JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT Jan 7 81,50,982 doses Jan 8 79,68,523 doses TOTAL: 1,51,47,41,090 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths NATIONWIDE JAN 7 1,17,100 1,41,986 30,836 40,895 302 285 JAN 8 TELANGANA JAN 7 JAN 8 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,295 278 3 2,606 285 2 HYDERABAD SUNDAY JANUARY 09, 2022 `12.00 PAGES 24 LATE 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 | P8 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 4 of TS family end life in Vijayawada Punjab: 117 seats Single-phase voting on Feb 14 Single-phase voting on Feb 14 Manipur: 60 seats Voting in two phases Feb 27 (38 seats) Mar 3 (22 seats) @ Vijayawada / Nizamabad CONTINUED ON P5 WITH THIS I SSU E CRADLE OF CHAOS PLUS 12 PAGES Voting in seven phases Feb 10 (58 seats) Feb 14 (55 seats) Feb 20 (59 seats) Feb 23 (60 seats) Feb 27 (60 seats) Mar 3 (57 seats) Mar 7 (54 seats) Uttarakhand: 70 seats EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE IN a shocking incident, four members of a family from Nizamabad committed suicide at two separate places in Vijayawada on Saturday . I-Town police identified the victims as Pappula Suresh, 56, his wife P Srilatha, 54 and sons Akhil, 28, and Ashish, 24. The family had reached Vijayawada to visit the Durga temple on Thursday and was staying at the Kanyaka Parameshwari Satram near the temple. Around 2 am on Saturday, Srilatha sent a WhatsApp voice message to her brother, informing him that they were ending their lives. “Worried, her brother alerted the choultry management and the police. By the time the police opened their room at around 6 am, the mother and son were dead. There were at least 20 used vials of insulin and syringes in the room,” said West Zone ACP K Hanumantha Rao. Uttar Pradesh: 403 seats TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao welcomes CPI’s D Raja, left, and CPM’s Manik Sarkar as Pinarayi Vijayan and Sitaram Yechury look on, in Hyderabad on Saturday For BJP-mukt India, Left to back KCR’s 3rd Front plans V V B A L A K R I S H N A @Hyderabad TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao’s efforts to build a national level anti-BJP and anti-Congress alternative gathered steam on Saturday with the two main Left parties in the country — the CPI and CPM — indicating that they were ready to back the Telangana Chief Minister in his endeavour. The leaders of the two Left parties mooted for “BJP Mukt Bharat”, which was endorsed by Rao, according to sources. The TRS president held separate meetings with CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI general secretary D Raja at Pragathi Bhavan. Rao meeting the Left leaders is being seen as a significant political development, which could potentially change the political alignments in the State too in the coming days. The main point of discussion in the two meetings was the need to build an alternative to BJP at the national level. “Chandrasekhar Rao stressed the need for a third alternative, as the Congress is not improving organisationally and is unable to effectively take on the BJP CPI state secretary ,” Chada Venkata Reddy told CONTINUED ON P4 Express. INSIDE PUNJAB GETS NEW STATE POLICE CHIEF, DAYS AFTER MODI SECURITY BREACH I P8 VANAMA RAGHAVENDRA RAO SENT TO 14 DAYS REMAND, FACES 12 CASES SO FAR I P4 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 Campaign curfew between 8 pm and 8 am No victory celebration allowed Not more than 5 people, including candidate, can do door-to-door campaigns Parties told to adopt virtual campaigning Online nomination option for candidates Polling time increased by 1 hour Covid booster dose must for poll officials 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; voting in UP spread across all 7 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. The CEC 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 also said it was incorrect to link polls with the rise in coronavirus cases, citing the examples of Maharashtra and Delhi, which recorded a high number of cases even when there were no elections. So far, 53% of the 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 P7 the elections.
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