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 ■ ■ bhubaneswar l monday l november 29, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l jeypore EDITION Trinamool seeks to forge third front against BJP West Bengal’s ruling party is looking to forge a non-Congress Opposition in both Parliamentary Houses to take on the BJP Parties not allied with Congress targeted ‘Nobody is untouchable for us’ Sources in the Trinamool, which will skip the joint strategy meeting today of the Opposition for the winter session, said the party is looking to coordinate with others that are not in alliance with the Congress anywhere. The second largest party in Rajya Sabha and the fourth largest in Lok Sabha, TMC said it won’t align itself with Congress’s floor strategy ■ Oppn demands MSP law at all-party meet E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi With the Opposition making a slew of demands, including a law to guarantee Minimum Support Price for farm produce, at an all-party meeting on Sunday defence minister and , Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Rajnath Singh told floor leaders that the government is ready for a healthy discussion on all issues in the Winter Session of Parliament. Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the meeting a miss, though in the past he had attended them. The meeting is called a day before the Parliament session begins. Opposition parties indicated they will further pressure the government on farm issues, with some of them expressing concern that the Centre could bring in provisions of the three contentious laws that are up for repeal in a different form. Making it clear that the Opposition parties will take up the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, floor leaders pressed for the sacking of Union minister Ajay Mishra whose son is the prime accused in the violence. Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjuna Kharge demanded a law to guarantee MSP. He also said the government should give financial compensation to victims of Covid-19 as well as the farm agitation. V Vijaysai Reddy of the YSR Congress demanded the expansion of the MSP basket to cover marine and poultry products. He also sought caste census. Test norms for fliers revised E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi With the highly infectious Omicron variant of the coronavirus being detected in at least two more countries on Sunday, the Centre decided to review its decision on resuming commercial foreign flights. Before Omicron surfaced, it had reportedly planned to resume full international travel from December 15. And now, new guidelines from the health ministry state that passengers travelling from or transiting through “at risk” countries will have to take a RT-PCR test on arrival in India and will be required to wait for the results before leaving the airport or taking a connecting flight. Five per cent of travellers from other countries in each flight will be randomly tested at the airport. The “at-risk” countries are Euro- Catching the bug in time South Africa didn’t wait for gene sequencing to spot the variant, as it used a RT-PCR test with a gene kit that can show a result of a undetectable S-gene target — a marker for Omicron. India doesn’t have the kit yet, but it can begin manufacturing quickly, says scientist Anurag Agrawal | P7 pean nations, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel. On Sunday, in an urgent meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, the government issued a slew of directions to states for ramping up testing-surveillance meas- ures and health facilities, asking them focus on intensive containment, monitoring of hotspots and increased vaccination coverage. The meeting follows a high-level review by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday . For their part, states began to retighten Covid restrictions and trace people who arrived from abroad, especially from ‘at risk’ nations in the last one month. Though no Omicron cases have been recorded in India yet, confirmed or suspected cases have emerged in Europe, Israel and Hong Kong — just days after it was first detected in South Africa. The Netherlands confirmed 13 cases, Australia two and the UK one on Sunday . In a drastic move, Israel barred entry to foreigners and Morocco suspended all incoming air travel. P12 express read PM post not for power, but for serving people: Modi NEW DELHI: Asserting that this is an era of start-ups, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said India is leading the world in this field with more than 70 start-ups having crossed the valuation of USD 1 billion. In his monthly Mann Ki Baat radio broadcast, Modi also said he wants to be in service of people and not be “in power” | P7 Forest dept issues SOP to prevent wildfire Bhubaneswar: Taking a cue from the devastating fire in Similipal Tiger Reserve and similar incidents in forest divisions across Odisha this year, the State government has issued standard operating procedure (SOP) to prevent wildfire incidents in 2022 | P3 NATIONWIDE Nov 27 Nov 28 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Airborne warning A hot air balloon, designed in the shape of coronavirus, floats in the sky during Fanush festival celebrations in Kolkata on Sunday | pti odisha Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 8,318 10,967 465 8,774 9,481 621 nov 27 nov 28 264 255 03 191 221 01 Cyclone likely over BoB this week, heavy rain warning for Odisha E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar This cyclone season’s first weather system is likely to form over south Andaman Sea and could move towards Odisha and Andhra Pradesh this week. A low pressure system is likely to form over Bay of Bengal around November 30, become more marked and move west-northwestwards during the subsequent 48 hours. The system is expected to intensify into a depression and later into a cyclonic storm. India Meteorological Department (IMD) DG Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said currently, the sea condition is conducive for cyclogenesis (strengthening of cyclonic circulation) over Andaman Sea region. The sea surface temperature is 29 degree Celsius to 31 degree over the Bay of Bengal. The direction and intensity of the system can only be ascertained once the low pressure is formed. Rainfall, however, is expected to increase over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and Odisha from the night of December 3, he said. Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena has directed the collectors to closely monitor the situation and put necessary disaster mitigation measures in place. As rough sea conditions will prevail along and off the Odisha coast between December 3 and 5, fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea during the period. According to private weather forecaster Skymet, the system is expected to reach north Andhra Pradesh or south Odisha coast by December 3. Heavy rainfall is expected over Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh between December 3 and 5. Sea condition will remain rough to very rough and wind speed will also be very high, it said. Annually the Bay of Bengal , and Arabian Sea experience five cyclones - one over the Arabian Sea and four over the Bay of Bengal. Considering the seasonal frequency, pre-monsoon cyclones occur during April-June and post-monsoon from October to December. Of the five cyclones, one develops during pre-monsoon season and four postmonsoon. A low pressure is likely to form over Bay of Bengal around November 30, become more marked and move west-northwestwards in 48 hours. The system is expected to intensify into a depression and later into a cyclonic storm. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, DG, India Meteorological Department ■ The Trinamool has burnt bridges with the Congress as it has opened its door to rebels so as to realise its national ambition “We will reach out to all like-minded parties, whether it is the Samajwadi Party or BJD, for a stronger Opposition front. Nobody is untouchable for us,” said a TMC MP | P7 22 MPs TMC has in Lok Sabha, compared with 53 MPs of Congress Landslide BJP win in Tripura civic polls P r a s a nta M a z u m d a r @ Guwahati The ruling BJP in Tripura swept the civic elections on Sunday, capturing power in all 20 urban local bodies (ULBs). The elections were held against the backdrop of sporadic incidents of political violence. The CPI(M) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) had accused of BJP of assault and intimidation of their workers. Of the total 334 seats, the BJP won 329. It had won 112 seats in seven ULBs unopposed earlier. Three seats went to the CPI(M) and one each to the TMC and the TIPRA Motha. That the BJP was serious about the polls was evident from Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking to Twitter to congratulate people and party workers on the success. The TMC was optimistic about its success in the Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) but the BJP won all its 51 seats. “People of Agartala have shown abundant confidence in the double engine government led by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri @ Narendra Modi ji,” Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb tweeted. The TMC had viewed the polls as its launch pad to make inroads into the Bengali-majority state. Its defeat comes days after it became Meghalaya’s main opposition through a political coup that saw 12 of the 17 Congress MLAs defecting to it. TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee said it was exceptional for a party with negligible presence to to get over 20% vote share in the polls. State sounds alert on third wave, enhanced vigil on foreign returnees E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Odisha government on Sunday sounded an alert for a possible third wave and made 14-day quarantine of foreign returnees mandatory in view of emergence of the new Covid variant Omicron. All persons arriving from foreign countries will also have to undergo RT-PCR tests to prevent the virus from entering the State, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra said and asked all collectors to ensure genome sequencing of Covid positive samples of people from high risk countries. “As educational institutions have reopened and economic activities resumed after relaxation of lockdown norms and decline in new cases, we need to be more vigilant to prevent the next wave,” he told officials during a video conference on Sunday . The collectors, municipal commissioners and CDMOs were directed to reactivate the system and engage all ward and village-level healthcare workers to collect information on returnees and mobilise unvaccinated people to take their shots as early as possible. Since the State has a reporting mechanism ready for obtaining past travel details of passengers coming through international flights, district officials have been instructed to review it regularly and follow the protocol provided by the Ministry of Health including testing on disembar- kation of international travellers coming from ‘at risk’ countries. Additional Chief Secretary of Health RK Sharma said special attention is being given to passengers arriving at the Biju Patnaik International Airport. Apart from enhancing the RTPCR testing to aid early identification, focus will be on monitoring hotspots where recent clusters of cases have emerged. All foreign returnees, especially travellers coming from high risk countries, will have to remain in quarantine for 14 days, he said. The officials will have to ensure saturation testing in hotspots and sending of positive samples for genome sequencing besides ensuring strict implementation of containP2 ment measures.
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