Disaster Rapid Action Force personnel loading rescue equipment on to a vehicle ahead of Yaas’ landfall in Odisha | biswanath swain villupuram l tuesday l may 25, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Yaas’ likely landfall near Balasore on wednesday It is expected to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm on the east coast, where most of the oxygen plants are located may trigger Heavy rains, storm surge The storm would generate speeds up to 165 kmph, gusting to 185 kmph, besides triggering storm surge on the coasts of Balasore, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Bhadrak in Odisha. Heavy rainfall predicted in parts of West Bengal, including Kolkata. In a review meeting, home minister Amit Shah assured all help to CMs of West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh ■ 149 Airports, ports on high alert ■ ■ Odisha airports are on high alert even as the Kolkata Port has decided to suspend all shipping movements from Tuesday The Paradip Port Trust has directed all vessels to pick up anchors and move to sea; massive evacuation works underway in Odisha Medicine, oxygen stocks replenished to ensure Covid treatment NDRF teams deployed to carry out rescue and relief works 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 Walk-in jabs for 18-44 group at govt hospitals City comes to a grinding halt, in just 24 hours Road, Anna Arch, Poonamallee High Road and T Nagar, hoping to hitchhike. Several motorists IN stark contrast with scenes staged a protest at Thiruvottiyfrom Sunday, an eerie silence ur High Road demanding the loomed over Chennai’s streets police to release their bikes. and roads on Monday the first They left after being assured it , day of intensive lockdown in will be returned by evening. the State. Police blocked severSpeaking to Express, a senior al peripheral roads officer said, “It is sadand bridges to condening to see how peotain vehicular moveple are desperate to ments, and streets step out of their homes looked deserted with for wedding preparaonly those working tions, birthday celefor essential services brations, and religious plying on roads. gatherings. Many had Pavement dwellers, stickers like ‘Press’, security personnel ‘Government’, ‘TNEB’, of private complexes ‘Cor poration’, and CM: Stick to and volunteers were some even had ‘Police’ guidelines the ones mainly outstickers,” he said. “The unnecessary side their homes. To further restrain movement of However, stray inmovements, all funccidents of violation people is the only tioning private compareason for the were reported. Hunnies have been indreds of vehicles present situation,” structed to arrange were seized as police said Chief Minister four-wheelers for their MK Stalin as he issued challans to employees, from Tuesrenewed his motorists driving day. With vehicles appeal to the without proper reafrom the horticulture sons. “There were people to adhere department arriving to government’s many who were travto deliver vegetables, guidelines | P4 elling to meet friends personnel were also and relatives, but deployed to monitor. claiming that they were going On Sunday, DGP JK Tripathy for medical emergencies,” said had orally ordered senior offica police officer. ers to provide leave for 20 per People whose vehicles were cent workforce every week. seized could be seen walking on Sources said the personnel will the roads, at Choolaimedu High take leave on rotation basis. S A H AYA N OVI N S T O N LOBO @ Chennai Stop or Ban ‘The Family Man-2’, TN writes to Centre Chennai: The State on Monday urged the Centre to take steps either to stop or ban OTT release of the serial “The Family Man-2” across the country. Minister Thangam Thennarasu in a letter to Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, said the trailer indicates discredition and distortion of the historic struggle of Eelam Tamils in Sri Lanka | P3 Centre aims to reduce wastage while giving full access to those unable to book online E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ New Delhi Hardly anybody was on street as the intense lockdown came into force on Monday; Anna Arch junction in Chennai | p jawahar Delhi Police at Twitter’s doorstep E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Days after Twitter tagged a tweet by BJP leader Sambit Patra — alleging the Congress had drafted a toolkit to malign the Centre’s image — as ‘manipulated media’, the Delhi Police Special Cell on Monday landed at the social media giant’s offices in search of the ‘right person’ to serve a notice. Calling it a routine process, and not a raid, Delhi Police spokesperson DCP Chenmoy Biswal said they had to visit Twitter’s offices at Lado Sarai and Gurugram Golf Course Road as the reply from the company’s MD, India operations, M Maheshwari was ‘ambiguous’. The special cell had issued a notice on Maheshwari on May 21, asking him to appear before it with information on why the platform tagged Sambit’s tweet as ‘manipulated media’. “It appears that Twitter has infor mation, which is not known to us, on the basis of which they classified it as such. The special cell wants to find out the truth. Twitter, which claimed to know the underlying truth, should clarify,” he added. Chennai Nissan plant staff on strike from tomorrow tamil nadu Chennai: Concerned over rising Covid cases among staff, the workers union of car manufacturer, Renault Nissan, has decided to boycott duty from Wednesday at its Chennai plant. Meanwhile, the Madras High Court refused to provide any relief on the union’s plea seeking to quash a G.O. classifying