Samyukt Kisan Morcha leader Darshan Pal (L) and others at a press conference near Singhu border in New Delhi on Saturday | PTI HUBBALLI SUNDAY NOVEMBER 28, 2021 `12.00 PAGES 24 CITY EDITION TRACTOR MARCH POSTPONED, BUT PROTESTS TO CONTINUE UNIONS LIST PENDING DEMANDS FOR CENTRE Farmers postpone Monday’s Parliament march, but agitation will continue till demands, including the one on MSP, are met STUBBLE BURNING TO BE DECRIMINALISED The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which is heading the stir against the three farm bills, has said it welcomes Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to repeal the bills and is urging fulfillment of six other demands, including a statutory guarantee of Minimum Support Price, withdrawal of the draft Electricity Amendment Bill and suspension of Union Minister Ajay Mishra ■ ■ Earlier on Saturday, the Union agriculture minister said stubble burning has been decriminalised as per the farmers’ demand SKM, an umbrella body of farm unions, also said Modi should direct states and Railways to withdraw cases against protesting farmers. Parliament’s winter session begins on Monday | P7 Dec 4 NEXT MEETING OF SKM TO DECIDE FARMERS’ COURSE OF ACTION 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 Amid Omicron worry, state makes 2 jabs must for staff Int’l travel curbs may continue as Omicron spreads EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru PM seeks review of plans to resume regular flights, urges states to ramp up vaccination ministry would continue to have restrictions on the number CONCERNED over the new of weekly flights with India. Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529 found The meeting came in the in South Africa that has been backdrop of suspected Omidesignated as a ‘variant of con- cron cases being reported in cer n’ by the World Belgium, Israel, GerHealth Organization many the Netherlands, , and named Omicron, Czech Republic and the Prime Minister NarenUK. There have been 77 dra Modi on Saturday fully confirmed cases asked officials to reof the Omicron variant view plans for easing in South Africa, four of international travel cases in Botswana and restrictions in India. one in Hong Kong. S Africa At a comprehensive The UK, the US, the furious meeting to review the EU, Australia, Brazil, public health prepared- South Africa is Turkey, Canada, the ness in the backdrop of angry that it is United Arab Emirates, Omicron, which is posEgypt, Sri Lanka, being sibly more transmissiOman and Thailand, “punished” ble than the highly in- with air travel among others have alfectious Delta variant, bans for finding ready banned travel the PM highlighted the the strain first, from certain African need for monitoring all countries. a feat made international arrivals, In Saturday’s meetpossible only their testing as per ing, the PM stressed due to the guidelines with a spethe need to increase the country’s cific focus on countries second dose coverage advanced identified as ‘at risk.’ and also asked states to genomic The meeting was ensure that all those surveillance held a day after the civwho have got the first il aviation ministry said regu- dose are given the second dose lar international passenger on time. He also directed offiflights would resume operation cials to work closely with state from December 15 with certain governments so that there is exceptions. Countries marked proper awareness at the state P7, 9, 12 as ‘at risk’ by the Union health and district level. K U M A R V I K R A M @ New Delhi JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT Nov 26 65,23,396 doses Nov 27 73,74,792 doses TOTAL: 121,84,12,797 NATIONWIDE NOV 26 NOV 27 KARNATAKA NOV 26 NOV 27 Fresh cases 10,549 8,318 Recoveries 9,868 10,967 Deaths 488 465 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 402 277 6 322 176 3 EXPRESS READ Maharashtra tightens inter-state travel rules Drugmakers race to test vaccines against variant Mumbai: As fears over the new Omicron variant mount, the Maharashtra government on Saturday said domestic travellers to the state must either be fully vaccinated or have a negative RT-PCR report. Arrivals from foreign countries will need to follow the Union government’s directions for entry | P7 The pharma majors who made vaccines for the novel coronavirus are racing to get their hands on the Omicron strain. Johnson & Johnson is already testing its shot against the strain, while AstraZeneca — which helped design Covishield — is conducting vaccine research in the African nations Botswana and Eswatini Caring for Karwar BSF, BGB TO ENHANCE COOPERATION P2 The border guarding forces of India and Bangladesh have decided to up cooperation to check transboundary crimes. W I T H T H I S I SSU E METAVERSE IS COMING PLUS 12 PAGES Healthcare workers collect swab samples of a child at the Kempegowda Bus Station in Bengaluru on Saturday | SHRIRAM BN 24x7 vigilance at airports to check passengers arriving from abroad. Round-the-clock screening in districts that share the borders with neighbouring states RTPCR-negative certificate must for those entering from Maharashtra and Kerala Schools and colleges cannot organise cultural programmes and seminars Masks mandatory at all political rallies /campaigns, weddings and other events VIGIL UP AGAIN Covid test a must once every seven days for those staying in hostels The Union government expected to permit the booster dose for frontline workers next week Another meeting with all the stakeholders will be convened to issue detailed guidelines for Christmas and New Year celebrations TMC may skip Cong-led meet as it eyes chief Oppn role E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kolkata IN another bid to project itself as the main antiBJP party, the Trinamool Congress is likely to skip the meeting of opposition parties convened by the Congress on Monday for a joint strategy during the winter Parliament session, party