KOttayam l Sunday l may 16, 2021 l `12.00 l PAGES 24 l city edition israel’s air strike razes media building in gaza Israeli air strikes pounded the Gaza Strip on Saturday and razed a building housing media outlets like AP, Al Jazeera intel on hamas militants prompted strike West bank, syria & Lebanon on the boil The Israelis flattened the 13-floor building after issuing an evacuation warning. Israel claimed Hamas activists were holed up in the building. Israeli air and artillery strikes on Gaza since Monday have killed 139 people and wounded 1,000 more. Palestinian armed groups have fired 2,300 rockets at Israel, killing 10 people. Over 560 Israelis have been wounded | P9 ■ ■ ■ Violence raged in West Bank during what Palestinians mark as Nakba, the ‘catastrophe’ of Israel’s creation in 1948, on Saturday In the north, where Israel is at war with Syria and Lebanon, tensions were rising; 3 rockets were launched from Syria on Friday UN Security Council will meet on Sunday to address the violence 0ne hizbollah militant killed in bid to infiltrate israel from lebanon 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 Rain fury on, sea rough; 8 fishers go missing Kozhikode Thiruvananthapuram Kochi The Valiyathura pier, one of the landmarks of Thiruvananthapuram, bears the brunt of the heavy sea erosion caused by Cyclone Tauktae. Police have closed down the 65-year-old structure, which was once a favourite evening hangout place | Vincent Pulickal A banner preventing people’s entry into a containment zone area stands guard as a man, with his dog, rows away to safety from inundated Njarackal in Ernakulam on Saturday. Heavy winds and high waves have been pounding the area for the past two days, forcing many to leave their houses | Arun Angela Cyclone Tauktae moves northwards; showers to subside today, says Met Dept; north Kerala suffers most on Day 3 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi A man rushes back home after purchasing essential commodities during the heavy downpour at Perambra in Kozhikode on Saturday | T P Sooraj Little respite from rain 145.5mm rainfall the state received during the past two days 71 camps currently functional in the state, according to the CM Shutters of Malankara, Lower Periyar, Kallarkutty, Bhoothathan Kettu and Aruvikkara dams opened Tidal waves, rising to a height of 3-4 metres, continue to batter Kerala coasts on Saturday Fishing activities banned along the coasts of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, according to Met Dept Cairn goes after Air India to get $1.72 bn from Centre E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The retrospective tax dispute between Cairn Energy Plc and the Centre has taken a curious turn with the UKbased company filing a law suit in a US court seeking to make Air India liable for enforcement of the $1.2-billion arbitration award it won in December 2020. An international arbitration court last year had ruled against India’s decision to retrospectively tax the capital gains made when Cairn UK Holdings Ltd sold shares in Cairn India Holdings Ltd, a Jersey company, to Cairn India Ltd, an Indian company. Damages plus interest and costs come to around $1.72 billion. W ITH THIS ISS U E The Coming Wave ...and how to brace for it PLUS 12 PAGES RAIN and strong winds triggered by Cyclone Tauktae continued to batter Kerala for the third straight day, uprooting trees, blocking traffic, snapping power lines, destroying houses and inundating low-lying areas across the state on Saturday . According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the rain will subside on Sunday but sea will continue to be rough for a couple of days. The cyclone has intensified and moved to Karnataka coast by Saturday evening. However, high tidal 10K cops, Stringent curbs, triple lock in 4 dists from tomorrow E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram UNDER the close surveillance of 10,000 police personnel, tougher restrictions will be put in place in four districts — Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram — where triple lockdown begins on Monday . While the District Disaster M a n a g e m e n t Au t h o r i t y (DDMA) of the four districts will bring out detailed guidelines on triple lockdown, the existing lockdown will continue in the remaining districts, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters after assessing the state’s Covid situation here on Saturday . “Triple lockdown is the strictest way to check Covid spread. In districts where triple lockdown is in force, entry and exit will be allowed through a single road. Strict action will be taken against those not wearing masks or violating Covid protocol,” warned the chief minister. The four districts will be divided into zones with senior police