THIRUVANANTHAPURAM l thursday l may 13, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE city EDITION Fear of full-scale war as Israel-Hamas clash kills 56 More attacks likely before a ceasefire 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 Tension gripped West Asia as Israel on Wednesday stepped up air strikes on Gaza while Hamas continued its rocket attacks 1,050 Women, children among those killed ■ ■ ■ 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 | P9 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 Daily change in new cases 7-9-2020 to 22-9-2020 2000 1,500 1,000 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 22 Sep 2020 21 Apr 2021 5000 7 Sep 2020 Based on 7 day rolling average -500 -1,000 -1,500 -2000 first wave 0 13 Mar 2020 -5000 Acceleration peak on Sept 9 3 Apr 2020 Acceleration peak on April 21 second wave 8 May 2020 Active cases TPR Deaths 4,23,957 4,23,514 4,19,726 4,17,101 64 68 65 79 95 May 11 May 12 28.2% 28.9% 27.6% 26.8% 29.8% 41,971 35,801 27,487 37,290 43,529 OCCUPIED 55.3% of beds 72.9% of ICUs 74.1% of ventilators 72.2% non-ICU beds with oxygen emeritus professor at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology . The rise in the number of patients under treatment and the death rate are considered major criteria for deciding the lockdown, according to experts. The slow pace of vaccination has also been a handicap in containing the virus spread. The state has over 4.3 lakh Covid patients with only 17.5%of the population having received at least one dose of vaccination. ● More on P4 The state has to assess the situation before making a decision on lockdown. The districts that have shown improvement could get more relaxation — Dr K P Aravindan, member, expert panel on Covid-19 The New Indian Express wishes its readers on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr Our offices will remain closed today. There will be no issue of the paper tomorrow May 11 23,85,092 doses Take your May 12 shot 17,72,261 doses Total: 17,70,85,371 STATEWIDE may 11 MAY 12 Fresh cases 37,290 43,529 Recoveries 32,978 34,600 79 95 Deaths Low-quality kits put test accuracy in doubt An array of fishing boats anchored at the Muthalapozhi harbour in Thiruvananthapuram following a three-day fishing ban. Fishermen, who are reeling under lockdown restrictions, have been stopped from venturing into the sea after the forecast of adverse weather. Southern districts are expected to get heavy rain from Thursday | B P Deepu Stalin govt to float global tenders for buying vaccines Chennai: Global tenders would be floated for procurement of Covid vaccines and all steps shall be taken expeditiously to inoculate those in the 18-45 age group, the Tamil Nadu government said on Wednesday. Chief Minister M K Stalin has also ordered industries and medical departments to immediately set up more units to produce oxygen and procure it from steel plants located in other states. He said it should be brought to the state through trains. Southern Railway said it has dispatched its first Oxygen Express. NIA takes over probe into AK-47 seizure Kochi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the probe into the seizure of AK-47 rifles and ammunition along with Rs 3,000-crore worth of heroin from a Sri Lankan vessel on March 25. NIA sources said the agency will be probing the recovery of rifles and ammunition while the seizure of heroin will be probed by the Narcotics Control Bureau. P5 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 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram TWO more priests who had contracted coronavirus after taking part in the CSI South Kerala diocese annual retreat in Munnar last month died on Wednesday . Rev C Binokumar, 39, of Amboori and Rev Y Devaprasad, 59 of Arayoor, breathed their last at Dr Somervell Memorial CSI Medical College Hospital at Karakonam near here. They were on ventilator support. Two other priests --- Rev Bijumon and Shine B Raj --- who too were part of the retreat, had died on April 29 and May 4, respectively. Three more priests Bomb hurled at man for running coffin business T’Puram: A 47-year-old differently abled man suffered serious burns after he was attacked by his neighbour for selling coffins near his house. Varghese, a resident of Aruviyodu, was attacked by Sebastian, 50, with petrol bomb on Wednesday. Marayamuttom police said Sebastian had issues with Varghese selling coffins. P5 16 pages, including 4 pages of THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Express 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. The