HYDERABAD WEDNESDAY JUNE 09, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION ‘CHINA’S VACCINE WAS READY EVEN BEFORE THE PANDEMIC’ BEIJING IS HIDING SOMETHING: DR JOHN JACOB Eminent virologist Dr T Jacob John told TNIE it is possible that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was created in the Wuhan virology lab “There is something mysterious about the Chinese episode (the suspected leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology). China’s Covid-19 pandemic was unique in the world. That means they are hiding something… or they are different… or China had prepared for this in advance. Everything is not what meets the eye,” said Dr John, ex-professor of Virology, CMC Vellore ■ Feb 24, 2020 ‘WORK ON VACCINE STARTED A YEAR AGO’ ■ “There are smoking gun evidences in molecular biology that point to the possibility that it is a lab-manipulated virus,” Dr John said China must have started work on Covid vaccine at least a year earlier. Having a vaccine almost ready helped China curtail the virus spread right from the early days, he added | P7 CHINA APPLIED FOR VACCINE BARELY TWO MONTHS AFTER COVID OUTBREAK 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 DISTRESS SIGNALS The economy continues to reel due to the pandemic. Here’s a look AUTO-DEBIT PAYMENT FAILURES Out of 85.7 million auto-debit transactions attempted in May, 30.8 million (36%) failed In April, out of 85.4 million such transactions initiated, 29.08 million (34%) failed BANK CREDIT Bank credit growth hits 59-year low of 5.56% in 2020-21. It is expected to fall this year, too, with corporates deleveraging by repaying high cost loans through funds raised via bond issuances LOCKDOWN IN TS FOR 10 MORE DAYS, NOD TO PRC After a marathon meeting, Cabinet also decides to extend relaxation hours — from 6 am to 5 pm; constitutes health sub-committee V V BA L A K R I S H N A @ Hyderabad THE lockdown imposed in the State, due to expire on Wednesday, has been extended by 10 more days till June 19. The relaxation hours have also been extended — they are now from 6 am to 5 pm — with an additional hour provided to help people who are outdoors to return home comfortably. The Cabinet also gave its nod for the implementation of the first Pay Revision Commission (PRC), thus benefitting around 9.21 lakh government employees. The State Cabinet which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao at his official residence Pragati Bhavan on Tuesday asked the police department to strictly enforce the lockdown from 6 pm to 6 am the following day . However, the Cabinet has taken a decision to continue the lockdown as it is at Sattupalli, Madhira, Nalgonda, Nagarjuna Sagar, Devarakonda, Munugodu and Miryalguda, since the incidence of Covid-19 cases has not yet come down in these segments. The relaxation time at these places will be from 6 am to 1 pm, with P4 a one hour grace period. Telangana health profile project will be launched in Mulugu on a pilot basis Shelters for attendants of patients at hosps; 100bed hospitals at Sattupalli & Madhira 50-bed Mother & Child Care Centre in Suryapet to be upgraded to 200-bed facility TELANGANA Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths JUNE 7 1,933 3,572 16 JUNE 7 JUNE 8 1,897 2,982 15 JUNE 8 1,00,636 86,498 1,74,399 1,82,282 2,427 2,123 JAB-O-METER June 7 TAKE 31,04,989 doses YOUR June 8 SHOT 25,58,652 doses TOTAL DOSES: 23,88,40,635 ANASTASIA IN SEMIS Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated Elena Rybakina to reach French Open semifinals on Tuesday | P11 AIIMS-like super speciality hospital will be built in place of Warangal jail In the next two years, the government will spend `10,000 cr to provide medicare to people on par with international standards. The Cabinet asked Minister T Harish Rao to submit a plan for the same S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, his deputy Ajit Pawar (right) and minister Ashok Chavan, at a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in New Delhi on Tuesday | SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT ‘Wasn’t meeting Nawaz Sharif’: Uddhav’s riposte to one-on-one talks with Modi EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Mumbai MAHARASHTRA Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi to discuss a range of issues from Maratha quota to reservations in promotion and GST compensation. He had along with him Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Congress minister Ashok Chavan. But the juicy political talking point was his one-onone meeting later with Modi. Responding to a question on the one-on-one, Thackeray said: “There is nothing wrong to meet (Modi) one-on-one. I had not gone to meet (former Pakistan Prime minister) Nawaz Sharif. What is wrong if I have to meet him personally (one-on-one)?” He said during the last one year, there have been various instances when he had such conversations with