KOCHI l tuesday l june 15, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE city EDITION Another vax candidate in the U.S. shows huge promise US-based Novavax said its vaccine had an efficacy of 90% against infection and 100% against moderate/severe disease novavax’s HIGH strike rate against alpha Serum institute’s BRiDGING Trial The firm, releasing its phase 3 clinical trial report, said the efficacy rates of its recombinant nanoparticle protein-based vaccine were based on trials on nearly 30,000 volunteers between January-April in the US and Mexico. The high efficacy rates were achieved predominantly against the infectious Alpha variant of the virus that was first detected in the UK ■ ■ After regulatory nod, Novavax plans to ramp up manufacturing capacity to 15 crore doses per month by December-end The results are significant for us, too, as the Serum Institute of India is a manufacturing partner. It is currently undertaking a bridging trial on 1,600 people before launching the Indian version 21-day Gap between the two doses of the vaccine during the phase 3 trials 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 Food, fuel prices push wholesale, retail inflation May consumer price index-based inflation at 6-month high, wholesale prices break record E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ New Delhi RISING fuel and food prices pushed retail inflation to a sixmonth high of 6.3% in May, breaching Reserve Bank of India’s targets, government data released on Monday showed. This is way above the projected levels, implying that the impact of the localised Covid-19 restrictions was more severe than expected. “The month-onmonth uptick in the CPI in May 2021, which saw widening statelevel restrictions, is nearly as high as the hardening seen in April 2020 during the nationwide lockdown, testing the assumption that supply disruptions have been limited in the second wave,” said Aditi Nayar, chief economist, ICRA Ltd. According to data by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, food inflation shot up to 5.01% in May from 1.96% in April. While vegetable prices softened, fruit price zoomed 12% and the cost of pulses and products rose 9.4%. Even the prices of nonalcoholic beverages rose 15%. In non-food items, the rise was steep in fuel and light, registering an inflation of 11.6%, and transport and communication at 12.4%. With wholesale NATIONWIDE june 13 june 14 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 80,834 58,814 1,32,062 1,14,668 3,303 2,708 FEELING THE PINCH Item Infation rate Oil & fats 30.84% Egg 15.16% Transport & communication 12.38% Fruits 11.98% Fuel & light 11.58% Pulses & products 9.39% Meat & fish 9.03% Personal care & effects 7.99% Spices 6.86% Household goods & services 3.89% Milk & products 0.64% Figures are year-on-year provisional inflation rates for May 2021 price index (WPI)-based inflation also touching a whopping 12.94% – the highest since 2013 – experts warn that inflation will worsen in the coming months. WPI-based inflation in May was pushed by fuel and power basket, which shot up to 37.6% in the month against 20.94% in April due to hardening global commodity prices. “If wholesale prices are rising, eventually it will start finding its reflection in retail inflation as well,” said Sunil Kumar Sinha, principal economist with India Ratings and Research. He warned that this trend will make things worse for the RBI. June 13 Jab-o-meter Take 34,84,239 doses your June 14 shot 22,15,947 doses Total doses: 25,87,13,321 Kerala to lift statewide lockdown; region-specific curbs from June 17 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram THE statewide uniform lockdown strategy will be replaced with region-specific restrictions from June 17, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Monday The de. tails will be revealed shortly . The government is planning to impose area-wise restrictions in accordance with the infection rate there. The high-level meeting that reviewed the complete lockdown in force in the state for the last 38 days unanimously decided that restrictions could be eased out as there is a fall in Cov- id cases and TPR. On Monday, the state reported 7,719 new cases as against 68,573 tests (TPR 11.26%). As many as 1,13,817 are under treatment. Pinarayi said the lockdown helped control the disease spread. Under the new strategy local-self , governments will be classified as per infection level. Fourteen local bodies continue to have a TPR above 35%, he said. statewide june 13 Fresh cases Recoveries june 14 11,584 17,856 7,719 16,743 161 206 Deaths India’s fatality math mess There is a complete mismatch between death certificates issued across various districts and the official Covid count E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e While the Centre recently bristled at an international news magazine pegging India’s excess deaths due to the pandemic at 5-7 times the official count, the fact that there is under-reporting cannot be brushed away . Under mounting pressure for an honest admission on the scale of the pandemic, Maharashtra and Bihar raised their fatality figures last week through data reconciliation after audit/validation by around 14,000 and 4,000, respectively But allega. tions that not all deaths in private hospitals or of patients on their way to hospitals in rural areas were recorded under the Covid category refuse to go away, prompting the Patna High Court to direct the Bihar government to confirm whether its data revision was full and final. Death certificates issued by GHMC Apr 2019-Mar 2020 Plus 4% rise* Apr 2020-Mar 2021 *Bar indicates the assumption of a 4% normal rise from 2019-20 fatalities to 67,620 Hyderabad: Data discrepancy, to put it mildly, is visible across the country and under all political dispensations. Take Hyderabad. There was a 14.2% jump in deaths within the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits in 2020-21, as compared to the same period in the previous year. A Right to Information que- Covid 3,496 ry by this newspaper on the death certificates it issued revealed that the corporation handed out 9,235 more certificates between 2020 March and 2021 April (see box). Besides, 998 other death certificates are under process. Also, data was available only for 18 erstwhile circles of GHMC, which have now been reorganised into 30 circles within the same area. Yet, the cumulative count of Covid deaths recorded in the entire Telangana as on June 14 is just 3,496, though there were humungous crowds at the state’s burial and cremation grounds when the second wave was at its peak. A municipal officer in Hyderabad said an year-on-year increase of 3-4% in death certificates is normal because of continued migration and rising awareness of the need for death certificates. However, a 14.2% increase in a year when for three months the city was under lockdown was concerning, he said. “During lockdown, there were hardly any road traffic deaths, which is one of the major contributors to daily toll,” he added. Mysuru: Sa Ra Mahesh, a legislator from Mysuru, disputes the district administration’s Covid-19 death figures. Continued on: P8 Chirag removed as LJP chief as party implodes Outrage over death of journo who feared for his life in UP plan. Later, they submitted a letter to Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla demanding recogniIN what appears to be a care- tion for the new LJP faction fully planned move, five of with Paras as its national the six MPs of the Lok Jan- president. shakti Party (LJP) on Mon“I have not executed a spilt day united against in the party Rather, I . LJP founder late have saved the party Ram Vilas Paswan’s so that it doesn’t deson Chirag Paswan viate from the path and elected Pashown by late Ram shupati Kumar ParVilas Paswan,” Paras as their leader. as told reporters. He Paras is the added that 99% LJP youngest brother leaders and workers Chirag Paswan of the late leader. wanted to contest Chirag’s unceremonious the last Bihar Assembly elecremoval comes after months tion as an NDA ally but of disgruntlement among Chirag decided to go in the other party leaders who felt opposite direction. the young politician’s func“As a result, the LJP suftioning was autocratic. fered a lot politically, virtuAccording to sources, the ally reducing the party base five MPs held a secret meet- in Bihar to zero. Now, we will ing on Saturday evening to be with the NDA in Bihar and give finishing touches to their the Centre,” Paras said. Rajesh Kumar Thakur @ Patna E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Lucknow 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express 65,019 67,620 70,758 GHMC issued 9,235 additional death certificates for 2020-21, but only 3,496 deaths have been recorded as Covid in entire Telangana so far. Subtracting 4% normal rise (2,601) leaves 3,138 deaths not recorded as Covid in Hyderabad alone Note: 998 certificates are being processed liquor mafia A day after writing to the Uttar Pradesh additional DGP for security cover, a 42-year-old TV channel journalist died under mysterious circumstances in Pratapgarh district on Sunday late night. While preliminary probe indicated Sulabh Srivastava died in what appeared to be an accident, his family alleged foul play claiming Sulabh , was killed by the liquor mafia for running a news story against them. Sulabh, who worked for a leading television news channel in Pratapgarh, was found injured near Katra Crossing and was taken to a hospital, where he was declared ‘dead on arrival’. On Saturday, Sulabh had written to ADGP-Prayagraj Zone, expressing fears that his family and he could be targeted over his news report on illicit liquor dens of Pratapgarh. His report was telecast days after 22 people died in UP’s Aligarh district after consuming spurious liquor. Hours after claiming Sulabh had died in an accident, Pratapgarh East ASP Surendra Dwivedi on Monday said the police were looking into other angles as well. The police registered a case