KOttayAM l tuesday l may 04, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION CT scan in mild COVID cases does more harm than good CT scan has side effects and can end up doing more harm than good for mild Covid cases, according to AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria Equals to radiation of 400 chest x-rays “One CT scan is equivalent to 300 to 400 chest X-rays... repeated CT scans in younger age increase the risk of cancer in later life. Exposing yourself to radiation again and again may cause damage,” he said. Guleria added that several blood tests for biomarkers are also not needed in mild illness if the oxygen saturation is fine, fever is not high and there are no other symptoms ■ 93% Mild illness needs no medication ■ Dr Guleria said CT scans should be done only when hospitalised. “If there is a doubt, one should opt for a chest X-ray,” he said He said that clinical management guidelines are clear that people with mild illness need no medicine. One can take ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine; no need to take too many medicines | P7 If oxygen saturation goes below this, the patient should rush to a doctor 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 probable names in new cabinet P i n a r ay i V i j aya n CPM Covid curbs likely to delay Pinarayi 2.0 swearing-in by a week Stringent curbs for six days from today T’Puram: In the wake of the surge in Covid cases, the state government has decided to enforce stringent restrictions, on par with those enforced during weekends, from Tuesday to Sunday. Violators will be punished under sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act. CPM secretariat to meet today; Shailaja, Govindan and Radhakrishnan may get Cabinet berths E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram K K Shailaja CPM M V Govindan CPM K N B a l a g o pa l CPM R o s h y A u g u s t i ne KC(M) J Chinchurani CPI THE swearing-in of the second Pinarayi cabinet is likely to be delayed by at least a week in view of the lockdown-like restrictions to be in effect across the state from Tuesday to Sunday. Most probably, the new government will assume office with the entire cabinet swearing-in together. On Monday Pinarayi Vijayan visited Gov, ernor Arif Mohammed Khan and handed over the resignation of his cabinet. The CPM secretariat will meet on Tuesday to make a preliminary assessment of the election results and the party’s performance. The secretariat will formally nominate Pinarayi as the CPM parliamentary party leader. The party politburo meeting on Wednesday will issue the formal clearance for Pinarayi to form the new Left government. The LDF also needs to accept the CPM’s recommendation before the formal swearing-in takes place. Ahead of the LDF meeting, the CPM leadership is likely to hold bilateral talks with CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran on Tuesday The LDF will . decide whether all constituents need to be given ministerial berths or only major parties need to be part of the cabinet. With Pinarayi indicating that there will be new faces in the cabinet, discussions on probable ministers became active among party leaders and cadres. Both the CPM and the CPI will retain its share of ministers, speaker and deputy speaker posts. Pinarayi accuses UDF of buying BJP votes to defeat LDF T’Puram: A day after leading the LDF back to power, caretaker Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday levelled a serious charge against the UDF, accusing the Congress-led alliance of purchasing BJP votes to sabotage the people’s mandate in favour of the LDF. He also wondered how the BJP suffered an erosion of votes in 90 of the 140 assembly constituencies.P4 Oppn leader post: Satheesan, Thiruvanchoor, Thomas in fray T’Puram: A day after the poll debacle, the state leadership of Congress has come under serious criticism. Amid the clamouring to overhaul the party right from the top, Ramesh Chennithala’s office has changed his media WhatsApp group from that of the Opposition Leader to his own name. Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, P T Thomas and V D Satheesan are three strong contenders for the opposition leader post. P4 CPM is likely to depute all central committee members as ministers. K K Shailaja, K Radhakrishnan and M V Govindan are the central committee members elected apart from Pinarayi. State secretariat members P Rajeev and K N Balagopal will also find berths. V N Vasavan, Saji Cheriyan, M B Rajesh, Veena George and V K Prasanth are rumoured to be among the fresh faces. CPI state executive members J Chinjurani, P Prasad and K Rajan are likely to be chosen as minis● More on P5 ters. Mamata thinks big, preps to become face of Oppn P r a n a b M o n d a l @ Kolkata Her image of a “street fighter” firmly established following TMC’s thumping win over the BJP in the West Bengal Assembly elections, Mamata Banerjee will now try to galvanise other parties to fight against the saffron brigade in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Set to be sworn in as the chief minister of the state for the third time on Wednesday, she said her party will celebrate the landslide victory at Kolkata’s famed Brigade Parade Ground, but only after the Covid-19 situation gets