sources said on Saturday . “The Trinamool is not interested in coordinating with the Congress but the party has no problem in coordinating with other opposition parties,” a party leader said. “In such a situation, the Trinamool will lead the alliance. The recent defection from the Congress to our party shows we are the main opposition against the Bharatiya Janta Party .” The final decision on boycotting the meeting would be taken by party supremo Mamata Banerjee, and it could arrive at a time when the rift between the Trinamool Congress and the grand old party is growing. The Trinamool Congress recently poached Congress legislators in Tripura, Meghalaya and Goa and is portraying itself as the main party confronting the BJP. “The thumping victory in the recent Assembly elections proved that the Trinamool is the main political party that decimated the BJP in Bengal despite the saffron camp’s aggressive campaign,” a senior Trinamool leader said. “We are now busy spreading our footprint in national politics and building an image as the only anti-BJP political party But the Congress is . trying to portray itself as the main face of antiBJP forces by convening the meeting, which we do not agree with,” the leader added. During her recent visit to Delhi, Banerjee did not meet interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi, but instead met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stoking speculation. MIND GAMES Soldiers may be taught to beat China in talks M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi THE Army is working on honing negotiation skills of the soldiers mandated to communicate and hold bilateral talks with the Chinese troops as interactions between the soldiers of the two countries increase. According to a source, “The training on negotiation techniques is in its conceptual stage, keeping in mind the way talks have been taking place at different command levels.” The need for more training arose after the Chinese side either stretched the meeting for long hours “to wear out the other side during the talks” or behaved erratically raising voices , to play mind games with Indians. The whole gamut of responses along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has been under review since the military standoff of May 2020. The Army has also formalised a course on Tibetan language and culture to “amalgamate its troops well with the people of Tibet.” The course run by the Army in association with the Central Institute of Himalayan Culture Studies and Namgyal Institute of Tibetology Sik, kim, aims to make soldiers under- stand cultural nuances and teach them with the language so that they can mix with the Tibetan population living on the Indian side of the LAC. This will wean the people away from the Chinese propaganda, the source said. There are people from the same tribes living on both sides of the LAC. The frequency of meetings, talks and hotline communication has increased between the two sides. As per the old agreements, nine Border Personnel Meetings are held between the two countries every year on ceremonial occasions. THE Karnataka government has made it mandatory for those working in public places, including all government offices, malls, cinemas, libraries and other places, to get two doses of Covid vaccine. Workers who are not fully vaccinated should be sent back till their two doses are completed, the government said. Vigil is being stepped up at airports, especially to check those arriving from abroad and from districts that share borders with Kerala and Maharashtra. The two neighbouring states have continued to witness a high number of Covid cases and travellers from there should also carry a negative RTPCR certificate. Health officials have been told to work 24x7 in border areas to screen those entering Karnataka. Police, revenue, and health department officials should work in three shifts and senior officials must conduct surprise checks even at nights, the government stated. Students from Kerala, who returned to the state over the last 16 days, have to take an RTPCR test again even though they had arrived with a negative report earlier. On Saturday Chief Minister , Basavaraj Bommai convened an emergency meeting with health officials, ministers, Covid advisors and other stakeholders as the state reported four virus clusters in Dharwad, Bengaluru and Mysuru over the last few days. Bommai also held a video conference with deputy commissioners from districts that share the border with other states, especially Kerala. CONTINUED ON: P3 Epidemiologist calls for improving vax coverage 102 more cases detected at Dharwad college With the new coronavirus variant raising fresh concerns, TAC member Dr Giridhara R Babu, in an explainer to TNIE, suggests some of the immediate actions the government can take. P3 The SDM Medical College near Dharwad reported 102 new Covid cases on Saturday. With this increase, the institution has detected a total of 306 Covid-positive cases so far. P3 Two from SA test +ve, DC says it’s Delta C H E TA N A B E L A G E R E @ Bengaluru AMID concerns over two travellers from South Africa, who arrived at the Kempegowda International Airport, testing positive for Covid, the Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru Rural claimed late on Saturday evening that they are infected with the Delta variant, and not the new Omicron variant. After reports of the two travellers testing positive emerged, the entire state and Bengaluru were on tenterhooks throughout Saturday as the genomic sequencing of the virus was awaited. There was a collective sigh of relief when the DC said that the test results had arrived earlier and they were found to be Delta variant. However, Dr V Ravi, head of the Genome Sequencing Committee, said he is not aware of genome sequencing of samples of the two travellers and it was P3 not done at NIMHANS.
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