tirupati l wednesday l june 02, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l anantapur EDITION Buzz on ‘modi admirer’ judge Arun Mishra as NHRC chief The retired SC judge’s name was reportedly pushed through by the Centre at a five-member selection panel meeting Modi-led panel clears it, Kharge dissents The committee, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cleared the names of Justice Mishra and two others – ex-IB director Rajeev Jain and former chief justice of Jammu & Kashmir HC Mahesh Mittal Kumar. Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge, the lone member who is not from the ruling NDA, dissented citing lack of consultation prior to the meeting ■ 5 months No Dalit candidates in shortlist ■ Kharge raised a specific point of dissent about the lack of any candidates from the Dalit, Adivasi or minority communities While serving as an SC judge, Justice Mishra had raised eyebrows when he described PM Modi as a “visionary who could think globally and act locally” in a public function nO full-time head FOR n.h.r.c. after Justice H L Dattu retired IN DEC ’20 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 Test positivity Flu shots for kids can cut Covid rush at hospitals: Experts eXPR E S S n E W S s E RVIC E @ New Delhi / Bengaluru / Hyderabad District unlock norms include 70% vax among vulnerable ones AMID concerns that children, who are not vaccinated against Covid-19, might be the biggest casualty in the next pandemic wave, the Centre on Tuesday said it will soon issue guidelines for Covid-19 management in kids and prepare hospital infrastructure to face any influx of child patients. However, Dr V K Paul, Niti Aayog member (health) and chairman of national Covid-19 task force, on Tuesday said that so far, only 2-3% of Covid-infected kids have required hospital care. Dr Paul, who himself is a paediatrician, averred that available scientific evidence suggests that children are less susceptible to severe disease. He said the government is nevertheless prepared for any exigency. “We will strengthen our facilities as required and do an audit of what is required and what might be required in a worst-case scenario,” he said. According to public health E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e MAY 31 NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths june 1 1,52,734 1,27,510 2,38,022 2,55,287 3,128 2,795 May 31 25,52,501 doses June 1 22,08,941 doses Total doses: 21,83,58,591 Jab-o-meter statewide MAY 31 june 1 7,943 19,845 98 11,303 18,257 104 Samples tested 83,461 93,000 shots will not protect them from the risk of Covid-19 infection. However, it will help avoid the confusion if the cough, cold and fever in children are due to Covid-19 or influenza. “The Indian Paediatric Society has recommended vaccinating children to only reduce the need for Covid testing, decrease the burden on the healthcare system and protect children from influenza and not because the flu shot will prevent Covid-19. They are two different vaccines,” he added. CONTINUED ON P7 CBSE Class XII boards nixed E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e Possible evaluation criteria @ New Delhi Prakash (70) visits Bairagi Patteda PHC in Tirupati on Tuesday to get a jab | Madhav K People with special needs struggle to get vaccinated should be given jabs at their doorstep, he added. Persons with disabilities Prakash (70), who was ad(PWDs) are finding it increas- ministered Covid vaccine at ingly difficult to wait for long Bairagi Patteda PHC, said his hours in the queue at vaccina- son accompanied him in an tion centres to get a Covid jab auto to the vaccination centre in the absence of any special as he could not walk for a long arrangements for them. distance. “It took a longer duraAccording to official statis- tion to get the Covid jab as there tics, there are 90,000 people who is no separate queue or any othare categorised under er facility at the vaccidifferently-abled and nation centre for peophysically challenged Over 1 cr take ple like me,’’ he said. Covid vax sections in Chittoor MCT Commissioner district. They consti- Vijayawada: The PS Girisha said vacciState crossed a nation of PWDs at tute 2.15 per cent of milestone on the total population. their doorstep may A senior official on Tuesday as over lead to misuse of vaccondition of anonym- one crore people cine. Hence, the MCT ity said under the took Covid jabs. has not allowed it. He, Rights of Persons With In all, 1,00,74,471 however, said the MCT Disabilities, a separate frontline workers will ensure that PWDs queue should be ar- and people aged are not made to wait in ranged for them at above 45 got the long queues and given Covid vaccine vaccination centres Covid jabs soon after and they should be givtheir arrival at the en vaccine on a priority basis vaccination centres. to ensure that they do not have Dr Thasleem, Director of Abto wait for longer time in the haya Kshethram, which works queue. The responsibility lies for the welfare of physically with the vaccination officer challenged, said the problem concerned, he said. needs to be discussed to avoid Under the Disaster Manage- any hardship to PWDs in getment Act, there is a provision ting Covid jabs at vaccination for PWDs, which ensures provi- centres. Special arrangements sion of health care at their should also be made for mendoorstep. Since PWDs come un- tally retarded people at the vacder vulnerable categories, they cination centres, she added. S r i K r i s h n a K u m m a r a @ Tirupati Take your shot Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Change in virus behaviour a cause of concern The Centre cautioned that even though Covid-19 has not taken a