MADURAI MONDAY JUNE 07, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 28 LATE CITY EDITION DELTA VARIANT IS 40% MORE INFECTIOUS THAN ALPHA: UK British authorities said the Delta strain is 40% more virulent and leads to twice the number of hospitalisations than Alpha DATA SHOWS VACCINATED ARE PROTECTED CABINET TO DECIDE ON UNLOCK ON JUNE 14 While Delta was first found in India, Alpha preceded it and was detected in UK initially. Health secretary Matt Hancock said of the 9,427 cases in hospital due to Delta in the last two days, only seven (0.07%) were from the fully vaccinated group. However, Britain’s former health advisor Neil Ferguson pegged the Delta strain’s virulence at 60% higher than Alpha ■ ■ ■ Amid an intensified vaccination drive, the Delta variant would figure on top of the June 14 Cabinet meeting to decide on unlock The Alpha variant was estimated to be 40-80% more infectious than the Covid samples collected in November last year Britain’s R-rate, or rate of infection, has risen over the past week >50% OF ENGLAND’S POPULATION HAS BEEN FULLY VACCINATED 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 Twitter will not lose legal cover, contend experts Say consequences of it losing intermediary status may not be visible for quite some time K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi AMID the ongoing face-off between the Centre and social media platforms, legal experts opined that the latter would not be liable directly for messages posted by users on their websites, in view of Section 79 of the Information and Technology Act, 2000. Microblogging site Twitter was on Saturday served a final notice to comply with the new IT rules that mandate the platform to appoint India-based compliance and grievance officers among other clauses, failing which it will face consequences. But Supreme Court advocate K V Dhananjay said, “If we assume that Twitter loses protection under Section 79, even then it does not automatically suffer because user A posts a message that user B thinks is defamatoWITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST ry to him. User B simply cannot rush to a criminal court against Twitter on the ground of criminal defamation.” He reasoned that “if Twitter cannot be shown to be specifically aware of such content on its website, it cannot be imputed with criminal intent. Unless a criminal court is prima facie satisfied with Twitter intentionally hosting the content in question, it cannot issue summons to Twitter to stand trial, as police investigations do not happen in criminal defamation cases.” Domain expert and lawyer Akur Raheja said, “Though the government is right now concentrating on giant social media companies only the scope of , new intermediary guidelines is wide enough to bring in its preview many SMEs as well like domain/hosting or other small online companies.” YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) Clean Ganga crematoriums could have offered dignity to the dead R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi HUNDREDS of Covid-19 victims whose bodies were thrown into the river Ganga or were buried in the river banks could have got a dignified final farewell if only the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) had finished constructing crematoriums along the serpentine river in time. The NMCG was sanctioned to construct 33 ghats and crematoriums at a cost of `833 crore in Bihar and UP under the Centre’s ambitious Namami Gange Programme. A majority of these projects were sanctioned between 2016 and 2019 with a target to complete them by March 2021. But an analysis of the progress data available with the NMCG shows that just over 51% of the projects have been completed. In the rest, work is either still in progress or tenders are being floated for identifying the contractors. Of the 33 projects, 17 have been completed, 13 are under progress, two are in the tendering stage while one is yet to be tendered. Eighteen of the ghats and crematoriums are in UP and 15 in Bihar. Last month, bodies of suspected Covid patients were found floating in the Ganga. The decomposed bodies were first found in Bihar’s Buxar but later more were discovered in UP districts also. Although an inquiry is still under way to ascertain the cause, it is suspected that the existing crematoriums in Bihar and UP could not take the load of the pandemic victims and the bodies had to be thrown into the river. Days after the bodies washed ashore, hundreds of bodies were found loosely buried in the river banks in Unnao and Badohi districts of UP, begging the question that had the ghats and crematoriums been completed, would the suspected Covid victims be insulted in death. The bodies were found in six districts of UP — Mirzapur, Kanpur, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Ballia and Ghazipur — and three of Bihar: Buxar, Saran and Patna. CONTINUED ON: P8 STATUS CHECK 33 Total ghats & crematorium projects in UP, Bihar sanctioned H833 cr FUNDS ALLOCATED FOR THE PROJECT PROGRESS OF PROJECTS UP Bihar Fully completed 13 4 75-99% work done 1 3 50-75% work done 1 1 25-50% work done - 3 Less than 25% work 1 3 Tendering process on for 2 others; not even that for one project STATE-WISE BREAKUP OF GHATS & CREMATORIUMS IN FIVE GANGA STATES Work in State Total Completed progress Tendering process Bihar 15 4 10 1 UP 18 13 3 2 West Bengal 29 24 5 Jharkhand 4 3 1 Uttarakhand 13 11 1 1 New system to book vax slots succumbs to overwhelming traffic L A L I T H A R A N J A N I @ Madurai THE overwhelming response for the newly-introduced system of pre-booking slots through tele-registration for Covid-19 vaccination at Elango Corporation School led the server to crash on Saturday. Steps are underway to intro- duce registration through weblink as a supplementary method to book slots. The teleregistration system by GRH management in association with the civic society ‘Covidfree Madurai’ helps in prebooking slots. “While a maximum of 245 slots per day were booked (on June 3 for vaccination on June 4) one day prior so far through the tele-registration system, the booking process was stopped within a few hours after starting as the servers crashed due to heavy call traffic,” said sources.JK Muthu who is one of the lead volunteers of ‘Covid-free Madurai’, a civic society that handles the tele-registration system said, “According to the pre-registration system, calls to the helpline number 7823995550 from 9 am to 4 pm would be received by one of the 10 volunteers. who would ask the public details. An SMS would be sent in a few minutes allocating the slots. A call takes about two minutes of conversation to book a slot.” At the peak hours of registration, the caller would go through IVRS system where the public are asked to send a message stating the details that are usually asked by the volunteers,” he said. P5
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