chennai l monday l June 07, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 32 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 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 ■ >50% Cabinet to decide on unlock on june 14 ■ ■ 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 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 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. K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi 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 @ 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 Continued on: P8 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 nurses win d e e pa k s at h i s h @ Coimbatore C l a s s i c a l f i e l dwo rk seems to have helped Coimbatore district lower its viral caseload. The district, which was witnessing a spike in fresh Covid-19 cases, has now been showing improvements, said J Radhakrishnan, principal secretary Health and Fami, ly Welfare. Speaking to Express, he said the 4,600-odd fresh cases that Coimbatore recorded during the previous weeks, have substantially come down to around 2,500. This shows that if containment measures are carried out effectively the cases , would come down, he said. Secondly, Radhakrishnan said they have been working with the district authorities to focus on all areas where there is an emergence of infections. “In rural areas, even if there is a single case in the habitation, we pay attention to that place. Organising fever camps adjacent to containment areas in buffer zones and taking swab tests from there are being followed to keep the virus at bay he added. ,” 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. Day after, govt hospital nixes ban on Malayalam “Therefore, classical fieldwork is the only way forward and we also have to acknowledge that Coimbatore has shown improvement. There is an intensive IEC (Information Education and Communication) campaign to ensure Covid-appropriate behaviour, which was earlier not seen in the people,” he 4,734 4,268 Fresh cases of Coimbatore 3,537 2,980 26 27 28 29 30 31 1 2 3 May Jun 2,645 4 5 6 said. Elaborating on the increase in treatment facilities, he noted that there is almost a 50 per cent increase in oxygen beds compared to the number earlier in Coimbatore. While he said that the Covid-19 cases are on a descending trend in 17 districts in the State, he advised the people to be guarded. “Any one case could turn out to be a super spreader,” he added. CONTINUED ON: P4 “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. So m r i ta G h o s h @New Delhi wildlife welfare Chief Minister MK Stalin visited Arignar Anna Zoological Park and enquired about the health condition of the Asiatic lions that were infected by Covid-19 and discussed about the treatment given to them, in Vandalur on Sunday CM reviews treatment of animals at Vandalur express news service @ Chennai Two days after a nine-year-old lioness died of Covid at Arignar Anna Zoological Park, popularly known as Vandalur Zoo, and several other lions exhibited Covid symptoms, the State government has sent samples of seven zoo animals -- three lions and four tigers -- to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) at Bareilly for detailed analysis. On Sunday, Chief Minister MK Stalin visited the zoo to take stock of the Covid outbreak among Asiatic lions. Stalin, who is also the State Chairperson of the Zoo Authority, reviewed the animals’ treatment being administered by inhouse veterinarians under the supervision of a team of doctors from Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS). The Chief Minister instructed the authorities to provide the lions the best treatment possible, and also ensure vaccination of all animal handlers and zoo officials. The lions’ samples have also tamil nadu Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Barely a fortnight after the Tamil Nadu state electricity board, Tangedco, said it will be accepting ‘self-assessed’ reading by Low Tension (LT) consumers for values below `30,000, hundreds of domestic consumers are in a shock after receiving their bills. These consumers, who neither assessed it themselves nor june 6 21,410 32,472 443 20,421 33,161 434 Chennai: The Sero Survey II, conducted by the Directorate of Public Health in April this year, showed that 23 per cent of people had SARSCoV-2 antibodies. In Sero Survey I, which was conducted in OctoberNovember, 2020, the seropositivity was 31 per cent. CONTINUED ON: P3 been sent for analysis through genetic sequencing at the Centre for Cellullar and Molecular Biology Hyderabad, to find the , strain of the virus that has infected the lions, said the State government, in a press statement. All the lions which have tested positive are under close observation and on prescribed treatment regimen by the inhouse veterinary team and the expert team of TANUVAS. A day after its offensive circular directing Keralite nursing staff not to speak in Malayalam at work created an uproar, the Delhi governmentrun GB Pant Institute of PG Medical Education and Research Hospital on Sunday revo ke d t h e o rd e r a n d launched a probe to contain the damage. Shortly after the order was revoked, the Delhi Malayali Nurses Committee called of f 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 senior 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. express read Domestic consumers shocked over inflated electricity bills have the officials come to assess their electricity meters, have received the previous year’s bills as per Tangedco’s announcement. They complain that the bill amount is exorbitant while the usage has not been that much. “Our house has been locked for four months but we received an electricity bill for `4,500. We have been trying to call the local electricity board office but june 5 Health dept releases Sero Survey 2 results current-cy KV N a v ya @ Chennai 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 Kovai shows steady decline of Covid cases Announce sector-specific relief packages, says SJM Express News Service 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. status check they never pick up the phone. We are afraid that if we do not pay, they might levy extra charges,” said R Vinayak, a resident of Velachery . He said that at a time when the public is struggling to cope up with the persistent inflation, these bills are further burning a hole in their pockets. According to Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) officials, this could be because they were handed over the previous year’s bill. “If the electricity consumption has not been noted during the lockdown period (i.e., if the 60th day from the previous month’s calculation falls during this period), the consumers will have to pay the amount as calculated in the same month of 2019 (since there was no pandemic outbreak then),” said an official. P3 Jeyaranjan appointed Vice-Chairman of SDPC Federer withdraws from French Open Chennai: The State government named economist J Jeyaranjan as Vice-Chairman of State Development Policy Council (SDPC) on Sunday. In a statement, Chief Minister M K Stalin also appointed Professor R Srinivasan of the University of Madras as a fulltime member of SDPC | P2 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-and-a-half hours on Saturday night to reach the last 16 in Paris WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 32 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID), 4 of city express
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