23052021-TTB-01.qxd 23-05-2021 00:01 Page 1 123 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.141 no.141 | 14 pages | ~6.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 CM LAUNCHES HOME ISOLATION KIT HIMACHAL /thetribunechd NEPAL HOUSE DISSOLVED, FRESH POLL IN NOV BACK PAGE COVID: YOUNG BRIGADE IN BIG FIGHT SPECTRUM /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com sunday,may 23,2021 Over10% positivity rate in 382 districts 6 more bodies found; diving Among these are Pb’s 14I Hry’s 18I HP & JK’s 12 each Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 22 Small gains notwithstanding, Covid-19 continues to pose a massive public health challenge with half of India’s districts reporting a positivity rate of over 10 per cent. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends continuous containment and ramping up tests till the rate falls below 5 per cent. Government data shows that 382 of India’s 756 districts have a positivity rate of more than 10 per cent requiring local lockdowns and restrictions to break the chain of transmission. Among these districts are Punjab’s 14, Haryana’s 18, Himachal and JK’s 12 each and Chandigarh and Ladakh. Punjab is also among states reporting a high fatality rate. A huge crowd outside a vaccination centre in Jalandhar. PTI O2 TRAINS LEAVE FOR PB TOLL NEARS 3 LAKH Two 'Oxygen Express' trains carrying 52 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen left from Hazira near Surat in Gujarat for Punjab and Delhi, a Western Railway official said. FRESH CASES 2.57 LAKH ACTIVE CASES: 29,23,400 DEATHS IN 24 HRS FAMILY MEMBERS CAN GET 4,194 JABS AT WORKPLACES: CENTRE TOTAL DEATHS: 2,95,525 The Centre has clarified to states that family members and dependents of workers can also be covered in vax drives at workplaces. VACCINE PASSPORT ISSUE UNDER DEBATE: CENTRE LACTATING WOMEN CAN BREASTFEED POST SHOTS continued on page 8 Act against Ramdev for irrational remarks: IMA New Delhi, May 22 The Health Ministry should act against yoga guru Ramdev as “he has misled people by making statements against allopathy”, the IMA said. Ramdev should be prosecuted under the Epidemic Diseases Act, the IMA said. Citing a video on social media, the IMA said Ramdev was seen saying “allopathy ek stupid aur diwalilya science hai”. Patanjali Trust denied the charges, saying Ramdev has “utmost regard” for doctors. —PTI/TNS Meet on Class XII board exams today New Delhi, May 22 The Ministry of Education has called a crucial meeting on Sunday to decide on pending Class XII board exams that were postponed in view of the second Covid-19 wave, Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said. Education ministers and secretaries of all states and UTs have been asked to attend the meeting. Pokhriyal also sought inputs from all stakeholders — students, parents, teachers and others — through social media on Saturday. — PTI ❝ Guj Guv gives assent to ‘Love jihad’ Bill Assam to introduce cow protection Bill GUWAHATI: Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi on Saturday said the government was planning to introduce a cow protection Bill in the next Assembly session to ban transport of the animal outside the state. — PTI Canada now bans flights till June 21 OTTAWA: The Canadian government has extended the current flight ban from India and Pakistan, amid the worsening Covid situation, by another month. The ban on incoming flights from the two nations will continue till June 21. — IANS Washington, May 22 The International Monetary Fund has proposed a $50 billion global vaccination plan that would cover at least 40 per cent of the global population by the end of 2021 and at least 60 per cent by the first half of 2022. “With strong and coordinated action now, the world could durably exit this unprecedented health and economic crisis,” said IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva in her address to the G20 Health Summit. “For some time, we have been warning of dangerous divergence of economic fortunes. It will only worsen as the gap widens between wealthy countries that have access to vaccines and poor countries that do not,” she said. TO COVER 40% POPULATION BY YEAR-END, 60% BY MID-2022 “The vaccination target requires additional upfront grants to Covax, donating surplus doses and free cross-border flows of raw materials and finished vaccines,” she said. “The proposal would cost around $50 billion in a combination of grants, national government resources and concessional financing,” Georgieva said. — PTI ONGC employee freed month after abduction Tribune News Service Dharamsala, May 22 With Covid-induced lockdown spelling doom for the tourism industry and no relief coming from the government, a number of hoteliers in Dharamsala have been resorting to distress sale of their properties. Of the over 1,000 hotels in Dharamsala, about 50 had New Delhi, May 22 Six more bodies were recovered near the spot where the illfated barge 'P305' sunk on the intervening night of May 17 and May 18 as Cyclone Tauktae ravaged past the west coast. So far, 66 bodies have been recovered