JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT April 26 19,67,717 doses April 27 17,28,894 doses TOTAL DOSES 1,88,38,30,835 NATIONWIDE APR 26 APR 27 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,483 1,970 1,399 2,927 2,252 32 KARNATAKA APR 26 APR 27 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths BENGALURU THURSDAY APRIL 28, 2022 `9.00 PAGES 20 LATE CITY EDITION VACCINATING ALL ELIGIBLE KIDS IS TOP PRIORITY: MODI Schools will need to launch special campaigns to inoculate all eligible children at the earliest, PM Narendra Modi said COVID THREAT IS NOT OVER YET, SAYS PM STOPPING INFECTION AT BEGINNING IS KEY Speaking at an interaction with chief ministers on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said Covid still poses threat. Noting that schools have opened after a long time and parents are worried over the recent spike in infections in some states, Modi said vaccination is the best way to protect against the virus. But there was no word on the timeframe of the inoculation drive ■ ■ “Stopping initial infection is the key and it should remain the same even today,” the Prime Minister said His remarks come a day after India’s drug regulator granted restricted emergency use authorisation for Corbevax and Covaxin for children between 5 and 12 years | P3,9 85 70 0 126 99 0 1 CRORE CHILDREN IN 12-14 AGE GROUP HAVE BEEN ADMINISTERED 1ST DOSE OF COVID VACCINE 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 No Covid curbs in Oppn retorts after PM tells them to cut fuel tax state for now: CM EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi Mega vax drives at schools for 6-12 age group EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru AS per Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s instruction, the Karnataka government will take up a mega-vaccination drive for children aged between 6 and 12 at schools, said Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, but added that no restrictions on economic activities will be imposed, though the public has to cooperate by following all Covid protocols. He said that the government plans to focus more on Bengaluru as the state capital has emerged as the Covid hotspot in the state. Speaking to reporters after a video-conference with Modi to discuss the prevailing Covid situation in the country on Wednesday, Bommai said they explained the present scenario in Kar nataka to the Prime Minister. Covid is under control in the state. But after April 9, the positivity rate has started rising in Bengaluru. The state government has now increased testing, aiming to reach at least 30,000 tests per day and are now conducting over 10,000 tests daily in Bengaluru. Random testing for international travellers is also being done. Officials are carrying out tele-tracking of passengers from Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, South Korea and other countries where cases are high. This apart, Bommai said, Covid tests will be conducted on all severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) patients admitted at various hospitals, and if they test positive, their samples would be sent for genome testing. On Tuesday the Drug , Controller General of India gave approval for Covaxin by Bharath Biotech to be administered among 6-12 year-olds. The PM directed states to organise mega-vaccination drives at schools for children in this age group and also to increase vaccination of older children. The focus is on people who are over 60 years old, he added. “As per Prime Minister Modi’s direction, we are focusing more on Track, Trace, Treat and Tika (vaccination),’’ BomCONTINUED ON: P5 mai added. PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday took Opposition chief ministers by surprise at a Covid review meeting by attacking them for not reducing taxes to contain fuel prices, triggering a volley of angry retorts from them. Calling it injustice, he urged them to reduce value added tax (VAT) on fuel in their states in national interest to ease the burden on the common man. A big part of his concluding remarks dur- ing the meeting was on fuel prices. But since all others participants were muted, the fuming Opposition later accused Modi of playing politics and passing the buck. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said the interaction was one-sided and misleading. “Facts shared by him were wrong. We have been providing a subsidy of `1 on every litre of petrol and diesel for the last three years.” Telangana minister KT Rama Rao was caustic. “Name-calling states for not reducing VAT even though we never in- CM: NEED TO KEEP ECONOMY IN MIND CM Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday was noncommittal on any further cut in fuel tax saying any decision on this will be taken after looking at the status of the economy of the state. “We must see our economy also. Based on that, we will decide,” he said. creased it; is this the co-operative federalism... #Telangana hasn’t increased VAT on fuel since 2014 & rounded off only once,” he said. Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan ruled out any VAT relief say- 11 electrocuted during TN car fest E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Thanjavur ELEVEN people, including three children, were electrocuted and 17 others injured when a temple chariot (sapparam) came in contact with a hightension overhead power line at Kalimedu village on ThanjavurBudalur main road early on Wednesday . Sources said the accident occurred when the chariot was being taken in a procession during the 94th sathaya vizha of Tirunavukkarasar. The decorated car with wooden base was pulled through the streets The temple chariot after the incident at Kalimedu village in Thanjavur on Wednesday | MK ASHOK KUMAR of the village from around Tuesday midnight. The procession reached the eastern end of the village around 3.10 am on Wednesday. After this, when people tried to turn the chariot to take it back to its stand near the temple (Appar Mutt), the top of the chariot touched the power line. Six people died on the spot. At least 22 other injured were rushed to Thanjavur medical college hospital. Five of them later died. President Ram Nath Kovind, PM Narendra Modi, Governor R N Ravi, and Chief Minister M K Stalin expressed shock and grief over the deaths. Modi announced `2 lakh each from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund to the next of kin of those who lost their lives, and `50,000 to those injured. ing, “It is neither fair nor feasible for the state government to further reduce taxes.” Kerala’s Finance Minister K N Balagopal said the increase in fuel rates was due to the cess and surcharge levied by the Centre, adding Kerala has not increased fuel tax since the last six years. Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray said the Centre owed `26,500 crore to the state and accused it of a step-motherly treatment. Congress’ RS Surjewala sought an account of the `27 lakh crore collected by the BJP government from tax on fuel. P4 EXPRESS READ Sudeep, Ajay Devgn in Twitter spat over Hindi BENGALURU: Actors Sudeep and Ajay Devgn had a Twitter confrontation over the national language. Devgn claimed Hindi “will always be our mother tongue”, responding to Sudeep | P5 PSI recruitment scam: Govt transfers ADGP Bengaluru: Stung by the PSI recruitment scam, the state government on Wednesday transferred ADGP, Recruitment, Amrit Paul and posted him as ADGP, Internal Security Division | P4 ANOTHER ROW? Minister objects to catechism in Christian schools ENS @ Mangaluru TAKING a U-turn just days after announcing that Bible and Quran, apart from Bhagavad Gita, will be part of moral education in schools, Primary and Secondary Education Minister BC Nagesh on Wednesday raised an objection to Christian schools conducting catechism classes for students, saying it is in violation of the Karnataka Education Act. The statement is likely to kick up a row as many Christian schools conduct catechism classes for Christian students. At Hampankatta in Mangaluru, he said that no religious practices or religious texts can be allowed in schools. “It’s a different matter if you tell students about Jesus Christ like we do about Swami Vivekananda. But you cannot allow religious practices in schools. The Bible and Quran are religious books,” he said. Asked whether the Gita is allowed in schools, he said, “It teaches values to be adopted in one’s life, whereas here students are being asked to follow the Christ. Comparing Bhagavad Gita with other religious books is not right, because Gita P4 is not a religious text.”
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