Modi, adding, “Today po, litically we are not with them but that does not mean our relationship has ended.” Thackeray described the overall discussions as cordial. “It was a cordial discussion, keeping politics aside. We discussed various issues with the PM. He has assured to look into them. We discussed the transfer of the Kanjur Marg plot for Metro car shed as well.” Thackeray said they requested the PM’s intervention to remove the 50% cap on reservation. “We requested the PM to press this demand in the court. The 50% cap is affecting various reservations, including OBC quota in elections,” said Ashok Chavan. We also requested the PM to instruct the Maharashtra Governor to nominate 12 members to the legislative council from the Governor quota - Ajit Pawar, Maharashtra deputy chief minister A day after the Centre rolled back its controversial Covid-19 vaccination policy and decided to procure 75% of the total doses in India for all adults, it said it will continue to prioritise highly vulnerable sections for the inoculation drive. But it allowed states to decide their prioritisation within the 18-44 age group, after factoring in the vaccine supply . For the Union government, the priority population groups include healthcare and frontline workers, those above 45 years of age and beneficiaries whose second dose is due. The 18-44 group is last on its pecking order. The revised policy that will come into play from June 21, also provides the option of on-site registration at all government and private vaccination centres for all age groups, apart from advance booking on the CoWIN portal. The four-page document said vaccine doses will be provided to states based on factors like population, disease burden and the progress of vaccination, also warning that P RAMDAS @ Kochi tients abroad. But when he tried to do so in Kerala, state health officials threatened him with action under the Disaster Management Act. The court directed the government to ensure the petitioner is not obstructed in any manner from practising homoeopathy as per the guidelines issued by the AYUSH ministry and the Supreme Court. Assistant Solicitor General of India P Vijayakumar submitted that the Centre had issued recommendations on using homoeopathy for preventive purposes and symptom management of Covidlike illnesses. However, the court held that advertisement by a homoeopathic physician is prohibited in view of the Homoeopathic Practitioners Regulations, 1982. FLOWER SHOW A woman plucks flowers from plants in her agri land in Tirupati | MADHAV K Iron supplements can’t address anaemia, finds NIN study A poor diet rather than low iron levels is leading to anaemia among children and adolescents, researchers from the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) have found. Scientists from NIN, who assessed iron levels among children in rural and urban areas as found in the Comprehensive National Nu- trition Survey of 2016-18, found that rural children had higher iron levels and yet anaemia was more prevalent among them. An overall lack of a nutritious diet was the likely cause of inefficient utilisation of stored iron for haemoglobin synthesis, they deduced. “The research has found that although anaemia prevalence was higher in rural and poorer children and adolescents; but counter-intuitively, iron deficiency was less common among this lot. Similarly, although Nutritious diet a must The NIN study found that rural children had higher iron levels and yet a higher prevalence of anaemia, for which lack of a nutritious diet was the likely cause COVAXIN DOSE COSTLIEST AT PVT HOSPITALS Vaccine Price per dose as declared by manufacturer (J)* GST@ 5% (J) COVISHIELD COVAXIN SPUTNIK V 600 1,200 948 30 60 47.40 Maximum Maximum service charge price that can per dose, be charged by inclusive of all private taxes (J) hospitals (J) 150 780 150 1,410 150 1,145 Note: These rates will be effective from June 21 wastage of vaccine will affect the allocation negatively . Some experts saw in the latest advisory an underlying message that vaccines in government hospitals should continue to be given to the high priority population till their full vaccination coverage is achieved. “And that I think is a pragmatic thing to do,” said health systems specialist Chandrakant Lahariya. “In fact, I would have preferred it if the vaccination for the 18-44 age group would have been put on hold till the rest of the adult population is completed covered and the vaccine supply issue is fixed. That would have really streamlined the Covid inoculation process,” Lahariya added. The Centre also urged people who have the ability to pay , to take their jabs at private hospitals. Besides, it defended E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi MYTHBUSTER D O N I TA J O S E @ Hyderabad ALL the 9.21 lakh State government employees received the news they had been eagerly waiting for on Tuesday as the