kannur l monday l may 31, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l 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 MA N ISH 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 300% spike in Covid cases across Assam’s tea gardens 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 s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kochi @ Kolkata Monsoon delayed? 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 W ITH THI S I S S U E THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) 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 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 1,73,790 1,65,553 2,84,601 2,76,309 3,617 3,460 statewide Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 29 23,513 28,100 198 MAY 30 MAY 30 19,894 29,013 186 Fact-finding team of CPM MPs denied nod to visit Lakshadweep for now E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e 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 i n 1 0 d ay s a m o n g t h e 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 sanction walkin jabs for the workers in 1844 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. 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 The ADM (Additional District Magistrate) informed us to ‘plan the proposed visit on a later date considering the Covid situation’ Elamaram Kareem, MP L’Dweep MP to meet Shah Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal will meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday with a request to recall the administrator of the islands. As the controversy over the sweeping new rules in Lakshadweep rages, the administration has denied permission to a delegation of CPM MPs to undertake a fact-check visit to the island and “study the impact of developmental activities and other reforms”. “Today the ADM (Addition, al District Magistrate) informed us to ‘plan the proposed visit on a later date considering the Covid situation’,” said Elamaram Kareem, leader of CPM MPs in the Rajya Sabha. A three-member delegation of MPs from Kerala led by Kareem, V Sivadasan (Rajya Sab- ha) and A M Ariff had written to Praful Khoda Patel, administrator, Union Territory of Lakshadweep, on Saturday seeking permission to visit the islands for two days between May 31 and June 7 “as per the convenience of the administration and following all government guidelines”. “Being elected Members of Parliament, it is our right to visit any place in the country and we expect the authorities concerned of the UT of Lakshadweep will facilitate our visit,” Kareem’s letter had said. But, the denial of permission, he said, was to avoid the world knowing the reality. “They wanted to delay our visit and avoid the world coming to know of the ground reality ,” Kareem said. Meanwhile, the state government will move a resolution in the assembly against the new regulations on the Lakshadweep islands. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will move the resolution expressing solidarity with the people of Lakshadweep during the zero hour of the assembly The Opposition . has already extended its support for the special resolution to be brought under Rule 118. There will be no question hour on Monday . Earlier, the request to move a unanimous resolution was considered by the assembly’s Business Advisory Commit● More on P4 tee. Window of credit guarantee opens for hospitals & aviation sector E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ 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 Covid-19 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 Extension of ban on int’l flights leaves expats in dire straits P o o j a N a i r @Kozhikode The extension of the ban on international flights to Gulf countries till June 30 has come as a major blow to lakhs of expatriates in the state who were hoping to return to their places of work at the earliest. Earlier, the Central government had banned commercial flights till June 14. The decision, taken in view of the rising Covid cases in the country , comes at a time when the expatriate community is demanding that the ban on flights to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait be lifted. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation had, on May 28, announced that international passenger flights will not restart operations until June 30. At the same time, the restriction was not applied to international all-cargo flights, and flights scheduled under the travel bubble arrangements. Since March 2020, there has been a ban on international flights. According to experts, though over 14 lakh expatriates had reached the state since March last year, some, especially health care workers, had re- turned. Though the Saudi government had extended visas and duration by up to six months during the first wave of the pandemic last year, a similar approach has not yet been taken this time. The situation in other countries is no different. According to the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre, while over eight lakh expatriates from Kerala are waiting to return to the UAE, nearly two lakh Malayalees are awaiting return to Saudi Arabia, 1.5 lakh to Qatar, 1.25 lakh to Oman and over 50,000 people to other countries. Ibrahim Murichandi, the state vice-president of Dubai KMCC, said, “Several Gulf countries were willing to ply special flights in the previous wave due to pressure from various organisations.” However, there has been no such consideration this year. According to him, the expatriates were initially worried about not receiving the vaccine on time. “The state government has addressed this issue by prioritising people who work and study abroad for the vaccine jabs. But the decision to extend the ban has affected people’s plans further,” he ● More on P4 said. 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. 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. 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. 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. express read Disciplinary action against Rema unlikely T’Puram: Disciplinary proceedings will not be initiated against K K Rema for wearing a badge featuring the late husband T P Chandrasekharan’s photo during the swearing-in ceremony. Sources said Speaker M B Rajesh decided against initiating the action on account of Rema being a greenhorn in the parliamentary proceedings. Sasikala hints at political comeback 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 Chennai: V K Sasikala, eased out from the AIADMK years ago, has hinted at resumption of efforts to regain control of the party, a political comeback, by telling her supporters that there would soon be a “good decision.” Sasikala said she could not see the party getting ruined due to “infighting.” India will win, howsoever big the challenge: Modi E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ 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. Referring 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 pro. , duction has gone up to 9,500 metric tonnes a day he said. ,”
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