HYDERABAD WEDNESDAY JUNE 02, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY 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 NO DALIT CANDIDATES IN SHORTLIST 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 ■ ■ 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 5 months 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 Flu shots for children can cut Covid rush at hospitals, say experts EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi / Bengaluru / Hyderabad AMID concerns that children, who are not vaccinated against the coronavirus, 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 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 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 said. But not many kids became seriously ill. This is because unlike adults, children have smaller number of ACE 2 receptors, which the coronavirus uses to enter human cells, he added. District unlock norms include 70% vax among vulnerable ones 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 kids with flu shots will not protect them from the risk of Covid-19 infection. However, it will help avoid the confu- sion 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 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE POSSIBLE EVALUATION CRITERIA @ New Delhi @ New Delhi MAY 31 NATIONWIDE 1,52,734 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths JAB-O-METER JUNE 1 1,27,510 2,38,022 2,55,287 3,128 2,795 TAKE YOUR SHOT May 31 25,52,501 doses June 1 22,08,941 doses TOTAL DOSES: 21,83,58,591 TELANGANA Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 31 JUNE 1 2,524 3,464 18 2,493 3,308 15 QUIET REMEMBRANCE The Telangana High Court lit up on the eve of the State’s 8th Formation Day, on Tuesday. Greeting citizens on the occasion, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao called for solemn celebrations in view of the pandemic. He said that his government has chalked out long-term plans for the development of Telangana HC asks TS why it’s still letting hosps fleece public EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad THE Telangana High Court, on Tuesday, cornered the State government over its failure to implement several of the former’s directions on controlling Covid-19. A division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B Vijayasen Reddy asked the government why its order on a uniform fee for Covid-19 treatment at private hospitals was not being implemented in the State. The bench also wanted to know why a G.O. was not issued, revising the maximum fee chargeable for treatment at private hospitals. Expressing concern over reports of people mortgaging their gold ornaments to pay private hospitals for Covid-19 care, the division bench wondered how the government could remain callous about the trials and tribulations of patients and their attendants. The bench further asked why an advisory committee to guide the government on combating the pandemic was not constituted, and when the 14 new RTPCR laboratories would begin functioning. The High Court, expressing deep dissatisfaction over the report submitted by the Medical and Health Department, asked the government why the affidavit was silent on a few other suggestions it had made in the past. “Do you want to do everything at a later date? You don’t do anything P4 now?” the bench asked. TS’ jobless rate climbs again E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad TELANGANA’S unemployment rate, which had gradually declined after the first wave of the pandemic, has begun rising yet again, in the wake of the second wave. As per the monthly data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), Telangana’s unemployment rate had gone down to 4.3 per cent in January 2021, and has increased to 7.4 , per cent in May 2021. , During the first wave, in May 2020, the State’s unemploy, ment rate had hit a record high of 14.7 per cent, which gradually declined over the last few months. In November, 2020, the unemployment rate in the State was at 1.6 per cent. P4 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 1 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 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- Health of global economy 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 Forever indebted to cops & govts, says techie freed from Pak jail P I N T O D E E PA K @ Hyderabad PRASHANTH Vadinam’s release from the Pakistani jail he was lodged in for a year came sooner than anticipated for his family In fact, the techie him. self didn’t expect to be released immediately after his prison sentence. “They (Pakistani officials) were going to brand me a spy, and I would have faced charges for the same too. But very soon, they found out that I was not in the country for spying,” said Prashanth, who was Mumbai: Covid infection among children is soaring in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, the latest report by the state health department shows. As many as 9,416 positive cases among children below 18 years of age were reported from Ahmednagar. In April, 757 positive cases were reported among children below five years, while there were 1,510 cases of infections among the 5-10 year-olds, and 5,340 among 11-18 year-olds. In March, 188 children below the age of five years were infected. This number was higher among the 6-10 years age group at 270, and even higher among the 11-18 years category – 1,173 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 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE 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 Organization 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. RISING CHILD COVID PATIENT COUNT IN MAHARASHTRA ADDS TO WORRY caught crossing the Pakistan border illegally in 2017. After he was deported and handed over to the emigration officials at Attari border, the Cyberabad police escorted him to the city on Tuesday where he , was reunited with his elder brother Srikanth. They left for their native place in Visakhapatnam, where his family currently resides, after completing all the official formalities. It was earlier reported that Prashanth had left his home in Hyderabad in 2017, and set out Prashanth Vadinam, after his release from the Kot Lakhpat Central Jail in Lahore, Pakistan to Switzerland on foot to meet his lover. He later confirmed that he wanted to travel to Switzerland for personal reasons, and that he decided to walk all the way to the country as he did not have sufficient funds. His family who thought he had gone , missing, had lodged a complaint with the police back then. Cyberabad Commissioner of Police VC Sajjanar said though they had registered a missing case, their investigation did not yield any result for a long time. “Finally, we learnt about his whereabouts. We thank the Union Home Ministry and the External Affairs Ministry for taking special interest in the case and bringing Prashanth home,” he said. Thanking the Police Department, State and Central gover nments for his release, Prashanth said that he would forever be indebted to them. “There are several people from India languishing in Pakistani jails. But I am one of the fortunate few to return home safe,” he said. CONTINUED ON P2 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 P7 (ISC) exam for this year. KIMS, SUNSHINE ALSO LOSE PERMITS D O N I TA J O S E @ Hyderabad NEARLY 2,046 beds for critical and moderate cases of Covid-19 now cease to exist after Telangana government cancelled the permits of 22 hospitals within the last four days. On Tuesday as well, in a drastic move to curb excess charges levied by hospitals, the Health Department cancelled permits for treatment of Covid-19 for two major corporate hospitals in the city. This includes Sunshine Hospital in Gachibowli and KIMS Hospital in Secunderabad. These two alone contributed majorly to the beds availability in the State with 231 and 539 beds respectively . Apart from these two, Century Hospital in Banjara Hills, Lotus Hospital in Lakdikapul, Medisys Hospital in LB Nagar and Integro Hospital in Rethibowli were also put under suspension from Covid-19 treatment. While the move is winning all round praise as it takes away the chance from hospitals to make more money the , citizens are asking why the government is not making the hospitals refund those patients who were charged in excess. In fact, the Telangana High Court, earlier in the day wanted to know from the government why it had not taken any steps to ensure refunds of the exorbitant fee collected by the private hospitals. “I was charged `5 lakh for my brother’s admission. After four days, the hospital asked us to just take him away when they could not do anything anymore. He died within five hours of re-admission into a new hospital,” said Syed Khadar Pasha, brother of a Covid victim from Zaheerabad. SV PRASAD SUCCUMBS TO CORONAVIRUS Former Chief Secretary of integrated Andhra Pradesh SV Prasad died of Covid-19 on Tuesday. He was under treatment at a corporate hospital in Hyderabad for the last few days. He was 69 | P5
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