by the Navy, while nine persons who were on board the barge are missing. The Navy launched underwater search for wrecks of barge 'P305' and tug-boat 'Varaprada'. Diving teams were deployed which later located the wreckage of the barge. Separately, five bodies have washed up ashore in Valsad, A Navy diving team with special equipment for search operations. PTI Gujarat. DNA sampling would be carried out to identify the bodies. Meanwhile, the Navy said it was preparing for cyclonic storm 'Yaas', expected to cross the coast between North Odisha and West Bengal around May 26. — TNS Intestinal black fungus a new worry for doctors Teen beaten to death for violating curbs New Delhi, May 22 Ganga Ram Hospital today reported first two cases of black fungus of the small intestine, revealing that the disease could infect not just eyes, mouth, lungs and brain, but other parts of the body too. Both patients were Covid positive and had diabetes, but only one was on steroids. The hospital said the patients must avoid self-medication. The first case is of a 56-year-old who has lost three family members, including wife, to Covid. He himself had mild Covid. Treating the abdominal pain as gastritis, he took medicines for acidity, but his condition worsened. “The patient was finally evaluated in the Covid emergency. A CT scan revealed his small intestine was perforated. His Covid symptoms too A patient being tested for black fungus in Mumbai. PTI CENTRE STARTS COLLECTING DATA UNNAO (UP): Two police constables and a homeguard have been charged with the murder of a 17-year-old vegetable seller, who was caught for violating the “corona curfew” and allegedly beaten mercilessly, first outside his home and then inside a police station, officials said on Saturday. — PTI Locals outside a locked isolation centre at Barwa village in Bhiwani. Despite deaths, no isolation centre in this Hisar village Deepender Deswal Tribune News Service Hisar, May 22 Mangali Surtia village of Hisar district has witnessed nearly 30 deaths in a month due to Covid and Covid-like symptoms, but the health authorities have not opened any isolation centre in the village. Village sarpanch Sandeep Kumar said, “Five deaths have been confirmed due to Covid-19 in the village. The villagers earlier shied away from getting tested which led to spread of fever in the village. Now, the situation has improved though there are many Covid positive cases who have isolated themselves at their homes.” Rajender Singh, a villager, said the situation was still far from satisfactory and urgent medical facilities needed to be given to the villagers. Dr Aruna Garg at the community health centre in Mangali village said they had increased testing and were taking care of the patients. She admitted that there was no isolation centre in the village. Dr Ratna Bharti, civil surgeon at Hisar, however, said, continued on page 8 Guwahati, May 22 Responding to an appeal from Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, the banned ULFA (I) outfit on Saturday freed ONGC employee Ritul Saikia kidnapped by them over a month back. Saikia, kidnapped on April 21, was released by the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) militants near the Myanmar border at Longwa village of Mon district in Nagaland this morning, said a senior police officer. —PTI ONGC employee Ritul Saikia was released by ULFA (I) near the India-Myanmar border. PTI Took stock on ground, not on copter: Uddhav NEW DELHI: In a relief to RJD founder Lalu Prasad, the CBI has given him a clean chit in connection with a bribery case involving DLF . According to CBI sources, the probe agency had initiated a preliminary enquiry (PE) for corruption against Lalu Prasad and the DLF group in January 2018. The sources said the PE had been closed as no case had been made out. Lalu was given bail by Jharkhand HC in April this year in Dumka treasury case. — IANS Mumbai, May 22 Countering BJP’s criticism over the duration of his visit to cyclone-hit Konkan region of Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said he was at least taking stock of the situation on ground and not conducting an aerial survey in a helicopter. His remarks were apparently aimed at PM Narendra Modi, who recently conducted an aerial survey in Gujarat, where cyclone Tauktae wreaked havoc earlier this Wrestler Sushil ‘held’ in Jalandhar Prove I tried to switch sides: Sidhu to Capt NEW DELHI: Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, who was on the run for over a fortnight for alleged links with the murder of former international wrestler Sagar Dhankar, was arrested by the Delhi Police on Saturday, a source said. “Sushil has been arrested near Jalandhar. His associate Ajay Kumar, an accused in the case, has also been arrested,” the source said. — IANS Chandigarh, May 22 Former Congress minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has been critical of Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh over the sacrilege and police firing cases, today challenged the CM and his loyalists to prove that he had met any leader of other