cheaper and low-quality RT-PCR test kits have raised doubts about the reliability of such tests. The issue came into focus after the state government reduced the price of tests. P2 Munnar retreat: Two more priests die, 3 critical; Covid affects probe EXPRESS READ Why this C’garh doc chose Mysuru for Covid duty Dr Harsha Jab-o-meter Monsoon season may be challenging for state G ratit u de 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 A steep hike in the prices of raw materials used for manufacturing essential medicines, including Paracetamol and Azithromycin, has added to the hurdles of the medical fraternity. P2 4,32,789 May 10 Notwithstanding the preparations for the swearing-in ceremony of the government on May 20, the state is likely to extend the lockdown beyond May 16 as the number of Covid patients seeking treatment shows little sign of abating. Though CM Pinarayi Vijayan said a decision on extension would be taken after assessing the situation by the weekend, it is learnt that the administrative machinery is gearing up for continued restrictions. On Wednesday, five days after the lockdown was enforced, the state reported its highest daily Covid case count (43,529) and deaths (95). The average test positivity rate in seven days has reached 27.88 per cent. Indications are that more than one person out of four tested have turned positive. Experts are in favour of continuing the lockdown as they believe the situation on the ground has not improved much to have a rethink. “Lockdown is not the best option to deal with a pandemic. But that is the only option available to the government now,” said Dr V Ramankutty, a health economist, epidemiologist and MAY 12 Hike in raw materials’ prices adds to state woes SURGE DURING LOCKDOWN Unn i k r i s h n a n S @T’Puram Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 11 Unlike last year, when patients were mainly admitted to hospitals and institutional quarantine facilities run by the government, the challenges faced by KSDMA now are manifold. P2 Feza Ferin and Fiha Ferin, sisters from Perambra, Kozhikode, have fun while drawing mehndi designs on their palms on the eve of Eidul-Fitr on Wednesday. The festival celebrations are restricted for the second straight year due to Covid | T P Sooraj 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 Full article on: newindianexpress.com CM refuses to rule it out, says decision by weekend; experts say it is the only option picture of FUN & JOY A j i t h M S @ Mysuru 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. Cases & deaths rise; Kerala staring at lockdown extension May 9 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. 0 10000 Daily change in new cases 13-3-2021 to 11-5-2021 May 8 @ New Delhi 15000 Based on 7 day rolling average 500 New cases E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e 9 Sep 2020 20000 NATIONWIDE M S Se s h a d r i a nd T J a c o b J o h n 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 infected with Covid are under treatment. Their condition is said to be serious. Binokumar was a junior vicar of Ambalakkala Church at Cheriyakolla near Karakonam. Devaprasad was a vicar of West Mount Church at Veeranakavu near Kattakada and also the administrative committee member of the CSI South Kerala diocese. The funeral of the priests will be held on Thursday at their native places, adhering to the Covid protocol. According to V T Mohanan, member of CSI Matteer Memorial Church at Palayam, Binokumar and Devaprasad had participated in the retreat from ● More on P4 April 15 to 17. Priests held Sunday mass in their churches Binokumar was a junior vicar of Ambalakkala Church at Cheriyakolla near Karakonam near Thiruvananthapuram Devaprasad was a vicar of West Mount Church at Veeranakavu near Kattakada They participated in the retreat from April 15 to 17 They had conducted Sunday mass prayers in their churches from April 18 to 25 110 priests contracted Covid after attending the annual retreat from April 13 to 17 12 Opposition parties press modi for free mass vaccination E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi 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 Free grains to poor, L6,000 to jobless The joint letter urged Modi to give all jobless people at least D6,000 per month, provide free foodgrains to the needy and repeal the controversial farm sector reform laws (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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13-05-2021 of The New Indian Express-Thiruvananthapuram