HYDERABAD FRIDAY JUNE 04, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 28 LATE CITY EDITION ‘GAUTAM GAMBHIR FOUNDATION HOARDED COVID DRUG FABIFLU’ Delhi govt’s drug controller told the Delhi HC that the Foundation bought and distributed the Covid medicine without a licence CAUSED INCONVENIENCE TO PATIENTS: DELHI HC The HC was hearing a PIL alleging politicians procure huge quantities of Covid drugs even as patients were running from pillar to post to get them. The bench noted that while the BJP MP did a lot of charity, he also caused inconvenience to patients. The HC directed that action be taken against the Foundation as well as others who made unauthorised sales ■ 2,628 AAP MLA, TOO, GUILTY OF SIMILAR OFFENCE ■ The court, however, ordered that no action be taken against those purchasing drugs on the black market out of desperation AAP MLA Praveen Kumar has also been found guilty for similar offences under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and action will be taken against him, the court was informed STRIPS OF FABIFLU WERE BOUGHT USING A DOCTOR’S PRESCRIPTION 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 Services activity contracts to 8-month low in May EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi ACTIVITY in India’s services sector, which contributes the most to the country’s economy , contracted in May as reintroduction of Covid restrictions across the country dented demand, a monthly survey said on Thursday . The Nikkei/IHS Markit Services Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to an eight-month low of 46.4 in May from 54.0 in April, sliding below the 50-level by a big margin. An index below 50 means contraction. The dismal performance of the services sector, the worst in eight months, was accentuated by a drastic fall in new business orders, which forced companies to cut jobs at the fastest pace since October. High demand for MGNREGA work Demand for work under the rural job scheme has shot up in the past two months, data from the MGNREGA portal show. In March, 3.36 crore people opted for rural work; this zoomed to 3.52 crore in May and 3.61 cr in April | P10 Despite active Covid cases falling, localised lockdowns in many states have kept the services activities low. “While PMI data released at the start of the month showed that the manufacturing industry managed to keep its head above water in May the servic, es sector struggled as the pandemic escalated,” noted Pollyanna De Lima, economics associate director at IHS Markit. “The intensification of the Covid-19 crisis and associated restrictions suppressed domestic and international demand for Indian services,” she added. The survey highlighted that the overall demand contracted at the sharpest rate since August with foreign demand shrinking at the fastest pace since November. A disturbing finding of the survey was that services companies are pessimistic about this quarter’s growth prospects as many firms intensified job cuttings. Decline in business expectation, according to the survey, may force firms to cut jobs further in the coming months. Last year also, the services sector had pushed thousands of people out of work. SC quashes sedition case against Dua EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Thursday quashed a sedition case against senior journalist Vinod Dua filed in Himachal Pradesh, saying a citizen has a right to criticise or comment upon measures taken by a government and its functionaries so long as he does not incite people to indulge in violence or create public disorder. The verdict comes days after another SC bench decided to examine the interpretation of sedition law, particularly on media rights and free speech. S e d i t i o n ch a r g e s we re slapped on Dua last year following his talk show criticising the Modi government’s handling of the Covid lockdown. But a bench led by Justice U U Lalit noted that Dua’s statements could at best be termed as disapprobation of actions of the government so as to get the situation addressed quickly . “They were certainly not made with the intent to incite people... The petitioner was within the permissible limits laid down in the decision of this court in Kedar Nath Singh. It may be that certain factual details...were not completely correct. It cannot be said that the petitioner crossed the limits set out in the decision of this court in Kedar Nath P7 Singh,” the bench said. FIERY BLOSSOM A Gulmohar tree in full bloom on the banks of Hussainsagar, in Hyderabad on Thursday | VINAY MADAPU ADVANCE PAYMENT TO BLOCK 30 CR BIOLOGICAL E VAX DOSES EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Centre on Thursday announced advance payment of `1,500 crore to Hyderabadbased vaccine maker Biological E for procuring its Covid vaccine, still under phase 3 clinical trials, marking its first such jab deal. The government had entered into purchase agreements with Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech only after their shots had received regulatory approvals. The advance payment is to secure 30 crore doses of the vaccine candidate, which is a foreign construct, being produced in India. The candidate consists of an antigen developed by Texas Children’s Hospital Centre for Vaccine Development, inlicensed from BCM Ventures, Baylor College of Medicine’s integrated commercialization team, along with