NAGAPATTINAM THURSDAY MAY 13, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION FEAR OF FULL-SCALE WAR AS ISRAEL-HAMAS CLASH KILLS 56 Tension gripped West Asia as Israel on Wednesday stepped up air strikes on Gaza while Hamas continued its rocket attacks MORE ATTACKS LIKELY BEFORE A CEASEFIRE WOMEN, CHILDREN AMONG THOSE KILLED Israeli airstrikes have levelled at least two apartment towers in Gaza. Warning shots have allowed civilians to evacuate the buildings, but the material losses will be immense. Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz vowed more attacks on Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups in Gaza to bring “total, long-term quiet” before considering a ceasefire ■ ■ ■ Worryingly, there is no sign either side is willing to back down Since Monday, 48 people were reportedly killed in Gaza, including 14 children, three Palestinians in the West Bank, and five Israelis A 31-year-old Keralite woman working as a nurse in Israel was among those killed in the Hamas rocket strike on Tuesday | P5, 9 1,050 ROCKETS WERE FIRED FROM GAZA INTO ISRAEL, ACCORDING TO ISRAELI ARMY 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 No recovery SECOND WAVE PEAKED ON APR 21; in sight as IIP INDIA LOCKDOWN NOT NEEDED contracts by 8.6% in FY21 2000 1,500 1,000 E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for March, released on Wednesday showed , that factory output registered a 22.5% growth for the month. However, experts say there is nothing to rejoice as this ‘growth’ was due to low base effect and that industrial activity in FY21 actually shrank by a whopping 8.6% compared with 0.8% contraction in the previous financial year. Besides, the March 2021 numbers don’t reflect the impact of localised lockdowns and night curfews across the country . According to data released by the National Statistics Office (NSO), the manufacturing sector output contracted by 9.8%, mining sector output contracted 7.8% while electricity shrank by 0.5%. “The pace of the IIP’s expansion in March 2021 was in the middle of our forecast range (17.5-25%). Given the low base of the lockdown, we believe it’s more meaningful to compare the industrial performance in March 2021 with March 2019, which reveals a mild albeit sobering contraction of 0.5%,” said Aditi Nayar, Chief Economist at ICRA. “We expect the IIP to expand by a transient but relatively meaningless about 150% in April 2021 on the low base of the nationwide lockdown that was in effect in April 2020,” she added. Experts say that with the second wave of the pandemic holding down, chances of an economic recovery are bleak — at least for the first half of the current financial year. Retail inflation cools to 4.29% in April Retail inflation slipped to a three-month low of 4.29% in April, on account of easing of prices of kitchen items such as vegetables and cereals, according to the data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on Wednesday | P10 9 Sep 2020 DAILY CHANGE IN NEW CASES 7-9-2020 to 22-9-2020 Based on 7 day rolling average 0 10000 Based on 7 day rolling average 22 Sep 2020 500 15000 DAILY CHANGE IN NEW CASES 13-3-2021 to 11-5-2021 5000 7 Sep 2020 20000 21 Apr 2021 -500 -1,000 -1,500 -2000 FIRST WAVE 0 13 Mar 2020 Acceleration peak on Sep 9 -5000 3 Apr 2020 Acceleration peak on April 21 SECOND WAVE 8 May 2020 I NDIA’S second Covid wave has rapidly decelerated, the peak is just over, there is no need for a nationwide lockdown now. We used an innovative method to analyse daily numbers of new cases, by studying the acceleration and deceleration of both the first and the second waves of the coronavirus epidemic. The result of first wave showed that the numerical peak was a few days after the beginning of deceleration. Deceleration of the second wave started on April 21 and the numerical peak (4,14,433 cases) occurred on May 6, followed by a declining average in daily numbers. This indicates that a nationwide lockdown is not necessary now. Its usefulness was when the second wave was rapidly rising, during March or early April. Individual states can study their numbers of new cases using this technique and decide on the need for, and timing of regional lockdowns. FULL ARTICLE ON: newindianexpress.com TN govt to float global tenders to import vaccines THE DMK-government has decided to float short-term tenders to import Covid vaccines from other countries, to inoculate people in the age group of 18-45. The announcement was made shortly after the Madras High Court posed questions to the government in this regard. Hearing a suo motu petition on Covid-19 management in the State, the court wondered whether the government had decided to issue any global tenders for procuring vaccines to meet the rising demand. Meanwhile, the decision to float tenders for vaccines was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday . This is in line with many other States that are trying to procure vaccines from the international market directly after the Central gover nment’s direction. An official release said that at present the Central government is allocating vaccines for those above 45 years of age and has directed the State governments to procure vaccines for inoculating those in the age group of 18-45. The Centre has allocated 