KOttayam l Thursday l September 23, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION wORLD HEALTH oRGANIsATION sets HIGHER bar for air quality Advised levels of pollutants revised In the revised guidelines, the United Nations health agency slashed the recommended maximum levels of several pollutants, including particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide. WHO halved the recommended limit for average annual PM2.5 level from 10 micrograms per cubic metre to 5. It also lowered the advised limit for PM10 from 20 micrograms to 15 W.H.O. on Wednesday issued its first air quality guidelines since 2005 aimed at reducing deaths from key pollutants Air pollution biggest health risk ■ ■ ■ Exposure to air pollution is estimated to cause 7 mn premature deaths and affect the health of millions more people each year According to the WHO, air pollution is now comparable to other global health risks such as unhealthy diet and tobacco smoking Reducing exposure to particulate matter is the priority, WHO said 90% OF WORLD POPULATION ALREADY LIVEs IN AREAS WITH HARMFUL pollutantS 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 SC pushes govt to let women write NDA exams this yr K a n u Sa r da @ New Delhi ThE Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the Centre’s request to defer the induction of women into the National Defence Academy (NDA) till next year, directing the defence ministry to do the needful to ensure female candidates appear in the upcoming NDA entrance exams in November itself. Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati told the bench that the military establishment would need some time to induct women into NDA. She said a study group is looking into the infrastructure and course requirements for women cadets and that a system will be put in place by May 2022. However, a bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said the admission of women cannot be postponed as it will mean losing a year. “What answer would we have for the students who are on the anvil of taking the exam? Don’t ask us to effectively vacate the order. You go on with the exercise. Let us see the result and see how many women get in,” it said. HC questions high post-Covid treatment charges in state E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi THE Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to clarify why a separate order was issued on post-Covid treatment charges, when the deaths occuring 30 days after patients testing negative are treated as Covid deaths. On the parity of reasons, the treatment — for the same period — after patients turn negative should also be deemed Covid treatment, the court said. The court observed orally that the pan- demic is “spreading like wildfire” in the state. According to the government order, for post-Covid syndrome care, people in the above poverty line (APL) category will be charged `750 a day for wards, `1,250 for treatment in high dependency units, `1,500 for ICU care and `2,000 for ICU plus venHow can you say that a person who became negative today has to pay a higher amount tomorrow? — Kerala High Court PM weighs in on vax certification at global summit UK okay with Covishield, not India’s certificate From 4 am on October 4, those who have taken vaccines from a A day after India threatened re- relevant public health body and ciprocal measures on its discrim- are from a specific list of couninatory policy on vaccination, the tries, will be considered fully vacUK on Wednesday included Cov- cinated. India does not figure on ishield in its list of approved vac- that list. cines. However, Indian travellers “We’re clear Covishield is not a will still have to undergo quaran- problem. The UK is open to travel tine upon arrival as the British and we’re already seeing a lot of government is yet to recpeople going from InJab-o-meter ognise the vaccination dia to the UK, be it certificate citing techniTake your shot tourists, business peocal issues. ple or students,” said Sep 21 68,26,132 doses Later in the day Prime Sep 22 64,98,274 doses Alex Ellis, British , Minister Narendra Modi High Commissioner Total doses alluded to the hassle and to India. “We have 83,33,46,676 stressed the need for nabeen having detailed tions to mutually recog- NATIONWIDE sep 21 sep 22 technical discussions nise vaccination certifi- Fresh cases 26,115 26,964 regarding certificacates for ease of travel. Recoveries 34,469 34,167 tion, with the builders “We need to focus on ad- Deaths 252 383 of the CoWIN app and dressing the pandemic’s the NHS app, about economic effects. To end STATEWIDE sep 21 sep 22 both apps” he added. the adverse effects on Fresh cases 15,768 19,675 At the virtual sumthe economy, interna- Recoveries 21,367 19,702 mit, Modi said India214 142 has managed to adtional travel should be Deaths made easier by mutually minister 800 million K50,000 recognising vaccine cervaccine doses so far ex-gratia tificates,” the prime minand the production of NDMA has ister said in his address vaccines is also being at the virtual Global recommended that ramped up. “As our Covid Summit on the D50,000 be given production increases, sidelines of the United to the kin of those we will be able to N a t i o n s G e n e r a l who died of Covid- resume vaccine sup19, the Centre Assembly . plies to others too. For informed the According to the UK this, the supply chains government’s amended Supreme Court on of raw materials must Wednesday | P7 guidelines, “Formulabe kept open.” tions of the four listed US President Joe vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Biden announced that his counC o v i s h i e l d , A s t r a Z e n e c a try will double its purchase of Vaxzevria and Modern Takeda, Pfizer’s shots to share with the qualify as approved vaccines.” world up to 1 billion doses. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi express read Reserve Bank Private consumption key to economic recovery: Das Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Wednesday that the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the poor harder than others and restoring private consumption will be the key. “Our endeavour should be to ensure livable and sustainable growth in the post-pandemic future. Restoring the durability of private consumption will be very crucial,” he said | P10 ALL ABOUT HOUSE Prakash and Jayalakshmi, a couple belonging to Kuttanad, came to the Secretariat with their two small children to meet CM Pinarayi Vijayan and tell him how much they have been suffering without a house. When the police denied them entry, they happened to meet Opposition Leader V D Satheesan, who had come to inaugurate a protest. The couple told him that the Alappuzha district collector refused to help them as they do not own any piece of land | Vincent Pulickal Malabar rebellion RSS wing set to press for correction in history books New Delhi: In a bid to build public opinion to revisit the Moplah rebellion in Kerala in 1921, Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) affiliate Prajna Prawah will hold a demonstration in the national capital and a seminar to mark the centenary of the event. RSS leader J Nandakumar said the politics of appeasement in the past three decades has sought to portray those who led the “mass killings of Hindus” as freedom fighters. Zee Entertainment, Sony Pictures announce merger The proposed merger will combine both the companies’ linear networks, digital assets, production operations and program libraries Sony Pictures Networks India to hold majority stake in the merged entity Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd MD and CEO Punit Goenka to lead the merged entity The proposed merger will, HOWEVER, need shareholders’ approval The development comes a week after two largest investors of ZEEL — Invesco Developing Markets Fund and OFI Global China Fund — sought to remove Goenka | P10 L A H A G O PA L A N 1 9 5 0 - 2 0 2 1 Chengara land agitation leader no more class 7. When he was in the eighth standard, Gopalan moved to his relaLAHA Gopalan, 71, the leader of tive’s place at Laha and had been livChengara land agitation, died ing there since then. of Covid at the General HospiHe joined KSEB as a worker tal here on Wednesday He has . in 1976 and retired as an overbeen suffering from age-relatseer in 2005. A former member ed ailments for many years. of the CPM, Gopalan started He was the president of Sadhu getting involved in the agitaJana Vimochana Samyukta tions for tribal rights in 1986. Vedi. Four years later, he led the RaBorn on April 10, 1950, at Laha Gopalan jampara land agitation and won Mavelikkara to Kattoor Ayyapland for many tribal families. pan and Chandramathi, Gopalan studOn August 4, 2007, 300 landless famiied at Vettiyar Government School till lies led by Sadhu Jana Vimochana E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Pathanamthitta Samyukta Vedi encroached nearly 145 hectares of Harrisons Malayalam Limited’s rubber plantation at Chengara near Konni demanding five acres of land for farming and `50,000 each to the families towards its initial expense. On August 15, 2015, he led a 150-day agitation in front of Pathanamthitta Mini Civil Station to press their 25 demands. In 2016, concerned by factionalism, Gopalan left the movement. Gopalan is survived by wife Sarada, daughter Girijamol and sons G Gireesh Kumar and G Giridev. P4 tilator care. A division bench comprising Justice Devan Ramachandran and Justice Kauser Edappagath issued the order when a review petition on the treatment charges in private hospitals came up for hearing. “How can you say that a person who became negative today has to pay a higher amount tomorrow though he has Covid-related complications? You will have to explain what the post-Covid treatment is and what the time frame,” the court told ● More on P4 the pleader. Vaccine policy: Centre moves HC against order Covid spread under control in state, says CM Kochi: The Centre approached the High Court seeking to set aside a single judge order that directed it to allow the second dose of Covishield after four weeks instead of the stipulated 84-day gap. The judge had also asked the Centre to make changes to the CoWIN app to enable a reduced dose gap. T’Puram: Covid spread is being brought under control, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said. The average number of active cases between September 15 and 21 was 1,78,363. Of them, only two per cent required oxygen beds and one per cent needed ICU admission. Padma temple: SC rejects plea seeking audit exemption Capt raps Gandhis, vows to trounce Sidhu in state polls E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram H a r p r ee t B a j w a @ Chandigarh The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal filed by the Sree Padamanabha Swamy Temple Trust (SPSTT) seeking exemption from the audit stated in the apex court’s landmark judgment in the temple case last year. A three-member bench said the special audit on the temple and the SPSTT should be completed as early as possible, preferably within three months. The temple administrative committee informed the court that the special audit on temple accounts for twenty-five years as directed in the July 2020 verdict has commenced. The trust was formed by the last ruler of Travancore kingdom Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma. P4 Days after stepping down as Punjab chief minister, Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday took his first public swipe at the Gandhi siblings leading the party, Rahul and Priyanka, for forcing his hand, saying they were quite inexperienced, adding they were misguided. He also announced his decision to field a strong candidate against new Punjab Congress unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu — who led the rebellion against him — to ensure his defeat in the forthcoming Assembly elections. “He is dangerous for the state,” he said as he lit into Sidhu. By saying so, he appeared to be baiting the party to expel him. Amarinder also said he would continue fighting against Sidhu’s elevation or making him the chief ministerial face tooth and nail. He questioned the judgement of the Gandhi sibl i n g s ’ a dv i s o r s , K C Venugopal, Ajay Maken and Randeep Surjewala, who helped constitute the new ministry led by Charanjit Singh Channi, and termed Sidhu as the super chief minister. Asserting that he will only leave politics on a high, Amarinder said, “I was ready to leave after victory but never after a loss.”
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