chennai l monday l january 10, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 16 l late city EDITION Evidence of water on moon found on-site for first time Prior discoveries of water have been based only on samples returned to Earth or data gathered by instruments from afar Lunar surface Much drier than the earth Chandrayaan-1 was the first to find it A device on-board China’s Chang’e 5 probe analysed the mineralogical composition of a patch of soil and a rock, and detected water on the spot. The analysis revealed that the lunar soil at the landing site contains less than 120 parts-per-million (ppm) water or 120 grams water per tonne while the rock carries 180 ppm, much drier than that on Earth ■ Scientists believe it was the solar wind that contributed to the humidity of lunar soil as it brought hydrogen that makes up water ■ In 2018, data gathered by NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper on India’s first lunar probe, Chandrayaan-1, conclusively established that there exists water ice on the Moon’s surface | P12 1,731 grams worth of samples brought back to the earth by the probe 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 Tiruppur migrant workers head home S a r a v a n a n MP @ Tiruppur As the Sunday lockdown was imposed, Kamarajar Salai near Marina beach wears a deserted look in Chennai | R Satish Babu TN’s active caseload crosses 50,000 Express News Service @ Chennai/Vellore The number of active cases in Tamil Nadu crossed the 50,000mark on Sunday as the State reported 12,895 new Covid-19 cases with a test positivity rate of 8.6 per cent. The number of active cases has reached 51,335 less than a week after the figure crossed 10,000 (10,364) on January 3. Health Minister Ma Subramanian said the spike was driven by the Omicron variant, with 80-85 per cent of samples showing an ‘S’ gene drop which is a marker for the highly transmissible variant of the coronavirus. Experts said the third wave is likely to peak by the end of January or early February after which there would be a sharp drop in Covid cases. Chennai remains the epicentre of the third wave at the moment with 68 per cent of new Covid-19 cases coming from the city and its surrounding districts. While the capital reported 6,186 cases, the neighbouring districts of Tiruvall u r, K a n ch e e p u r a m a n d Chengalpattu reported 702, 343 and 1,512 cases respectively. New cluster at CMC Over 200 medical staff at Christian Medical College Hospital in Vellore tested positive for Covid-19, said Vellore Corporation City Health Officer Dr T Manivannan. The cluster includes doctors and nurses but numbers are yet to be confirmed Veer Baal Diwas to honour Sikh icons Singh welcomed it. “The courage portrayed by Sahibzades under enormous oppression is A day after the model code of unparalleled and everyone conduct for polls came into across the globe must know force in five poll-bound states, about their supreme sacrifice. including Punjab, Prime Min- This is a commendable step in ister Narendra Modi on Sun- that direction,” he tweeted. day announced that December Indian Council for Cultural 26 shall be observed as Veer Relations president Vinay SaBaal Diwas to mark hasrabuddhe, too, the martyrdom of Sahailed it, saying the Inclusive, h i b z a d a Z o r aw a r harmonious decision is in the Singh and Sahibzada spirit that history is a “The martyrs Fateh Singh. part of our collective envisioned a He made the anidentity . world that is nouncement in a seIn his series of inclusive and ries of tweets while tweets, Modi said paying tribute to harmonious. It is Veer Baal Diwas will the need of the Guru Gobind Singh, be observed on the hour for more the tenth Sikh guru, same day Zorawar people to know on his birth anniverSingh and Fateh about them,” sary. Zorawar Singh Singh attained marModi said (9) and Fateh Singh tyrdom after being (7) have a hallowed sealed alive in a wall. place in Sikh lore as they let “These two greats preferred themselves be bricked alive by death instead of deviating Aurangzeb’s army so as to pro- from the noble principles of tect their faith. Dharma. The bravery and ideModi’s gesture brought mus- als of Mata Gujri, Sri Guru cular nationalism to the cen- Gobind Singh Ji and the four trestage of the Assembly polls. Sahibzades give strength to Not surprisingly, BJP’s ally millions of people. They never and former Punjab chief min- bowed to injustice,” the prime ister Captain Amarinder minister added. Express News Service @ New Delhi Healthcare clusters continued to raise concerns for officials with the famous Christian Medical College Hospital in Vellore confirming that over 200 of its staff, including doctors and nurses, had tested positive. Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu has managed to provide the first dose of vaccine against Covid to 22.50 lakh out of the total 33.46 lakh people eligible in the 15-17 age group. On Monday, Chief Minister MK Stalin will launch the drive to provide booster doses for healthcare and frontline workers as well as those aged over 60. The health minister said over 4 lakh people are eligible to take the booster doses in the State. Full coverage: P2 Over 22 lakh kids vaccinated Tamil Nadu has managed to provide the first dose of vaccine against Covid to 22.50 lakh out of the total 33.46 lakh people eligible in the 15-17 age group. From Monday, booster doses will be offered to 4 lakh eligible people NATIONWIDE Jan 8 Jan 9 Fresh cases 1,41,986 1,59,632 Recoveries 40,895 40,863 Deaths 285 327 tamil nadu Jan 8 Jan 9 Fresh cases 10,978 12,895 Recoveries 1,525 1,808 Deaths 10 12 express read Case registered against OPS and son Theni: Following the order by the Judicial Magistrate Court, the Theni crime branch police on Sunday registered a case against former deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and his son OP Ravindranath for Raveendranath for allegedly furnishing false information regarding their immovable properties, annual income, liabilities and education qualification in the affidavit filed during the nomination for elections. While Ravindranath Raveendranath filed the affidavit for contesting in Parliamentary elections in 