NAGAPATTINAM WEDNESDAY MAY 12, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION W.H.O. WARNS AGAINST USE OF IVERMECTIN TO TREAT COVID SAFETY, EFFICACY DOUBTFUL: CHIEF SCIENTIST “Safety and efficacy are important when using any drug for a new indication. WHO recommends against use of ‘ivermectin’ for Covid-19 except within clinical trials,” Dr Soumya Swaminathan, WHO’s chief scientist, tweeted. The drug’s manufacturer Merck & Co, too, had issued a statement earlier saying there’s no clinical proof that it can fight the virus The World Health Organization on Tuesday said using the antiparasitic drug to treat Covid-19 infection is not safe BUT GOVT SAYS IT WILL CURE MILD CASES ■ ■ WHO’s warning came a day after the Goa govt approved use of ivermectin as preventive treatment for all adults against Covid This medicine had recently been included in the Union health ministry’s revised national Covid treatment protocol as a possible treatment option for people with mild disease TWO THIS IS THE 2ND WARNING BY W.H.O. AGAINST IVERMECTIN IN PAST 2 MONTHS 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 71 BODIES FISHED OUT FROM GANGA, LOCALS GIVE IT A RITUAL SPIN FLATTENING THE INFECTION CURVE (April 27-May 11) Madhya Pradesh 13,100 COVID FIGHT DRAGS ON 11,578 28 Apr 11 May Map shows India’s active case burden (Covid-19 patients who haven’t recovered) and case positivity rates (%) Uttarakhand 7,481 7,542 9 May Chandigarh 27.5% Himachal Pradesh 24.9% Punjab 17.6% Meghalaya 15.5% Uttarakhand 21.01% Jharkhand 16.4% Delhi Sikkim Bihar 25.7% 24.4% 16.2% Haryana 34.3% Rajasthan 30.2% Nagaland Assam 22.6% 15.7% Madhya Pradesh 24.3% Goa 49.6% Karnataka 32.4% Kerala 22.5% 5,547 1 May Chhattisgarh 20.5% 11 May Chandigarh Puducherry 42.8% Tamil Nadu 21.85% 26,051 27 Apr Ladakh 6 May 19,799 11 May Delhi 24,396 17,604 27 Apr 11 May Rajasthan 17,322 159 131 11 May Lakshadweep 125 11 May Haryana 14,406 14,111 11 May 6 May 27 Apr Telangana 1.32% 17,421 5 May 11 May Daman & Diu 232 Active cases fewer than 50,000 (13 states) Active cases between 50,000 and 1 lakh (6 states) Active cases more than 1 lakh (13 states) 20.550 7 May 838 839 150 R A J E S H K U M A R T H A K U R A N D A N U R A A G S I N G H @ Patna / Lucknow 11 May 09 May 11 May Odisha 24.4% Andhra Pradesh 26.2% Uttar Pradesh 34,813 10 May 8,036 Telangana West Bengal 34.4% Maharashtra 22.5% 52,564 10 May 5,880 29 Apr Manipur 17.5% 64,247 27 Apr Andhra Pradesh Jharkhand 6,305 11 May Maharashtra 15,583 Chhattisgarh 13,092 29 Apr 10 May Bihar 129 14,191 13,229 7 May Andaman & Nicobar 62 35 2 May 11 May 14,305 11 May Gujarat 12,169 10 May People crowding a market amid the lockdown, in Patna on Tuesday | PTI 16 states and 42% of districts in the country continue to show Covid surge; national test positivity rate at 21% BIG DIP IN ACTIVE CASES FOR FIRST TIME; PLATEAUING OR DECLINING IN 18 STATES EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi Covid-19 vaccine being administered to a woman in the 18-44 age group at the CV Raman Hospital in Bengaluru on Tuesday | SHRIRAM BN Govt affidavit shows low May stock for 18+ S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi ONLY about 2 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses may be available for the 18-44-year age group across India this month, an affidavit filed by the Centre in the Supreme Court revealed. In other words, just one dose is available for 30 beneficiaries, since the population of this age g roup in India is about 60 crore. It explains why people are finding it difficult to book their vaccination shots this month. The affidavit shows that 1.5 crore doses of Covishield and 50 lakh doses of Covaxin are available in May for “other than Govt of India channel” in May Under the Centre’s de. centralised and liberalised vaccination policy, which came into effect on May 1, it will procure 50% of the total Covid vaccine supplies directly, which will then be shared with states to inoculate the population over 45 years. Fifty per cent of the supplies, however, will have to be procured directly by states and private hospitals, which can then be used to administer shots to the 18-44-year age group, under the revised vaccination strategy . The document shows that the highest allocation — of about 34.38 lakh vaccine doses — have been made for Uttar Pradesh, followed by Maharashtra (over 18 lakh) and Bihar (about 16 lakh). Officials in the Union health ministry said that the allocations under this category had been worked out on a statewise population of 18-44 years pro rata and it had already been conveyed to the state at the end of April. CONTINUED ON: P8 THE Covid-19 situation in at least some states may be showing some signs of improvement despite 42% of the total districts in India — 310 on 734 — still experiencing runaway infections, data presented by the Centre on Tuesday showed. Eighteen states in India, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana, are