JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT October 25 58,87,981 doses October 26 51,56,054 doses TOTAL: 103,48,36,594 NATIONWIDE OCT 25 OCT 26 Fresh cases 14,306 12,428 Recoveries Deaths 18,762 443 KARNATAKA OCT 25 15,951 356 OCT 26 Fresh cases U.S. EASES RULES FOR TRAVELLERS FROM INDIA, CHINA AND EUROPE The Joe Biden administration has removed Covid curbs on those arriving from India, China and much of the EU from November 8 NO MORE COUNTRY-SPECIFIC RESTRICTIONS VAX EXEMPTION FOR CHILDREN UNDER 18 “It is in the interests of the United States to move away from the country-by-country restrictions previously applied during the Covid19 pandemic and to adopt an air travel policy that relies primarily on vaccination to advance the safe resumption of international air travel to the United States,” the order signed by US President Joe Biden said ■ ■ Only fully vaccinated travellers can enter the US. Foreigners must provide proof of vaccination and airlines must confirm the last dose was at least two weeks before the travel date Children under 18 are exempt from the vaccine requirements. So are people who can’t take the jab owing to medical issues 277 Recoveries Deaths BENGALURU WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 27, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 22 LATE CITY EDITION 290 408 10 343 7 March 2020 WHEN THE U.S. IMPOSED EXTRAORDINARY COVID CURBS ON FOREIGN TRAVELLERS 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 M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi THE CBI recently arrested five persons, including a serving Commander-rank officer in the Navy’s Western Command for allegedly leaking secrets on India’s conventional submarines. Of the other four, two are retired Navy officers. “Investigation related to alleged information leak of administrative and commercial nature to some unauthorised personnel has come to light and is being investigated by appropriate government agency the ,” Navy said in a statement. The racket came into light a month ago, after which the CBI conducted raids at 19 locations, including in Delhi, Noida and Hyderabad. “The officers were passing sensitive information on kilo class submarines to private persons,” said sources. All five are in judicial custody . As part of its internal probe, the Navy has set up a panel under a Vice Admiral. At present, the Navy operates 12 conventional submarines and a nuclear powered submarine, which are strategically important underwater combat systems. Meanwhile, a man from Godhra in Gujarat’s Panchmahal district was arrested in connection with a Navy espionage case late on Monday night. Altaf Hussain Harun Ghanchi was nabbed after raids by joint teams of the Andhra Pradesh Police, a Special Operations Group and the local police. Ghanchi is accused of using SIM cards of different mobile companies to get OTPs of WhatsApp accounts, which he sent to his alleged masters in Pakistan to allow them to operate Indian WhatsApp accounts from Pakistan, an official claimed. 2 in B’luru found with new Covid variant STRAIN UNDER INVESTIGATION C H E TA N A B E L A G E R E & R A N J A N I M A D H A V A N @Bengaluru THE genomic sequencing of Covid samples in Karnataka has found two positive patients in Bengaluru infected with the AY.4.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is feared to be causing the surge in the UK, Germany and Russia. With this, the Karnataka government is likely to reimpose a few restrictions. The two samples tested positive for the mutated sublineages of the virus in July . Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Monday cautioned and reminded people that the pandemic is not over yet. “The two cases Does AY.4.2 cause more severe illness? There is no clear indication from the UK that AY.4.2 leads to more severe illness, according to initial analyses What is AY.4.2 Navy officer held for leaking sub secrets Origin not known yet First spotted in July this year in the UK, more than 15,000 cases have been reported in that country. Last week, the UK termed it a “variant under investigation”. Reports have indicated a “growth rate of 17% for AY.4.2 compared to other circulating variants” and a “secondary attack rate” of 12.4% for household contacts as against 11.1% for Delta. The AY.4.2 is distinguished by two key spike mutations - A222V which is seen across most Delta lineages but also Y145H. It is Y145H which is closely being assessed for any additional impact on the characteristics of the variant. They are all sub-lineages of delta. There are now 75 AY lineages identified, each with different additional defining mutations in their genome. Of these – AY.4 – has been steadily growing in proportion in the