officers being given charge of each zone. While drone surveillance will be used to check crowding, geo-fencing technology will be used to de- TRIPLE LOCK: WHAT’S OPEN Only those under essential services allowed to travel Medical stores and fuel stations to remain open Milk and newspapers should be supplied at houses before 6am Bakeries and grocery stores to be opened on alternate days Air and rail passengers also allowed to travel Banks will function on Tuesdays and Fridays STATEWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths may 14 MAY 15 34,694 31,319 32,680 29,442 93 96 tect those violating quarantine. Action will also be taken under the Kerala Epidemic Diseases Ordinance against those who assist people to violate quarantine norms. Ward-level committees will be assigned the task of arranging food in triple lockdown areas through community kitchens and ‘janakeeya’ hotels. All other social work should be avoided in areas where triple lockdown is in place. Medical stores and fuel stations will re● More on P4 main open. waves continued to pound Kerala’s coastal areas, damaging houses and inundating fishermen hamlets. Eight fishermen, who had ventured into the sea from Kochi on May 1 for deep-sea fishing, went missing as their longliner boat capsized mid-sea, off Lakshadweep coast, on Saturday Two fish. ing boats that accompanied the ill-fated boat have reached Lak- shadweep coast safely. A Coast Guard team has rushed to the spot for rescue operation, but the weather condition is making rescue operations difficult. As per information, the capsized boat is Andavar Thunai, owned by Manivel of Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu. Though the boat owner and workers are from Tamil Nadu, the boat was operating from Ko- Those being directed to move to camps should do so without fail. #COVID19 safe camps are being set up through @KeralaSDMA. Carry emergency kits, certificates & imp docs — Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister chi after obtaining a one-year permit. According to the IMD, fishing activities have been banned along the coasts of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra. Tidal waves rising to a height of 3-4 metres continued to batter Kerala coasts on Saturday, with Kasaragod and Kannur districts bearing the most brunt. Raging waves brought down a two-storeyed house at Moosodi beach of Mangalpady panchayat in Kasaragod. Five houses in the area are in danger of collapse and the inmates have been evacuated. Valiyathura sea 2nd wave weakening, situation stable: Centre E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Centre on Saturday said the second wave of Covid-19 has started weakening with recoveries surpassing the fresh cases and the overall test positivity rate coming down to 19.8% from 21.9 % last week. “Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh have reported a decline in active cases. The cause of concern is Tamil Nadu where a rise in the number of active cases has been reported in the past one 3,43,144 3,26,098 3,44,776 3,53,299 4,000 3,890 Jab-o-meter May 14 Take 10,79,759 doses your May 15 shot 17,14,247 doses Total doses: 18,21,99,668 week,” said Lav Agarwal, joint s e c re t a r y, U n i o n h e a l t h ministry . Currently, 11 states have over 1 lakh active cases, while 17 have less than 50,000 cases. V K Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog and chairman of the national Covid19 task force, said the overall Covid-19 situa- tion in the country is showing signs of improvement. “It is evident we can see a certain amount of stabilisation of the second wave of the pandemic. Some states have shown a clear pattern, in some states there are concerns and, in some others, there is a trend towards an increase,” said NATIONWIDE MAY 14 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 15 Pinarayi 2.0: Virtual swearing-in idea gains support, prompts LDF rethink E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram WITH the Covid-19 situation continuing to be critical and four districts, including the state capital, set to come under triple lockdown from Sunday midnight, the clamour for scaling down the swearing-in ceremony of the new LDF government got louder on Saturday . The concept of virtual swearing-in mooted by TNIE in its editorial on Saturday gained traction and was shared by several social media users, including influencers identified with the left politics. While the Indian Medical Association (IMA) too weighed in on the idea, an online signature campaign has been started to pressurise the government to opt for a virtual ceremony. It is reliably learnt that there is a rethink among the LDF leadership and the swearing-in is likely to be held sans the usual pomp and splen- dour. In a Facebook