48 Why response so delayed, Madras HC asks Centre FB blocks, restores #ResignModi hashtag current seat tally of parties Nilambur UDF candidate V V Prakash no more THE 31-year-old woman who jumped off a moving train following an assailant attack on Wednesday and being treated for head injuries is having recurring nightmares that he might come after her to the hospital. Even after a day of the shocking incident, the police have not nabbed the assailant who is identified as Babukuttan, a native of Nooranad, Alappuzha. The victim, Asha Murali, is admitted to the Medical Trust Hospital in Kochi. “Asha has been shifted from the ICU to a room in the hospital, but she is yet to recover from trauma. She still fears the assailant would come to the hospital and attack her. She is really frightened,” said husband Rahul Sadanandan, who is with her in the hospital. 2 current seat tally of parties E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e In the few hours when the suspension was on, Facebook’s notification showed, “Posts with #ResignModi are temporarily hidden here. Some content in those posts goes against our Community Standards.” Posts with the #ResignModi hashtag criticised the lack of Covid beds, the continuing shortage of oxygen support, the massive political rallies in poll-bound states, the acute shortage of vaccines, and the huge rush of bodies at crematoriums and graveyards. A few days ago, Twitter had taken down a bunch of tweets critical of how the Centre had handled the pandemic. Delhi hospitals continue struggle for oxygen Delhi’s VIMHANS Hospital and Rosewood Hospital, both treating Covid patients, sent SOS for oxygen, saying their supplies would last a few hours alone. VIMHANS’ current supply will last for two hours, it medical director Dr Ubaid Hamid said E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Chennai The Madras High Court on Thursday questioned the Central government over its preparedness and management of the pandemic. “Why are we acting only in April now even though we had time for one year?’’ asked a division bench of the court while hearing a suo motu plea it moved. The Centre should have acted in an informed and planned manner rather than taking ad-hoc measures, the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy asserted when Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sankaranarayanan submitted a list of steps the Central government took to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The court refused to concur with his submissions, and stated: “I have not met any respectable doctor who has advised the guard to be dropped over the last few months... even if doctors have not advised, who are the experts the Centre has been consulting?” K’taka to procure addl 1 cr doses of vaccine The Karnataka government is procuring one crore additional doses of COVID vaccine, Chief Minister B Yediyurappa said on Thursday. Work order in this regard has been placed, he said. Centre has so far supplied 99.40 lakh doses of vaccine, he said Bharat Biotech’s turn to cut cost A day after SII lowered Covishield price by `100 to states, Bharat Biotech reduced its Covaxin’s cost from `600 to `400 per dose. Sources said the reduction came after a nudge by the Centre UP weekend lockdown extended The state decided to raise the duration of weekend lockdown by 24 hrs. It will cover Mondays too. “Weekend closure will be applicable from Friday 8 pm till Tue 7 am,” Addl Chief Secretary (Home) Navneet Sehgal said unsung hero This 27-yr-old has performed last rites of 110 Covid victims K V Sa i lend r a @ Rajamahendravaram Carrying dead bodies of Covid patients from hospitals and even homes has become a routine affair for Mallisetti Bharat Raghava, a resident of Bommuru in Rajamahendravaram, Andhra Pradesh. Since the start of the pandemic, the 27-year-old along with a couple of his friends has performed the last rites of at least 110 de- ceased persons irrespective of their religion. “When I was in college, my father died of illness in Visakhapatnam. We did not have money to shift the body to Rajamahendravaram and had to keep the body for one full day It . was then that I decided that the dead need a decent farewell and started helping those who can’t afford it,” he says. An MBA graduate, he owns a goods truck to eke out a livelihood. Raghava doesn’t demand any money but will accept any amount that people give for performing the last rites. “I spend the amount on fuel and buying PPE kits for ourselves or for the funeral material”, he explains. During the first wave of the pandemic, which saw several people abandon dead bodies of their kith and kin in morgues, Raghava was called by the hospital managements to perform the final rites as bodies started to pile up. “In the initial days, I faced resistance and was stigmatised by neighbours. But that died down as days passed by People began to un. derstand that coronavirus is universal and nobody is immune to it”, he says. “There were instances where the family members contracted the virus and could not perform the last rites. I took the responsibility to arrange for the funeral,” he says adding that it is quite painful to see that people were not even in a position to bid farewell to their family members.
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