TIRUCHY FRIDAY MAY 21, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 12 LATE CITY EDITION DAILY COVID TEST CAPACITY TO REACH 20L BY MONTH-END Thursday’s announcement came after a home-based rapid antigen testing (RAT) kit by a Pune ﬁrm was given the nod HOME TEST KITS TO BE AVAILABLE IN 3-4 DAYS Stating that the kits would be on the market in 3-4 days, ICMR director general Balram Bhargava said three more firms would soon get the approval. India has reached 16-20 lakh daily test capacity as on Thursday. It would be ramped up to 20 lakh by the month-end and scaled up to 45 lakh by July. A record 20.55 lakh tests were conducted in the past 24 hours 105 RESULTS DELIVERED TO YOUR PHONE ■ ■ ■ For home testing, one must buy a kit from a chemist’s, download a mobile app, register and conduct the test as per the manual After the test, click a photo of the report, upload it to the app and get the result on your phone. This will ensure confidentiality The results will be stored on a server linked with ICMR database KIT COMPANIES VALIDATED BY THE ICMR SO FAR, 41 APPROVED 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 NEW UNIT TO MAKE 20-CR VAX DOSES New Delhi: Bharat Biotech on Thursday announced its plan to rope in its wholly-owned subsidiary Chiron Behring to ramp up production of Covaxin by an additional 20 crore doses per year. This will effectively take the volume of Covaxin to nearly 1 billion doses per annum. As of now, Bharat Biotech manufactures 1.5 crore doses per month, which is likely to go up to 4-5 crore doses per month by July. It said that Covaxin produced at Chiron Behring’s Gujarat facility could be available by September Borrowing trends Break-up of loans across categories unsecured loans. So, people who have lost job and still have monthly instalment to pay are , using gold jewellery as the last resort to get further loan. “The rejection rate is going high for personal loan criteria. We have been asked to go for additional KYCs including salary slips, and asking for collaterals including stocks and other assets. The management is very careful, considering the fear of high NPA,” an executive with ICICI Bank said. The central bank had already warned that the direct fallout of the Covid will be on public spending. Data from the RBI reveals that loan for consumer durables was down 21.4% as loan outstanding was `7,307 crore in March 2021 against `9,299 crore in March 2020. Education loan outstanding was also down by `65,744 crore to `63,805 crore. Mamata rages over PM’s meet with district magistrates, BJP gives it back Covid patient’s body removed from ward after 6 hrs in Vellore ADVANCE AGAINST FIXED DEPOSITS THE State, on Thursday, passed a Government Order (G.O.) declaring Mucormycosis, also known as the ‘Black Fungus’ infection, as a ‘notifiable disease’ under the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939. The announcement came after the Union Health Ministry instructed all the States to announce Mucormycosis as a notifiable disease under Epidemic Diseases Act. Meanwhile, for the first time, the State Health Department disclosed the number of people with black fungus infection treated at government hospitals. “So far, nine cases were treated. Among them, seven were diabetic and two nondiabetic. For seven of them, vision was affected. They are The Centre asks states to notify mucormycosis or black fungus under the Epidemic Act Black fungus has already killed 90 in Maharashtra, where 1,500 such cases have been detected; 850 are under treatment in hospitals Committee to study Radhakrishnan further said that a Mucormycosis committee has been formed under Dr R Narayana Babu, Director of Medical Education, by the health department and they will investigate more on black fungus cases. The team also framed protocols for treatment, diagnosis, and also on the usage of the anti-fungal drug. P4 Maharashtra tells PM it needs 1.50-2 lakh vials of Amphotericin B to treat the fungus, but has received only 16,000 from the Centre so far Six Indian firms are manufacturing Amphotericin B. Five more companies have approval to produce it Some companies have so far placed orders to import 5-6 lakh vials of the shot DEATH NOT DUE TO BLACK FUNGUS: DEAN Thoothukudi: Panic gripped the district on Thursday after media reports claimed that a 57-year-old Covid patient died at Thoothukudi Medical College Hospital due to Black Fungus. However, the medical college dean, Dr Revathi Balan, denied the claims and said the patient died due to bacterial conjunctivitis. P4 “You have to get the medicine from wherever in the world. You have to take steps right now,” Delhi HC tells Centre 5,334 Cr 4,570 Cr -14.3% 1,08,097 Cr 1,16,537 Cr 7.8% 65,744 Cr 63,805 Cr -3.0% 2,20,610 Cr 2,41,657 Cr 9.5% LOAN AGAINST GOLD JEWELLERY 33,303 Cr 60,464 Cr 81.6% OTHER PERSONAL LOANS 6,93,870 Cr 7,88,564 Cr 13.6% TOTAL PERSONAL LOANS 25,53,649 Cr 28,13,513 Cr 10.2% EDUCATION LOANS VEHICLE LOANS 34,875 35,579 23,863 25,368 365 397 SOS FOR DRUG BUT VOLUME LOW; NEED TO SCALE UP IMPORT -10.0% CREDIT CARD OUTSTANDING TAMIL NADU MAY 19 MAY 20 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 13,37,899 Cr 14,59,066 Cr 9.1% 79,494 Cr 71,544 Cr ADVANCES TO INDIVIDUALS AGAINST SHARE & BONDS Doctors performing a diagnostic nasal endoscopy