showing a decline or plateauing of cases, the Union ministry of health and family welfare said in a press briefing. The glimmer of hope came on a day when the active coronavirus cases dropped by over 30,000 for the first time in over two months. However, 16 states continue to show a surge, pointed out Lav Agarwal, joint secretary in the health ministry . While the country’s test positivity rate remains a stagger- ing 21%, positivity rates in as many as 310 districts are above the national average. Underscoring the need to enhance testing in order to curb the pandemic in rural areas, the government announced that rapid antigen tests (RAT) will now be allowed at all government and private health facilities. Also, RAT kits approved by renowned global agencies will not need separate validation in India. As of now, said ICMR direc- Cadila’s Virafin priced at `11,995 per dose Zydus Cadila’s Virafin, which recently received emergency use approval for treating moderate Covid cases, has been priced at `11,995 per dose. Virafin is a single-dose therapy that can reduce the need for oxygen support, the company claimed tor general Balram Bhargava, RT-PCR testing capacity in the country is 16 lakh per day while 17 lakh RATs can be conducted every day. Bhargava also said home-based testing solutions are being explored and plans are afoot to set up RAT booths within schools, colleges, community centres, RWA offices among others. The Centre, meanwhile, applauded the Covid containment models adopted by Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra, suggesting their replication at the national level. “The decentralized approach Mumbai has adopted in Covid-19 containment needs to be adopted at the national level,” said Agarwal. “We have observed that strict measures like restrictions on mass gatherings and on intermingling of people along with closing of non-essential activities for 15 days reduce the rate of growth and cases start plateauing,” he said. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi WITH almost the entire country in the grip of localised lockdowns, India’s business activity has shrunk to levels last seen in June 2020, according to Japanese brokerage Nomura. The Nomura India Business Resumption Index (NIBRI), which tracks business activity on a weekly basis, fell sharply to 64.5 for the week ended May 9 from 69.7 a week ago. This is 35% below pre-pandemic levels. “The sharp drop in NIBRI suggests that the rolling statewide lockdowns are hurting sequential growth. International experiences suggest the correlation between mobility and gross domestic product (GDP) growth is much weaker during the second wave, due to more targeted restrictions and more pandemic-adept consumers and businesses,” said Sonal Varma and Aurodeep Nandi, economists, Nomura. The fall is driven by a sharp decline in mobility due to coronavirus-induced lockdowns and it portends a bleak outlook for the economy How. ever, Nomura cautions that the drop in mobility ‘exaggerates’ the hit to economic activ- SECOND QUARTER TO BE CHALLENGING Nomura has lowered GDP growth forecast for 2021 to 9.8% from 11.5% (for FY22, to 10.8% from 12.6%). “We expect a localised hit in the 2nd quarter and believe medium-term tailwinds (vaccine pivot, global recovery, easy financial conditions) remain intact,” it said Maintaining law, order, hunger-free locality & Covid funds @Tiruchy/Coimbatore S Babu (36), a Grade-I constable attached with Coimbatore district (Armed Reserve) and D Nagaraj, a sub-inspector from Thiruverumbur police station are showing the way by going the extra mile and caring for people during these challenging times. While Babu donated his one-month salary of `34,474 to the Chief Minister Covid-19 Relief Fund, Nagaraj, along with some youngsters, has been distributing food packets and essentials to destitute persons. He is also feeding nearly 200 stray dogs in the Thiruverumbur area. What unites these two policemen from two different districts in their actions is that, this is not the first time that they are making their contribu- Breather for small industries Following the discussions held with the representatives of various industries on May 9, Chief Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday announced many concessions for the MSME sector as follows... `280 cr allocated towards Investment Subsidy for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) during the current financial year DEADLINES PUSHED 60% (`168 cr) of it will be released immediately to all eligible MSME sector that are yet to get capital subsidy 1 Lakh 5% employees in SIDCO complexes and MSME sector who are above the age of 45 will get free Covid-19 vaccination interest subsidy received under CGTMSE and Technology Upgradation Scheme will be disbursed to MSME units SIDCO plots will be allocated on fast track mode Sub-inspector D Nagaraj giving food packet to the public | ASHOK KUMAR