UK. have been detected with this sublineage and we sent the samples for genomic sequencing for recon- Even key issues articulated by the leadership do not percolate to the grassroots level: Cong chief Targeting seniors, Sonia says no unity E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi CONGRESS chief Sonia Gandhi Tuesday did some plainspeak saying there was a lack of clarity and cohesion among even senior state-level leaders, adding issues raised by the party were not reaching the grassroots cadre. Sonia said the party must fight the diabolical campaign of BJP/ RSS ideologically to expose the lies of the Centre before the people to win the battle of perception. “The AICC releases important and detailed statements almost every day on issues facing the nation. But it is my experience that they do not percolate down to our grassroots cadre at the block and district levels. There are policy issues on which I find a lack of clarity and cohesion even amongst our state-level leaders,” she said at a meeting attended by party gen- eral secretaries, in-charges and state chiefs to discuss the membership drive, sustained agitation programmes and the forthcoming Assembly polls in five states. On the party’s training programmes, she said the fight to defend democracy the Constitution , and party’s ideology would begin with being fully prepared to counter false propaganda. In another message to dissenters, she said there is a paramount need for discipline and unity. “What should matter to every one of us is the strengthening of the organisation. This must override personal ambitions. In this lies both collective and individual success,” she added. On the membership drive, party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the focus should be on enrollment of genuine people rather than cooking up figures. Chennai NCB chief post vacant, B’luru director to oversee South B A L A C H A U H A N @ Bengaluru AT a time when there is a nationwide crackdown on supply and use of contraband drugs and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is caught in a controversy over allegations of extortion in the drugs-in-cruise case, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is yet to appoint a zonal director to NCB, Chennai. The post has been lying vacant since March 1 this year after the then director was repatriated to his parent cadre of Central Armed Police Force after the completion of his tenure. The Chennai zone has a vast jurisdiction, covering coastal states -- Tamil Nadu and Kerala and Union Territories of Puducherry and Lakshadweep. Being coastal regions, they are extremely susceptible to drug trafficking through sea besides the air route. In the absence of a zonal director at Chennai, NCB, the Zonal Director, Bengaluru is holding charge of the P10 Chennai zone. firmation. After discussing with experts, I will brief the Chief Minister and take a decision on new guidelines,” he said. “If reconfirmed, we will hold discussions with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The third wave has started in the UK and Russia because of new Covid variants. I will meet the Covid Technical Advisory Committee chairman and discuss precautionary measures to be taken,” he added. Education Minister BC Nagesh, however, said that seven people in the state have been infected with the new variant, though Dr Sudhakar confirmed it as only two. BBMP Health Commissioner Thrilok Chandra said, “Both the patients, who have been traced, were P3 found to be asymptomatic.” E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bengaluru Congress president Sonia Gandhi at a party meeting in Delhi on Tuesday | PTI CLAUSE ON LIQUOR ABSTINENCE NIXED An archaic clause on Congress membership being subject to abstention from alcohol was dropped from its membership form after several leaders said it was not feasible. Rahul Gandhi said it makes no sense in the present times, and asked for a show of hands of those who enjoy their drink. With over 50% in the room raising their hands, the clause was killed | P9 CAN’T WAIT FOREVER FOR CONG: TRINAMOOL Justifying its decision to enter the Goa poll fray, Trinamool leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said his party cannot wait indefinitely for the Congress to bring together the Opposition against the BJP. The Congress has attacked the Trinamool for poaching its leaders, with former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro and prominent UP Congress leader Lalitesh Pati Tripathi joining Mamata’s party ACROSS THE WORLD 5 lakh people to sing in unison this Rajyotsava E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bengaluru NCB’s Mumbai director Sameer Wankhede at the agency’s Delhi