TIRUCHY MONDAY MAY 31, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 28 LATE CITY EDITION NEARLY 12 CRORE DOSES WILL BE AVAILABLE IN JUNE: GOVT Of the total, 6.09 crore doses would be allocated to states for free, while 5.86 crore could be directly procured by them STATES TO GET FREE VAX SUPPLY SCHEDULE RAMPING UP VACCINE PRODUCTION The Centre said it would share the delivery schedule for the free doses in advance to ensure cohesion and better planning. The announcement came on a day when the Serum Institute wrote to the home ministry, assuring to supply 9-10 crore doses in June, a steep rise considering the company had in May said it would reach the 10-crore mark only by August/September ■ ■ Bharat Biotech, too, is ramping up production of Covaxin. Its tie-up with the Gujarat Covid Vaccine Consortium will raise its capacity to 10 crore doses by September from one crore in April Of the nearly 21 crore doses administered so far, around 18.5 crore were Covishield, while Covaxin’s share has been around 3 crore 7.9 crore DOSES WERE AVAILABLE IN THE COUNTRY DURING MAY 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 ON COVID, NOTHING ASPIRATIONAL ABOUT DISTS CLASSIFIED AS SUCH M A N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi WITH greater focus on health, nutrition and education among others, 117 districts labeled aspirational in 2018 were supposed to set the benchmark for other districts “by competing with and learning from others”. Conventional wisdom dictated that these aspirational districts would have weathered the Covid-19 storm better than others, but a data analysis shows they have performed as poorly, if not worse, than any other in the country during the pandemic. Take for instance Virudhunagar and Ramanathpuram in Tamil Nadu, ranked first and second by Niti Aayog, the institution that is driving the programme. Virudhunagar accounted for 388 deaths whereas 18 other districts in the state saw fewer deaths. YSR Kadappa, with health rank seven, reported 542 deaths in Andhra Pradesh. Nandurbar in Maharashtra was ranked 95 among the aspirational districts. It reported 818 Covid deaths. Osmanabad, also in Maharashtra, saw 1,320 deaths. The district is ranked 20th. Their poor show is perhaps why on the seventh anniversary of the NDA at the Centre, two of the big slogans, aspirational districts and New India, are missing from the celebrations’ lexicon. Launched by Modi in January 2018, the drive was in line with the “New India vision by 2022.” Health was listed as the first in a number of priority areas for the programme. “Health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development, and basic infrastructure are this programme’s core area of focus,” says Niti Aayog in its website. Mandarins in the government E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Coimbatore Sasikala hints at comeback to ‘revive’ party E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Chennai AFTER announcing on March 3 that she would ‘stay away from politics’, VK Sasikala, onetime aide of the late CM J Jayalalithaa, has hinted that she may join active politics. In an audio conversation with two of her loyalists, that went viral on Sunday, Sasikala said that there will be a “good decision” soon. AMMK sources have confirmed to Express, the authenticity of the two audio clips. Without making any reference to the alleged differences between AIADMK leaders Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam, Sasikala said that she could not sit idly and witness the party going to ruins due to “infighting”. In the first audio clip, she says, “we will for sure streamline the party certainly I will come.” ... , In the next clip, Sasikala can be heard saying that the AIADMK was built with the hard work of leaders, including her, and it was anguishing to see “them fighting”. She then goes on to add that she would soon meet with supporters after the Covid crisis is mitigated. EXPRESS READ Mythily Sivaraman succumbs to Covid Chennai: CPM leader and former vice-president of AIDWA Mythily Sivaraman died in Chennai on Sunday. She was diagnosed with Covid-19 a few days ago, and was undergoing treatment for it | P4 Staff irked by Rly’s move to give stadium to RLDA Chennai: Indian Railways’ decision to hand over sports stadium of the Integrated Coach Factory and 14 other stadiums to Rail Land Development Authority has irked a section of ICF employees | P2 WITH THIS ISSUE YOUR LIFE COACH Health Total Recovered Dead rank cases Virudhunagar (Tamil Nadu) 1 36,400 27,825 388 Ramnathpuram (Tamil Nadu) 2 16,179 12,681 211 YSR Kadappa (Andhra Pradesh) 7 93,709 88,112 542 Raichur (Karnataka) 11 37,521 31,943 264 Kanker (Chhattisgarh) 13 22,652 21,470 205 Banka (Bihar) 77 7,277 7,079 84 Begusarai (Bihar) 48 26,454 24609 125 Gaya (Bihar) 80 33,539 32,699 185 Bahraich (Uttar Pradesh) 89 11,267 10,644 170 Balrampur (Uttar Pradesh) 87 7,349 6,925 129 Siddharthnagar (Uttar Pradesh) 88 9,100 8,534 93 Osmanabad (Maharashtra) 20 57,060 51,712 1,320 Nandurbar (Maharashtra) 95 38,721 36,991 818 Rajgarh (Madhya Pradesh) 15 8,495 7,958 114 Damoh (Madhya Pradesh) 19 7,956 6,970 155 Ranchi (Jharkhand) 32 84,374 79,948 1,539 East Singhbhum (Jharkhand) 27 49,149 47,422 997 (Data as on May 29, 2021, taken from www.covid19india.org) gramme made no difference in mitigating the hardships of the people as Ranchi and East Singhbhum are reporting huge Covid death figures. Ironically, the Aayog gives 30% weightage to health and nutrition while ranking the aspirational districts. It also lists big corporate names as partners for the programme. NATIONWIDE MAY 29 MAY 30 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 