better. Leaders from other states will be invited to her victory parade. “I am a street fighter. I can boost people so that we can fight against BJP. One cannot do everything alone. I think all together, we can fight the battle for 2024. But let’s fight Covid first,” said Mamata on Monday . Mamata’s statement is seen as an indication that she is going to play a key role in mobilising other forces and bring them together on a common platform to challenge the mighty BJP. With an impressive performance in the Assembly elections where her party bagged 213 seats, the West Bengal chief minister is going to play a role in national politics, said a TMC leader. Mamata said many political leaders and chief ministers called and congratulated her. I am just a street fighter. I can boost up people so that we can fight BJP. One can’t do everything alone. Together we can fight the 2024 battle Mamata Banerjee 5 BJP workers killed in post-poll violence West Bengal witnessed widespread violence on Monday, leaving five BJP workers dead and injured in clashes, and shops looted, prompting the Union Home ministry to seek a factual report from the state governent on incidents of attack on Opposition R BALAKRISHNA PILLAI 1935-2021 An eventful life spent in spotlight, on the edge & in jail comes to an end E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram WITH the demise of R Balakrishna Pillai, 86, on Monday all founding leaders of Ker, ala Congress have become memory. The young Congress leader, who contested to Kerala assembly from Pathanapuram as soon as he turned 25 --- the legal minimum age for filing nomination --- was among the group of 24 MLAs in the Congress led by P T Chacko. When dissidents in the Congress decided to support opposition’s no-confidence motion against then chief minister R Sankar in 1964, they deputed Pillai to speak in support of the no-confidence motion. Eventu- ally the Sankar ministry was voted out and the 15 Chacko loyalist MLAs who supported the motion broke away from the parent party. They elected an ad-hoc committee led by K M George as chairman and Pillai as general secretary to give final form for a new party, which was later christened Kerala Congress. The group had the blessings of NSS general secretary Mannathu Padmanabhan. Pillai was a follower of Mannam and his close association with the NSS leadership continued strong till his last breath. When K Karunakaran was the leader of UDF, Pillai acted as the bridge connecting him with the NSS leadership. Pillai’s record of being the youngest member of Kerala assembly stood in tact for 25 years till Mathew T Thomas broke that in 1987 by only a few days. The leader also holds an interesting record of holding the office of the panchayat president along with his duties as MLA, minister and MP. He was the president of Edamurackal panchayat from 1964 to 1987 and Kottarakara panchayat from 1987 to 1995. ● More on P5 o2 horror continues Grief-stricken relatives of the deceased patients outside the Chamarajanagar district hospital on Monday | Udayarsankar S 24 die in Karnataka hospital, 8 in Andhra E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Chamarajanagar/Vijayawada/New Delhi Twenty-four Covid patients died in Chamarajanagar District Hospital in Karnataka on Sunday night allegedly due to lack of timely oxygen supply . On Sunday, the hospital was left with three dozen cylinders and the expected delivery did not arrive as scheduled. Some patients felt breathlessness and informed their family and friends about the situation. The hospital staff advised the attendants of patients to shift them to other hospitals. The situation slipped out of control as patients started dying, creating panic. Meanwhile, Mysuru M P Prathap Simha intervened and rushed 50 cylinders. He also made arrangements for another 180. However, the tragedy had occurred by the time the cylinders reached and supply was restored. In another incident, four Covid-19 patients with comorbidities died due to non-availability of staff to man the ventilators at the Aland Taluk Hospital in Karnataka’s Kalaburagi. Andhra Pradesh also reported deaths from alleged oxygen shortage. Eight Covid patients reportedly died due to short supply of oxygen in Hindupur Government General Hospital in Andhra Pradesh in the early hours of Monday . According to information, oxygen supply to the patients NATIONWIDE may 2 MAY 3 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 3,92,488 3,07,865 3,689 3,68,147 3,00,732 3,417 Need national lockdown to tide over second wave: CII employees and ensure that their employee balance sheet remains healthy,” his stateIn what may be the first hint ment read. of India Inc favouring lockKotak said that industry down measures, the Confeder- should take cue from automoation of Indian Industry on bile companies such as Maruti Monday urged the Centre to Suzuki, MG Motor and Honda take “strongest steps including Motorcycle and Scooter India, curtailing economic which have halted activity” to save production tempolives. “Given the currarily or advanced rent pandemic situamaintenance schedtion, safeguarding ules in the interest lives is of utmost of the safety of their priority and nationemployees. wide maximal reMeanwhile, Insponse measure at dia’s manufacturing the highest level is index in April grew Uday Kotak called for to cut the at the slowest pace transmission links,” said CII in eight months, as output and president Uday Kotak. new orders were flat due to the On the other hand, industry impact of Covid on industry . should voluntarily minimise The IHS Markit India Manuthe use of manpower at work- facturing Purchasing Managplace, limiting it to critical ac- ers’ Index (PMI) was at 55.5 in tivities required by law for the April, almost flat against next two weeks, said Kotak, March’s reading of 55.4. In PMI also a top banker. parlance, a print above 50 “All responsible corporates means expansion while a score should strive to protect their below 50 denotes contraction. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi on ventilators and oxygen masks started decreasing around 5:10 am. Attendants of patients who noticed the situation informed the matter to the hospital staff. Irked by the ‘indifferent attitude’ of the hospital staff, the attendants broke the windows and rushed to the beds with oxygen cylinders kept on standby on the hospital premises. Though they tried to administer oxygen, eight patients died. Attendants of other patients too rushed out to get oxygen cylinders, fearing the shortage in might lead to death of their kin. The situation in Delhi continued to remain grim with several private hospitals scampering to refill their oxygen stocks. Dharamveer Solanki Hospital in Rohini, MKW Hospital in Rajouri Garden, and Batra Hospital said they were facing difficulty due to shortage of the life-saving gas. KEY RESTRICTIONS Only neighbourhood shops dealing with medicines, newspapers, food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat, fish and toddy will be allowed to function Repair and service centres of vehicles and equipment will be allowed Movement of medical oxygen should be facilitated by all agencies Home delivery of essential items should be encouraged to minimise movement of individuals outside their homes Restaurants and eateries should be allowed only to cater to parcel and home delivery and should be closed by 9pm Banks may function on working days from 10am to 1pm for the public Long-distance bus services, trains and air travel permitted Migrant workers can continue to work wherever they are by adhering to Covid protocol List of continued on p5 STATEWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths may 2 31,959 16,296 49 may 3 26,011 19,519 45 18+ vax push crawls; supply side crunch in various states E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Just three days after the rollout of the Covid vaccination programme for those in the 18-44 age group, the process is just about crawling across the country Chart topper Gu. jarat has barely crossed 1 lakh cumulative vaccinations in that age group, followed by Rajasthan (75,817), Maharashtra (73,455), Haryana (54,946) and Delhi (39,799), apparently due to vaccine shortage. Reports of acute scarcity of jabs came from various states, including Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. While Andhra has fully exhausted its stock, just 1.58 lakh doses of vaccines are available in Telangana, said Dr G S Rao, Director of Public Health. Karnataka received five lakh vials of Covishield on Monday but Kerala was awaiting , fresh stock. As on May 2, it had just 2,67,510 doses. Maharashtra has purchased about 3 lakh doses for the 18+ age group but has no stock for the 45+ population for which the Centre is the only provider. Meanwhile, the Centre announced it has already placed orders for 11 crore doses of Covishield and 5 crore doses of Covaxin for May through July amid concerns that no recent orders were issued. The clarification came amid Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawala saying that the vaccine supply crunch will continue for at least 2-3 months. The impetus to prepare for the crisis ought to P7 come from the Centre and not on SII, he said. Can’t bar media reportage on oral observation: SC to EC K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi The Supreme Court on Monday said media is a powerful watchdog in democracy and cannot be stopped from reporting any court hearing. The observation came on the Election Commission’s plea challenging the Madras High Court’s sharp remarks warn- ing its officials could be hauled up for murder for not strictly enforcing Covid norms in the run up to the recent Assembly elections. “We cannot say that media will not report the discussion that takes place in court. The discussion that takes place is in as much public in- terest as the final order of the court. The discussion in court is a dialogue between the Bar and the bench. Media is a very powerful watchdog in protecting the sanctity of this process,” a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said. The bench asked the EC to take HC’s ob- servations in the right spirit. Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi appearing for the EC, said, “Harsh criticism is welcome, but certain observations should not have been made.” Justice Chandrachud said, “Speaking for myself, I would not have used the words of Madras High Court.” The bench later reserved its order.
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