auto-manufacturers as essential commodities | P2 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths States trim capex, vax adds to burden A n u r a d h a S h u k l a @ New Delhi High market borrowing and sharp revenue decline due to the pandemic are forcing many states to cut capital expenditure, as they are struggling to foot the cost of the vaccine amid widening fiscal deficit. “Many states, including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana and Orissa, are reducing capital expenditure by about 25-30%. If states have to incur the vaccine cost also, they would have to cut corners, which means lowering their capex,” a senior member of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) said. The only way to fix this is to have a centralised vaccine procurement policy, the member suggested. “State capex fall will not help the economy. Market borrowing has also cost in terms of interest burden. With GST shortfall to continue this year, this is not a good scenario. Till we are able to vaccinate all, the cost of the pandemic for the economy will continue to remain high, keeping recovery uncertain,” the member said. According to estimates, the total vaccination cost is `3.7 lakh crore for states at the highest vaccine price. This is large given the budgeted capital expenditure of states. “If we map this scenario analysis with the budgeted FY22 total expenditure of 20 major states at the highest price point, the vaccine procurement is 16% of the total expenditure for Bihar and 12% for states like Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand,” Soumya Kan- 26% more market borrowing in FY21 In FY21, 28 states and 2 UTs raised a total of `7.98 lakh crore via market borrowings, 26% higher than the borrowings of `6.35 lakh crore in FY20 ti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser, State Bank of India said in a recent report. An analysis of the states’ finances suggests that since this year, too, they may have to borrow, they are cautious in raising money from the market. Also the increase in proceeds from cesses and surcharges from 3% of gross tax revenue in 2000-01 to 23.5% in 2020-21 has reduced the divisible pool and brought down the effective devolution share to about 30% of gross tax revenue. On May 18, Sambit Patra and other BJP leaders posted screenshots of an alleged ‘toolkit’ and accused the Congress of creating it to malign the Centre’s pandemic management. The Congress retaliated by writing to Twitter, asking it to suspend Patra’s account for posting a “forged toolkit to create disharmony”. Two days later, Twitter tagged the tweet as manipulated media. The Delhi Police action came on a day when External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar landed in the US to meet his counterpart Anthony Blinken. MAY 23 35,483 25,196 422 MAY 24 34,867 27,026 404 State’s active case count now stands at 3,01,580 @ Chennai Scores of students and alumni of the Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan group of schools and associate institutions have accused some teachers of making sexually coloured remarks and advances towards them. The in- cident has led to the suspension of a teacher, an inquiry by the School Education Department, and a police investigation. The management on Monday suspended a teacher, G Rajagopalan, from KK Nagar branch, after many students and alumni alleged that he sexually misbehaved with them. Rajagopa- NATIONWIDE MAY 23 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 24 2,40,842 2,22,315 3,55,102 3.02.544 3,741 4,454 May 23 9,42,722 doses May 24 23,65,395 doses Total doses: 19,84,43,550 Jab-o-meter Take your shot Till Monday, only those above 45 years were allowed the benefit of walk-in jabs. By allowing on-site registration for those in the 18-44 category , the ministry aims to cut wastage and increase the number of beneficiaries. Official data reveal that only about one crore people in the 18-44 group — out of an estimated 49 crore across India — have received at least one dose since they became eligible on May 1. Mid-air wedding extravaganza: Flight crew off-rostered by DGCA E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Madurai stir amid pandemic Farmers stage a protest against the Haryana government after the police booked over 300 of them in connection with a clash earlier this month, in Hisar on Monday. The protest was later called off | PTI | P8 The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday asked a private airline company to register a complaint against over 160 passengers, who attended a marriage function on board a chartered flight, for violating Covid norms. On Sunday, a couple tied knot onboard the chartered flight. The flight remained in the air for approximately two hours before E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi A meeting of a high powered committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India N V Ramana and Leader of Opposition Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary on Monday to pick the new chief of the CBI saw the latter raising objections over the selection process. “The way the procedure was followed, it was in conflict of the mandate of the committee. On May 11, I was given 109 names... and today by 1 pm, 10 names were shortlisted while by 4 pm, six names were shortlisted. This casual approach of the department of personnel and training is highly objectionable,” his dissent note said. According to sources, the names of senior IPS officers H C Awasthi, K R Chandra and V S K Kaumudi have been shor tlisted for the job. Awasthi (1985, UP