TIRUCHY SUNDAY MAY 09, 2021 `12.00 PAGES 24 LATE CITY EDITION TELANGANA GETS NOD TO TEST DRONES FOR VACCINE DELIVERY The state has to meet the Centre’s conditions to begin trials by May-end for delivery beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) FASTER DELIVERY, IMPROVED ACCESS STRATEGY WILL HAVE TO SUBMIT REPORT TO CENTRE The approval is part of Centre’s strategy to enhance the scope of drone usage in the country to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. On April 30, the state government was permitted to use drones for experimental delivery of shots within the visual line of sight. The ministry said this would serve its dual plan of ensuring faster vaccine delivery and improved healthcare access ■ ■ ■ On April 22, the Indian Council for Medical Research was granted conditional exemption for a similar experiment with IIT-Kanpur One of the conditions laid down by the Centre mandates that drone operations shall be limited between sunrise and sunset After trials, the state will submit a Proof of Concept to the Centre 400 feet IS THE HEIGHT PERMITTED FOR THE DRONES TO FLY DURING THE TEST RUNS 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 WHAT’S ALLOWED KARNATAKA Restaurants takeaway, groceries by walk till 9 pm; no vehicles Standalone bars and liquor stores (6-10 am) Milk booths, Shops selling essentials (6-10 am). Veg pushcarts Home delivery of food, e-commerce, essentials Flights and trains. Cabs to and from airport and rail stations Pharmacies, fuel stations, banks KERALA Essential, emergency travel Medical shops. Restaurants (takeaway and delivery) Banks on Monday, Wednesday and Friday Interstate travel on e-pass. Weddings & funerals with 20 attendees max AP Govt offices (8-11:30 am) Essential services Unhindered travel for Covid-19 management duties DELHI, UP, HARYANA, J&K, RAJASTHAN Essential shops TELANGANA Essential shops, Emergency travel Marriage and funeral attendance with ceiling JHARKHAND Essential shops, select govt & private offices Industry, construction, agricultural and mining CHHATTISGARH Essential shops, restaurants Banks and post offices BIHAR Home delivery from 9 am to 9 pm Weddings, funerals with ceiling on attendees PUNJAB Essential shops, travel with negative report Government offices with 50% staff Agriculture, grocery, hardware items and liquor till 5 pm on weekdays ODISHA Essential shops on weekdays. Travel of 500 metres from homes Weddings and funerals within ceiling MP Essential and emergency services. Time window for shops to operate (varying duration) Govt offices, industries WEST BENGAL Restricted emergency city travel Banks, jewellery shops Govt buses and Metro rail Ceiling of 50 on congregations. Shops (7-10 am, 5-7 pm) Air travel with negative RT-PCR report MOST OF INDIA SHUT DOWN Map shows level of restrictions and the active case load across states Arunachal Pradesh 1,893 Ladakh 1,400 Jammu & Kashmir 44,307 Meghalaya 2,466 Himachal Pradesh 29,513 Punjab 69,724 Uttarakhand Assam 67,691 Jharkhand 35,493 61,177 Delhi Sikkim Bihar 91,305 2,398 1,15,067 Uttar Pradesh 2,54,118 Haryana 1,15,963 Rajasthan 1,99,147 Madhya Pradesh 95,423 Gujarat 1,46,385 To help the public prepare for lockdown, all shops will be let to function from 6 am to 9 pm today Nagaland 2,433 West Bengal 1,24,098 Maharashtra 6,57,019 Manipur 3,506 Mizoram 1,906 Tripura 2,533 Chhattisgarh 1,31,041 Odisha 78,602 Goa 31,716 Telangana 71,308 Karnataka 5,36,661 Andhra Pradesh 1,86,695 ACTIVE CASES Tamil Nadu 1,35,355 Kerala 4,02,997 FULL LOCKDOWN IN TN FOR TWO WEEKS FROM MONDAY PARTIAL LOCKDOWN LOCKDOWN NO LOCKDOWN NO BAR ON ESSENTIALS Pharmacies, shops selling groceries and vegetables, and take-away food services are usually allowed in lockdown, though with some restriction on timing. Also, essential services such as telecom, cable TV, media are also allowed to operate as usual (check sidebar for more details) E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai INTENSIFYING measures, gradually, Chief Minister MK Stalin on Saturday announced a complete lockdown for two weeks beginning on May 10. In a statement, Stalin said that during the lockdown period, State government offices will not function, except essential services such as secretariat, health, revenue, disaster management, police, home guard, fire and rescue services, prisons department, district administration, electricity, drinking water supply treasuries etc. The heads of the essential departments should make arrangements for the transportation of employees. The restriction will apply to Union government offices too. To help the public prepare for the lockdown, all shops and establishments will be allowed to function on Saturday and Sunday between 6 am and 9 pm. The Chief Minister also announced that all TASMAC shops would remain closed during the full lockdown period while only takeaway services would be allowed at restaurants/hotels/mess and tea shops. Tea shops can function only till 12 noon. Recreation clubs, bars, auditoriums, entertainment/amusement parks, and meeting halls will not function. Restrictions on international flight service will continue (except for the routes allowed by the Union Home Ministry). Later, in a televised speech, the Chief Minister made a fervent appeal to the people to adhere to the guidelines issued for preventing the spread of this infection. Admitting that the lockdown would affect the livelihood of the people, he reasoned that without a complete lockdown, containing the infection would be difficult. Giving a detailed account on how the spread of corona infection is surging ahead in many States, Stalin said in TN, the number of new cases per day has gone above 10 percent in more than 23 districts. The decision to enforce a full lockdown has been taken based on the views expressed by health experts as well as the district collectors during the high-level P4 meeting held on Friday . CENTRE INCREASES OXYGEN SUPPLY TO TAMIL NADU Chennai: Hours after CM MK Stalin requested the Centre to enhance oxygen supply to the State, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has increased the oxygen allocation from 220 MT to 419 MT. The Centre has increased the allocations at the Inox Sriperambudur unit from 50 