KANNUR l thursday l june 10, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Vax data sensitive, don’t share it: Centre to states We own all vaccine data: health ministry In a strange order, the Union health ministry on Wednesday asked states not to share vaccine availability status on public forums States are supposed to update the Centre on stock and transactions of all vaccines. The health ministry claimed it owns all vaccine-related data and that it cannot be shared with any third party, including the media. The letter evoked sharp reactions on social media with people wondering how data on stock and storage of Covid vaccine doses could be sensitive ■ eVIN Curious timing raises eyebrows ■ The letter, written by Pradeep Haldar, Advisor, Reproductive and Child Health, did not specify why the information is deemed sensitive or how sharing it will undermine the jab programme Curiously, the directive comes amid rising criticism against the Centre for its inability to support states with ample doses | P7 Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network tracks VAX stock status 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 2nd wave shock limited to Q1, recovery tied to vax, says FinMin E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi THE second Covid wave has somewhat dented the economy but its impact will be confined to the first quarter of this financial year, claimed the monthly economic report released by the Union finance ministry on Wednesday. However, this prognosis will hold true only if the vaccination drive becomes aggressive and all Budget announcements are implemented efficiently the re, port added. In other words, if the inoculation programme drags, it will drastically impact future economic recovery . “The onset of the second wave of Covid-19 since midFebruary 2021 and localised or state-wide restrictions adopted to combat its spread, have posed a probable downside risk to the momentum in India’s economic recovery in the first quarter of 2021-22,” it noted. The report added that with state-level lockdown restrictions, manufacturing and construction activities could experience a softer economic shock in Q1. “To avoid or lower the ferocity of subsequent waves, an accelerated vaccination drive is imperative. Vaccinating to achieve herd immunity (75-80% of population) will boost consumer and producer confidence and reinvigorate the engines of economic growth. For this purpose, challenges pertaining to vaccine supply, vaccine hesitancy, operational aspects to achieve high daily throughput, and widespread reach must be anticipated,” it said. The finance ministry has made a strong pitch to vaccinate 70 crore people with at least a single dose by September to boost confidence among DISTRESSED SECTORS SEND SOS messages Airport, hospitality firms say they can’t survive without govt help AIRPORT OPERATORS SEEK SUPPORT Drop in air traffic hit revenues Struggling to sustain operations and meet debt obligations Unable to raise funds due to poor Wait gets longer for Covaxin phase 3 final data S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi The wait for published data on the final phase 3 clinical trials of Covaxin is getting longer despite a growing clamour to release it, amid new information that compared to Covishield, it may be triggering lower antibody response to Covid-19. On Wednesday, Bharat Biotech, which has developed Covaxin, with support from ICMR, said the final analysis of its efficacy trials between November-January, will be made public only in July, after it is submitted to the drug regulator and peer reviewed journals with a timeline of about three months for publication. While announcing the second interim analysis of its phase 3 trial on April 20, the company had said that “safety and effi- statewide Fresh cases Recoveries 124 Deaths NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths june 8 156 june 9 86,498 92,596 1,82,282 1,62,664 2,123 2,219 June 8 25,58,652 doses June 9 31,31,759 doses Total doses: 24,24,79,167 Jab-o-meter Take your shot weeks of interim analysis. Also, Covaxin had been approved by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation for public use in “clinical trial mode” while still under efficacy trials on 25,800 people. “It is unusual to have such a delay, particularly when the second analysis was so close to the sample size of 130 symptomatic cases,” said a top virologist who did not wish to be named. Health systems and vaccine policy expert Chandrakant Lahariya said while publication in a journal may take time, the company should at least release the findings on a pre-print server. A recent comparative evaluation of responses to spike protein after the first and second doses of Covaxin and Covishield showed the former may have lower immunogenicity . cash flows and credit ratings 80-95 million Expected domestic air passengers this year vis-a-vis 140 million in 2019 HOSPITALITY SECTOR WANTS STIMULUS It has sought a sector-specific stimulus package that includes: Full waiver of interest on loans Extension on moratorium on the principal amount for all loans DBT of basic pay to employees L1.82 lakh crore Hospitality sector’s revenue in FY20. 