PTI THIRUVANANTHAPURAM l saturday l may 22, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l late city EDITION Chipko movement pioneer Sunderlal Bahuguna dead The 94-year-old environmentalist died of Covid-19 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Rishikesh on Friday Sunderlal Bahuguna 9 January 1927 21 May 2021 Cremated with full state honours Roped in villagers to save forests Bahuguna had been undergoing treatment in the hospital since May 8. He was cremated with full state honours at the Poornanand Ghat. He, along with other environmentalists launched Chipko in 1973 in Uttarakhand (then part of UP) as a nonviolent social and ecological movement of villagers to protect trees slated for government-backed logging | P7 ■ ■ Chipko means to embrace. The activists, mostly led by village women, would hug the trees and stay put often chaining themselves to the trunks so that loggers could not cut them. Such protests not only slowed down forest destruction but also brought the issue of deforestation to the public’s attention 5,000 km Bahuguna led a protest march across Himalayas during 1981-1983 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 State extends lockdown till May 30 Triple lockdown only in Malappuram; rise in death toll to continue, says CM; Kerala plans to produce vax locally E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i ce @ T’Puram WITH the Covid spread remaining untamed, the state government has decided to extend the lockdown till May 30. While the triple lockdown clamped in T hir uvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Thrissur will be lifted from Saturday, it will remain in force in Malappuram due to the high test positivity rate (TPR) in the district. Addressing media on Friday , Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the TPR in the state has started coming down except in Malappuram where it is still above 25%. The average TPR in the state for the past three days was 23.3 per cent and it dropped to 23.18% on STATEWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 20 30,491 44,369 128 MAY 21 29,673 41,032 142 Friday The transmission rate . has not come down in Malappuram where the police force has to be more vigilant. The ADGP (law and order) would review the situation in Malappuram by visiting the place and the police IG would lead the triple lockdown enforcement measures, he said. Though there was a drop in the number of new cases, Friday recorded the highest single-day death toll of 142. Covid-19 was confirmed in 29,673 more people in the state on Friday when 1,33,558 samples were tested, taking the total number of active cases to 3,06,346. The number of recoveries was 41.038. According to experts, the rise in death toll would continue in the coming weeks as well, as the highest number of Covid cases in the second wave, 43,529, was recorded on May 12. “The persons whose deaths are confirmed as due to Covid now might have been infected two to three weeks back. Hence, the daily death toll will continue to increase even if the new cases drop,” the chief minister said. “The next three weeks would be crucial for the state as dengue fever cases which used to rise significantly in a gap of three-four years are expected to be high this ● More on P4 year,” he said. know the New set of relaxations Textbook distribution for the next school year to be included in essential services State to make arrangements for those who require vaccination to go abroad for jobs or study Saraswati, a housemaid from Bengaluru, is out on a street in Kalamassery to sell facemasks to make a living. She and her husband, a daily wage worker, lost their jobs because of lockdown. Saraswati put her other two children in an ashram at Chowara near Aluva | A Sanesh Breather to UP as SC stays HC’s ‘Ram Bharose’ order K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi OPPN LEADER POST Chennithala seeks support of nat’l leaders C y n t h i a C h a n d r a n @ T’Puram CONFUSION prevailed over the selection of the Congress legislative party (CLP) leader as the party’s high command has delayed the announcement again, allegedly owing to pressure tactics employed by leaders of different factions in the state. While a section of Congress MPs have demanded a generational shift, it is learnt incumbent Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala has asked central leaders close to party president Sonia Gandhi to support him as the opposition leader. Sources said Chennithala has sent missives to Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kamal Nath, P Chidambaram and Mukul Wasnik. It is also reliably learnt that Congress working committee leader A K Antony h a s f avo u r e d n e i t h e r Chennithala nor senior Congress MLA V D Satheesan as the CLP leader. Satheesan, who has claimed the support of 12 of the 21 MLAs, also has the backing of K C Venugopal, national general secretary (organisa● More on P4 tion). A Supreme Court bench on Friday stayed a bunch of orders on Covid management issued by the Allahabad High Court to the Uttar Pradesh government recently, agreeing they were impossible to implement. It also advised high courts dealing with Covid cases to refrain from dealing with issues that have trans-national and inter national ramifications, since the top court itself is seized of pan-India matters. The Allahabad High Court had on May 17 ordered the UP government to upgrade its health facilities on a war footing, specifically directing it to provide two ambulances with ICU facilities to each village within a month. But a Supreme Court bench comprising justices Vineet Saran and Bhushan Gavai agreed with the state’s position, represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, that UP has 97,000 villages and an order of this magnitude was impossible to implement within the HC’s deadline. “We are of the opinion that high courts should normally consider the possibility of execution of their directions. If such directions cannot be implemented, then such orders may not be passed,” the bench said. In a deft move aimed at winning over the Christian community that has been crying