MT to 140 MT a day. The move is expected to improve the oxygen crisis in State TN GOVT TO SELL REMDESIVIR IN 5 MORE DISTRICTS Chennai: Health Minister Ma Subramanian, on Saturday, said the State government will sell the Remdesivir drug in five more districts now; while 12,500 beds with oxygen support are being readied. He said Remdesivir will also be sold in Madurai, Coimbatore, Salem, and Tirunelveli districts. Health officials confirmed that it would be sold in Tiruchy as well | P4 State sets up Covid-19 war room O M J A S V I N M D @ Chennai TAMIL Nadu government has set up a Covid-19 war room, that will monitor the available number of beds, ambulance services, and oxygen supply Chief Minister MK Stalin on May 5 had informed the of. ficials to take measures to this effect. Medical and Family Welfare Minister Ma Subramanian, who inspected the war room at the Directorate of Public Health headquarters, said that it will act as a nodal point and as a command centre for managing bed availability at both government and private hospitals, especially for critically-ill patients requiring oxygen. Health secretary J Radhakrishnan said the war room will dynamically monitor the number of beds and oxygen availP4 able and help to connect with patients faster. SC forms National Task Force to formulate ways to scientifically allocate O2 K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Saturday constituted a 12-member national task force to formulate a methodology for scientific allocation of medical oxygen to all states and Union Territories. The order comes in the backdrop of several states complaining about an acute oxygen shortage and blaming the Centre for not providing sufficient quantum. Initially, the task force would get a six-month tenure, with the Centre nominating two nodal officers, who would arrange logistics, including communication with members, and virtual meetings of the task force. In the 24-page order, a bench, comprising justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah, said the taskforce shall draw upon the human resources of the Union government for consultation and information. It would also be free to formulate its modalities and procedures for working. “The rationale for constituting a task +ve Covid test report no longer mandatory for hospitalisation Indian strain twice as infectious as the UK variant, say experts E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi IN view of the difficulty being faced by Covid patients in getting timely medical care, the Centre on Saturday removed the requirement for positive test report for hospitalisation in both government and private hospitals. The move comes after many instances of hospitals turning away even critical patients for want of test reports. The revised policy says no patient will be refused services for any reason. The Union health ministry said admissions must be based on need and that beds can’t be occupied by persons who don’t need hospitalisation. The Centre has asked the chief secretaries of all states to issue necessary orders within three days to enforce the new policy . THE Indian strain of the coronavirus, B.1.617, is twice as infectious as the UK variant and thrice as contagious as the one behind last year’s Covid-19 wave. Scientists involved in the whole genome sequencing told TNIE that the conclusion was based on the study of growth of the mutant in samples collected from districts. “We examined the data carefully and the way this lineage, also called DRDO drug double mutant, is growing as comapproved pared to others is remarkable,” said a An anti-Covid senior scientist involved in the INSAoral drug COG project, a consortium of several developed by institutions under the National Centhe DRDO has tre for Disease Control to carry out an been approved extensive genomic surveillance. by the DCGI for “There is a greater need to double emergency use mask and maintain social distancing as an adjunct as this virus is highly infectious,” the therapy in scientist added. Their analysis has moderate to confirmed that B.1.617 is 50-70% more severe cases. infectious as compared to the B.117 Clinical trials of lineage or the UK variant. On Friday , the drug showed the UK had declared B.1.617 a variant it helps in faster of concern (VOC). On Monday last, recovery and NCDC director Sujeet Kumar Singh reduces had declared the B.1.617 as VOC for the supplemental first time and suggested that it might oxygen be driving Covid cases in India. dependence As per the figures he shared, samples from at least 18 states that have undergone genomic surveillance showed the presence of this variant. In Kerala, B.1.617 has gone from 0% to 7% in two months, while in the UK, this lineage changed from 0% to 6% over eight weeks. “If both were equally infectious, they should also change at the same rate but that is not the case. The rate of growth of the double mutant virus is twice of the UK variant but we will have P7 a clearer picture in a week’s time,” he said. BIG LOSS MK KAUSHIK LOSES BATTLE 1980 Olympic gold medallist and former national coach MK Kaushik died on Saturday after battling Covid-19 for the past three weeks. He was 66 and is survived by his son and wife | P11 STANDING UP FOR WOMEN PLUS 12 PAGES force at the national level is to facilitate a public health response to the pandemic based on scientific and specialised knowledge,” the order read. The court said that a consensus had emerged on the need for ensuring allotment of medical oxygen on a scientific, rational and equitable basis and suggest- ed that an expert body of renowned national experts with diverse experience in health institutions be formed. The Central and state governments shall provide complete and real time data for facilitating the work of the task force as and when necessary “All private hos. pitals and other healthcare insti- tutions shall co-operate with the task force. We expect that the leading experts in the country shall associate with the work of the task force both as members and resource persons. This will facilitate a meeting of minds and the formulation of scientific strategies to deal with an unprecedented human crisis,” it said.
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