on a patient to detect black fungus at a hospital in Hyderabad on Thursday | PTI all treated and now stable. There is no death reported in the State so far due to black fungus infection,” said Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan. The State will get to know how many Mucormycosis cases were reported in Tamil Nadu after the private hospitals notify the disease to the Director of Public Health. “Once we get the actual numbers, we will share it,” he added. Mar 2020 Mar 2021 Growth 2021 (%) EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Kolkata/New Delhi LAUNCHING a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for first time since she came to power for the straight third term, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described his online meeting with district magistrates (DMs) on the Covid situation on Thursday as a ‘super flop’ event that ‘humiliated’ the participant CMs as none of them was allowed to speak. The BJP swiftly gave it back, THREE months after Governor Banwarilal Purohit forwarded the State Cabinet’s recommendation -- for remission of sentence of the seven convicts in the for mer Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case -- to President Ram Nath Kovind, Chief Minister MK Stalin, on Thursday, wrote to the latter urging him to accept the same. Stating that majority of the political parties in the State have been requesting for an immediate release of the seven convicts as they have been in- A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi WITH businesses shut, jobs lost and salaries slashed, many people are emptying their household gold savings to borrow money to meet their essential expenditure as well as emerge medical requirements, show official data from the Reserve Bank of India. According to the latest RBI data, loans against gold have jumped a whopping 82% since March 2020. At the same time, consumer durables and education loans are down by 21.4% and 3%, respectively, showing how people affected by the economic stress induced by the coronavirus pandemic are prioritising their spending. The outstanding loans against gold went up from `33,303 crore in March 2020 to `60,464 crore in March this year, pushing the overall per- saying her behaviour was not appropriate and against team spirit. Mamata allegedly interrupted when the turn of 24 Parganas DM came during the event. The district has been reporting a high Covid caseload. “The kind of behaviour shown by her wasn’t desirable,” Uni o n m i n i s t e r R av i Shankar Prasad said. The sharp rift surfaced at a time when the CBI has arrested three TMC MLAs, including two ministers. HC slams U’khand govt for massing at Char Dham carcerated for about three decades, Stalin said their release is also the will of the people of Tamil Nadu. He noted that the death sentence given to the four convicts, including Nalini, was commuted to life imprisonment. Further, on September 9, 2018, the State had recommended to the Governor for remission of remainder of the sentence for all the seven convicts -- S Nalini, Murugan, Santhan, AG Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas and P Ravichandran -- and their early release. CONTINUED ON: P2 V I N E E T U PA D H YAY @ Dehradun BRIEF RESPITE With conditions becoming favourable for the onset of Southwest monsoon, parts of TN are likely to receive moderate to heavy rainfall till May 24 | SHIBA PRASAD SAHU THE Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday hauled the state government over the coals after perusing videos of priests massing at the Char Dhaam sites without following Covid protocol. Citing the aftereffects of the Maha Kumbh, a bench comprising Chief Justice RS Chauhan and Justice A K Verma asked why there was no crowd control mechanism in place and wondered why the administration had not learnt from its mistakes. “First we make the mistake of Kumbh Mela, then there is Char Dham. Why do we repeatedly cause embarrassment to 83-year-old Chennai man with comorbidities beats Covid WHEN 83-year-old T D Nandagopal, a resident Chennai suburb Kattupakkam, contracted coronavirus in February, his family was deeply worried. For, infected patients in his age group had little chance of survival. To boot, the octogenarian had comorbidities such as hypertension and diabetes. He had also undergone a heart surgery a few years ago, making him a high-risk patient. However, Nandagopal battled it out and returned to his normal lifestyle. “I had all the typical Covid symptoms. I lost appetite and had severe cough, tiredness, and body pain. I immediately got tested and found to be Covid positive. I did not panic. I was lucky to get a bed at King’s Institute, the best in class for Covid treatment in Chennai,” he told TNIE. Nandagopal recovered fully after 10 days of hospitalisation. A former employee of Food Corporation of India, he says more than the virus, it’s the panic that is claiming lives. The hospitalisation days were not easy though. “I could , see patients in my adjacent beds panicking and even succumbing to the disease. One patient from Andhra, with whom I used to regularly interact, died. But I still did not lose ourselves?” the Chief Justice asked. “In Kedarnath & Badrinath temples, I have seen videos that social distancing is not being