kochi l thursday l may 06, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l late city EDITION 25% of global Covid deaths last week were from india 46% global cases in the subcontinent WHO Epidemiological Update said that of the 93,000 global deaths between April 26 & May 2, India accounted for 23,000 Continuing the trend of spike that started around eight weeks ago, the global case count touched 57 lakh in the past one week, of which 26 lakh came from India. In the South-East Asia Region, case and death counts were high, with India accounting for over 90% in both categories. The WHO said the case count was at its highest levels since the beginning of the pandemic ■ 32% Europe & Africa record fewer deaths ■ ■ Cases in India surged by 20%, the highest globally, followed by Brazil, which saw an increase of only 4%, the report added Case incidence in the Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Africa & the Americas slumped, while the Western Pacific Region was stable Death count decreased in Europe, Africa and the Western Pacific decrease in cases recorded in Turkey, followed by France’s 23% 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 Double mutant tied to surge, 3rd wave inevitable Med students for rapid response T’Puram: CM Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the state has been going through a tough period and situation demands tougher restrictions to contain the spread. The state govt directs bankers and KSEB and Water Authority to stop all recovery measures and collection of dues of bills for two months K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi The S u p r e m e C o u r t o n Wednesday stayed a contempt notice slapped on the Centre by the Delhi High Court but gave the government time till 11am on Thursday to share its comprehensive action plan on ramping up medical oxygen supply to Delhi’s hospitals to 700 MT. “The plan shall indicate the sources of supply, provisions for transportation, and all other logistical arrangements necessary to ensure the fulfillment of the requirement of NCT of Delhi,” its order later said. A bench comprising justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah said exercising powers under contempt will not solve the problem faced by Delhi. “When the country is facing a humanitarian crisis, court must aim at problem-solving,” their order read. “The Centre’s effort now has to be to comply . Putting officers in jail or hauling them up for contempt is not going to get oxygen to Delhi.” During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, “If Delhi gets 500 MT of oxygen, they will be able to manage.” However, Justice Chandrachud said, “As an institution, we can’t accept that. We ourselves have ordered you to supply 700 MT. We can’t go back.” Mehta said, “It is the case of the Delhi that they need 700 and after some days 900.” 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express Odisha: Two-week lockdown since May 5 Andhra Pradesh: Two-week noon-to-6 am curfew starting May 5 Kerala: Mini-lockdown till May 9, night curfew quired, will be taken.” Meanwhile, data shared during the briefing marked the The Centre on Wednesday B.1.617 variant — also known as came up with a grim warning double mutant — as a “variant that a third Covid-19 wave in In- of concern” for the first time. dia was inevitable and admitted Samples collected from at least for the first time that B.1.617, an 18 states, which underwent geIndian mutant of the virus, nomic surveillance, showed the could be fuelling the massive presence of the variant. This surge in the country . variant, along with E484Q and “A phase three is inevitable, L452R mutants, was first identigiven the higher levels of the fied in February Its spread has . circulating virus, but it is not been exponential, overtaking clear on what time scale this several other local variants, inwill occur. We should cluding N440K and p r e p a r e f o r n e w Link between B.1.618, suggesting waves,” K Vijay Ra- variant, surge that it was more transghavan, Principal Scimissible. Data from entific Advisor to the The director of the other countries sugNational Centre Centre said on gest that while E484Q for Disease Wednesday . can escape antibody Amid clamour for Control said that neutralisation, L452R an exercise was stricter measures to increases infectivity . underway to contain the spread of According to the the fierce wave, Niti establish the link WHO, this Indian A a y o g m e m b e r between the rise strain has been detect(health), V K Paul, of the variant and ed in at least 17 counwho also heads the na- the progression of tries, including the tional Covid task the disease in the U K , US and country force, did not rule out Singapore. the possibility of a naSources said that tional lockdown to break the following a request by the UK chain of the virus. government, India has agreed Listing the Centre’s guide- to send samples of B.1.617 for lines like night curfews and re- examining the efficacy of the strictions in districts with over available vaccines against it. 10% test positivity rate and Renu Swarup, secretary of more than 60% ICU bed occu- department