13 lakh vaccine vials to Tamil Nadu and this is insufficient for vaccinating all those between the age group of 18 and 45. As such, global tenders would be invited for procuring vaccines. International vaccine players like Russia’s Sputnik and Oxford’s Covishield are likely to be the front-runners for the global tenders floated by the Tamil Nadu government. A notification from the Center had mentioned that all vaccines that are given emergency approval by the regulatory bodies of their respective countries would be allowed in India. While vaccines like Moderna and Pfizer are different types of vaccines requiring much lesser storage temperatures, the State may fancy Sputnik and Covishield for import. During the meeting, the Chief Minister also ordered setting up of additional oxygen production units in the State to meet the increasing demand. Stalin also said additional oxygen production units should be P4 set up. @ Chennai / Tiruppur OXYGEN on wheels is the new reality. As the State would receive its first Oxygen Express carrying Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) at Tiruvallur station from Rourkela on May 16, CII-Young Indians have teamed up with Sakthi Nursing Home, Shiv Niketan School, and Tiruppur Riders Club, to launch ‘Oxygen Bus’ for Covid19 patients free of cost in Tiruppur. AS Tamil Nadu is grappling with the shortage of medical oxygen to treat its Covid-19 patients, the Southern Railways has commenced works to ferry the life-saving gas from Odisha and West Bengal to the State. To bring oxygen from Rourke- la, an empty Oxygen Express had been despatched from Tiruvallur on Tuesday late evening. Meanwhile, explaining what prompted them to launch the ‘Oxygen Bus’ initiative, CIIYoung Indians (Covid wing) coordinator H Iranthar Kumar said, “When we heard about scarcity of oxygen cylinders for Covid-19 patients, we decided to resolve the situation. P4 WHEN words come up short to express gratitude to health workers who are busy saving lives, actions speak. A young doctor, who flew down from Chandigarh, has now volunteered to work for free at the Mysuru district Covid-19 hospital where his mother, who was in a very critical state, was saved. Dr Harsha, who hails from a family of agriculturists in Mandya district, is pursuing his MD in Radiodiagnosis at many hospitals denied 48-yearold Rajalakshmi a bed saying she was too critical to be saved, the Covid-19 hospital in Mysuru agreed to take her. “Many had written off her case, but it was the Mysuru district hospital and Dr Rajeshwari H R, the District Surgeon, who gave us with hope and shifted her to the ICU. After 10 days of care, she is now finally out of the ICU and recuperating well,” said a relieved Dr Harsha. Inspired by Dr Harsha JAB-O-METER May 11 23,85,092 doses TAKE YOUR May 12 SHOT 17,72,261 doses TOTAL: 17,70,85,371 TAMIL NADU MAY 11 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 12 29,272 19,181 298 30,355 19,508 293 Chennai: Tamil Nadu government has convened a meeting of leaders of all legislature parties in the State Assembly on Thursday to discuss the coronavirus-related developments and the measures to be taken to contain its spread. The meeting to be held at the State Secretariat will be chaired by Chief Minister MK Stalin. For each party, two representatives can participate in the meeting. THANKSGIVING ESI Hospital dean M Raveendran kneels down to offer his tribute to Florence Nightingale, whose birth anniversary was observed as International Nurses Day, in Coimbatore on Wednesday. Visibly emotional, he thanked the nurses for taking good care of him when he was a patient in the hospital earlier | SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT Corpn to recruit final-year med students Chennai: The Chennai Corporation’s Public Health Department is recruiting final-year MBBS students for Covid-19 containment works for a period of three months. They will be paid a consolidated amount of `40,000, according to a press release. Any student pursuing final year MBBS in a government-recognised college can apply for the post by 2 pm on May 13 at firstname.lastname@example.org | P4 One more doc dies; State crosses 30K cases E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Chennai IT was a grim day for the State for two reasons. One, Tamil Nadu surpassed a new undesirable milestone in its Covid-19 battle — fresh cases breached the 30,000 mark for the first time and stood at a whopping 30,355. Two, another doctor succumbed to the deadly virus. The toll touched 293, steadily inching towards the 300-mark. Meanwhile, on the day Chief Minis, ter MK Stalin announced `25 lakh solatium to families of 43 doctors, who were members of Indian Medical Association (IMA) and died fighting Covid- 19. On Wednesday a woman doc, tor who was working at New Century Hospital in Ambattur, died at the Government Stanley Medical College Hospital. She was admitted there after she tested positive. Dr GR Ravindranath, general secretary, Doctors Association for Social Equality said, “The , doctor took two doses of vaccine a month ago, but she had other comorbid conditions. She was on steroids and had obesity issues.” Ravindranath welcomed the Chief Minister’s announcement of granting solatium to the families of the doctors who died