followed by the priests. Even if deity is being worshipped, you can’t let 23 priests enter the temple. Who is the person appointed by the state to monitor this?” the court questioned. When state tourism secretary Dilip Jawalkar told the bench that they had issued guidelines for rituals, the court said videos of crowded sancta sanctorum suggested that none was following them. While the yatra remains suspended this year, rituals at the shrines have been allowed. However, pilgrims are barred. NATIONWIDE MAY 19 GRIT & DETERMINATION S V KRISHNA CHAITANYA @ Chennai “None of the CMs was allowed to speak for a second. Armed with documents, we were prepared to place our demands. All the CMs were sitting like puppet. We are not bonded labourers. We, the CMs, felt humiliated and insulted. It was a casual and super flop meeting,” Mamata raged. “This was not a oneway communication. It was one-way humiliation. Is the PM so insecure that he didn’t want to listen to the CM?” she said. This is an attempt to bulldoze the federal structure of the country. PM Modi is so insecure that he did not listen to us - Mamata Banerjee, Bengal Chief Minister Stalin writes to President to release 7 Rajiv case convicts EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai Reserve Bank data show people are increasingly turning to gold and personal loans to meet basic expenditure and medical emergencies sonal loan portfolio of financial institutions up by 10.02%. One of the main reasons for the spike in gold loan is the increase in emergency spending due to the second Covid wave, loss of income, and reluctance of banks to give insecure personal loans, forcing people to use their household gold to get money . According to bankers, the trend is likely to continue. “The surge in gold loans is likely to go up further. While demand for gold loan was already high even last year, we saw fresh demand from April onwards. One out of every three loan queries is about gold loan. In fact, low income and lack of collateral have directed many people to opt for that,” said a senior official with State Bank of India. Getting personal loans has also become tough with banks becoming more cautious about HOUSING LOANS TN declares Mucormycosis as ‘notifiable disease’ SUSHMITHA RAMAKRISHNAN/ SINDUJA JANE @ Chennai Gold pledging on the rise as stress hits households Think +ve Nandagopal was given 8-10 injections a day. “The doctors and nurses were supportive and advised me to think positive. I did basic exercises like walking and meditated a bit to keep myself calm,” he told TNIE hope,” he said. He took medication and food properly and was discharged within days. The steady support of his family also helped him. “My sons, daughters and grandchildren made video calls daily, which helped beat the feeling of loneliness,” he added. Averring that coronavirus can be beaten, Nandagopal said, “I keep telling my family and friends to take adequate precaution and not to panic, if infected.” Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 20 2,67,334 2,76,110 3,89,851 3,69,077 4,529 3,874 S H YA M S U N DA R N @ Vellore IN a possible case of negligence at a Vellore hospital, a Covid-infected elderly man’s dead body was removed only after six hours from the Covid ward on Thursday. This reportedly led to the other Covid-19 patients stage a boycott by refusing to take their breakfast.The 67-year-old man, a resident of Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) in Walajah in Ranipet district, died of the coronavirus at the Covid ward in Government Pentland Hospital, in the early hours of Thursday . About 70 patients were admitted to the ward and the delay in removing his body had caused health concerns among them, sources said. When asked about the reason for delay the hospital’s chief , medical officer (CMO), Dr Anitha said, “Since the deceased was not from Vellore, we had to coordinate with the officials from the native district of the person, which is Ranipet in this case. We had to wait till the officials concerned located a place for burial/cremation in the village of the deceased.” Had it been a local death, we would have cleared the body without any delay said the CMO. , The death occurred at 2.25 am and the body was removed from the Covid ward only at around 8.20 am, said the CMO. After holding talks, the Covid-19 patients accepted the breakfast. VACCINE STATUS 21,07,31,130 vaccine doses provided to states/UTs so far. Of this, the total consumption, including wastages is 19,09,60,575 doses EXPRESS READ Stalin inaugurates vaccination for 18-plus Tiruppur: Chief Minister MK Stalin on Thursday launched Tamil Nadu’s drive to vaccinate people in the age group of 18-44. Three workers from Nethaji Apparel Park in Perumanallur, were vaccinated in Stalin’s presence and given certificates. Several industrialists donated a total of `2.5 crores to CM’s Covid Fund. Health dept slashes cost of RT-PCR testing Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Health Department has revised the cost of RT-PCR tests for Covid-19 in private laboratories. According to a Government Order dated May 19, RT-PCR testing in private labs will cost `900 and an extra `300 will be charged for collection of samples from homes | P4
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