2019, Panneerselvam filed the affidavit for the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections | P4 NEET-PG counselling to begin on Jan 12 New Delhi: Counselling for NEET post-graduate admission will begin from January 12, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Sunday. The announcement comes two days after the Supreme Court allowed resumption of counselling for NEET-PG admissions for 2021-22. It also upheld the validity of 27 per cent OBC and 10 per cent EWS quotas. The exam was held on 11 September 2021 after being rescheduled twice. The results were declared in the last week of September, following which students for nearly 45,000 seats had been waiting for the counselling to begin | P7 Attack on Sikh driver ‘deeply disturbing’ New Delhi: The Indian Consulate in New York has taken serious note of the assault on a Sikh taxi driver at the JFK International Airport, calling it “deeply disturbing”, and has escalated the matter to the US authorities. A video uploaded on Twitter on January 4 showed a man assaulting the driver outside the airport. Hours later, the US State Department condemned the attack, saying, “We are deeply disturbed by reports [of the attack]. Our diversity makes the US stronger, and we condemn any form of hate-based violence.” | P7 Now police go after Sulli Deals, nab creator E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @ New Delhi/ Bhopal IN the first arrest of people behind the Sulli Deals hate app, the Delhi Police nabbed its alleged creator in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. According to Deputy Commisioner of Police K P S Malhotra, accused Aumkareshwar Thakur (26), a BCA graduate, admitted that he was a member of the ‘Tradmahasabha’ Twitter group where the idea to defame Muslim women was shared. “He had developed the code. The photos of Muslim women were uploaded by the group members,” the officer said. Thakur was arrested on Saturday . The police said Thakur joined the group in January 2020 using the handle @gangescion. “After the uproar regarding the app, he deleted all his social media footprints,” the DCP added. For his part, the accused’s father, A K Thakur, claimed his son was innocent. They live in the New York City Town- ship in Indore. “We hail from Bihar, but have been living in Indore since 1989. Both my sons have been bright and intelligent students,” he said. His other son is a techie. Perhaps emboldened by the lack of action against Sulli Deals, a new app, Bulli Bai, did an encore recently. Four persons connected to it have been arrested, including Niraj Bishnoi (21), the alleged mastermind. Bishnoi revealed the identity of Thakur to the police. The imposition of new restrictions in Tamil Nadu after the onset of the third wave has triggered fears of a complete lockdown among migrant workers. With Chief Minister MK Stalin expected to review the current curbs on Monday, a section of workers in the textile hub of Tiruppur thronged the railway station on Sunday to leave to their home states. Twenty-five-year-old Heeram was among the workers leaving, having had bad experiences in 2020 and 2021. “During the first and second lockdowns, I worked at a manufacturing unit in Pune. We were very concerned about the situation as the employer did not bother about us. He only paid us a portion of the salary. With that I went back to Bihar and decided not to return to Maharashtra,” he recalled. Fearing a similar experience, Heeram is unsure he will return to Tiruppur. “I landed a job at a garment unit in Tiruppur through a friend. For the past eight months, I have received a salary of `10,000 per month. But when the Sunday lockdown was announced, I started fearing the worst. Though my employer is still offering me the full salary I do not want to re, turn,” he said. CONTINUED ON:P5 No info about arrest, say Indore Police The Indore Police on Sunday said the Delhi Police have not shared any information with them about the arrest. Police Commissioner Harinarayanchari Mishra said they only found out about the arrest through the media Migrant workers gathered in large numbers at Tiruppur Railway Station on Sunday | Express Modi takes stock amid big clusters Close to 400 Parliament employees infected Express News Service @ New Delhi With humongous clusters of close to 400 Parliament employees and 150 Supreme Court registry officials and staff members testing positive for Covid, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meet on Sunday and stressed the need to take area specific measures, besides accelerating vaccination of the adolescent age group. Modi will soon resume regular interactions with chief ministers for specific interventions to manage the pandemic, as he did during the second wave last year. “PM said that a meeting with CMs be convened to discuss state-specific scenarios, best practices and the public health response,” the PMO said in a statement after the meeting, which was also attended by Union ministers Amit Shah and Mansukh Mandaviya and top health experts. The interactions with chief ministers will likely be with high incidence states. In Parliament, 65 staffers of Rajya Sabha Secretariat, 200 of Lok Sabha Secretariat and 133 of allied services tested positive between January 4-8, sources said. As for the Supreme Court, a few judges, too, have been found infected. Meanwhile, the Centre will start administering booster doses to healthcare and frontline workers, and comorbid people in the 60-plus age group from Monday Since the model . code of conduct is now in place in five poll-bound states, Modi’s photo will be filtered out of vaccination certificates issued there. At the meeting with Modi, a detailed presentation was made on the status of Covid-19 in India, including areas of concerns with respect to states and districts with high positivity rates, the statement said. Delhi’s positivity rate on Sunday climbed to 23.53% with 17 Covid deaths and 22,751 new cases in a day . The Rajasthan government tightened its restrictions, ordering closure of schools in urban areas and other measures, including announcing Sunday curfew like in Tamil Nadu. P7
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