KOCHI l monday l may 10, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l LATE city EDITION Speculation ends, Himanta biswa sarma to be Assam CM Sarma was elected as the leader of the Legislature Party after the outgoing CM Sarbananda Sonowal proposed his name Helped bjp make inroads into northeast Sarma (52) would take the oath of office on Monday. He was the convener of the North-East Democratic Alliance, a BJP-led front of anti-Congress parties, and Number 2 to Sonowal since 2016. Under his stewardship, the BJP made inroads into the Northeast and became the second party to form successive governments in Assam after its victory in 2021 Assembly election 6 yrs Strategist rewarded for results ■ He established himself as BJP’s chief strategist in Northeast after snatching power from right under the Congress’ nose in Manipur ■ Along with Sonowal, Sarma was a contender for the top job in Assam. His elevation is seen as recognition of his work and skills ■ The NEDA had won 75 seats in the house of 126 in the recent polls Since Sarma quit the tarun gogoi-led congress in 2015 and joined the BJP 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 All hands on deck in state’s Covid fight Health dept asks all hosps to focus on Covid patients till May 31; taluk hosps to arrange easy-to-use ventilators NEW DIRECTIVES Convert fever clinics into Covid clinics, private hospitals can start Covid OP Taluk hospitals should have oxygen beds and at least 5 Bipap ventilators Attach Covid Second-line Treatment Centres to each taluk hospital PHCs/FHCs/other hospitals to stock steroids and oral anticoagulants Oxygen concentrators can be arranged for bedridden Covid patients Private hospitals to increase Covid oxygen beds and ICU beds to minimum 50% capacity The time till May 31 will be crucial when we get to know the effects of the lockdown. The guidelines show that we need to tread carefully during this period Dr G S Vijayakrishnan, KGMOA president E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @T’Puram The state is gearing up to face the worst-case scenario. Anticipating a surge in the number of patients with severe Covid infection in the coming days, the health department has directed all hospitals to focus on Covid patients till May 31. All hospitals have to prepare for the challenge by arranging more oxygen beds and Covid outpatient services, as per the directive issued by the health principal secretary on Sunday . All government taluk hospitals will have to arrange the maximum number of oxygen beds and at least five beds attached with Bipap ventilators (noninvasive types that can be operated without the help of an expert doctor). All primary and family health centres have been asked to keep a sufficient stock of steroids and oral anticoagulants to stabilise patients in home care in case of emergencies. The state reported 35,801 new Covid cases and 68 deaths on Sunday. The number of patients under treatment has crossed four-lakh mark and the test positivity rate on the day was 28.9 per cent. “The time till May 31 will be crucial when we get to know the effects of the lockdown. The guidelines show that we need to tread carefully during this period,” said Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA) president Dr G S Vijayakrishnan. The directions underlined the importance of preparing the hospitals for exclusive Covid treatment. As a result, only emergency non-Covid patients will get treatment in government hospitals till May 31. The department directed the hospitals to convert fever clinics into Covid clinics where the pandemic patients can visit for necessary consultation, lab serv● More on P4 ices and medicines. Anson Antony was in for a rude shock when he was handed a bill of `1,67,381 for 10 days of Covid treatment at a private hospital in Aluva. The 28-yearold tested positive on April 23 and was admitted to Anwar Memorial Hospital, Aluva, on April 29 after he developed pneumonia-related symptoms. According to Anson, who was discharged on May 8, the hospital charged him `44,000 for PPE kits alone. The hospital authorities reportedly made him pay `50,000 at the time of admission to begin treatment. “The hospital has only limited facilities. Though I was allotted an oxygen bed and antibiotics for pneumonia, on several occasions, I had to re- Worry as Covid kills several Aligarh varsity faculty members Express News Service @ New Delhi The deaths of at least 16 serving and 18 retired teachers, besides other staff of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), due to Covid-19 in the past 18 days have triggered an alarm, with the Vice-Chancellor on Sunday urging the ICMR to study the infection variant on the campus. In a letter to the ICMR, ViceChancellor Tariq Mansoor said “a particular variant may be circulating in areas around the AMU campus and surrounding localities, which has led to these deaths”. The latest to fall to the virus was the dean of the AMU’s law faculty , Prof Shakeel Samdani, who died at Aligarh’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College on Friday . Mansoor said the microbiology lab at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College would send samples to the Institute of Genomic and Integrated Biology, New Delhi, for genome sequencing of the vari- 43 dead, claims social media The university PRO said a list of deceased being circulated on social media includes the names of faculty members residing outside Aligarh. The list claims 43 AMU profs have succumbed ants detected in the town. Meanwhile, the medical college Principal Shahid Ali Siddiqui told media that 25 doctors at the hospital