KOCHI l Thursday l September 23, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE city EDITION wORLD HEALTH oRGANIZATION 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 so that female candidates can write the upcoming NDA entrance exams in November. 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. express read at Kozhikode airport 5kg heroin worth S32 crore seized from Zambian The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Wednesday detained a woman from Zambia for trying to smuggle in nearly 5kg of heroin worth around D32 crore. Bishala Somo arrived at the Kozhikode airport from Doha, an official said. Based on specific information, the officials stopped her and seized 4.985kg of heroin from her baggage. P4 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 Swayamsewak 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. P5 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 High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to clarify why a separate order was issued on post-Covid treatment charges when the deaths of patients occuring 30 days after testing negative are treated as due to the pandemic. 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 oral- ly that the pandemic is “spreading like wildfire” in the state. As per the government order, for post-Covid syndrome care, people in the above poverty line 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 ventilator care. How 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 who have taken vaccines from a relevant public health body and A day after India threatened re- are from a specific list of counciprocal measures on its discrim- tries, will be considered fully inatory policy on vaccination, vaccinated. India does not figure the UK on Wednesday included on that list. Covishield in its list of approved “We’re clear Covishield is not vaccines. However, Indian travel- a problem. The UK is open to lers will still have to undergo travel and we’re already seeing a quarantine upon arrival as the lot of people going from India to British government is the UK, be it tourists, Jab-o-meter yet to recognise the vacbusiness people or cination certificate citTake your shot students,” said Alex ing technical issues. Ellis, British High Sep 21 68,26,132 doses Later in the day Prime Sep 22 64,98,274 doses Commissioner to In, Minister Narendra Modi dia. “We have been Total doses alluded to the hassle and having detailed tech83,33,46,676 stressed the need for nanical discussions retions to mutually recog- NATIONWIDE sep 21 sep 22 garding certification, nise vaccination certifi- Fresh cases 26,115 26,964 with the builders of cates for ease of travel. Recoveries 34,469 34,167 the CoWIN app and “We need to focus on ad- Deaths 252 383 the NHS app, about dressing the pandemic’s both apps” he added. At the virtual sumeconomic effects. To end STATEWIDE sep 21 sep 22 the adverse effects on Fresh cases 15,768 19,675 mit, Modi said India the economy, interna- Recoveries 21,367 19,702 has managed to ad214 142 minister 800 million tional travel should be Deaths vaccine doses so far made easier by mutually K50,000 and the production of recognising vaccine cerex-gratia vaccines is also being tificates,” the prime NDMA has ramped up. “As our minister said in his address at the virtual Glo- recommended that production increases, bal Covid Summit on the D50,000 be given we will be able to sidelines of the UN Gen- to the kin of those resume vaccine supwho died of Covid- plies to others too. eral Assembly . 19, the Centre For this, the supply According to the UK informed the chains of raw materigovernment’s amended guidelines, “Formula- Supreme Court on als must be ke pt Wednesday | P7 open.” US President tions of the four listed Joe Biden announced vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca that his country will double its Vaxzevria and Modern Takeda, purchase of Pfizer’s shots to qualify as approved vaccines.” share with the world up to 1 bilFrom 4 am on October 4, those lion doses. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Zee Entertainment, Sony Pictures announce merger The proposed merger will combine both the companies’ linear networks, digital assets, production operations and programme 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 for 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 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 the government pleader. ● More on P4 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 25 years as directed in the July 2020 verdict has commenced. 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 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express 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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