cadre) is the current DGP of UP; Kau- lan teaches Accountancy and Business Studies and is the class teacher for Class 12 G2, the school’s website said. Accusations included actions like showing up to online class in towel, touching students inappropriately asking them out , for movies at off-hours, sharing pornographic links on groups, and passing comments of a sexual nature on female students. The incident came to light after Kripali, an alumni of the school, collated and shared screenshots of many students sharing their ordeals of being harassed. One of the screenshots shows him topless, with just a cloth around his neck. landing back at the Madurai International Airport. Images and videos from the function, that went viral on social media, pointed out that social distancing, among other precautions, were not followed on board. The DGCA also off-rostered the crew, who were in the flight during the mid-air wedding ceremony “Upon boarding the air. craft, in case any passenger does not wear a mask properly even after repeated warnings, he/she should be de-boarded, if need be, before departure. In case, any passenger refuses to wear a mask or violates ‘Covid protocol for passengers’ even after repeated warnings, he/ she may be treated as ‘unruly passenger’,” the DGCA guideline said. The DGCA has also sought a full report from the airline company and the airport authority regarding the entire incident. continued on: p4 Easy tools to manage the virus at the district level 3 on shortlist to head CBI; Cong sore mudi (1984, Andhra Pradesh cadre) is a special secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs; and Chandra (1985, Bihar cadre) is the current Director General of the Sashastra Seema Bal. The meeting was held after a delay of around four months despite former CBI chief R K Shukla retiring on February 3. The agency is currently helmed by interim chief Pradeep Sinha. Sexual harassment allegations rock PSBB school in Chennai SUSH M I T H A R A M A KRISH N A N The Centre on Monday allowed walk-in vaccinations at government hospitals for people in the 18–44 age group to reduce vaccine wastage. It was also an acknowledgement of the point put across by states that not all beneficiaries may have access to internet or smart phones or mobile phones to register themselves on the CoWIN portal. The final decision on whether or not to opt for it will be taken by state governments. While announcing the decision, the Union health ministry clarified that those choosing private hospitals for inoculation must continue booking slots via CoWIN portal or Aarogya Setu app. The decision came after several states reported vaccine wastage whenever some registered beneficiaries failed to turn up. In such cases, on-site registration of a few beneficiaries may be necessary to minimise the wastage, the health ministry said. Advising states to exercise caution to avoid overcrowding at centres, the ministry said clear instructions must be issued to all immunisation officers that the decision of respec- tive states on walk-in facility is strictly adhered to. Stating that fully reserved sessions can be organised for beneficiaries belonging to facilitated cohorts (those needing assistance) category, the ministry said: “Wherever such sessions are organised, all efforts must be made to mobilise such beneficiaries in sufficient numbers.” In the suspension memo, the PSBB management said, “Some very serious allegations of misconduct have been alleged against you and the same has come to our knowledge from and through social media (sic).” The school added that he will be suspended pending further inquiry . continued on: p3 M S Se s h a d r i , T J a c o b J o h n an d M u r u S u b r aman i Four peaks characterise the second wave of India’s Covid epidemic — momentum peak (21.4.21), numerical peak of new cases two weeks later (6.5.21); acceleration peak of mortality (28.4.21) and numerical mortality peak three weeks later (18.5.21). Each state and district has these four peaks. Yet, the dynamics of onset, tempo and peak are asynchronous even among districts of the same state. While many districts are in post-peak decline of the momentum, in others momentum is still accelerating. Every district should be able to look for the four peaks in their ‘local epidemic curves’ and take appropriate individualised district-level action. To facilitate this, a set of easy-to-use Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets for health administrators are available for download from https:/tiny .cc/covidmomentum. At a glance you can discern epidemic momentum and mortality accelera- tion, district-wise. How does this help? ‘Social vaccine’ and biological vaccine should be top priority in districts with rapid epidemic momentum. Short district level lockdown may be needed to buy time. Post-peak decline in momentum indicates a substantial level of herd immunity; the proportion of vulnerable is low, manpower shortage and potential crowding at vaccination centres will argue against large vaccination drives. However, imminent mortality acceleration necessitates quick increase in hospital and critical-care beds, oxygen supply and essential drugs. Districts with mortality curve deceleration should anticipate decreased demands for oxygen and essential drugs, and prepare to move surplus supplies to needy neighbours. Such streamlined and science-based approach will optimise use of scant resources to manage the epidemic, reduce new infections and lower Covid mortality . Full article: newindianexpress.com
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