1,73,790 1,65,553 2,84,601 2,76,309 3,617 3,460 May 29 28,09,436 doses May 30 30,35,749 doses TOTAL DOSES: 21,20,66,614 JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT Govt has no bias towards any district: Stalin AUDIO LEAK THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST and the think-tank had made such tall claims about these districts that there was a clamour among MPs for inclusion of their constituencies in the list. The largest concentration of aspirational districts is in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh as the Centre had included a number of “left wing extremism” affected districts to showcase developmental approach against the Maoist violence. Gaya, an LWE-affected district in Bihar, reported 185 Covid deaths whereas there were 20 districts in the state with fewer casualties. Among the non-LWE aspirational district in Bihar, Begusarai reported 125 deaths due to pand e m i c. T h e a s p i r a t i o n a l district tale is no different in UP, where Bahraich, Balrampur and Siddharnthnagar are reporting high deaths. In Jharkhand, with 19 aspirational districts, the pro- H O W T H E Y FA R E Aspirational districts 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) STRONGLY refuting allegations by Opposition parties that Coimbatore was neglected in the fight against Covid, Chief Minister MK Stalin on Sunday said that he does not discriminate against any district. He said those making such criticisms should first come and witness the medical infrastructure set up in Coimbatore to combat infection. Speaking to reporters at the Coimbatore collectorate after reviewing Covid control measures in Coimbatore, Tirupur, Erode, Salem and Nilgiris districts, the Chief minister said, “My prime duty is to safeguard this entire State from the pandemic. Number of cases is dipping, especially in Chennai and a few other districts. States like Karnataka and Kerala have reported maximum per day Covid figures of 50,000 and 43,000 respectively. However, CHENNAI LOGS NEGATIVE CASE GROWTH OF 8% In the last seven-day block, from May 24 to 30, Chennai recorded a negative Covid-19 case growth of 8.3 per cent. After almost 50 days, all 15 Corporation zones recorded a negative growth, meaning the number of recoveries is greater than the number of new cases recorded every day | P4 REASONS FOR KOVAI SPIKE Speaking to reporters, the CM said, “Tourists from Kerala and Karnataka, and migration of workers from north Indian States to industrial units here are the major reasons for the CM MK Stalin wearing a PPE kit during his visit to infection spread.” ESI Hospital in Coimbatore on Sunday | EXPRESS even when the second wave peaked, Tamil Nadu only recorded 36,000 cases. Now, due to all our efforts, the cases are dipping gradually. Around three lakh people are receiving vaccine, and 1.7 lakh people being tested daily .” Noting that Coimbatore district has been recording more number of cases than Chennai, Stalin said, “The last two days, cases in Coimbatore are also going south. Tourists from Kerala and Karnataka, and migration of workers from north Indian States to industrial units here are the major reasons for the infection spread.” “We have increased the bed count in Coimbatore by setting up temporary Covid care centres. There are 4,009 beds equipped with oxygen in the district. So far 5,85,713 persons have been vaccinated and among them 1,51,061 persons were administered vaccine in the last three weeks. Meanwhile, a few people are accusing the government of neglecting Coimbatore. Since they are levelling these charges with political motive, I do not wish to respond to them. I will just invite them to visit this district to witness the medical infrastructure the government has built in just three weeks,” he P4 added. The IMD on Sunday said the southwest monsoon will arrive in Kerala after a two-day delay on June 3. The forecast was in contrast to private weather monitoring agency Skymet’s report, which claimed the rain bearing winds made soft landfall in Kerala on Sunday EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi WITH his monthly Mann ki baat coinciding with the seventh anniversary of his party’s rule at the Centre, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday sought to convey a message of optimism, saying howsoever big the challenge, India will always emerge the winner. He said it in the context of the pandemic and natural disasters, including cyclones Tauktae and Yaas. “However big the challenge be, India’s victory resolve, her vijay sankalp, has always been equal in magnitude. Her collective strength and our spirit of service has always rescued the country from the midst of every storm,” he said. Modi said in the last seven years, the country has followed the mantra of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, adding there were many moments of national pride during his government’s tenure. Claiming that in seven decades after Independence, only 3.5 crore rural homes had water connections, he said 4.5 crore houses have been given clean water connections in the last 21 months alone. And 15 of the 21 months were during the Corona phase. Refer ring to the Covid challenge during the ongoing second wave, Modi said oxygen production has been ramped up in a big way “In the normal course, we . were producing 900 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen in a day Today the produc. , tion has gone up to 9,500 metric tonnes a day he said. ,” EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi IN what could be termed as the unveiling of a fresh round of its economic relief package, the government on