THRISSUR l saturday l august 28, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l city EDITION Bhavinaben creates history at paralympics impaired from the waist down Gujarat paddler first Indian to be assured of a medal in the sport, faces China’s Zhang for a place in the final on Saturday trained with robot during lockdown Tragedy struck Bhavinaben Patel early on in her life. While learning to walk as a one-year-old, she fell down. During treatment, an injection impaired her from the waist down, according to father Hasmukhbhai Patel. She picked up the sport at the age of 12. In the Tokyo Paralympics, she is also competing in the doubles event. The 34-year-old is confident of reaching the final | P13 ■ ■ She trained with a second-hand machine worth C50,000 during lockdown before the Class 4 paddler was given a new robot after she was included in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme She beat World No 5 Borislava Rankovic 11-5, 11-6, 11-7. ITTF removed bronze medal playoffs after the last Paralympics A2.8 lakh worth of new equipment given to bhavinaben under top scheme 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 Joe Biden vows Sunday curbs back as Kerala fights Covid surge to avenge; toll 182 30,000-plus cases for third straight day take patients’ number to 2 lakh State decides to impose Sunday lockdown strictly Health min urges public to maintain vigil after drawing flak over home quarantine comments There was 1 suicide bomber, not 2: Pentagon inputs suggesting more attacks. US Central Command chief AT least 182 people were killed General Frank McKenzie said in Thursday’s Kabul terror at- there could be rockets or car tack and the final tally could go bombs targeting the airport. up as many dismembered bodEarlier in the day, US Presiies are yet to be accounted for. dent Joe Biden vowed to avenge Local health officials, quoted the deaths of Americans. Blamby news agency AP, ing the lesser known said 169 Afghans were ISIS-K for the attack, Indians in Af Biden said, “We will killed. This is over and Most Indians above the 13 US milinot forgive. We will not who wanted to tary personnel who forget. We will hunt lost their lives in the return have been you down and make attack. The Wazir Ak- evacuated, MEA you pay .” said on Friday. bar Khan Hospital in Despite the attack, central Kabul alone re- There could be a the US continued its portedly received 145 few stll stranded evacuation operation in the war-torn bodies. According to at the Kabul airport on CNN, at least 200 peo- country, but the Friday. In an earlyple were injured in the exact number is morning update, the unknown, it attack. White House said added. P9 Meanwhile, the Pen12,500 people were tagon on Friday clarievacuated in the prevified that the Kabul airport ex- ous 24 hours, taking the total plosion was by a single suicide number of people airlifted bomber and that there was no abroad since August 14 rose to blast near the Baron hotel. “We 105,000. do not believe there was a secThe UN Security Council, ond explosion. We felt it was currently being presided over impor tant to cor rect the by India, on Friday condemned record,” said US Army Major the Kabul terror strike, adding General William Taylor. that the world needs to unite US forces on the ground are against those who provide sacon alert with fresh intelligence turies to terrorists. P11 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Suggest alternative model: CM to critics 19.22% Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that criticisms against his government’s handling of the pandemic were aimed at creating confusion among the public. In an article published in the CPM’s Chintha weekly, the CM said the critics wanted to create public resentment against the government. P2 25.51% was the test positivity rate on Friday have been given two doses NATIONWIDE aug 26 aug 27 Fresh cases 46,164 Recoveries 34,159 Deaths 607 statewide aug 26 aug 27 Fresh cases 30,077 Recoveries 18,997 Deaths 162 EXPRESS READ Chef & film producer Naushad no more Tiruvalla: Popular chef and film producer Naushad passed away on Friday. The 55-year-old had been ailing for the past three years. P4 Kochi: The agriculture department and the state pollution control board conducted a joint surprise inspection at Kitex Garments in izhakkambalam on Friday. Turf war at Idamalayar? A young tiger killed tigress after it feasted on jumbo M an o j V i s w anat h an @ Kochi The death of a tiger and an elephant at Kulathupetti in the Idamalayar forest range has turned the spotlight on the increasing presence of tigers in the Malayattoor division. Forest department officers who inspected the spot where the carcasses of the two animals were found suspect that a second