M tions to help the public during the pandemic. Babu, a native of Palani in Dindigul district, donated `25,788 to the department to tackle the virus during last year. Nagaraj also relaunched his initiative of serving two meals a day for the destitutes along the Thiruverumbur road from Palpannai area, which he started during the 2020 complete lockdown. When asked what prompted him to help, Babu said, “A few days ago, I went to CMCH, where I saw many people struggling for life due to the coronavirus infection. Though the government has been offering the best of treatment, we still need to contribute, to overcome the crisis. I have a lot of commitments with my monthly salary But this is the time to help . the government combat the pandemic.” P4 Payment of Mortgage of Deposit registration fee up to March 31 is being extended till December 2021 All legal licenses required for MSME industries from pollution control board, fire and rescue services, labour, etc., which are scheduled to expire between May to September 2021 will be extended till December 2021 Exemption for the norm that sales proceeds should be increased by 25 percent for expanding MSME sector, which has been extended till March 31, will be extended till December 31, 2021 Deadline for payment of price of SIDCO plots, instalments, and the rent for factories will be extended by six more months New G.O. on revised Covid-19 treatment protocol Amid rising cases and people scrambling for oxygen and ICU beds, Health Department on Monday released a G.O. on revised Covid treatment protocol for the next 14 days. The protocol was formulated to treat patients at all hospitals other than medical college hospitals, government and dedicated Covid hospitals. P4 BIZ ACTIVITY DIPS TO LAST JUNE LEVELS KHAKI ANGELS MS THANARAJ, R KIRUBAKARAN THE number of dead bodies retrieved from the banks of Ganga in Bihar’s Buxar district rose to 71 on Tuesday The district ad. ministration, with the help of local divers and boatmen, fished out all the bodies that were found floating and stuck along the banks of the river on Monday morning. According to locals, the bodies — suspected to be of Covid patients — were kept in lines at the ghats as a board of doctors conducted post-mortem non-stop from Monday night till 4 am Tuesday . Buxar District Magistrate Aman Samir said last rites of all the bodies fished out so far were performed as per protocol. When asked about identification of the bodies, he said it was difficult as the bodies were in a highly decomposed state. However, samples from each of the 71 unidentified bodies were collected and preserved for DNA tests, he added. Meanwhile, some locals chose to give a spin to the turn of events saying there is a tradition among villagers living on the banks of Ganga to release the bodies of those who died of unnatural causes, into the river after performing a small ritual at the ghats. This, they claim, is an age-old tradition done with the belief that it will ensure salvation to the departed souls. Speaking to TNIE, Ghazipur district magistrate M P Singh said, “We’ve also launched an awareness drive in all villages to inform the administration if the villagers are facing any difficulties in cremating the bodies. If they need financial assistance or vehicles to carry bodies for cremation, it will be given.” ity “International experienc. es suggest the correlation between mobility and GDP growth is weaker during the second wave, due to more targetted restrictions and more pandemic-adept consumers and businesses,” said Sonal Varma and Aurodeep Nandi, economists, Nomura. Although the Centre has said it will not impose a blanket lockdown, most states are already under some kind of a lockdown. If localised restrictions continue for another month, economists warn of further risks to GDP growth. NATIONWIDE MAY 10 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 11 3,66,161 3,29,942 3,53,818 3,56,082 3,754 3,876 JAB-O-METER May 10 24,30,017 doses TAKE YOUR May 11 SHOT 23,85,092 doses TOTAL: 17,51,71,482 30.4 LAKH ACROSS 30 STATES/UTS IN THE 18-44 AGE GROUP GOT JABS SO FAR TAMIL NADU MAY 10 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 28,978 20,904 232 MAY 11 29,272 19,181 298 TN House: Appavu, Pitchandi to be Speaker & Dy Speaker E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ chennai A total of 223 newly-elected legislators took oath of office in the State Assembly on Tuesday Senior . members M Appavu and K Pitchandi of DMK were elected unopposed as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly Pro-tem Speaker Pitch. andi will make a formal announcement about the election of M Appavu as the Speaker of the House, since no more nominations have been received for both the posts. The State Assembly convened on Tuesday to enable the newlyelected members to take oath under the chair of the pro-term speaker K Pitchandi. P2
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