WARANGAL FRIDAY MAY 21, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 12 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 RESULTS DELIVERED TO YOUR PHONE 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 ■ ■ ■ 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 105 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 HOUSING LOANS ADVANCE AGAINST FIXED DEPOSITS Black fungus: Shortage of drug spells death knell for patients D O N I TA J O S E @ Hyderabad “WHEN we left Hyderabad, the doctor gave us one week for her life as the infection had spread to the brain. Today is the fifth day Both her . eyes are shut due to the infection, and her mouth is not opening. She has close to no urine output and hasn’t had food or water for the past three days. We give her milk and water in a spoon every hour. It is like she is in a state of coma. May no one else face the issues we did - no medicines, no hospitals, n o h e l p, ” s a i d Mubeen M from Nizamabad, whose 22-yearold sister Asifya, diagnosed with black fungus, was shunted between nearly eight hospitals before being told it was too late to intervene. Like Asifya, many Mucormycosis patients who fail to get timely help are dying a painful death, with their organs shutting off one by one. Owing to low allocation from the Central gover nment, there is an acute scarcity of medicines used to treat Mucormycosis in the State. Even IT Minister KT Rama Rao’s office, which is providing relief to hundreds of people by using social media, is unable to provide medicines for more than one day . An average patient needs up to 10-20 days of treatment depending on the intensity of the condition, and may require up to 60 vials of the medicine, but most patients are unable to get the required numbers. “It has been two days since Minister Rama Rao replied and offered to help a farmer f ro m N i z a m ab a d with Amphotericin B, the drug of choice to cure the infection. But the Minister’s office could only provide four vials, while the patient has been told to take 60 vials. “With no other choice left, they have applied via the new system and are waiting. They have been discharged from the hospital and have left for their village,” said Sreeharsha Thanneru from Rythu Swarajya Vedika, who has been helping citizens from rural Telang ana access healthcare. CONTINUED ON P4 TELANGANA MAY 19 MAY 20 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 3,837 4,976 25 79,494 Cr 71,544 Cr -10.0% 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% ADVANCES TO INDIVIDUALS AGAINST SHARE & BONDS Family members attend to a patient infected by black fungus at the Government ENT Hospital in Hyderabad on Thursday | VINAY MADAPU 3,660 4,826 23 MUCORMYCOSIS DECLARED AN EPIDEMIC IN TS A day after the Director of Medical Education (DME) played down fears of the increasing cases of Mucormycosis, the Health Department officially declared it as an epidemic. According to a notification issued by the Director of Public Health and Family Welfare, it is a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. The number of cases of the infection have been skyrocketing in Telangana. As part of the notification, all government and private health facilities will have to report suspected and confirmed cases to the Health Department every day. The screening, diagnosis and management of Mucormycosis will have to be uniform and in compliance with MOHFW and ICMR guidelines. 13,37,899 Cr 14,59,066 Cr 9.1% CREDIT CARD OUTSTANDING EDUCATION LOANS VEHICLE LOANS Mar 2020 Mar 2021 Growth 2021 (%) FINANCE Minister T Harish Rao has said that the State government will soon procure 10 lakh doses of Covaxin, which will be administered on a priority basis to auto rickshaw drivers, taxi drivers and those who run ration shops, fruit and vegetable stalls, and meat shops in the State. He directed the officials concer ned to identify how many such people live in the district, so as to vaccinate them. On Thursday, the Minister toured Medak district, during which he visited the Covid ward of Medak Area Hospital and inquired about the well-being of the patients. Later, he held a meeting with the officials concerned at the Collectorate and conducted a review on Covid-19 and paddy purchase. He said the government was trying to arrest the spread of Covid-19 in the State and reduce the number of deaths. The Minister said as soon as the vaccine doses arrive, they would be administered to small-time traders who 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, NATIONWIDE MAY 19 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 20 2,67,334 2,76,110 3,89,851 3,69,077 4,529 3,874 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 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- 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 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. “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. HC slams U’khand govt for massing at Char Dham V I N E E T U PA D H YAY @ Dehradun ‘Pay ryots for paddy’ VACCINE STATUS A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi 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 mingle most with the people. Harish Rao said that there was no shortage of Remdesivir and oxygen in the district. He said another 219 vials of the drug were available. He said as there was no oxygen plant in the district, they have appealed to MEIL to supply it.” Later, the Minister conducted a review on paddy purchase and said that in the district, 2,11,000 metric tonnes of grains have been procured. He said as there was a shortage of lorries, farmers were moving grains by tractors, and asked officials to pay them immediately for the paddy procured. Rao directed the state civil supplies commissioner to see that Sangareddy district’s rice millers take 25,000 metric tonnes of paddy He said . the district still needs 60 lakh gunny bags and asked officials to procure them. He advised officials to be vigilant as another 2.5 lakh metric tonnes of paddy would be arriving at the purchase centres. Reserve Bank data show people are increasingly turning to gold and personal loans to meet basic expenditure and medical emergencies 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 SSC results district magistrates, BJP gives it back out today State to procure 10L vax doses for high-risk groups EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Medak Gold pledging on the rise as stress hits households BUSINESS-AS-UNUSUAL Women make and sell soft toys on the footpath at Madhapur in Hyderabad on Thursday. Hawkers like these have been hit hard by the lockdown | VINAY MADAPU THE Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday hauled the state government over the coals after perusing videos of priests massing at the Char Dham 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 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. E N S @ Hyderabad THE Directorate of Government Examinations, Telangana is likely to declare SSC results on May 21. Given the ongoing pandemic, all candidates who registered for SSC exams in the academic year 2020-21 have been promoted. The grades that will be announced would have considered students’ performance in the internal assessment section. Director of Directorate of School Education, Telangana, A Devasena, said, “In all probability, results will be released on May 21.” Earlier, the internal assessment section had a weightage of 20 per cent marks, which will be scaled up to 100 per cent, as per a government order issued earlier this month. This year, the State government decided to cancel the SSC examinations. All 5.7 lakh students who had registered will be given grace marks. In 2019-20 too, the government promoted over 5 lakh students in the State by giving them grace marks. EXPRESS READ Will knock teeth out of adversaries, says Putin Moscow: President Vladimir Putin warned on Thursday that Russians would “knock out the teeth” of those who attack their country or eye its vast territory, amid a deep crisis in ties with the West. The Kremlin chief said that Russia’s enemies were looking to clip its wings every time the nation grew strong | P9 SIDE EFFECTS Lockdown hits pace of key irrigation, infra projects in TS V V B A L A K R I S H N A @ Hyderabad THE pace of execution of the ongoing irrigation and infrastructure projects in the State has slowed down due to the lockdown and non-availability of labourers. The impact on various projects has reduced the pace by around 10 to 50 per cent, depending on the location of the project. According to a contract agency workers and labourers have , not been present in full strength at most of the work sites. Engineers of contracting companies, engineers of Water Resources Department and other technical staff too are not attending to projects in full strength due to the impact of both Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown. The non-availability of public transport is also affecting the movement of labourers and officials to and from construction sties, sources said. At some places, transportation of cement and other materials to the project sites is also getting affected. The shortage of labourers is being faced at the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS) too. Other irrigation and drinking water projects which have been hit include Wanaparthy and Balakistapur water grid project, GHMC Kukatpally drinking water project, Devadula lift irrigation scheme works - whose pace of execution was affected by 30 per cent, Ramappa- Pakala lift irrigation scheme works, by 25 per cent, Thotapalli works, by 35 per cent and Sitarama lift irrigation scheme works affected by 20 per cent, according to contracting agencies. The contracting agencies added that the pace of drinking water projects at 29 urban local bodies (including municipalities and Nagarapalika clusters) had been reduced by 50 per cent. Besides irrigation and drinking water projects, the Raydurg gas insulated sub-station (GIS) works, intended to improve power suppply infrastructure in the IT corridor of Hyderabad, have been affected with works slowing down by 50 CONTINUED ON P4 per cent.
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