of biotechnology, pancy, Paul said: “In that direc- said initial data has shown that tion there is a clear balanced vaccines in India effectively advisory. At the same time, if neutralised the variants in ciranything more is required, culation. More work is underthose options are always being way to fully establish the finddiscussed, and decisions, as re- ings, she added. Express News Service Telangana: Only night curfew so far @ New Delhi Hostels and lodges to be converted into Covid frontline treatment centres SC puts Centre on leash while giving relief from contempt Maharashtra: Lockdownlike curbs imposed since April 5 V K Paul says all options to break the chain on table, doesn’t rule out national lockdown Medical students to be roped in as rapid response team members Govt agencies like Consumerfed, and Supplyco, private agencies, NGOs and associations registered in foreign countries to function as recognised relief agencies Lockdown-like situation already in many states I WORSHIP your work An elderly woman, who does not wish to reveal her identity, distributes food kits to a police officer on duty at LMS Junction in T’Puram on Wednesday. She has been doing it for many days and when TNIE lensman asked her whereabouts, she asked, “Why? Do you wish to marry me?”, making everyone present on the scene burst into laughter | Vincent Pulickal Family function turns super spreader; 2 die, 18 test +ve E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @ Kochi IN A sobering reminder as to how functions organised to celebrate joyous occasions with family and friends can end in tragedy in Covid times, an engagement function held at Chungam near Thodupuzha on April 19 has left a family shattered. Two persons have died and around 18 others have contracted the deadly virus, according to those in the know. Over 150 people, comprising relatives from nearby areas and from abroad, had taken part in the function. Since Covid restrictions were not stringent then, some elderly members of the family were also in attendance. The function was held at the Chungam Parish Hall in Thodupuzha. “The family is settled overseas and they had come here for their daughter’s wedding,” said the ward councillor. “The engagement function was held on April 19, and the wedding on April 22 at Ettumanoor. We became aware of the case as people started testing positive after the wedding. Six members of the family tested positive. It is learnt that some relatives are still under treatment and on ventilator Retreat: CM vows action, faithful to approach HC Express News Service @ T’Puram Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday promised action over the holding of a Covid super spreader event by the CSI South Kerala diocese in Munnar last month. The annual retreat for priests under the diocese that took place at a church at Munnar last month had triggered Covid spread with two priests dying and over 100 getting infected. In reply to a query during the daily press conference, the chief minister said he would look into the matter. “It is an unfortunate situation. It took place in April. The government has issued repeated warnings against gatherings. This incident should not have happened. Further action will be initiated after collecting all details,” said Pinarayi. It was TNIE which first reported about the retreat on Tuesday . Meanwhile, a group of believers decided to approach the High Court seeking action against the CSI diocese for its g ro s s n e g l e c t o f C ov i d protocol. Jacob Mathew, secretary, CSI Trust Association, said that the group would approach the High Court soon, seeking action against the Church ● More on P2 leadership. support at hospitals.” The councillor said the municipal authorities were not informed of the function. “Though strict restrictions were not in place, people were not being allowed to conduct functions without maintaining Covid protocol,” the councillor pointed out. Sources said the region is yet to be declared a containment zone despite the police and health officials having been informed of the situation. Two relatives of the bride — C S Punnuse, 77, of Chungam, and Joseph Stephen, 84, of Mrala near Chungam — passed away on Sunday and Monday, ● More on P3 respectively . NATIONWIDE MAY 4 MAY 5 Fresh cases 3,57,229 4,12,373 Recoveries 3,20,289 3,38,439 3,449 3,979 Deaths STATEWIDE may 4 MAY 5 Fresh cases 37,190 41,953 Recoveries 26,148 23,106 57 58 Deaths Jab-o-meter May 4 Take your shot May 5 11,49,009 doses 18,90,346 doses Total: 16,24,30,828 Pandemic moving eastward: centre A rise in the number of daily Covid-19 cases and mortality has been observed in Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand, indicating the “pandemic is moving eastward”, the health ministry said in a statement on Wednesday Tamil Nadu: Shops selling essential commodities can function till 12 noon Karnataka: Corona Curfew extended till May 12 West Bengal: Shops to open from 7 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 7 pm Jharkhand: Lockdown since April 22 Madhya Pradesh: Staggered Janta Curfew in various districts Uttar Pradesh: Corona Curfew till May 10 morning Bihar: 