Jab-o-meter Take your shot Jan 7 81,50,982 doses Jan 8 79,68,523 doses Total: 1,51,47,41,090 NATIONWIDE Jan 07 Jan 08 STATEWIDE Jan 08 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 1,17,100 1,41,986 30,836 40,895 302 285 Jan 07 5,296 2,404 35 5,944 2,463 33 KOZHIKODE l Sunday l january 09, 2022 l `12.00 l PAGES 24 l city edition EXPERT BODY LOOKS TO TAILOR VAX FOR OMICRON The NTAGI panel is discussing the possibility of restructuring existing jabs to make them more potent against new variant Redesign to reduce transmission rates EFFICACY RESULTS NOT OUT YET Current jabs appear largely ineffective against preventing Omicron infection, though hospitalisations are lower now. “We want to push firms to redesign vaccines so that they are better suited against Omicron and to reduce transmission rates,” said N K Arora, head of Covid Working Group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) ■ ■ Global firms such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have conceded that even three vaccine doses may not be able to curb rapid spread of the highly transmissible variant No results available yet on efficacy of Covishield and Covaxin against Omicron, and on whether three doses will help | P7 COVaxin can be easily subjected to redesign experiment, ntagi sources SAID CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Punjab: 117 seats Uttar Pradesh: 403 seats Single-phase voting on Feb 14 Voting in seven phases l Feb 10 ( 58 seats) l Feb 14 ( 55 seats) l Feb 20 (59 seats) l Feb 23 (60 seats) l Feb 27 (60 seats) l Mar 3 (57 seats) l Mar 7 (54 seats) Uttarakhand: 70 seats Single-phase voting on Feb 14 Manipur: 60 seats Voting in two phases l Feb 27 (38 seats) l Mar 3 (22 seats) Goa: 40 seats Single-phase voting on Feb 14 Total 690 assembly seats 18.3 crore voters, 8.5 crore of them women Dos and don’ts l Campaign curfew between 8 pm and 8 am victory celebration allowed l N ot more than 5 people, including candidate, can do door-to-door campaigns l Parties told to adopt virtual campaigning l Online nomination option for candidates l Polling time increased by 1 hour l Covid booster dose must for poll officials l No COUNTING DAY: March 10 ‘Criminal’ candidates Parties fielding candidates with pending criminal cases must upload their full details on their websites. Parties will also have to give a reason for selecting such candidates Seven-phase polls from Feb 10 No rallies, public meetings in five poll-bound states till Jan 15; parties asked to do virtual campaigns; UP polls spread across all seven phases; CEC vows to make polls ‘Covid-safe’ K u m a r V i k r a m @ New Delhi ON a day when the country saw nearly 1.5 lakh fresh Covid-19 cases, the Election Commission announced the poll schedule for Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur but in a first-of-its-kind move, all physical rallies, road shows and public meetings have been banned till January 15 owing to the ongoing pandemic. The Commission on Saturday said it would review its decision as the “ground situation is dynamic”. It also urged political parties and candidates to hold virtual rallies. While the first phase of polling will begin on February 10, the last phase will be held on March 3 and the results will be declared on March 10. Uttar Pradesh will see seven-phase voting between February 10 and March 7. In Manipur, polling will be in two phases, while Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand will have a single-phase election (see graphic). Explaining the decision to go ahead with polls amid the spike in Covid cases, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said holding timely elections is the “essence of maintaining democratic governance”. The CEC said the decision was taken after detailed discussions with the Union health secretary, home secretary, experts and health secretaries of the poll-bound states. He said the elections would focus on Covid safety measures to ensure maximum participation. Chandra asserted that vaccination rates in the five states had improved significantly during the last week. He also Candidates should conduct their campaign through virtual mode as much as possible. There will be no nukkad sabhas (neighbourhood meetings) on public roads and no victory procession after counting Sushil Chandra, Chief Election Commissioner said it is incorrect to link elections with the rise in coronavirus cases, citing the examples of Maharashtra and Delhi, which recorded a high number of cases when there were no elections. So far, 53% of eligible population has been fully vaccinated in UP but the level is lower at 44% in Manipur and Punjab. In Goa and Uttarakhand, the double vaccination level is high at 96% and 83%, respectively . The EC had faced flak during the West Bengal polls in April 2021 as Covid-19 numbers dramatically rose during the second wave. It banned road shows only in the last two phases of the elections. EXPRESS READ Health min rules out lockdown in state T’Puram: Health Minister Veena George said the state government is not considering lockdown though Covid cases have increased sharply in the last two days. “Lives will be affected if we go for a total shutdown,” Veena said. P4 State plans to recruit trans people in police T’Puram: The government has taken steps to induct transgenders into Kerala Police. ADGPs (law and order, and battalion) have been asked to take steps though a final decision will be taken only after considering the police chief’s opinion. P5 Punjab gets new DGP days after lapse Chandigarh: Three days after the PM’s convoy was stranded on a flyover in Ferozepur in a major security lapse, Viresh Kumar Bhawra was appointed as the new Punjab DGP. W I T H T H IS ISSUE Cradle of Chaos PLUS 12 PAGES PARALLEL TELEPHONE EXCHANGE Keralite sold call routes to Pak, Chinese nat’ls; admits to foreign links P R a m d a s @ Kochi ‘threat to nat’l security’ before 1 Ibrahim Pullatil confesseshas been the Crime Branch that he in contact with 168 Pak nationals A KEY conspirator in the parallel telephone exchange cases sold call routes to a Pakistani, Bangladeshi and two Chinese 2 He said he had received I20 lakh nationals, who all operated his and I15 lakh from Muhammed system in India for many Raheem and Sahir as hawala money months. Kadampuzha native Ibrahim Pullatil, an accused in 3 RAW officials are monitoring Raheem’s money trail to India the case registered at the Kozhikode kasaba police staCB says a clear 4 threat toIbrahim’s act internal tion, also confessed before the our nation’s Crime Branch — which is prob- security ing the case — that he has been in contact with 168 Pak ey trail to India. The Crime nationals. Branch filed the report in the Ibrahim told CB Kerala High Court that he had rewhile opposing the press ceived `20 lakh plea of another acclusive cused Abdul Gafoor, and `15 lakh from Pakistani Museeking to quash the hammed Raheem and Bangla- case. The court dismissed the deshi Sahir as hawala money plea. from Koduvally. The Chinese “It is explicitly evident that women, he said, were named the intention and motive of the Fly and Lee. culprits were not a mere case Raheem’s phone number was of bypassing a phone call or not registered in any of the cheating a service provider. It Gulf countries, which the RAW is a clear threat to our nation’s officials consider as a method internal security,” stated the adopted by the ISI agents. RAW report filed by Crime Branch officials are closely monitoring (Kozhikode) Assistant CommisRaheem’s activity and his mon- sioner T P Sreejith. ● More on P4
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