in the Covid-19 battle. So far, the four government doctors who have died due to Covid-19 in the State, including Dr Shanmuga Priya from Madurai, who passed away recently, were not members of IMA. Meanwhile, the State and IMA members said that as many as A real motivation for us: Govt doctors association K Senthil, president, Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association, said the CM’s announcement is the real motivation for doctors who are risking their lives and coming to work. “We wholeheartedly welcome the announcement,” he said 87 doctors died due to Covid-19 last year. But they could get proof of death for only 50 doctors. “We had proofs of RT-PCR positive reports, CT scans, etc., for only 50 doctors. Among them, seven would have already received the solatium, the remaining 43 are selected now,” said Dr A K Ravikumar, State secretary IMA. The IMA whole, heartedly welcomes the announcement, said Dr P Ramakrishnan, State president, IMA. Government doctors also welcomed the announcement, and also requested the Chief Minister to hike their salary which is one of their long pendP4 ing demands. 12 OPPOSITION PARTIES PRESS MODI FOR FREE MASS VACCINATION E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E Free grains to poor, `6,000 to jobless AS many as 12 heads of Opposition parties on Wednesday wrote a joint letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding free mass vaccination, allotting funds and foodgrains for the poor, expediting vaccine production and putting the Central Vista project on hold. The letter comes following fiercely fought Assembly elections in West Bengal and Kerala where the Trinamool Congress and the Congress and the Left Front were pitted against each other, showing the rising index of Opposition unity . The signatories were Sonia Gandhi (Cong), H D Deve Gowda (JD(S)), Sharad Pawar (NCP), Uddhav Thackeray (Shiv Sena), Mamata Banerjee (Trinamool Congress), M K Stalin (DMK), Hemant Soren (JMM), Farooq Abdullah (National Conference), Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Tejashwi Yadav (RLD), D Raja (CPI) and Sitaram Yechury The joint letter urged Modi to give all jobless people at least `6,000 per month, provide free foodgrains to the needy and repeal the controversial farm sector reform laws @ New Delhi A long queue of ambulances with Covid-19 patients waiting outside Rajiv Gandhi Goverment General Hospital for admission, in Chennai, on Wednesday | MARTIN LOUIS Why this C’garh doc chose Mysuru for Covid duty PGIMER, Chandigarh. The gesture has come in for much praise at a time when most hospitals are grappling with an acute shortage of staff and repeated recruitment drives have yielded no results. It all started after Dr Harsha’s mother’s vitals started fluctuating when she was under treatment for Covid at a hospital in Maddur, Mandya district, and was in urgent need of an ICU bed. While 3,29,942 3,48,421 3,56,082 3,55,338 3,876 4,205 All party leaders called for Covid-19 meet GRATITUDE A J I T H M S @ Mysuru MAY 12 Chennai: Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday announced `25 lakh as solatium to each of the families of 43 doctors who have lost their lives while treating Covid patients. He also announced a one-time incentive to medical professionals engaged in Covid prevention works for three months — April, May and June — during the second wave of the infection. The following will be the incentives: `30,000 for doctors, `20,000 for nurses and `15,000 for other employees | P4 Oxygen Express & ‘Oxygen Bus’: A story of vehicles breathing life into Covid patients E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 11 CM announces solatium for health staff For inoculating those in the age group of 18-45, says MK Stalin in high-level meeting E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Chennai NATIONWIDE M S SESHADRI AND T JACOB JOHN the efforts of the staff in saving his mother, Dr Harsha has been voluntarily treating patients at the hospital ever since. “The hospital has sufficient infrastructure and facilities. But since the ICU beds are full, and with a shortage of manpower, it is challenging for the existing staff since the patients are in critical condition and each one of them needs constant attention,” he said. Harsha has now extended his leave to continue his work at the Mysuru hospital. BLACK FUNGUS GOVT TO RAMP UP DRUG PRODUCTION Alarmed by the rise in the deadly mucormycosis in Covid-recovered patients, the Centre has asked drug makers to boost production of Amphotericin B injection, which treats the condition | P7 (CPM). Five of them are chief ministers. Prominent among the slew of suggestions they made were: “Procure vaccines centrally from all available sources — global and domestic. Immediately begin a free, universal mass va c c i n at i o n c a m p a i g n across the country. Invoke compulsory licensing to expand domestic vaccine production. Spend budgetary allocation of `35,000 crores for the vaccines. Stop Central Vista construction. Use the allocated money for procuring oxygen and vaccines, instead. Release all money held in the unaccounted private trust fund, PM-Cares to buy more vaccines, oxygen and medical equipment required.”
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