party for switching sides. The Capt Amarinder camp has been targeting Sidhu for allegedly being in talks with the Hit by Covid restrictions, 50 hotels in Dharamsala up for sale Lalit Mohan teams locate barge wreckage Lalu gets clean chit in DLF case BOOK YOGA GURU Ramdev should be booked for endangering lives. We also demand a public apology. IMA IN BRIEF AHMEDABAD: Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat has given his assent to an amendment Bill, which provides for a prison sentence of up to 10 years for fraudulent or forcible conversion by marriage, a state minister said on Saturday. — PTI IMF proposes $50 billion global vaccination plan been put on sale, said Ashwani Bamba, the local hotel association president. Even the property prices were 25 to 30 per cent down compared to five years ago, he said. “Hoteliers are being forced to sell their properties as they don’t have money to repay bank loans,” he said. Ruing the lack of support from the government, Bam- A closed market during Covid curfew in McLeodganj. KAMALJEET ba said no financial assistance had been offered despite the hotel industry contributing about 18 per cent to the state’s GDP . “The hotels are shut, but the government continues to charge taxes. Even the annual licence renewal fee of pollution and tourism departments has not been waived. A demand to set aside the elec- tricity load charges, since the hotels lie closed and aren’t consuming power, has not been met,” he said. Also, a large number of legal disputes have arisen as a majority of the hotel lessees have been unable to pay lease money to the property owners. A leading hotelier told The Tribune that her lessee had been continued on page 8 After asking the states to notify black fungus, the Health Ministry officially started collecting data on the disease from Saturday. Rough estimates suggest over 6,000 mucormycosis cases nationally. worsened. The patient was operated upon,” Dr Ushast Dhir said. “We sent a portion of the intestine for biopsy and mucormycosis of the small continued on page 8 MAHA CM TAKES A DIG AT PM MODI At least I was on the ground taking stock of the situation and not in a helicopter for a photo session. Uddhav Thackeray, MAHA CM ❝ week. Thackeray on Friday visited Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts in Konkan in the aftermath of the cyclone and directed the authorities to complete the crop loss assessment within two days. However, state BJP leaders targeted him over the duration of his visit. Former CM Devendra Fadnavis said he was surprised to know that Thackeray was making political comments during his “merely three-hour long” tour of Konkan. Leader of Opposi- MATTER IN HIGH COMMAND’S COURT Was invited and offered Cabinet berth many times, but didn’t accept. Now, our esteemed high command has intervened. Will wait. Navjot Singh Sidhu, CONGRESS MLA ❝ Aam Aadmi Party and is seeking action against him over his “outbursts” against the CM. “Prove one meeting that I have had with another par- ty’s leader. I have never asked anyone for any post till date. All I seek is Punjab’s prosperity. Was invited and continued on page 8 Guide: 100 virus cases on Everest KATHMANDU: A climbing guide on Saturday said a Covid-19 outbreak on Mount Everest has infected at least 100 climbers and support staff, giving the first comprehensive estimate amid official Nepalese denials of a Covid-19 cluster on the peak. Lukas Furtenbach of Austria said one of his foreign guides and six Nepali Sherpa guides have tested positive. — PTI tion Pravin Darekar sought to know how the CM could understand in “just three hours” the extent of damage caused by the cyclone. “It’s okay if my tour lasted four hours. At least I am on the ground taking stock of the situation and not in a helicopter for a photo session… I am a photographer myself. I have not come here to respond to opposition's criticism,” Thackeray said during a visit to Malvan in Sindhudurg — PTI Punjab schools shut from May 24-June 23 Chandigarh, May 22 The Punjab Government today announced closure of all schools, including government, semi-government and private, across the state for summer vacations from May 24 to June 23. School Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla said due to the Covid19 pandemic, the educational institutions were already shut for students. INSIDE Illegal liquor bottling plantbusted in Badal village, was located in an orchard; 3 held Archit Watts Tribune News Service Muktsar, May 22 A joint team of the Excise Department and the Punjab Police today claimed to have busted an illegal liquor bottling plant being run from an orchard at Badal village. Three persons have been arrested. The bottles seized by excise officials in Badal village. The orchard is owned by Paramjit Singh Lali Badal who is related to former CM Parkash Singh Badal. Paramjit Singh Lali said he had given the plant on lease to a private company in 2018. “I have nothing to do with this plant. I have given the documents to the officers,” he said. continued on page 8
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