chennai l Sunday l may 23, 2021 l `12.00 l PAGES 24 l vellore EDITION Yaas may turn into a very severe cyclonic storm: IMD It is likely to reach north Bay of Bengal near West Bengal and the north Odisha and Bangladesh coasts by May 26 morning wind speeds up to 165 kmph, heavy rains Days after Tauktae pummeled the west coast and wreaked havoc, Yass’ formation sent the National Crisis Management Committee into a huddle on Saturday. Attending the meeting, the IMD said the cyclone will pack wind speeds up to 155-165 kmph, accompanied by heavy rainfall and storm surges in the coastal districts and recommended large scale evacuations ■ 6th 85 ndrf teams, army, ships on stand-by ■ ■ While the NDRF will deploy 85 teams, the army, navy and coast guard, along with ships and aircraft, will also chip in for rescue Covid-appropriate shelters set up, with adequate stocks of food grains, drinking water, medicines and other essential supplies Works on to ensure uninterrupted oxygen and medicine supplies named by oman, it is the 6th storm over north Indian ocean this year 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 complete shutdown in TN State announces complete lockdown for one week from Monday; all shops will function today till 9 pm to prevent panic buying and help public stock up provisions; Horticulture Dept to supply vegetables across the State this week Special govt buses to cater to rush E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E Chennai: As the State gets set to enter a complete lockdown, the transport department has announced 1,500 special buses to be operated from Chennai and Tambaram to different parts of State on Sunday. Buses to Marthandam, Nagercoil, Thoothukudi, Senkottai, Tirunelveli, Dindigul, Madurai and Tiruchy will depart from Chennai Moffusil Bus Terminus and Tambaram between 6 pm and 11:45 pm on Sunday. P4 Weddings cancelled across the State Venkat is a worried man. He had booked a kalyana mantapa for his son’s wedding. The bride is from Bengaluru and working in a hospital. But the fresh restrictions have put him in a fix now. Meanwhile, Pasupathi of Sri Hari Decorators, says: “Three weddings for which we got orders got cancelled.” P4 16 test Covid +ve in STR tribal hamlet Erode: Covid has now found its way even into tribal areas in the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve. As many as 41 recently tested positive at Thengumarahada village. “Initially, 25 tested positive for Covid on April 14. Sixteen more cases were found on Saturday,” said a staffer at the panchayat office. P4 tamil nadu Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 21 36,184 24,778 467 MAY 22 33,873 25,776 448 People thronged Kothavalchavadi markets to buy essentials as government announced intensified lockdown from Monday onwards, in Chennai on Saturday | Ashwin Prasath WHAT’S ALLOWED? Pharmacies Country drug stores Veterinary pharmacies Milk supply Drinking water supply Newspapers Press/Media At the Secretariat and in districts, only Departments of essential services will be functioning E-commerce entities can function from 8 am to 6 pm Takeaway services alone allowed at hotels from 6 to 10 am; 12 noon to 3 pm; 6 to 9 pm. Entities like Swiggy and Zomato can deliver food during these hours Petrol, diesel bunks will function as usual ATM and related services will be available Transport of farm products and input materials allowed Freight vehicles carrying essential items allowed Inter-district travel allowed only for attending last rites, with e-registration No need for e-registration for travelling within the district for medical reasons Industries making essential items and medical equipment can function NOT ALLOWED? Grocery, Vegetable shops Bank Employees of private enterprises, banks, insurance companies, and IT have been requested to work from home Steroid overuse sparked black fungus cases, says Centre; tally at 8,848 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Centre on Saturday released a national list of mucormycosis (black fungus) infection case count among the convalescing Covid patients, placing the number at 8,848. It blamed uncontrolled and irrational use of steroids as part of Covid-19 treatment regimen for the infection, but said it was not an outbreak. Admitting that the supply of Amphotericin B, a drug used to treat the infection, was limited, it said efforts were on to ramp up the production capacity . “Amphotericin B’s availability and supply is being raised. The department of Pharma is coordinating with the Ministry of Health to provide license to five additional manufacturers. The existing manufacturers are working towards increasing their production capacity ,” said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary of the health ministry . Meanwhile, stating that Cov- The worst is yet to come for developing nations, says IMF id was not responsible for black fungus