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 ■ ■ A dredger bearing the brunt of high waves due to Cyclone Tauktae at Surathkal Beach near Mangaluru on Sunday | pti KOttayam l monday l may 17, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l city EDITION Tauktae pounds West coast, gujarat landfall on may 18 The cyclone has intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm, with wind speed reaching 175 kmph. large-scale evacuations in k’taka gujarat coast braces for impact Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday virtually met chief ministers of states on the west coast to discuss preparedness. Downpour in Karnataka, where four deaths were reported in rainrelated incidents, prompted large scale evacuations. Response teams on the Maharashtra coast on high alert ■ ■ ■ Squally winds and heavy rains reported in Goa. Mumbai officials shifted Covid patients, fearing power failure due to the cyclone Tauktae to make landfall between Porbandar and Mahuva in Bhavnagar district; fishers, coastal residents being evacuated Huge tidal waves, strong winds and heavy downpour predicted High alert officials working to ensure uninterrupted Covid care Rain abates, but misery continues; 4,712 in camps E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram After two days of incessant rain triggered by Cyclone Tauktae, the showers abated in the state on Sunday However, . rough sea continued to batter the state’s coastline, damaging several houses. Though the cyclone has moved away from the Kerala region, the state will witness Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 16 3,26,098 2,59,999 3,53,299 3,36,056 3,890 3,689 STATEWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries may 15 32,680 29,442 29,704 34,296 96 Deaths 89 Chief of Centre’s Covid advisory group resigns Shahid Jameel had been critical of Covid-19 policies of Central government, say sources ter concerns over B117 variant, first detected in the UK, having Senior virolo gist Shahid reached India. Jameel on Sunday resigned as Under the consortium, 10 nathe chair of the scientific advi- tional laboratories equipped to sory group of Indian SARS study virus variants were CoV 2 Genomics Consortium brought under the aegis of the (INSACOG), a forum estab- National Centre for Disease lished by the Centre in Decem- Control. The regional genome ber last. It was set up for lab sequencing labs, which are part and epidemiological of the project, insurveillance of clude CSIR Institute strains of the Covof Genomics and Inid-19 virus circulattegrative Biology in ing in India. Delhi, CSIR Centre It is not clear why for Cellular and MoJameel, who is the dilecular Biology in rector of the Trivedi Hyderabad, DBT NaSchool of Bioscienctional Institute of es at Ashoka UniverBiomedical Genom‘Stubborn sity, stepped down as ics near Kolkata, response’ the chief advisor to DBT- Institute of the forum, but sourc- Jameel was critical Life Sciences in Bhues pointed out that he of the government’s b a n e s w a r, D B T had been critical of Covid policies. Most NCBS in Bengaluru, the Covid-19 policies DBT-Centre for DNA recently, he had of the government. Fingerprinting and written a piece in Jameel, formerly the the New York Times, D i a g n o s t i c s i n CEO of Wellcome saying scientists in Hyderabad. Trust DBT India AlliIt also includes India were facing ance and known for “stubborn response NIV and DBT Nahis research on hepational Centre for Cell to evidence-based titis E virus, conScience in Pune, Napolicy making”. firmed to this newstional Centre for Dispaper his decision, but refused ease Control in Delhi and the to comment further. No re- National Institute of Mental sponse was received to a request Health and Neuro-Sciences in for comment from health secre- Bengaluru. The forum has been tary Rajesh Bhushan either. marred by fund crunch since INSACOG was set up by the the beginning as a result of Centre less than five months which work it was tasked to do ago, mainly to detect genomic has progressed on a much lessvariants of the SARS CoV 2 af- er speed than projected. S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH Triple lockdown MAY 16 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) Banks to function on 3 days Triple lockdown is in place in 4 districts — T’Puram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram — from Sunday midnight. Here is a list of what are allowed in these districts as per a revised government order. Banks in four districts will function on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Distribution of milk and newspapers allowed till 8am T’Puram Shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat and fish, animal fodder, poultry and cattle feed and bakeries can function on Monday, Wednesday and Friday till 2pm, including for home delivery Only home delivery allowed for hotels from 7am to 7.30pm function on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Vegetables and fruit shops from 8am to 1pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Stores selling meat and fish can function from 7am to 1pm on Saturday. Only home delivery allowed for hotels from 8am to 7pm The LDF government which will be sworn in on Thursday will be more inclusive in nature compared to the previous LDF government. Despite having a clear majority of their own, CPM and CPI have decided to accommodate almost all parties in the front. To facilitate that, four of the single-MLA parties have been asked to share two cabinet berths equally it is learnt. , The strength of the cabinet will be 21, the maximum possible number, considering the total strength of the assembly . In the 2016 cabinet, the only member from the single-MLA parties was Ramachandran Kadannappally of Congress (S). The CPM will have 12 ministers including the chief minister; CPI will have four and Kerala Congress (M), NCP and JD(S) one each in the cabinet. Loktantrik Janata Dal (S) will be the only LDF constituent that will be left out of the cabinet as the CPM still insists that they consider JD(S) and LJD as a single unit. The request by RSP(L) MLA Kovoor Kunjumon for a cabinet berth has also been turned down as the party is not a constituent of the ● More on P4 LDF. Centre flayed Only home delivery allowed for hotels and restaurants from 8am to 7.30pm restaurants from 7am to 7pm E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram Criticising the Centre for not acting with foresight even now, K