tiger was involved in the incident. The head of the Variyam tribal colony located just 1.5 km , away from the grassland where the carcasses were found, has informed the forest authorities of the presence of a second tiger in the area. According to a member of the team that visited the spot, the carcasses were highly decomposed. The female tiger aged 9 to 10 years would have died a week ago and the ele- 32,801 18,573 179 of all above 18 years have been given one dose of Covid vaccine, according to health minister While the state detects one in six Covid infected, it is one in 33 nationally. In the case of some northern states, it’s just one in 100. Kerala is following scientific management of the pandemic — Veena George, Health Minister Inspection at Kitex by agri dept & PCB An Afghan boy gives a thumbs-up after arriving at Dulles International Airport, Virginia, following evacuation from Kabul following the Taliban takeover | AFP 44,658 32,988 496 70.24% phant 14 to 15 days ago. Some Thursday According to wildlife . animal has feasted on the ele- experts, tigers shift to forest phant carcass. The bones of the fringes when they are aging. tigress were intact but the ani- The claws of the tigress was not mal’s right upper canine was sharp and could have had diffidamaged. Her claws culty in hunting. The were also not very tiger marks its terrisharp. tory by making claw “The tigress would marks on trees and have killed and feastspreading urine. Turf ed on the carcass of war is common the juvenile elephant among tigers as young which was 7 to 8 ones overpower the years old. Considerageing to claim ing the statement of territory . the tribal head, we Meanwhile, tribespresume a young ti- The skull of the tigress men and people living ger intruded into the that was found in the in the forest fringes Idamalayar forest tigress’ territory and of Malayattoor divikilled her for the carsion have confirmed cass. We are waiting for the the increased presence of tigers postmortem report to confirm in the area. As many as five tithe cause of death,” said Malay- gers have been spotted there. attoor divisional forest officer According to their version, two (DFO) who visited the spot or three tigers were spotted in along with an expert team on the Thundathil range. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram GRAPPLING with a puzzling Covid-19 situation in the state, a beleaguered Kerala government on Friday announced the return of lockdown Sundays, but in a stricter form, even as its health minister came under fire for blaming people for the latest surge. Panic within the administration became apparent on a day the state reported 32,801 new cases, the third consecutive day when the daily tally crossed the 30,000 mark, the test positivity rate closed in on an alarming 20%. The Sunday lockdown, which was suspended in the last two weeks owing to Independence Day and Onam, will be imposed more vigorously with only emergency services and shops selling essential items allowed. Though there is no scientific explanation for imposing lockdown on a single day, the government resorted to the measure RICH A SH A R M A @ New Delhi Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel will retain his seat for now though the power tussle in the state is far from over. After a three-hour long meeting with former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Baghel said: “I have told Rahul Gandhi my dil ki baat (heart’s desire). He is coming to Chhattisgarh next week and will visit Bastar to see the work done by the government.” Sources said the decision Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel greets Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Friday | Special Arrangement Synod okays uniform mass with celebrant mostly facing faithful E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi THE synod of the Syro-Malabar Church on Friday decided to implement the uniform way of conducting the Holy Mass, with the celebrant facing the faithful most of the time, across its churches from November 28 this year that marks the beginning of the next liturgical calendar in the Church. With regard to the new mode of conducting the Mass, a complete transformation will be effected by Easter in 2022. The second summit of the 29th synod, held online, concluded on Friday. In the post-synod statement, the Church said the bishops have decided to conduct the new mode of Holy Mass from November 28 itself. As per the newly approved format, the celebrant of the Mass would face the faithful during the introductory part (Liturgy of the Word) and concluding part. The celebrant would face the altar during the Anaphora (Liturgy of the Eucharist). ● More on P4 Five ‘invisible’ Covid orphan siblings @ Bhopal Three months after Madhya Pradesh became the first state in the country to announce a slew of welfare measures for Covid orphans, five little Scheduled Caste siblings — three girls and two boys — in Amaha village of Bhind district are still awaiting assistance for want of paperwork. They were completely invisible to the administration till the local MLA spotted them re- cently Their rickshaw driv. e r f a t h e r R a g h ve n d r a Valmiki succumbed to Covid in January, while mother Girija died two months later. Panchayat officials claim both possibly died due to Covid, but there is no documentation yet. At seven, the eldest is a girl who is now shouldering the responsibility of a parent because the granddad they live with doesn’t care. Her youngest sibling is an eightmonth-old boy They . live in a partially damaged hut near the village’s cremation ground and are surviving on food and milk offered by villagers. “Our parents died during the Corona wave. We request the government to provide us a house, food, a safe drink- The only solace for the government is the lower occupancy of ICU and ventilator, which seems to be an impact of the vaccination in the state. Veena George said 75% ventilators and 43% ICUs in government hospitals are unoccupied. as there is no constructive solution at hand. On Friday, there were 32,801 newly infected persons which reminded of the height of the second wave, when 43,529 cases were reported on May 12. The test positivity rate also touched 19.22%, which is a three-month high. Daily death count --- 179 on Friday --- too is a cause for worry . H e a l t h M i n i s t e r Ve e n a George, who drew flak for criticising Covid patients in home isolation for worsening the situation on Thursday, switched to advisory mode a day after and requested all to continue strong vigil with a special consideration for children. Stressing the need for self-care in preventing infection, she said people going to public spaces should exercise caution. “Avoid taking children outside as far as possible. Keep in mind they are not vaccinated. It’s better to avoid any visits to relatives’ houses also,” said Veena. Senior officials at the health department drew parallel with the post-Onam surge last year and justified that present spike is normal. Last year, the number of active cases grew by seven times in the weeks after Onam. The only solace for the health administrators is the comparatively lower occupancy of ICU and ventilator, which seems to be a direct impact of the active vaccination campaign in the state. According to Veena, 75% ventilators and 43% ICUs in government hospitals are unoccupied as on Friday. This is in addition to the facilities in 281 ● More on P2 private hospitals. Baghel gets a Priyanka lifeline till UP elections h ea l i n g t o u c h E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Lower occupancy of ICU ing water connection and education,” said the eldest. It was local Congress MLA Dr Govind Singh who spotted them during a recent visit to the village. He immediately offered `2,000 to the orphans and asked the village sarpanch and secretary to pool in `10,000 each. Singh also granted them `20,000 from his Local Area Development Fund, but since they do not h ave a b a n k a c c o u n t , the money is yet to reach Continued on: P10 them. Welfare assistance in MP In May this year, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced C5,000 monthly pension to each Covid orphan, besides free education and free monthly ration supply. The action came after The New Indian Express ran a nationwide series on Covid orphans, starting with that of twin sisters in Bhopal came after Priyanka backed Baghel, an OBC leader, while Rahul insisted that he abide by the promise made to T S Singh Deo. A senior party leader said Priyanka was of the view that changing Baghel just ahead of the crucial Assembly elections, especially Uttar Pradesh, will not go down well with the backward class vote bank. Flanked by party incharge for the state P L Punia, Baghel did not give a direct response to the claim of rotational CM by his cabinet colleague Deo. “The problem is not over yet and the party would have to ad- dress Deo’s concerns. Rahul ji’s proposed visit needs to be also looked at from that perspective,” said a state party leader. In a show of strength, Baghel came to Delhi along with over 50 MLAs and met Congress leaders K C Venugopal and Punia. The MLAs from the Baghel camp were at the AICC headquarters during the day and the CM met them after his meeting with Rahul. “Rahul ji has accepted an invitation to visit Bastar given by the CM. There are no differences between the two leaders,” Punia told this newspaper.
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