foul over ‘imbalance’ in disbursal of minority welfare funds, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has taken over the minority welfare portfolio. Minister V Abdurahiman was widely tipped to handle the portfolio along with Wakf and Hajj pilgrimage. But Pinarayi saw the swearing-in of a new cabinet and fresh allocation of portfolios as the right time to reach out to the Christian community that was peeved at losing out a major chunk of the minority welfare funds. During UDF government’s stint from 2011-16, Minority Welfare evolved as a full-fledged ministry and was helmed by Muslim League leader Manjalamkuzhy Ali. In the previous LDF government, the portfolio was handled by K T Jaleel. No stay on further proceedings “We are staying the order but we are not staying proceedings before the Allahabad High Court. The matter be listed on July 14,” the SC bench said The change of guard has been welcomed by the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC), the apex body of bishops of various Catholic rites. “It was a long-pending demand of a major section among the minority communities that the chief minister should handle the minority welfare portfolio. We welcome the new decision and express our gratitude to the chief minister,” KCBC spokesperson Fr Jacob Palackapilly said. However, Pinarayi clarified that he took over the portfolio due to the general opinion that it was better if the department was handled by the chief minister himself. Asked about the Muslim League’s opposition towards the move, Pinarayi said portfolio allocation was not that party’s prerogative. “As far as the Muslim community is concerned, they have trust in me and this govern● More on P4 ment,” he said. one’s own flesh and blood HC: Denying child’s love to parent by estranged spouse amounts to cruelty E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i ce @ Kochi The Kerala High Court has said that a parent denying a child’s love and affection to the other parent by alienating the child amounts to mental cruelty . “Nothing can be more painful than one’s own flesh and blood rejecting him/her. The acts of the mother of the child wilfully alienating the child from the father, no doubt, constitute mental cruelty,” the court said. A Division Bench comprising Jus- tice A Muhamed Mustaque and Justice Kauser Edappagath issued the order while allowing a petition filed by Prabin Gopan of Thrissur against his wife for divorce on the ground of cruelty The Family . Court in Thrissur had dismissed his plea. Their marriage was solemnised in 2009 and a daughter was born after two years. There were regular instances of outrage and resentment, causing him serious mental agony and pain, Prabin argued. He alleged that he was informed State to make arrangements for starting new crop season; those who go for farm work should carry a self-attested affidavit E X PRESS READ Three more Keralites die The number of Keralites who lost their lives in the Mumbai barge capsize rose to five as three more deaths were confirmed on Friday. Arjun, a native of Thrissur, Antony Edwin of Kollam and Sumesh of Wayanad are the deceased. 16 pages, including 4 pages of THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Express Pinarayi takes over minority welfare, Church hails move S O VI VIDYADHARAN @ T’Puram No restrictions on construction works in containment zones; shops selling construction materials allowed to open about the delivery of his own child through his family friends. Though he rushed to the hospital, he was not permitted to see the child and was obstructed from entering the hospital by the relatives of the wife. It was also alleged that he and his parents were completely isolated from the child and the wife even refused to send a photo of the child. It was only after the intervention of the District Legal Services Authority that they could see the child. He was deprived of his parental right to be loved by the child, Prabin sub● More on P4 mitted. Industrial O2 tied to black fungus spurt? S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi At the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS) in Sevagram in Wardha, a major tertiary care centre in rural Maharashtra, nearly 4,000 Covid-19 patients had undergone treatment before March this year. None developed mucor mycosis, a deadly fungal disease that is posing a fresh challenge to the healthcare system in India. Be ginning April through the first week of May, when nearly 1,000 Covid patients were treated at MGIMS, 20 of them went on to develop mucormycosis, which has a reported fatality rate of nearly 50%. At present, the hospital has at least 15 patients of black fungus, in which a group of molds infect sinuses, lungs and the brain. Raymond Savio, a critical care expert from Chennai, explains that there are multiple reasons for this fungus to infect those with Covid-19. “It’s a combination of the virus, nature of treatment, steroid and other immune-suppressants, nature of body’s response to Covid infection (ferritin level), Need thorough study A senior doctor at AIIMS, Delhi said she has been treating autoimmune disease patients with steroids for years but mucormycosis cases were rare. “Something has changed now. Whether it is the use of industrial oxygen or the way oxygen has been instituted in health facilities, I am not sure. That is for researchers to find out.” uncontrolled blood sugar and humidification systems for oxygen that makes it appropriate for the spores to infect patients,” he said. The sudden and unprecedented rise in mucormycosis cases, however, has prompted S P Kalantri, a senior doctor and medical researcher at MGIMS, like many others in different parts of India, to question whether the popular perception that indiscriminate use of steroids, suppressed immunity, history of diabetes and unhygienic conditions in ICUs may be triggering this spurt in cases. “It’s my assumption and I may be completely wrong but maybe Covid-19 virus and mucor are now hunting together,” Continued on: P8 he said.
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22-05-2021 of The New Indian Express-Thiruvananthapuram