bhubaneswar l monday l june 07, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l 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 nu S a r d a @ New Delhi summons to Twitter to stand trial, as police investigations do Amid the ongoing face-off be- not happen in criminal defamatween the Centre and social me- tion cases. So, Twitter losing dia platforms, legal experts intermediary status only plays opined that the latter would not out slowly and the consequencbe liable directly for messages es may not be visible for quite posted by users on their web- some time.” sites, in view of Section 79 of Domain expert and lawyer the Information and Technolo- Akur Raheja said, “Though the gy Act, 2000. government is right now conMicroblogging site Twitcentrating on giant social ter was on Saturday media companies only, served a final notice to the scope of new intercomply with the new IT mediary guidelines is rules that mandate the wide enough to bring in platform to appoint Inits preview many SMEs dia-based compliance as well like domain/ and grievance officers hosting or other small As the law among other clauses, online companies. stands failing which it will Many of them could be Section 79 of the unaware of the comface consequences. IT Act protects But Supreme Court pliance requirements advocate K V Dhanan- intermediaries if right now.” jay said, “If we assume they unknowingAnother Supreme that Twitter loses pro- ly host illegal or Court lawyer D K Maunlawful contection under Section hant cited messaging 79, even then it does tent. When alert- platform Telegram’s ed about any not automatically sufcase, which he fought objectionable fer because user A before the Delhi High posts a message that content through Court. “There have user B thinks is defam- a court order or been various litigation by the Centre, atory to him. User B against Telegram, insimply cannot rush to they are expect- cluding a copyright ed to remove it a criminal court lawsuit, which I fought against Twitter on the before the Delhi High ground of criminal defama- Court this January. Telegram tion.” He reasoned that “if undertook before the high court Twitter cannot be shown to be to not only remove the identispecifically aware of such con- fied content but also any future tent on its website, it cannot be content within 48 hours of Telimputed with criminal intent. egram being informed of the Unless a criminal court is pri- copyright infringement. Hence, ma facie satisfied with Twitter in my view the provisions are intentionally hosting the con- working, the intermediaries tent in question, it cannot issue are following them,” he added. base erosion are Dalit-based parties losing ground? TNIE takes a look at why the popularity of parties that espoused the cause of the downtrodden is on a downward spiral and why Mayawati’s BSP seems to be imploding | P7 NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths june 5 june 6 1,20,529 1,14,460 1,97,894 1,89,232 3,380 2,677 June 5 31,20,451 doses June 6 33,53,539 doses Total doses: 23,13,22,417 Jab-o-meter Take your shot 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 Low pressure to end Odisha govt rolls out doorstep heat chain by June 10 delivery of oxygen concentrator E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar RELIEF from Covid transmission may take some time in Odisha but with the low pressure forming over north Bay of Bengal, it could break the heat and humidity chain in the State, finally . The system is expected to pull the south-west monsoon flow towards Odisha. As monsoon onset in Kerala has been late by two days, it was expected to reach Odisha late. But with the low pressure system, monsoon is expected to reach the State on June 9 or 10. Heavy rainfall is expected at few places in Odisha in these two days, said Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre Scientist, Umasankar Das. The Centre for Environment and Climate (CEC) at SOA University said the south-west monsoon is expected to move into parts of south Odisha by June 8 or 9. The monsoon current will be further strengthened in the next two to three days leading to formation of a low pressure area over north-west Bay of Bengal on June 10-11 along West Bengal-Odisha coast. This will facilitate advancement of the monsoon in the entire Odisha, it added. The system is likely to concentrate into a depression and trigger rain from June 10 night. Rainfall intensity will increase in coastal districts from June 11 evening. Thereafter, northern and western parts of the State will experience heavy to very heavy rainfall up to June 14, said CEC. This may provide relief in the State which has been reeling under intolerable conditions after cyclone Yaas left heavy moisture in its trail. On the day, Titlagarh was the hottest at 42.4 degree Celsius, followed by Sundargarh and Balangir at 41 degree each. Boudh and Bhawanipatna sizzled at 40 degree each, while Angul 39.7 degree, Sonepur 39.6 degree and Jharsuguda recorded 38.8 degree on the Continued on: P5 day . E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar In a much-needed respite for Covid patients in home isolation, the State government on Sunday rolled out doorstep delivery of oxygen concentrators in five cities. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the free service at Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela and Sambalpur. People can book the concentrators through the State Covid dashboard. “Odisha has been continuously upgrading healthcare facilities for the benefit of people. Availability of oxygen concentrators will give huge respite to patients looking for the equipment and strengthen our preparedness against current and future waves of Covid-19,” he said. Health department sources said the five municipal corporations have been provided with 1,000 oxygen concentrators, which will be made available to patients free of cost. odisha Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths june 5 7,395 7,616 40 june 6 7,002 7,358 42 The medical equipment will be given only to those whose oxygen saturation is below 94. Patients in home-isolation or those who have been discharged from hospital, but still require one to two litre of oxygen per day can book the concentrators through the Covid dashboard or covid19.odisha.gov.in app. Additional Chief Secretary of Health PK Mohapatra said the municipal corporations will monitor the requirement and delivery of the concentra- tors. Once a patient books a device, a rapid response team will visit the person’s house with the device and train the family members on its use. A leaflet mentioning the do’s and don’ts will also be given to the user, he said. The team will monitor the patient and when he/she gets better and no longer requires the concentrator, the device would be picked up to give it to the next needy patient. The entire service including doorstep delivery and pickup would be free, he added. The State has sourced more than 10,000 concentrators and the service will be extended to other district headquarters when needed. Vax sessions for 18+ expanded to 22 districts Bhubaneswar: The State government has decided to expand the Phase III of the Covid-19 vaccination of 18-44 age group to 22 more district headquarters. The decision to add more districts was taken after the State government received 2.27 lakh doses of Covishield on Saturday along with a commitment of getting 6.45 lakh doses more this month from the Serum Institute of India. The Health and Family Welfare department has listed 5.88 lakh beneficiaries in the 22 district headquarters that are going for Phase III vaccination from next week. Announce sector-specific relief packages, says SJM E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, on Sunday urged the Centre to announce relief packages for sectors facing stress due to the pandemic. In a resolution at its two-day national council meeting, the SJM also expressed concern at the astronomical cost of cost of medicare at private hospitals. Private healthcare providers should realise this is not the time for making profits, and ensure treatment with minimum cost, the outfit said. Incentives for MSMEs The SJM also sought a package for employment linked incentives to strengthen the MSME sector, adding the RBI should announce need-based moratorium to suit every sector and direct the banks for liberal monetary support Its resolution also sought enhanced fund allocation for the rural jobs scheme, called the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), which was conceived during the UPA regime and mocked at initially by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The outfit also demanded that the government come out with specific packages for varous sectors affected by the pandemic, including construction, fishing and horticulture. “The SJM firmly believes that the mayhem caused by the pandemic can be overcome only by concerted efforts of every section of the society In . this unprecedented difficult situation of the country, the SJM suggests to consider and extend fiscal support to the vulnerable sections of the society in addition to free food grains, besides substantially increasing the fund allocation for MGNREGA to support rural employment,” it said. express read BJP leader beaten to death in Mayurbhanj Baripada: A youth BJP leader of Balasore was allegedly beaten to death by three persons over a trivial issue of vehicle overtaking at Kaptipada on Saturday night. Rohit Pradhan of Mansingh Bazaar under Town Police limits, was district observer of the BJP Youth wing. Eyewitnesses said Pradhan had an altercation with three bikeborne persons while on his way to his father-in-law’s house at Nuasahi at around 10 pm | P4 Federer withdraws from French Open Central team to assess Yaas damage from today Paris: Roger Federer pulled out of what was possibly his last French Open on Sunday as a precautionary measure to rest up before Wimbledon, unwilling to risk his knee after an injuryplagued past 18 months. He had battled for over three-anda-half hours on Saturday night to reach the last 16 in Paris Bhubaneswar: A seven-member Central team led by Joint Secretary in Home Ministry Sunil Barnwal will begin damage assessment in cyclone Yaas-affected four districts of the State from Monday. The team is scheduled to visit Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Mayurbhanj districts | P3 WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) Rain relief A man with an umbrella crossing a road during a sudden downpour in Bhubaneswar on Sunday | Express nurses win Day after, govt hospital nixes ban on Malayalam S o m r i ta G h o s h @New Delhi A day after its offensive circular directing Keralite nursing staff not to speak in Malayalam at work created an uproar, the Delhi government-run GB Pant Institute of PG Medical Education and Research Hospital on Sunday revoked the order and launched a probe to contain the damage. Shortly after the order was revoked, the Delhi Malaya- li Nurses Committee called off its proposed agitation. Saturday’s order had barred Kerala nurses from speaking in Malayalam at work, citing the inconvenience caused to patients who could not understand the language. The order had advised the nurses to stick to only Hindi and English or face serious action. Nullifying the order, medical director R Anil Kumar said: “It was issued by the Nursing Superintendent without knowledge of the hospital administration and the Delhi government.” Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter to slam the order. While Rahul called for stopping language discrimination, Tharoor said the order was ‘crude, offensive’. According to one of the sen- ior nurses at the hospital, the order was issued after two staffers spoke in Malayalam about a therapy in the presence of another nurse, who could not follow them. “We only talk to other people from Kerala in Malayalam at the hospital. This is the first time such an order has been passed,” said Jeemol Shaji, general secretary of the nurses’ union in LNJP Hospital.
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