Dynavax Technologies — all in the US. The Centre said the vaccine candidate is currently undergoing Phase 3 trials. The vaccine, based on RBD protein subunit — had been tested in about 360 people in early-stage trials and has approvals for late-stage trials in 1,268 volunteers in the 18-80 age group. FORMER Health Minister Eatala Rajender is expected to resign from his MLA post and quit the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Friday He will address . a press conference to announce his political roadmap. Rajender, who had met BJP president JP Nadda in Delhi recently may join the saffron fold , in the next four to five days. Once he resigns, the Huzurabad Assembly seat will fall va- cant, and a byelection will be conducted within six months of the Election Commission of India (ECI) notifying the vacancy . Rajender was first stripped of his Health portfolio on May 1, a day after he faced charges of encroaching assigned lands. On May 2, he was dismissed from the Cabinet. Subsequently Rajender met leaders of var, ious political parties and convened a series of meetings with his followers. It is not yet fully clear whether phase 3 trials have started in India. Biological E’s proposal was accepted after due diligence by a national expert group. YSR Telangana Party seeks EC nod Eatala to quit MLA post, sever ties with TRS today E N S @ Hyderabad Wait for a few months E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad THE proposed political outfit of YS Sharmila, sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, will be named ‘YSR Telangana Party’. As president of the party, Vaduka Rajagopal filed an application with the Election Commission of India (ECI), seeking its registration. According to an ECI notification, the last date for filing objections, if any to the registration of , the YSR Telangana Party is June 16, 2021. YS Vijayamma, honorary president of the YSR Congress Party has already informed the Commission , that she has no objection. ORGANISED CRIME Hyd-based Cloudgen admits to H-1B visa fraud EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad CLOUDGEN LLC, a Hyderabad-based tech firm which also has its office in Houston, US, has admitted to committing a major H-1B visa fraud by cheating several Indian techies. The visa fraud was committed from March 2013 to December 2020, during which Cloudgen made a profit of $493,516.28, by taking a percentage from the workers’ salaries as their fees, the De- partment of Justice (DOJ) said in the US. The company adoptin a statement on May 31. ed a bench and switch scheme Hyderabad-based Sasi Palin which they filed documents lempati is the president with the Departments of of the company which , Labor (DOL) and Homehas an office at Gachiland Security (DHS) conbowli, Hyderabad and taining fraudulent statealso in Canada and ments about the VISA Romania. availability of work at The company admitthird-party national emted before the Departployers. Cloudgen would ment of Justice, to recruiting then submit forged contracts multiple IT workers from India stating each third-party comand falsely procuring H-1B vi- pany had a job for the Indian P4 sas for them to enter and work national. Bench and switch scheme The firm adopted a bench and switch scheme, wherein they submitted fake documents and forged contracts to the Depts of Labour and Homeland Secuity Lockdown trims caseload, but TS Health Dept is alert State’s test positivity rate falls from 6% to 4% over last three weeks D O N I TA J O S E @ Hyderabad IT appears that the lockdown has helped de-stress Telangana’s overstretched health infrastructure. On Thursday Di, rector of Public Health (DPH) Dr G Srinivasa Rao announced that not only did the State’s test positivity rate (TPR) fall from 6 per cent to 4 per cent over the last three weeks, but its bed occupancy rate also plummeted to 26 per cent from nearly 55 per cent. In fact, 49 per cent of the State’s ICUs are now empty . However, the Health Department still has Khammam, Suryapet and Mahbubnagar districts on its radar. Speaking to the media here on Thursday , Dr Rao said, “We (DPH and Health Secretary) will visit these districts because the number of cases here is relatively higher by virtue of them sharing borders with Andhra Pradesh. We have also observed that unlike in the urban areas, where strict lockdown measures are being implemented, the rural areas often witness cross movement.” The problem areas identified Auto drivers wait for their vaccine shots at a special drive organised by the Telangana Transport Department in Hyderabad on Thursday | RVK RAO in these districts include Sathupally and Madhira in Khammam, Huzurnagar and Kodad in Suryapet, Maktal, Alampur and Gadwal in Jogulamba Gadwal, and Haliya in Nalgonda. “We will also meet the Superintendents of Police (SP) and Collectors to ensure that there are decentralised isolation centres in schools, halls etc. The Health Department will work in collaboration with the Panchayat Raj Department,” Dr Rao added. TELANGANA Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths JUNE 2 2,384 2,242 17 JUNE 2 JUNE 3 2,261 3,043 18 JUNE 3 1,32,788 1,34,154 2,31,456 2,11,499 3,207 2,887 June 2 22,45,112 doses June 3 26,24,971 doses TOTAL DOSES: 22,37,27,632 JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT
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