Sujatha Rao, former secretary in the Union health ministry, said: “It has to act immediately for the results to kick in at least four to five months from now. It is high time the government called all vaccine manufacturing companies, discussed with them the challenges the country is facing and help them with funds and the wherewithal to produce the vaccine in the required quantities, at least four to six months from now.” selling groceries, fruits, vegetables and meat, and cold storages can function from 8am to 2pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday Only home delivery allowed for Slow off the starting blocks for Covaxin mass production India got off the blocks slowly to make Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin an open source vaccine within the country for its mass production, as any company that participates in it would need at least six months for the assembly line to start rolling. For, jabs such as Covaxin need highly sophisticated Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) labs, which is only available with Bharat Biotech at the moment. BSL-3 labs work with agents that could cause serious or potentially lethal disease through inhalation to the personnel, and may contaminate the environment, hence the high safety parameters. While India has just over a dozen such labs at present, most of them are with academic institutions for testing and research. Upgrading existing BSL-3 labs to produce Covaxin is a long term process, says a Bakeries, shops numbers end with an odd digit can buy essentials on Monday, Wednesday and Friday while those with even numbers can buy essential items on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, till 2pm Smaller parties to share ministerial term in Pinarayi 2.0 E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Ernakulam People whose ration card Stationery shops allowed to Thrissur NATIONWIDE MAY 15 Malappuram Water gushes into a house following the sea attack near Kannamaly in Ernakulam on Sunday | Arun Angela moderate rain on Monday . Meanwhile, several people were forced to take shelter in relief camps after the rough sea flooded and destroyed their homes. So far, 141 relief camps have been opened across the state, sheltering 4,712 people from 1,300 families. As the squally weather prevailing in the Arabian Sea is set to continue till Tuesday the , senior Bharat Biotech official. Sudhanshu Vrati, a virologist, told TNIE, a “The government laboratories we have at present across India is only meant for research and are not designed for production. Even if a pharma company starts work to set up a BSL 3 lab, it will take at least three to six months to do so, after which it will require certification.” “Even if we assume that government does the certification in a week’s time, vaccine production and hitting the market will take more than 6 months.” Eminent virologist Dr Jacob John concurred. He said even if the Centre ropes in additional labs to produce vaccines, it may take from three to six months for the vaccine to be produced.“By that time, the pandemic itself would be over. We must have done this by October 2020, so that there was enough vaccine by January this year,” Dr John said. Yellow alert The India Meteorological Department has sounded yellow alert in all districts, except Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad and Wayanad, on Monday ban enforced on fishing activities will be in effect till further notice. Meanwhile, the northern parts of the state witnessed extreme rainfall till Sunday morning. However, the rain subsided later in the day . A woman died when a coconut tree fell on her following strong winds in Koyilandy, Kozhikode. The deceased is Kandal Mithal Yashoda, 71, of Arikkulam in Koyilandy. Till 8.30am on Sunday, Mahe recorded the highest rainfall of 24cm, followed by Vadakara (23 cm), Vythiri(21cm) and Taliparamba and Thalassery (17cm each). The highest rainfall in the day time (till 5.30pm) was recorded in Kozhikode (5cm). Meanwhile, a fishing boat that was reported missing after it left from Beypore port, was located in New Mangalore port. All 15 fisher men in t h e b o a t a r e s a f e, s a i d authorities. Lockdown: ‘No progressive reduction of cases in many states in initial weeks’ P u s h k a r B a n a k a r @ New Delhi An analysis of the partial or full lockdowns imposed to combat the Covid second wave by various states since last month shows that apart from Delhi, most states have not seen a progressive reduction of fresh cases in the initial weeks despite the curbs. The graph began tapering only after May 9. For instance, while Maharashtra had around 60,000 daily new cases from April 15 to 26, which dropped to 48,700 on April 27, the count subsequently climbed to the 55,000-60,000 range. It’s only after May 9 that there has been a progressive reduction of cases. Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said the lockdown helped bring down positive cas- es from the peak of 69,000 per day to below 40,000. “People should follow the lockdown restrictions strictly because it helps break the virus chain and reduce the burden on hospitals. However, in a rural area, positive cases are still rising. Selfdiscipline is very important to defeat the virus,” he said. Tope added that the state needed more restrictions to contain the virus. He was hopeful that by the end of May, the situation in Maharashtra will be much better. The positivity rate in the state also witnessed a decline from around 26% on April 15 to 16% on May 14. Dr D C S Reddy former head , of the department at the Institute of Medical Sciences at Banaras Hindu University said to , accurately analyse the data, a 7-day moving average is a better parameter as the number of cases tested and confirmed on a daily basis depends on various other factors and hence there are fluctuations in numbers. “In terms of lockdown, it was taken to ensure that transmission is slowed down both intrastate and inter-state. Also, to get a better picture of the decline, we need to wait a little longer. The rate of decline is slow in the initial phases but speeds up with time. So, we will get a clearer picture in the coming weeks,” he said. Delhi, on the other hand, saw a progressive decline in the case count and the positivity rate. While the number of cases hovered in the 20,000-25,000 range till May 2, it fell to just over 8,500 ● More on P7 on May 14.
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