bhubaneswar l wednesday l january 19, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Data show Omicron spread will end pandemic: expert If you were wondering how long will the coronavirus pandemic go on, you won’t have to wait much longer, says a UK virologist ‘In 2022, life can be like it was before covid’ Too early to call it, says fauci Year 2022 will mark the end of the pandemic, according to Prof Julian Hiscox, chairman in infection and global health at the University of Liverpool. With Omicron, there will ``be ‘natural immunity’ on top of vaccination, which will lead to a scenario of endemicity, he said. Endemicity means though the virus spread will continue, its severity will come down to easily manageable levels ■ ■ However, not all experts are as optimistic as Hiscox. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the US president, says it’s too early to say if Omicron will mark the end of the pandemic “It is an open question as to whether or not Omicron is going to be the live virus vaccination everyone is hoping for,” he said | P7 55 lakh Covid deaths reported worldwide so far, according to w.h.o. data 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 ED raids Punjab CM Channi’s nephew Seizes `6 crore cash and property documents in connection with 2018 illegal sand mining case E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Chandigarh / New Delhi express read Two Indians among injured in UAE attack Dubai: The identities of the two Indian nationals killed in Monday’s drone attacks near the Abu Dhabi airport have been established, the Indian Embassy said on Tuesday. However, it did not disclose their names. The mission also said two Indians were among six injured in the attacks | P7,9 THE Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday conducted raids at multiple places in Punjab, including the residence of Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s nephew Bhupinder Singh alias Honey, in connection with an illegal sand mining case in the poll-bound border state. The searches covered a dozen locations including Chandigarh, Mohali, Ludhiana and Pathankot. ED sleuths recovered cash worth `6 crore, including `4 crore from New Delhi: Bureaucrat Vikram Dev Dutt was on Tuesday appointed the new chairman and managing director of Air India, which is slated to be handed over to the Tata Sons. Dutt, a 1993-batch IAS officer of AGMUT cadre, is at present principal secretary (Tourism) in the Delhi government | P10 `30L ex-gratia for death of poll personnel Bhubaneswar: The State Election Commission on Tuesday said compensation of `30 lakh will be provided to families of polling personnel who die due to any violent act of extremism or antisocial elements in road mines, bomb blasts, armed attacks. In case of death due to other reasons, the compensation amount will be `15 lakh | P3 Mann is AAP’s CM face AAP on Tuesday declared its Punjab unit chief Bhagwant Mann as CM candidate, saying 93% of respondents picked him in a poll in which people phoned in or sent messages indicating their choice | P8 Blast on navy ship kills 3 personnel E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Vikram Dev Dutt is new Air India chief premises linked to Channi’s nephew, and some property documents during the searches, sources said, adding that the central agency will take action under the provisions of the Prevention of @ Mumbai/ New Delhi An explosion onboard a Navy ship at the Mumbai port killed three personnel and left 11 others injured. The blast happened in an internal compartment of INS Ranvir. “In an unfortunate incident on Monday at Naval Dockyard Mumbai, three naval personnel succumbed to injuries caused by an explosion in an internal compartment onboard INS Ranvir,” the Navy said in a statement. However, there was no major material damage, the statement added. The ship’s crew brought the situation under control quickly . INS Ranvir was on cross coast operational deployment from the Eastern Naval Command from November 2021 and was due to return to its base port shortly A Board of . Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause. “The explosion was not due to malfunction of any weapon or ammunition. However, it could have happened because of machinery failure. The official probe will determine the exact cause,” sources said requesting anonymity The in. jured personnel are stable and are admitted in INS Ashwini hospital in Mumbai. Earlier, too, several untoward incidents involving the Navy have happened off Mumbai coast. In 2014, Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi had resigned after two officers were killed and seven other sailors were injured when a fire erupted onboard submarine INS Sindhuratna off Mumbai coast. A Rajput Class Destroyer, INS Ranvir was built in the former Soviet Union and inducted in the Indian Navy in 1986. It is deployed for antiaircraft and anti-submarine warfare. It can also take on cruise missiles. Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The raids were related to an illegal sand mining case registered by Punjab police in 2018. Later, charges of cheating were added to the FIR and subsequently the ED took over the investigation. The name of one Kudratdeep Singh surfaced during preliminary probe. During detailed interrogation, he revealed that Bhupinder Singh was the main facilitator, sources said. The ED is now probing if the chief minister’s name was used to facilitate illegal mining, they added. Reacting sharply to the raids, Jab-o-meter Take your shot Jan 17 68,95,050 doses Jan 18 65,85,945 doses Total doses the Congress accused the Centre of trying to defame Punjab, adding that such acts will not hurt the ruling party’s electoral prospects in the state. Channi alleged the Centre is using the federal agency to target political opponents. He said actions of central probe agencies have become predictable as they follow the same pattern during every poll season. After quitting the Congress, former Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh had publicly alleged that many Congress leaders were involved in illegal sand mining. Covid situation under control: Naveen 1,58,74,38,750 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar NATIONWIDE jan 17 jan 18 Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday maintained that the Covid-19 situation in the State is under control and advised people not to panic. Reviewing the Covid-19 situation virtually the Chief Minister empha, sised on complete adherence to Covid guidelines to keep the pandemic in check. He, however, asked the officials to intensify the vaccination drive to prevent fresh cases. He also directed them to expedite administration of booster doses to medical staff, police, government officials Fresh cases 2,58,089 2,38,018 Recoveries 1,51,740 1,57,421 Deaths 385 310 ODISHA jan 17 jan 18 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 10,489 11,086 5,965 7,745 03 04 R value all time high Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s effective R value for Covid-19 has increased to 4.19, the highest since the pandemic. Sundargarh topped the chart with 8.68, followed by Sambalpur (6.8), Kalahandi (6.3), Nayagarh (5.2), Ganjam (3.9), Balasore (3.8), Cuttack (3.7) and Khurda (3.6) and persons with comorbidity Simi. larly as mediapersons are frontline , workers in the fight against Covid, provision of booster dose to them should also be given priority , he added. Stating that Covid management in the third wave has so far proceeded on the right path, Naveen said that the number of fresh cases has also stabilised during the last couple of days. The number of active cases has also started decreasing in some big cities of the country , he said and added that hospitalisation of patients is also very less as patients are having mild symptoms. He, however, said that though these signs are encouraging, everybody should remain cautious and abide by the guidelines. Informing that the State government’s policy of announcing micro-containment zones and strict implementation of guidelines will continue, Naveen said that patients in home isolation will also be monitored regularly He . said that the State government has taken steps to contain the situation keeping the livelihood options of CONTINUED ON: P5 people in view. 68-yr-old falls into lift pit, untraceable for 10 hrs, dies E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar LIFE ON THE ROAD A horse cart rider cleans his clothes at a footpath near lower PMG in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday | Express Odisha lost 1,655 sq km forest in 2001-19 period, thanks to mining E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Odisha lost over 1,655 sq km forest cover between 2001 and 2019, mostly in tribaldominated mineral rich districts, revealed a study establishing a link between mining activities and damage to green cover. The study which used a high-resolution global forest time series data claims that Koraput and Rayagada recorded the highest mean changes in forest cover. Districts such as Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Kendrapara and Puri lost 20 per cent of their tree cover during the period. The report titled ‘Mining impacts on forest cover change in a tropical forest using remote sensing and spatial information from 2001-2019: A case study of Odisha’ appeared in a recent edition of Journal of Environmental Management. The researchers used Hansen Global Forest Change data which defines forest cover as a canopy closure for all vegetation taller than 5 mtr. It found out that the highest values of forest cover loss (FCL) was reported in Kandhamal. The district lost about 459.94 sq km of forest cover. Another tribal-dom- inated district Rayagada recorded FCL of 261.3 sq km while Kalahandi lost about 213 sq km. Gajapati, Koraput, Keonjhar, Malkangiri, Ganjam and Nabarangpur were other districts where the net loss was among the highest. While Kandhamal recorded the highest mean loss of 24.21 sq km, Jagatsinghpur and Bhadrak were at the bottom. Keonjhar, the mining epicentre of the State, lost over 111 sq km against the tree cover of 749 sq km, the study said and pointed out that its highest FCL was reported in 2016. The study period coincides with the Biju Janata Dal government which began its tenure in 2001. The government started pushing industrialisation – mostly in the steel sector around 2005 while its mineral extraction industry remained on a high. The report suggests that green cover loss saw a spike post 2011 and presented an upward swing in mining districts after 2014 when the FCL stood at 456.95 sq km as compared to 349.41 sq km before the period. Kalahandi, Koraput, Keonjhar and Rayagada districts recorded the highest forest cover CONTINUED ON: P5 loss after 2014. In a shocking incident, a 68-year-old man lost his life after reportedly falling into an elevator pit at an apartment in the city on Monday. The deceased remained untraceable for hours and his son even went to police to lodge a missing person’s complaint unaware of his father’s plight. Bizarre as it may sound, the elevator continued to operate all through but no one could notice the mishap. Body of the deceased, Seemanchal Mohapatra, was recovered at around 8 pm. Mohapatra was staying with his wife and son from last two months at the first floor of HiTech Plaza in Sundarpada under Airfield police limits. On Monday, Mohapatra’s son approached Airfield police and lodged a complaint stating that his father was untraceable after 10 am. He again approached the police in the evening to know his whereabouts but returned disappointed. After being apprised that he had been missing since the morning, the housing society’s residents launched a frantic search to trace Mohapatra. “We used torches and found Mohapatra lying in the pit after about 8 pm. We took him out, informed the police and shifted him to a hospital where doctors declared him dead,” society joint secretary BSK Chottaray said. CONTINUED ON: P5 Stay relaxed and tension free Diversifying your investments across asset classes helps to mitigate the impact of Choose from asset allocation solutions and start your SIP today! Contact your MFD/RIA SIP - Systematic Investment Plan An Investor Education Initiative by HDFC Mutual Fund For KYC, change of address, investor complaints redressal, etc. visit, https://www.hdfcfund.com/information/key-know-how. Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.
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