Sunday expanded the scope of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) to more sectors disrupted by the second wave of the pandemic. It will now cover medical colleges, hospitals, nursing homes and the aviation sector. The ministry of finance also extended the validity of the scheme from June 30 to September 30, or till guarantees for an amount of `3 lakh crore has been issued. Disbursement under the scheme is permitted up to December 31, 2021. The scheme announced in May 2020 aimed at giving up to `3 lakh crore unsecured loans to MSME and other sectors severely impacted by the Covid19 pandemic. The government provides guarantee against loans disbursed under the scheme. Earlier, the scheme covered MSMEs, hospitality, travel and tourism, leisure and sporting sectors, and 26 stressed sectors identified by the K V Kamath Committee. The government has now allowed hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and medical colleges to avail loan up to `2 crore for setting up of on-site oxygen plants under ECLGS 4.0. The loan would be 100% guaranteed by the government. The interest rate on such loans has been capped at 7.5%. The tenure of working capital loans provided to MSMEs under ECLGS 1.0 has been extended from four years to five years. Earlier, a moratorium of one year was given on principal repayment. Now it has been extended by a year. So MSMEs, which have availed loans under the scheme can now pay only the interest amount in the first two years and the rest of the interest and principal in the next three years. Those MSMEs covered under ECLGS 1.0 can now avail additional loan up to 10% of the outstanding amount as on February 29, 2020. Earlier, they could avail loan up to 20% of their debt outstanding as on February 29, 2020. The existing limit of `500 crore debt outstanding under ECLGS 3.0, which is for businesses from hospitality, travel and tourism, leisure and sporting sectors, has been removed. Social security net for next of kin of workers succumbing to Covid New Delhi: All dependent family members of insured persons under the ESIC who succumb to Covid, will be entitled to receive the same level of benefits as is given for death due to employment injury, the labour ministry said | P7 However, the additional loan that can be availed has been limited to 40% (of debt outstanding) or `200 crore, whichever is lower. Aviation has been included in the list of eligible sectors under ECLGS 3.0. Under ECLGS 2.0, 26 distressed sectors were eligible for a maximum of 20% of the debt outstanding as on February 29, 2020. Meanwhile, Indian Banking Association chairman Rajkiran G Rai said that so far `2.55 lakh crore has been sanctioned under the ECLGS scheme, of which `2.4 lakh crore has been disbursed. 300% spike in Covid cases across Assam’s tea gardens MONSOON DELAYED? India will win, howsoever big the challenge: Modi Window of credit guarantee opens for hospitals & aviation sector EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Kolkata FIRE-FIGHTING Rescue ships, including those of Indian Coast Guard, fighting flames to salvage container vessel MV X-Press Pearl, off Colombo port, on Sunday. The vessel has been burning for 11 consecutive days | AFP AT a time when the national daily case count is steadily easing, the tea gardens in Assam seem to be bucking the trend by registering a whopping 300% spike in infection in 10 days among the workers. The number of cases in 220 estates stood at 1,851 with 14 fatalities on May 19. By May 28, the numbers soared to 6,146 spread over 370 estates with 43 deaths, prodding the state government on Saturday to sanc- tion walk-in jabs for the workers in 18-44 age group. The efficacy of the walk-in drive, however, is doubtful as CM Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said the state was low on stocks and the arrival of the next tranche was a week away . As of now, the affected tea estate’s labour lines, where workers are lodged, have been declared containment zones, with the patients being sent to Covid care facilities on the estate. However, not all estates are equipped with care centres, with only 271 having them. SA N C H O R WTA V E ECOND AG Life in the time of pandemic: The village scene K E Z H I L A R A SA N @ Tiruchy TAMIL NADU THOUGH the focus of Covid combat has now steadily shifted from Chennai to the West of State, news reports and social media posts have, however, only engrossed in the grievances of city residents. Even if a vegetable cart comes late to a city street, netizens grouse about it all over the internet tagging authorities, who soon set into motion a resolution. So, are we aware of how the villages in Tamil Nadu are fight- Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Door-to-door screening at a village under Andhanallur union | EXPRESS MAY 29 MAY 30 30,016 28,864 31,759 32,982 486 493 ing this pandemic, and what challenges they face? For instance, take the villages that fall under Andhanallur union in Tiruchy district. There are 25 village panchayats comprising a total of 112 villages under this union. With the support of local body representatives, the block development officers formed 104 teams, who have been conducting door-to-door screening here since May 27. The volunteers were provided with oximeters, thermal scanners, and forms to fill in details. The volunteers visit every household in the village and check residents’ oxygen level and temperature, after enquiring about any recent illness or symptoms. If any villager indicates any infection risk, the volunteers immediately alert it to the block medical officer. P5
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