had tested positive for the infection in the past fortnight. According to the vice-chancellor, three doctors were under treatment, while others had recovered. Meanwhile, the college principal claimed the hospital was battling oxygen shortage and was dependent on its three plants. The hospital has not received a single oxygen cylinder from outside in the past 12 days despite continuous efforts, he said. Continued on: P8 Present tense for Bhopal twins best efforts of doctors, Mohan succumbed to the n a dilapidated double infection. storey house in BudBy the time Mohan was hwara, a thickly popu- hospitalised, his wife Rita lated lower middle and the twin daughters, too, class area of Old Bho- had tested positive. Five days pal, twin girls aged later on May 3, Rita, who was five suddenly start being treated in isolation at wailing and ask for their par- her parents’ old home, also ents. “Where is our papa and died. “I had gone to immerse mummy, when will they re- Mohan’s ashes in the river turn, have they gone to God?” Narmada in the neighbourthey ask. ing Hoshangabad district on Family members immedi- May 3. While returning home ately rush in, consoling the I got a call that my sister Rita twins that things will be fine had also passed away,” said and their parents are likely Raikwar. to return soon. But return But the future is tense for they will not as Raikwar’s family Mohan and Rita of four and the Barve, the girl’s twins as they are parents, fell prey l iv i n g o n b o rto Covid-19 in rowed money. An quick succession. a u t o - r i c k s h aw “We have to lie driver, Raikwar to my nieces evehas not earned a ryday when they penny in the past ask us about their orphans 15 days owing to parents. I don’t the lockdown. part-1 know how long “I have already we will able to borrowed `40,000 NCPCR seized hide the truth and will have to of the matter that their parents borrow more to On May 2, National will never retake care of four Commission for turn,” said kids now. My two Protection of Child Mankesh Raikother sisters, who Rights drew the war, the twins’ live in Bhopal maternal uncle attention of all states and Burhanpur, to children orphaned who has taken are willing to the responsibility due to Covid-19, saying take care of the of taking care of those abandoned or in twin nieces, but need of care must be the girls. “Along my 75-year-old with their par- produced before Child mother doesn’t Welfare Committees ents, they had want to leave her also tested Covid granddaughpositive, but they are fine ters,” he said. “Neither my now,” he added. sister nor my brother-in-law Mohan, 42, was an electri- would have ever thought they cian with a semi-government would depart from this world herbal products plant in Bho- in a matter of days. But we pal’s Barkheda Pathani area. will take care of their daughSometime last month he ters as long as we can.” Raikstarted getting fever, but in- war added. stead of getting himself testThe twins are not the only ed for Covid, he continued to children who have been ortake medicines from a per- phaned in the current Covid sonal doctor. surge. More cases of both His condition suddenly parents dying of Covid are worsened on April 28 and he surfacing, leaving behind dehad shortness of breath. pendent children. There are Raikwar rushed him to the anecdotal reports of some of state government-run Ha- them even being abandoned midia Hospital, where he was a n d l e f t t o f e n d f o r put on oxygen support. But themselves. Continued on: P7 two days later despite the A n u r a a g S i n g h @ Bhopal I Daily wage workers waiting for lunch packets offered by civil defence officials at the Kaloor bus stand in Kochi on Sunday. Free food distribution has come as a help to many who have lost their daily income due to the lockdown | A Sanesh Police flooded with e-pass requests E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @T’Puram The state police received close to two lakh requests for emergency travel passes from the public till Sunday night triggering a concern that the gratuitous use of the facility could sabotage the purpose of the lockdown. The state government imposed the lockdown from Saturday to curb the spread of Covid and entrusted the police with the task of allotting passes to restrict inessential journeys. However, the police department was in for a rude shock as they received travel requests that crossed one lakh by noon through the portal that became operational on Saturday night. The police had to upgrade the server capacity to allow smooth functioning of the website (pass. bsafe.kerala.gov.in). The police website has been programmed so as to allow the public to apply only a day ahead of their scheduled travel. The department sources said by Sunday evening, they had received 1.75 lakh requests of which 15,761 were allowed. As many as 81,000 applications were summarily rejected, while the rest 77,000 were referred for further verification. The police department had set aside 60-8o officers at a time across the state to process the requests. ● More on P4 STATEWIDE may 8 MAY 9 Fresh cases 41,971 35,801 Recoveries 27,456 29,318 64 68 Deaths 81k applications rejected Police department sources said by Sunday evening, they had received 1.75 lakh requests of which 15,761 were allowed. As many as 81,000 applications were summarily rejected, while the rest 77,000 were referred for further verification NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 8 MAY 9 4,01,078 3,18,609 4,187 4,03,738 3,86,444 4,092 10 days of treatment, hospital charges `44,000 for PPE kits E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @Kochi