office on Tuesday | PTI AFTER WANKHEDE, NCP TARGETS VIGILANCE CHIEF HEADING PROBE S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I @ Mumbai AFTER targeting Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)’s zonal director Sameer Wankhede, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) seems to be training its gun on Gyaneshwar Singh, the vigilance officer leading the probe on graft charges against the NCB officer. NCP spokesperson Sanjay Tatkare said Singh had earlier shielded Wankhede. “Vigilance chief Gyaneshwar Singh at that time not only defended NCB’s functioning but also protected Sameer Wankhede. So, can we expect the fair probe or just a farce probe a g ainst Wankhede,” Tatkare said. Meanwhile, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray plans to write to PM Narendra Modi about central agencies’ “malafide actions” against Bollywood celebrities. The letter will emphasise how such actions will adversely impact the country’s economy P10 . THIS will be one mega-event to highlight Kannada pride, as around five lakh singers from across the world will sing iconic Kannada songs penned by three poets at 1,000 locations on October 28, as part of week-long celebrations to mark Kannada Rajyotsava, which falls on November 1. Kannada organisations from other countries too will join this mammoth event, which is also eyeing a record. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and his colleagues will be part of ‘Kannadakkagi Naavu’ -- organised by the Department of Kannada and Culture -on the steps of the Vidhana Soudha. P4 METRO PHASE 3 EXPECTED BY 2027-28 It will have 31 stations and two corridors. The first one will be along the ORR for 31 km, while the second one will run for 11 km | P2 Rising petrol price robs Kodagu women of freedom P R A J N A G R @Madikeri IT is time to tighten the belt hard as unprecedented fuel rates have increased the prices of essential commodities and, more worryingly, jacked up the cost of commuting. The situation is no different for rural women in the hill district of Kodagu. Nearly a decade ago, many rural women learnt to ride two-wheelers and achieved free- dom to travel on their scooters to cities from interior villages. But with the soaring petrol price that touched Rs 112.30 per litre on Monday, women in the district said they feel crippled and helpless. Kasthuri P, a resident of Jamburu village in Kodagu district, recently shifted to a house built under the rehabilitation programme after floods destroyed her house in 2018. While she earlier stayed close to Madikeri, her Raids conducted at Sparsh Hospital, Narayana Health new home is over 21 km from the district headquarters. Kasthuri, who is a tailor and has rented a shop in Madikeri, said, “I learnt to ride a two-wheeler nearly eight years ago and having a scooter was the most economical investment. To travel from Jamburu to Madikeri and back, I have to fill a minimum of two litres of petrol every day. Now, I have to spend over Rs 200 each day on my travel. As bus timings are not to my con- venience, I was using my own transport. But I have to rethink my options now.” Hema P works at a printing press in Madikeri and is a resident of Murnad town. A single mother, she learnt to ride over seven years ago. She recalls, “I remember filling the fuel tank of my scooter to the brim with just Rs 350. But I cannot travel on my scooter anymore as fuel has beP7 come unaffordable.” THE Monitoring and Advisory Committee of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994 raided three health centres on Tuesday including , Narayana Health Centre at Rajagopalanagar, Sparsh Hospital at Yeshwanthpur and Viveka Scans at Dasarahalli. Narayana Health was found to be run by Ayush doctors, which is not allowed. The centre was sealed and shut. “There were complaints of illegal medical termination of pregnancies done by them. The Ayush doctors were absconding and the centre did not have gynaecologists. The centre was also not registered under the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act,” said an official who was part of the raid. “Sparsh Hospital was conducting foetal medical training for postgraduate and graduate students which is not alP3 lowed without permission,” the official said. EXPRESS READ Reconsider decision on compulsory Kannada or will stay NEP, HC warns state Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday orally indicated that it will have to stay the National Education Policy (NEP) if the state government does not reconsider its decision on making Kannada a compulsory language for undergraduate courses in the state from the academic year 2021-22. P7
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