cases, Dr VK Paul, NITI Aayog’s member (health), said: “Steroids are wonder drugs that help save lives, but when irrational doses are given, they have a negative impact. One of them is black fungus.” Stating that the infection existed even during pre-Covid times, he said: “It is an uncommon illness that primarily affects the diabetic, but it has not spread in the form of an outbreak.” As per official data, 23,000 vials of Amphotericin B have been sent to the worst-hit states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra and Telangana, among others. According to AIIMS, New Delhi, chief Dr Randeep Guleria, persistent headache or swelling on one side of the face were some of the symptoms of the rare infection. He said discolouration in the mouth and decreased sensation in any part of the face, too, were signs that convalescent patients must consult a doctor. GET READY 1 All shops allowed to function till 9 pm on Saturday and Sunday (May 23) between 6 am and 9 pm 2 Private and government buses will be allowed to operate on Saturday and Sunday 3 4,500 buses of State transport corporations will operate during these two days 4 Horticulture Department will supply vegetables to the people across State E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ Chennai To augment pay-offs of the restrictions underway, the State government has decided to intensify the lockdown measures for a week, starting Monday. During the period, even grocery and vegetable shops would not be allowed to function. To help the public prepare for the intensive lockdown, the government allowed all shops to function on Saturday and Sunday till 9 pm. An announcement in this regard was made by Chief Minister MK Stalin on Saturday afternoon. Private and government bus services have also been permitted to ply on Saturday and Sunday, for the convenience of those wishing to return to their native districts ahead of the new measures. Further, the State Horticulture Department has been tasked to supply vegetables to people across the State during the lockdown week. Various sections of the public have already raised apprehensions on whether the department has sufficient infrastructure to deliver supplies to every nook and corner of the State. This is- fresh faces cong takes a leaf out of CPM book to select LoP E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ T’Puram Five time MLA from Paravoor, VD Satheesan (56) will be the new Opposition leader of Kerala as his appointment as the Congress Legislature Party leader was confirmed by the high command on Saturday . His elevation came after former AICC president Rahul Gandhi and general secretary K C Venugopal ignored pressure tactics employed by dominant groups led by Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala and instead went by the sentiments of majority of active workers and youth leaders. The party also took into account the change in political environment triggered by the revolutionary steps taken by the CPM and CPI to replace an entire generation of political leaders with fresh faces. P5 sue is likely to figure in the Chief Minister’s meeting with District Collectors on Sunday. Banks can function with one third of total staff while employees of private enterprises, insurance companies, and Information Technology have been requested to work from home. ATM and related services will remain open. The decisions were taken based on suggestions of a committee of health experts, and representatives of various legislative parties, the Chief Minister added. During the meeting, Stalin had expressed serious concern over people roaming about unnecessarily even during the lockdown. “These people are treating lockdown as a vacation period. We can defeat this pandemic only when everyone together takes a vow to follow all regulations,” he said. “Since there has been a delay in procuring oxygen from Odisha, I have requested Union Minister Piyush Goyal to allocate 900 metric tonnes of oxygen to Tamil Nadu in addition to the regular supply and the Union Minister has agreed to this request,” he added. India’s second Covid wave is a warning for things to come in low- and middle-income countries that have escaped the pandemic till now, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “The ongoing catastrophic second wave in India, following a terrible wave in Brazil, is a sign the worst may be yet to come in the developing world,” said a report co-authored by IMF’s Chief Economist Gita Gopinath and economist Ruchir Agarwal. In the first wave, India’s healthcare system held up fairly well but this time, the country’s medical infrastructure seems to be crumbling under the case load, the discussion paper noted. According to the note, the vaccine coverage in India is expected to remain under 35% of the population by the end of 2021. To get to 60% coverage, India will need to immediately place sufficient