Double whammy mind nurses to bring me the medicines,” said Anson. Following the incident, Anson posted a video on social media detailing his experience at the hospital. On Sunday, Kerala High Court judge Justice Devan Ramachandran directed the district collector to intervene in the issue, based on a complaint he received in Tale of two cases The case against Sudesh Kumar’s daughter is related to an incident that happened in June 2018. Civil police officer Gavaskar lodged a plaint against the then ADGP’s daughter, alleging that she hit him on his neck and shoulder with a mobile phone. The CB is ready to file a chargesheet any time and is awaiting SPC’s clearance The vigilance case against Thachankary is related to alleged amassing of disproportionate assets between 2003 and 2007. The VACB later filed a chargesheet against him. The Vigilance Court has not framed charges yet as the officer had filed a discharge petition at HC this regard. The directive comes even as a bench headed by Justice Ramachandran is set to consider a public interest litigation against overcharging by private hospitals for Covid treatment, on Monday . Following Justice Ramachandran’s intervention, the Ernakulam collector sought a report from the district medical officer on the matter. “An inquiry has been initiated into the issue. The deputy DMO will submit a report to the collector soon,” said N K Kuttappan, DMO. Several complaints were raised from across the state on private hospitals fleecing Covid patients and their kin, which had prompted the High Court to direct the state government to regulate prices charged by the hospitals on PPE kits and ● More on P4 oxygen. C vid’s Fate of 2 cases to determine next police chief D h i n e s h K a l l u n g a l @T’Puram As the race for the State Police Chief ’s (SPC) post moves into the final lap, all eyes are now fixed on the fate of the criminal case involving the daughter of DGP Sudesh Kumar. The Crime Branch had recently decided to refer the case — relating to the daughter allegedly assaulting Kumar’s driver who was on official duty — to State Police Chief Loknath Behera for a final decision on the matter. If the SPC clears the chargesheet, Kumar’s chances will suffer a setback. Kumar, the vigilance director, and DGP Tomin Thachankary, the managing director of the Kerala Financial Corporation, are the frontrunners to become the next SPC. The post is set to fall vacant on June 30 when Behera retires. Though Prisons DGP Rishiraj Singh is the most senior officer, he will not be considered for the post as he superannuates in July . The state government has already forwarded a list of senior officers to be considered for the post to the Centre. The Union government will shortlist three names and revert to the state government later this month. Thachankary too is facing a hurdle. A disproportionate ass e t s c a s e, i n wh i c h t h e chargesheet has been submitted, is pending at the Vigilance Court in Kottayam against Thachankary In an extraordi. nary move, Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Vigilance) T K Jose had ordered a fresh vigilance probe into the case in January following a complaint by Thachankary alleging lapses in the earlier investigation. It is learnt unsung hero Helping people navigate healthcare maze M U K ESH RAN J AN @ Ranchi It was the call of humanity that prodded businessman Babu Khan (36) to reach out to Covid patients swarming the Sadar Hospital at Hazaribagh here, desperately looking for hospital and medical assistance. He found them in panic as they did not know how to get hospital beds or an oxygen cylinder or how to approach a doctor in case of an emergency, and decided to offer help. Twen- Babu Khan at Hazaribagh Sadar Hospital ty-two days and 175 cured patients later, Babu continues his selfless service, even giving up the warmth and comfort of his family during the holy month of Ramzan. “I assist the needy in all ways possible. From getting beds to securing oxygen to arranging free medicine for the needy I do , everything in my power,” Babu said. His day begins at 11.30 am, and he helps people landing at the hospital till 5.30 pm, after which goes to a nearby flat where he has been staying for the past 20 days to break Roza. He returns around 7.30 pm and continues with his work till 3 am when he goes back for Sehri. Babu, who has put his business on hold, said he has not seen his wife and three children since the last 22 days ago. “They are worried for me. I keep in touch via video calls,” he said. What about his own safety? Babu said he takes abundant care. “I wear gloves, masks and take a bath before entering my flat. I sanitise myself regularly too,” he said. , a special vigilance investigation report is getting final shape. If the report acquits Thachankary, it will be a shot in the arm for the officer to stake a claim for the SPC’s post. Meanwhile, sources in the police said the Crime Branch’s move to refer the case relating to Kumar’s daughter to the State Police Chief is a clear violation of an earlier circular. Issued in 2019 by the State Police Chief, it has clearly categorised the nature of cases to be scrutinised and disposed of by the Crime Branch ADGP, IGs and ● More on P4 unit SPs. E X P RESS REA D Kappan’s lawyer sends notice to UP police Kozhikode: The lawyer of Siddique Kappan, Malayali journalist who was arrested by the UP police, has sent a legal notice to the government in that state for “forcibly discharging” his client from AIIMS in New Delhi. P5 WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID)
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.