serious shape among children till now, its impact can increase among them if there is a change in virus behaviour or epidemiology dynamics which the coronavirus uses to enter the human cells, compared to adults, he added. While some doctors have advocated flu shots for kids to guard against Covid, a senior paediatrician in AIIMS, Delhi said it may not be suitable for India. “The flu shots are prepared for influenza virus strains prevalent in Europe,” he said. Expressing similar views, Dr Jagadish Chinappa, a consultant child specialist at Manipal Hospitals in Bengaluru, said vaccinating children with flu Decision taken so as to end anxiety among students, parents and teachers, says Modi; most states, however, had suggested pen-and-paper test; CISCE board follows suit @ New Delhi The Centre on Tuesday listed two crucial parameters for opening up districts after weeks of heavy restrictions to contain Covid-19: test positivity rate of less than 5% for at least a week; and a minimum of 70% vaccination coverage for the vulnerable groups. There are 344 districts in India as of now that have a positivity rate of under 5%. But there is no publicly available data yet on the districts that are anywhere near the 70% cut-off point of vaccination among vulnerable groups. The vulnerable population comprises people above the age of 60 as also the 45 + with comorbidities. “Gradual lifting (of lockdown) will not witness a massive surge. However, we have to ensure that vaccination is prioritised. The vaccination rate for the vulnerable population must be up to 70% and Covid-appropriate behaviour should be followed,” said Balram Bhargava, ICMR Director General. The World Health Organisation recommends a positivity rate of under 5% for at least two weeks before an outbreak can be considered to be under control in a geography . As coronavirus cases across India are now showing a declining trend, many states that had resorted to lockdowns are slowly opening up but some like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Chhattisgarh have extended the Covid-related curbs with specific relaxations. The weekly test positivity rate across India was 8.31% on Monday while the daily positivity rate that had crossed 22% in early May, tapered down to 6.62% on the last day of the month. Thirty states reported a decline in active cases since last week, which now stands at 18.95 lakh. expert Chandrakant Lahariya, serosurveys have shown prevalence of infection was similar across all age groups. “So, a large number of kids may have been affected already he point,” ed out. But not many kids became seriously ill. This is because children have smaller number of ACE 2 receptors, express read Former Chief Secy SV Prasad passes away Hyderabad/Vijayawada: SV Prasad, former Chief Secretary of erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh, passed away on Tuesday. He was undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at a corporate hospital in Hyderabad for the last few days. He was 69. He contracted the virus thrice despite getting jabs. He worked as principal secretary for over 10 years for three CMs – N Janardhan Reddy, K Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy and N Chandrababu Naidu. The Centre on Tuesday decided to scrap the Class XII CBSE board examinations this year, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying at a high-level meeting that the “health and safety of our students is of utmost importance and there would be no compromise on this aspect.” Evaluation of marks will be made based on an objective criterion prepared by the board in a time-bound manner, the government said but the formula was released immediately . Sources in the CBSE said there might be changes in the evaluation criteria it had proposed earlier, according to which results of classes IX, X and XI, apart from internal assessments through Class XII, will be weighed in for scoring the students. “It has now been decided that Class X results and internal assessment of Class XII alone will be taken into account for preparing the final results and the detailed criteria will be released soon,” a senior CBSE official said. It has also been decided that for some of the students who may not be satisfied with @ Vijayawada Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL), which has been bridging the gap between demand and supply of medical oxygen in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, has imported three cryogenic oxygen tanks from Singapore. The tanks, which are expected to reach Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday night or early Thursday, will be handed over to the State gov- ernment. Each cryogenic tank with a capacity of 1.4 crore litres of medical oxygen (total 4.2 crore litres) to meet the present and future needs of the State. A special defence flight from Singapore landed with the tanks at 6 PM at Pangarh Air Force Station in West Bengal on Tuesday and the tanks were moved to Durgapur Steel Factory, 35 km away, for filling them with oxygen. “After the filling, the three tanks will be transported via rail route, and While there is no official word yet, CBSE might just take Class X results and internal assessment of Class XII into account for preparing the final results 3 Students who want the option of written tests will get it when the Covid situation improves Health and safety... is of utmost importance.... In today’s time, such exams cannot be the reason to put our youth at risk. All stakeholders need to show sensitivity for students - Narendra Modi, prime minister the results, an option to write papers will be offered when the Covid situation is conducive. The decision to cancel the board