against unknown persons based on Sulabh’s wife Renuka’s complaint. “At present, a majority get infected at home. Efforts will be taken to prevent this. Number of tests will be increased significantly. A campaign will be launched to create awareness on quarantine,” Pinarayi said. The government will finalise the new action plan and containment strategy on Tuesday . The CM said a majority of the dead had comorbidities. He asked people with ailments like diabetes to take extra care. He said the death rate did not rise sharply because of the excellence of the healthcare facilities. ● More on P4 HEAD AND SHOULDERS ABOVE Spain’s Rodri heads the ball ahead of Sweden’s Marcus Berg (fourth right) during their Euro Group E match at La Cartuja Stadium in Sevilla on Monday | AFP MONDAY’S RESULTS TUESDAY’S MATCH Netherlands bt Ukraine 3-2 Hungary vs Portugal 9.30pm MONDAY’S RESULTS No match today Scotland lost to Czech Rep 0-2 WEDNESDAY France vs Germany 12.30am Brazil bt Venezuela 3-0 Colombia bt Ecuador 1-0 Full coverage page 11 Solvakia bt Poland 2-1 tiger’s life lesson for kids NOT too long ago, George was giving headaches to the authorities. The teen-tiger had strayed into human settlements in Wayanad and killed cattle there. Now, the 21-year old tiger, being cared for at the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo, is a hero in faraway France. Middle school students of Jean de La Fontaine School in T h é n e z ay a r e s t u d y i n g George’s life as part of their lesson on the necessity of wild- life and tiger conservation. The tiger’s fight to sustain himself and how humans around him facilitated his survival are among the topics for French students, thanks to ‘The Story of George’ penned by Claire Le Michel. It was in 2015 that a notorious tiger was spotted in Sultan Bathery killing and injuring cattle in the villages. The tiger, which killed more than 25 domestic animals, was caught by forest officials. After veterinary surgeons identified that the captured tiger had difficulty in hunting in the forest, the authorities transferred him to the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo. They named him George, after Nivin Pauly’s character in the movie Premam. They had little hope that he would bounce back in life as, apart from maggot-infested wounds all over his body there , was a lacerated wound on the left thigh which was as big as 12 inches exposing the knee ● More on P4 joint. Patel arrives on ‘black day’, 4 islands stay under lock E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi LAKSHADWEEP administrator Praful Khoda Patel, who courted controversy with a slew of reforms, arrived on the island on a week-long visit on Monday even as the residents observed a black day in protest against the reforms. The islanders tied black flags to poles along the road from Agatti to Kavaratti and erected billboards with slogans demanding the removal of the administrator and the rollback of the reforms. Men and women wearing black clothes held protests in their homes as the island is under lockdown. Patel, who refuted the allegations, said there is no protest in Lakshadweep. “I didn’t see any protest anywhere. Protests are only in Kerala. The draft Land Reforms Act was placed on the public domain seeking suggestions and we got many complaints. We considered them and the draft has been submitted to the Union government for approval,” said Patel. He, however, refused to reply to questions on the beef ban and other issues. Meanwhile, the administration extended the complete shutdown on four islands — Kavaratti, Bitra, Kiltan, and Minicoy — by one week citing high prevalence of Covid. Night curfew on Kadmath, Agatti, Amini, Androth, Kalpeni and Chetlath islands will continue till fur● More on P3 ther orders. E X P RESS READ Villain years ago, ‘Premam’ George hero in France C y nt h i a C h a n d r a n @ T’Puram Lakshadweep administrator Praful Khoda Patel arrives at the Agatti airport on Monday | Express Initially, we were under the impression that George would live for just a few days. But with excellent medical care and a slew of surgeries, he made a remarkable recovery — Dr Jacob Alexander PM: India working to restore 2.6 cr ha of land Ayodhya land row: Oppn slams BJP, seeks probe New Delhi: India is working towards restoring 2.6 crore hectares of degraded land by 2030 and is assisting fellow developing countries to develop land-restoration strategies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a high-level UN dialogue on Monday. Lucknow: A war of words erupted between the BJP and the Opposition parties on Monday over allegations of corruption in the purchase of land in Ayodhya by the Ram temple trust, with the Congress demanding a Supreme Court-monitored probe and the saffron party opposing it. SR LUCY’S DISMISSAL confIrmed: congregation Says her appeal against dismissal rejected by Apostolica Signatura. Sr Lucy Kalapura has disputed such a decision by Vatican. P5
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