vaccine orders of about 1 billion doses through contracts that incentivise investment in additional capacity and augmentation of May 21 13,83,358 doses May 22 15,52,126 doses Total doses: 19,49,51,603 Jab-o-meter Take your shot the supply chain, it added. “In this context, the recently announced financing of about $600 million to the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech to boost production capacity in the near term is a welcome step,” the report said, adding that authorities estimate two billion doses will be available by the end of 2021. “India is a warning of possible events in other low- and middle-income countries that so far have seemingly escaped the pandemic, including in Africa,” the report said. For India, current bilateral purchases of vaccine plus coverage from Covax will cover about 25% of its population by the first half of 2022. Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access, or Covax, is a worldwide initiative for equitable access to Covid vaccines. The IMF report said India continues to face vaccine production bottlenecks, including due to ongoing shortages of critical raw materials. According to IMF, urgent steps should be taken to eliminate constraints on cross-border exports of critical raw materials and finished vaccines. NATIONWIDE MAY 21 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 22 2,59,551 2,57,299 3,57,295 3,57,630 4,209 4,194 EXPRESS READ Nepal Prez dissolves House, snap polls in Nov Kathmandu: Nepal’s President on Saturday dissolved the House of Representatives for the second time in five months and announced snap elections in November, rejecting both embattled PM K P S Oli and the Opposition alliance’s claims to form a government. Drop mention of Indian variant, social media told New Delhi: The Centre has asked social media companies to remove any content which mentions or refers to the term ‘Indian variant’ of coronavirus, in a bid to curb spread of misinformation around Covid19. Digital platforms said they have received the latest advisory. WITH THIS ISSUE The Unscrupulous Indian PLUS 12 PAGES Boosted by RBI’s dividend gift, FinMin asks PSUs to ramp up capital spending An u r a d h a S h u k l a @ New Delhi Encouraged by the morethan-expected dividend handout from the Reserve Bank of India, the finance ministry has asked Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) to exceed their Capex target by 20-25% than what was originally given in the budget and also to use reserve to increase dividend. The ministry has sent an internal note to the top management of CPSEs in this regard, a senior official told TNIE. “Last year, many CPSEs failed to increase their capex in the first half. It was only after the FM nudged them to do so in several meetings. Learning from the lessons from the first wave, they have been asked to be prompt and scale up so that it will help economic recovery, the official said. Last year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her meetings with CPSE heads constantly followed up to increase capital spending to make up for the curb in expenditure. It worked. CPSEs in the oil and gas sector alone recorded a capex of `5,610 crore in April, higher than what they had spent the previous year. As the government is likely to miss the divestment target, it is banking on extra dividend. On Friday RBI announced it , would transfer `99,122 crore as surplus to the Centre for the nine months ended March 31. nat u re h as a l l answers How a quaint hamlet continues to evade Covid ramdev misled people: IMA It urged the Centre to take action against the Yoga guru for making unscientific statements against modern medicine | P7 SV KRISH N A CHAITA N YA @ Tiruvallur In all likelihood, the Covid could be this century’s World War, and few have been completely spared of the pandemic’s myriad blows. But strangely one quaint hamlet nested in , the lap of Eastern Ghats on Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh border has managed to keep the infection at bay . Not recognised even by Google Maps, Nariankonai is just a 90-minute drive from the State’s capital. It is home to 60 odd families and has a total population of about 500 people. Every family owns one or two acres of land and they grow vegetables and paddy for self sustenance. Most households also rear cattle and poultry, while they depend on herbs from nearby forest for medicine. Nariankonai Nariankonai hamlet in Thiruvallur district | DEBADATTA MALLICK has a common vehicle to transport produce to the Koyambedu vegetable and fruit market. Though the government on Saturday announced complete lockdown till May 31 and experts emphasis on wearing masks even inside homes, none of these regulations apply here. There is no sense of panic or fear of the pandemic and the residents are in no rush to receive vaccination either. P5
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