exams came even though all states and Union Territories — barring Delhi and Maharashtra — had given written consent for conducting the penand-paper mode tests. The decision was taken after wide-ranging consultations, including a deliberation presided over by Modi and a second one by Union defence minister Ra- The total global debt has reached $281 trillion — a whopping 340% of total global GDP of $84.5 trillion — according to the International Institute of Finance, raising concerns that the Covid-hit world is living beyond its means. The situation has been aggravated by increasing inflation and job losses. Here’s a look at how some major global and Asian economies are faring Country Japan US France South Korea Brazil UK India Germany Vietnam China Total debt Debt/ Consumer Unemployment ($tn) GDP (%) inflation(%) rate (%) 10.94 28.16 3 1.77 1.42 3.022 2.27 2.66 0.13 7.5 217% 134.50% 117% 110% 99% 97.50% 84% 70% 48.50% 47% -0.50% 4.20% 1.20% 2.30% 6.80% 1.50% 4.29% 2% 2.70% 0.90% 2.8 6.1 7.9 3.5 14.7 4.9 8 4.5 NA 5.1 Note: Debt/GDP ratio measures the ability of a country to repay its debt. A higher debt/GDP (usually over 100%) is not considered healthy for an economy Consumer Inflation data as of April; unemployment figures are latest available data Source: Govt bureaus, IIF, Moody’s Analytics will reach Andhra Pradesh by Wednesday night or Thursday morning,” said MEIL vicepresident P Rajesh Reddy . MEIL has already imported 11 cryogenic tanks from Bangkok (Thailand) and handed over them to the Telangana government free of cost. Cryogenic tanks are critical in transportation of liquid medical oxygen. They are short in number that led to a gap between demand and supply of LMO in several States during P4 Covid. One proposal doing the rounds earlier was for the CBSE to consider the results of classes IX, X and XI, apart from internal assessments in Class XII, to arrive at the final score so that this does not become a zero year 2 Health of global economy MEIL imports 3 cryogenic oxygen tanks for AP E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e 1 jnath Singh. “In view of the uncertain conditions due to Covid-19 and the feedback obtained from various stakeholders, it was decided that Class XII board exams would not be held this year. It was also decided that CBSE will take steps to compile the results of Class XII students as per a well-defined objective criterion in a time-bound manner,” the PMO said in a statement. The PM underlined that while the pandemic has affected the academic calendar, the issue of board examination has been causing immense anxiety among students, parents and teachers, which must be put to an end. “The Covid situation is dynamic across the country While . the numbers are coming down in the country and some states are managing the situation through effective micro-containment, some have still opted for lockdowns,” the PM was quoted having said in the meeting. “Students, parents and teachers are naturally worried about the health of the students in such a situation. Students should not be forced to appear for exams in such a stressful situation,” he added in the meeting where apart from Rajnath Singh, other ministers like Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan and Smriti Irani, and top officials were present. Meanwhile, following the decision on the CBSE, the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, the country’s largest private education board, also announced its decision to cancel its Class XII board (ISC) exam for this year. DOCS boycott duty for stipend hike E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ Vijayawada Senior Resident Doctors (SRDs) and final year PG doctors in the State boycotted duties on Tuesday protesting against the delay in clearing their pending stipend hike from January 2020. The SRD Association said PG first and second year doctors will also join the stir if the government fails to respond to their demand in the next two days. At present, 300 SRDs and 800 final year PG doctors are working in various govern- ment hospitals in the State. They had given prior notice to the managements of hospitals about their boycott. PG first and second year doctors are discharging their duties to avoid any i n c o nv e n i e n c e t o patients. Speaking to TNIE, Dr N Ram Kishan, general secretary of the AP SRDs Association, said they were left with no option but to boycott duties to bring pressure on the government as there was no response from it despite making several representations to it in the P5 last several months. double tragedy Boy with euthanasia plea dies at court E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ Chittoor A 9-year-old boy suffering from a rare blood disorder died on the premises of Punganur court on Tuesday when his mother brought him to the court to file a euthanasia petition. Harshavardhan of Beerjepalli village in Chowdepalli mandal was suffering from the rare blood disorder for the past four years. His mother G Aruna was making rounds of the Punganur court for the past two days to file a petition seeking government aid for her son’s medical treatment or allow them to opt for mercy killing. According to Aruna, Harshavardhan fell from the ter race of their house four years ago and he was confined to bed. He developed a disorder by which blood oozes out of his nose and mouth and even when he relieves himself. In the initial days, Aruna’s husband Mani too supported her efforts in saving their only son. But later he abandoned her as all their efforts went in vain. Aruna, however, did not lose hope and continued her spirited fight to save her son Harshavardhan. P4
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