75% got wiped off in FY21 | P10 people and regain the momentum of economic recovery . “With around 120 days to 31st September 2021, around 93 lakh vaccinations are required per day to achieve the herd immunity. The peak daily vaccination rate attained till date is 42.65 lakh. This peak was achieved using one shift of 8-9 hours of vaccination. So, doubling the shifts and possibly vaccinating 24x7 for a couple of months – particularly in August and September when supply is expected to increase significantly – can enable the a m b i t i o u s, bu t p o s s i bl e, throughput of 1 crore shots a day the report recommended, ,” adding that this is ambitious, but possible. Surendran in Delhi, explores Central help for counter-attack E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram Forced onto the back foot following the Kodakara black money row and allegations of bribing a namesake candidate, the BJP state leadership has decided to hit back at the ruling LDF. Sources have indicated that the saffron party will urge the Union government to institute a probe into the Wayanad timber loot incident, that has put the LDF government in the dock, and also seek an expeditious investigation into the gold smuggling case. Amid speculation that BJP state president K Surendran was summoned by the national leadership to Delhi in the wake of the recent controversies involving the party , sources close to the leader said he had gone to seek the Centre’s intervention in cornering the LDF government. Surendran has reportedly sought an audience with Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar. It is learnt that Surendran would urge e x p ress re a d Govt staff in fishing boats: L’dweep admn withdraws order Kochi: The Lakshadweep administration has withdrawn the order to deploy government employees in fishing boats to monitor them and gather intelligence. Collector S Askar Ali claimed the order was not withdrawn and was in fact misinterpreted. “We deploy government staff for physical verification of people who arrive on the island for 72 hours when we receive such alerts,” he said. Plan to make Kochi zero landing and parking fee airport by 2030 Kochi: The Cochin International Airport Ltd has drawn a master plan to transform the Kochi airport into a zero landing and parking fee airport by 2030, said V J Kurian, who stepped down as CIAL MD on Wednesday. “The plan is to convert the 100-acre land near Nedumbassery railway station into an airport city with outlets of international food chains, electric vehicle charging system and malls,” he said. MYSTERY ENDS Girl hidden by lover in his room for 10 yrs, not a single soul knew E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Palakkad THE people of Ayilur, a village near Palakkad, are in disbelief after hearing the story of a young couple who lived in their midst. In one line, it reads like this: Rahman, 34, hid Sajitha, 28, who had left her parents to live with him, for 10 years in his small room without letting others in the house know she was there! And in that room --- which could be locked from inside and outside --- she lived, getting out only at night for daily ablutions. Rahman went missing from his house three months ago. The whole thing came to light on Tuesday when his brother spotted him in Nenmara. When the police in- june 8 june 9 15,567 16,204 20,019 20,237 cacy results from the final analysis will be available in June, and the final report will be submitted to a peer-reviewed publication.” In the April statement, the company had claimed the vaccine has shown a 78% efficacy against preventing infection while efficacy against severe Covid-19 disease was 100%, with an impact on reduction in hospitalisations — after accruing 127 symptomatic cases. This efficacy was lower by 3% from the one claimed in another statement to the press, issued in early March, based on 87 symptomatic cases. But a delay in sharing the final data is bothering many, since phase 3 trial data of all other approved Covid vaccines, including the Russian Sputnik V, were published within 4-6 Rahman and Sajitha tervened, Rahman told them the story. He and Sajitha were produced before the court and the girl said she wanted to live with him. They were allowed to go. The Nemara police said Rahman, son of Mohammed Ghani, Karatparambu in Ayilur and Sajitha, 28, daughter of Velayudhan who lived in the same neigh- bourhood, were in love. Fearing opposition from their families, Sajitha left her house on