post, CPI leader and Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Viswam urged the LDF to organise a low-key swearing in ceremony . “Covid19, triple lockdown and rain calamities...In this circumstances, we need to scale down the ceremony in such a way that minister designates, two family members and officials concerned only attend the function,” Viswam said in a the post. A group of young netizens launched an online signature campaign for virtual ● More on P4 swearing-in. way forward Tested Covid +ve? Don’t rush to hosps, pointless to worry about oxygen E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E Health workers checking on Covid-19 patients at the newly-built 500 ICU bed care centre in New Delhi on Saturday | PTI To be worried if you have Covid symptoms and have tested positive is entirely understandable. But please do not panic. And, for your own sake, do not self-diagnose and/or self-medicate. Consult your physician on the way forward. If the symptoms are mild, there is no need to rush to hospitals seeking admission and it is pointless worrying about arranging oxygen and drugs like Remdesivir. For, most people infected with novel coronavirus get cured on bridge in Thiruvananthapuram, one of the oldest sea piers in the state, was damaged. Raja, 50, a farmer at Vattavada panchayat in Idukki district died due to cardiac arrest early on Saturday morning as he could not be shifted to hospital through a road blocked by fallen trees. At Kuttanad in Alappuzha, the bunds of paddy fields were breached by flood water. The flood gates of Malankara, Lower Periyar, Kallarkutty, Bhoothathan Kettu and Aruvikkara dams were opened following steep rise in inflow. ● More on P4 their own with minimal medical intervention. Only a small percentage of patients need medical oxygen support and round-the-clock attention in a hospital. Ditto with Remdesivir. It’s not for everyone. TNIE spoke to doctors across India and they say they have come across panicky patients and their attendants insisting on ICU or oxygen beds, irrespective of the condition of the patient. Their angst may have been triggered by scary reports of deaths due to oxygen shortage and scarcity of certain life- saving drugs. But this further burdens the country’s already creaky health infrastructure. Let’s bear in mind that 85% of Covid patients do not require hospitalisation. However, the scare around the ongoing second wave of the disease is such that many people start scouting for hospital beds as soon as they test positive. Doctors in Karnataka say there have been instances of families of Covid-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms pulling strings to get ICU beds. What they actually end up doing is to block admission of serious patients who really need critical care to survive. “It should be the doctor, and not the patient, who decides which bed he has to be allotted based on his condition,” said Dr K Vijay Kumar, MD, SAI Super Speciality Hospitals, Rajamahendravaram, Andhra. “It has become another job for the already overburdened doctors to educate attendants about the patient’s condition,” said Dr C Arunkumar, superintendent, KIMS hospital, Hubballi, Karnataka. More on P5 Paul, adding that it’s a mixed picture. “But overall, the situation is stabilising and we hope and we will work towards ensuring further stabilisation and rapid decline of this pandemic,” he added. The details shared by the government showed that 10 states account for 85% of the total Covid cases in the country and 24 states have a test positivity rate of more than 15%. Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Daman and Diu, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh reported a major drop in TPR. Cabinet pushing papers in the shadow of PMO M A N IS H A N A N D @ New Delhi The Union Cabinet has met at least five times since the second wave of the pandemic began in late March or early April, but not a single decision was related to the ongoing surge, at least that is what can be concluded from the information the government has made available. All that the Cabinet has done since April 1 is take insignificant decisions on metro projects, memorandum of understanding with other nations a n d p ro d u c t iv i t y l i n ke d schemes. For instance on April 20, when the second wave was about to peak and patients were scurrying for non-existent hospital beds and oxygen, all that the Cabinet cleared was the second phase of Bengaluru’s metro project and MoUs with New Zealand, Australia, Bangladesh ● More on P7 and Brazil. NANDU LOSES FIGHT TO CANCER Nandu Mahadeva, 27, whose gritty battle against cancer inspired innumerable people afflicted with the disease, passed away in Kozhikode on Saturday. P4
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