State Cabinet , gave its nod for the implementation of the first Pay Revision Commission (PRC). The State government had already decided to give 30 per cent fitment to government employees. In March this year, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao made a statement in the Assembly to this effect. With the Cabinet’s approval of the proposal on Tuesday the employees’ hiked salaries will be implemented from June , CONTINUED ON P4 2021, and will be payable from July . its decision to allow private hospitals to keep procuring 25% of the total Covid vaccines. “In order to incentivize production by vaccine manufacturers and encourage new vaccines, domestic vaccine manufacturers are given the option to also provide vaccines directly to private hospitals,” it said. It said states need to aggregate the demand of private hospitals keeping in view equitable distribution between large and small private hospitals and regional balance, based on which the Union government will facilitate supply to the private hospitals and their payment through the National Health Authority’s eplatform. “This would enable the smaller and remote private hospitals to obtain timely supply of vaccines, and further equitable access and regional balance,” the Centre P7 said. VRS coming for public sector banks, Air India HOMOEO DOCTORS CAN PRESCRIBE, DISPENSE COVID MEDICINE: KERALA HC QUALIFIED physicians can not only prescribe and dispense homoeo medicines for preventing Covid, but also resort to homoeopathy for symptom management of coronavious-like illnesses, the Kerala High Court said on Tuesday . Justice N Nagaresh issued the order while disposing of the petition filed by Dr Jayaprasad Karunakaran. The petitioner said he had treated and saved serious Covid pa- E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad Now, states empowered to prioritise age groups for jabs The number of active loans from the texiles sector stood at 4.26 lakh Diagnostic centres to be started in all districts. 19 to be started on Wednesday Govt to spend `10K cr on medicare The credit availed by the Indian textiles and apparels industry fell 20% year-on-year to `1.62 lakh crore as of December 2020. This was mainly due to suspension of manufacturing activities in the immediate aftermath of Covid-19 lockdown last year, says the SIDBI-CRIF joint report as of December 2020 | P10 9.21 L EMPLOYEES TO GET BENEFITS OTHER KEY DECISIONS anaemia as measured by haemoglobin status was lower among their urban counterparts, iron deficiency was seen more in them,” informed NIN. The study was published in the reputed Journal of Nutrition. The study indicates that issues like quality of diet, infections and socio-economic factors are required to tackle the problem. “Diet quality is important for efficient haemoglobin synthesis, as iron is not the only nutrient required. Therefore, the under-utilisation of iron for haemoglobin synthesis in poorer communities could be linked with overall low diet quality particularly low intake , of animal source foods and fruits,” said Dr Bharati Kulkarni, lead author. THE Centre will soon announce a special voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for the employees of public-sector banks as well as Air India, finance ministry sources said. The decision follows the Niti Aayog’s recommendation to this effect, the sources added. “VRS is under discussion. The Niti Aayog gave similar recommendations for Air India and a state-run insurance company, ahead of their privatisation drive. Many of them are over-staffed. Short manpower makes them more attractive and easier for the change of management,” a senior FinMin official told TNIE. The government will make the VRS package attractive so that it encourages the employees to go for it, the official added. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while unveiling Budget 2021-22 on February 1, had said the government would take up the privatisation of two public-sector banks and one general insurance company. She also said the govern- Prepping the ground for privatisation According to the Central government, the PSBs being considered for disinvestment are over-staffed. The Centre wants to right-size the manpower through VRS, so that these become attractive for the private sector. A tried and tested strategy, VRS was offered ahead of the recent consolidation of some PSBs ment will conclude privatisation of Air India. According to sources, Central Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of Maharashtra and Bank of India are being considered for privatisation. The government also plans to exit LIC-controlled IDBI Bank. Meanwhile, bank unions opposing the privatisation move had gone on a two-day strike in March. At that time, Sitharaman assured them privatisation would in fact ensure jobs are protected and that no employee would be fired.
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