February 2, 2010. Rahman hid Sajitha in a room in his house. Even his parents were unaware of it. Rahman used to give her food in the room. Other than the parents, Rahman’s sister also lived in the house. Sajitha’s family had filed a missing case 10 years ago and the police had questioned many including Rahman back then. On March 3, 2021, Rahman’s family lodged a complaint with the Nenmara police station saying he had gone missing. And on Tuesday, his brother found him travelling on a two-wheeler in ● More on P5 Nenmara town. New state system to report Covid death Vaccine production unit planned in state capital BJP leaders complain to guv against ‘oppressive’ govt A BJP delegation, led by former state presidents O Rajagopal and Kummanam Rajasekharan, met Governor Arif Mohammed Khan here on Wednesday to complain against the “oppressive, anti-democratic and illegal actions” of the LDF government. P4 the Centre to intervene in the large-scale felling of protected trees from Wayanad as forests figure in the concurrent list. Sources also indicate that the BJP leader would also demand that the ongoing investigation into the gold smuggling case be hastened. “The state government is foisting false cases one after the other to intimidate and tarnish the party We are not for any sort . of tit-for-tat. But we will not waste any opportunity to expose the corrupt deals of t h e L D F g ove r n m e n t through whatever legal means possible,” said a senior leader identified with the official faction. ● More on P4 Cong erosion on as BJP snaps up Jitin Prasada MA N IS H A N A N D @ New Delhi The BJP set off alarm bells within the Congress on Wednesday by engineering the crossover of another young leader, former Union minister Jitin Prasada. With this, the party appears to have made it intentions clear of mopping up the remaining young talent within the Congress, a ploy that began with the induction of Jyotiraditya Scindia. A similar exercise in Rajasthan is a work in progress. Union minister for railways Piyush Goyal did the honours for inducting Prasada. Giving a perspective to the latest acquisition, BJP’s meJitin Prasada dia in-charge Anil Baluni recalled that Jitin’s father Jitendra Prasada had once contested against Sonia Gandhi for the Congress’ chief post, suggesting the door was open for leaders of substance who were otherwise rotting in opposition parties. While Prasada lost a couple of Lok Sabha elections ever since the rise of the BJP in UP he had served , as a minister during the UPA tenure. He was a signatory to the letter by 23 Congress leaders who had demanded a full-time Congress president earlier. Continued on: P8 A software-based system to report Covid deaths will be in effect from June 15, CM Pinarayi Vijayan said at the Covid19 review meeting The cause of death will be confirmed and communicated to the relatives within three days. There has been criticism that the state is underreporting deaths. P2 The state government on Wednesday decided to set up a vaccine manufacturing unit at Life Sciences Park, Thonnackal, in T’Puram, and appoint Dr S Chitra as director of the Vaccine Production Project. P2 Silverline to get K2.1k cr for land acquisition The cabinet gave administrative sanction for availing of J2,100crore loan from KIIFB to be given as the state’s share to acquire land for the semi high-speed rail project. P4 CJI initiative Telangana HC judge strength to jump by 75% E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Aiming to reduce case pendency across the country espe, cially in high courts, Chief Justice of India N V Ramana is now pushing to increase their sanctioned strength of judges. To begin with, he has given his final approval to raise the sanctioned strength of judges from 24 to 42 at the Telangana High Court — a jump of 75% — where 2,37,000 cases are pending as on date. This is one of the biggest booster shots in the higher judiciary in a very long time. Of the 42 judges, 32 will be permanent while the rest will be additional judges for now. The proposal to increase the strength of the Telangana High Court had been pending with the Centre since 2019. After assuming office, CJI Ramana gave it fresh impetus by urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ministry of law and justice to expedite it. After receiving their green light, the CJI is learnt to have to have spoken to the HC chief justice and taken stock of the available infrastructure before giving his final approval. To fill up the vacancies, 28 will be elevated from the bar while 14 will be appointed from judicial services. A formal notification is expected soon. In a recent meeting with chief justices of all high courts, the CJI had shared his vision of creating a National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation.
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