11-day lockdown starting Wednesday Punjab: Non-essential shops shut till May 15 Haryana: Lockdown from May 3-10 Rajasthan: Virtual lockdown from April 19 to May 3 Chhattisgarh: Lockdown extended till May 15 J&K: Corona curfew in 14 districts till Thursday morning; four districts under curfew till May 10 Northeast: Almost all states have clamped night curfew; complete lockdown in Meghalaya's East Khasi Hills district Vax drive loses steam, RBI offers balm for second doses delayed most-affected sectors S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi S e s a S e n @ New Delhi The speed of the country’s Covid vaccination campaign is decreasing rapidly, owing to an acute shortage of doses, and the slowdown has triggered concerns that it could impede taming of the massive surge in cases across the country . The average daily doses administered has come down by nearly 80% over the last one month from its peak, when on average 3.5 million vaccinations had been done per day . According to the Centre’s own projection, the average daily vaccination between May 1 and 6 is only 7,17,100 — about 79% less than the average daily vaccinations done in the first week of April. The Centre has supplied states with 17.02 crore doses while 16.05 crore doses have been administered so far, as per the Union health ministry . With the second wave of Covid infections peaking in many parts of the country and experts warning of a third wave, the Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday admitted that India’s economic outlook seems “highly uncertain” and that all projections can go awry . In an unscheduled address on Wednesday, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said the unexpected spike in Covid cases and localised lockdowns could stymie economic recovery . To cushion the blow to the economy, Das unloaded various monetary tools for banks and relief measures for small businesses as well as individuals. RBI announced a special `50,000-crore term liquidity facility with threeyear tenor for banks to support entities such as vaccine manufacturers. Das also announced a one-time loan restructuring for individuals as well as cash-starved sectors. Mar Chrysostom Valiya Metropolitan 1918-2021 Resembling Santa Claus, he conveyed his meaningful thoughts through jokes & stories Blessy The mortal remains of Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan who died on Wednesday placed at Dr Alexander Mar Thoma Smaraka Auditorium, the Church headquarters at Tiruvalla in Pathanamthitta, for the public to pay homage | SHAJI VETTIPURAM BURIAL TODAY “I The mortal remains of Mar Chrysostom will be interred in a specially-erected crypt on the premises of the SC Church in Tiruvalla at 3pm on Thursday. t is not right to say that I have lived for 100 years, rather I would say I haven’t died for 100 years. To live doesn’t mean you are alive. Life is all about fighting and turning all the negativity around us into positivity .” These are the words of Chrysostom Thirumeni in the final portion of my 48-hour-long docu m e n t a r y ‘ 1 0 0 ye a r s o f Chrysostom’. I recollect meeting Chrysostom Thirumeni when I was five. He had officiated my sister’s wedding at the Eraviperoor Mar Thoma Church. I re- member him through the photographs of that wedding. During those days, kids celebrated meeting Chrysostom Thirumeni in school and at the church because he makes kids laugh with his jokes and stories. Children loved watching him because of his appearance, which resembles Santa Claus. He is unparalleled with his touching style of oratory, full of humorous statements and broadminded love of humanity . Later, I was fortunate to know and understand him closely during 2005. He had invited me to his place to congratulate me when I won the state and national awards for my film Thanmatra. He also sent a letter to the church stating I should be felicitated in the church for my achievement. I have got to know him more by the books he gifted me. In return, I presented him with books on my films Kazhcha and Thanmatra. I was stunned by the fact that he called me after a couple of days and told me he had finished reading the books. His habit of reading early in the morning has always surprised me. Thus I would read and understand his ideology through the books he gave me. His thoughts would go deeper into my soul, knowing how Thirumeni was during my child- I got to interpret his divine morals because of his revolutionary thoughts and beliefs which stated God is present not only in churches or temples but also in every nook and cranny of this universe — Blessy hood days and how he has moulded me. I got to interpret his divine morals because of his revolutionary thoughts and beliefs which stated that God is present not only in churches or temples but also on the streets and every nook and cranny of this universe. I would say we did not perceive the fact that he would convey his deep, meaningful, soul-searching thoughts through his j o ke s a n d s t o r i e s. Therefore, the seriousness in understanding his perception was not given enough atten● More on P4 tion.
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