28122022-TT-01.qxd 12/27/2022 10:56 PM Page 1 13 CHANDIGARH | GURUGRAM | JALANDHAR | BATHINDA | VOL. 142 NO. 358 | 12 PAGES | ~5.00 | REGD. NO. CHD/0006/2021-2023 ESTABLISHED IN 1881 HIMACHAL PRADESH POST ADVISORIES AGAINST PAK TRAVEL, SHARIF VOWS TO FIGHT TERROR WORLD /thetribunechd GOVT DEBT RISES TO ~147 LAKH CRORE IN Q2: REPORT BUSINESS FAROOQ, MEHBOOBA TO TAKE PART IN BHARAT JODO YATRA J&K AFTER K’TAKA, MAHA PASSES RESOLUTION TO INCLUDE 865 VILLAGES BACK PAGE wednesday | 28 december 2022 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com China to reopen borders after 3 yrs, no quarantine for int’l travellers from Jan Post Gambian deaths, central regulator to inspect pharma cos Despite surge in Covid infections, Beijing stops announcing daily cases Aditi Tandon Beijing, December 27 Days after it faced nationwide anti-government protests against its stringent zeroCovid policy, China in a major shift of its coronavirus response policies has announced that it will scrap quarantine for international travellers from January 8 as it reopens its borders and comes out of international isolation after nearly three years. The National Health Commission (NHC) has announced that Covid-19 management will be downgraded from Class A to B from next month, in the same category as less-severe diseases such as dengue fever. China will cancel inbound quarantine for international arrivals starting from January 8, 2023, it said. Earlier, passengers coming from abroad had to mandatorily stay in over two weeks of quarantine in government accommodations, which was gradually reduced to five days with three days of observation. These announcements come at a time when the country is grappling with a sudden spurt in coronavirus infections fuelled by the Omicron variant after the Xi Jinping regime relaxed its stringent zero-Covid policy earlier continued on page 9 New Delhi, December 27 With the implications of the Gambian child death tragedy still lingering, India’s apex drug regulator on Tuesday commenced joint inspection of a set of drug factories across the country with the objective of weeding out spurious drugs. The risk-based inspection of “identified drug manufacturing units” is being conducted after a long gap and close on the heels of a Gambian parliamentary committee seeking action against Sonepat-based Maiden Pharma which, the panel said, exported contaminated cold and cough syrups potentially linked to child deaths, as also stated by the WHO in its October 5 global alert. Though Drug Controller General of India VG Somani informed the WHO recently that Maiden products were not found to be contaminated in tests by Indian labs, the matter is far from closed. Meanwhile, Maiden Pharma’s operations remain closed, with the ball in the DCGI’s court. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) today did not say which facilities it would inspect but noted that the exercise would be held in col- DOWNGRADES VIRUS MANAGEMENT China’s National Health Commission has announced that Covid-19 management will be downgraded from Class A to B from next month. It will fall in the same category as less-severe diseases such as dengue fever COMPANIES WELCOME BEIJING’S DECISION Doctors during a mock drill at the Civil Hospital in Ludhiana on Tuesday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: HIMANSHU MAHAJAN India tests readiness with drills New Delhi, December 27 Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday asked health facilities and administrators to gear for a potential surge in Covid cases, noting that with the pandemic expanding in some countries, India may also witness a spike. Mandaviya was speaking to health workers during an inspection of a mock drill for Covid-19 preparedness at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital, a Central Government facility. NO COMPLACENCY ■ Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya cautions health staff against complacency ■ Urges everyone to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour Mock drills were held across the country today with health ministers across states taking the review personally. Mandaviya cau- tioned health staffers against complacency and urged everyone to follow Covidappropriate behaviour. He called upon everyone to stay alert, and refrain from sharing unverified information. “Covid cases are rising all over the world and India might witness a spike in cases too. Hence it is important that the entire Covid infrastructure in terms of equipment, processes and human continued on page 9 Foreign firms welcomed China’s decision to end quarantines for travellers from abroad as an important step to revive slumping business activity Nasal dose for ~800 in pvt centres, govt units yet to decide Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of intranasal booster iNCOVACC (two-drop dose), on Tuesday announced the pricing details. The booster vaccine will be made available at private health facilities at Rs 800 per dose (excluding GST) and for bulk Central and state government procurement at Rs 325 a dose. The government is yet to announce its pricing. Tribune News Service SPURIOUS DRUGS MOST UNITS IN UNORGANISED SECTOR ■ A NITI Aayog document says the Indian pharma industry is quite fragmented and consists of nearly 10,500 units with the majority in the unorganised sector ■ Of these, about 300-400 units are categorised as belonging to medium to large organised sector with the top 10 manufacturers accounting for 36.5% of the market share laboration with state drug controllers. “Joint inspections are being conducted as per the standard operating procedures,” the regulator said, adding that a committee of two joint drugs controllers had been constituted to monitor the process of inspection, reporting and subsequent action and ensure compliance with the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and Rules thereunder. The Act provides for three yearly risk-based inspection of firms, at risk of producing spurious drugs. “The exercise will ensure high standards of quality compliance with respect to drugs manufactured in the country. An action continued on page 9 Chanda Kochhar Loan fraud case: Kochhars move HC against their arrest Mumbai, December 27 Former ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar on Tuesday approached the Bombay High Court, calling their arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation in a loan fraud case illegal. The court, however, refused to grant urgent hearing and directed the Kochhars to mention the matter before the regular Bench once it resumes after vacation. A lawyer representing the Kocchars said no prior sanction, as required under the law, was obtained by the CBI before their arrest. The probe agency had arrested the Kochhars on Friday night. — PTI PRADEEP TEWARI Nuh’s report card: 53% posts of teacher vacant Zelenskyy wants India to be ‘more active’ in Ukraine peace measures Geetanjali Gayatri New Delhi, December 27 In a televised address, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said India can be “more active”ineffortstoendaggression. “Today, I spoke with the Prime Minister of India. Next year, it will be India that will preside over the G20. I wished Mr Modi a fruitful presidency, and fruitful not for someone in particular, but for everyone in the world who values peace. India can be more active in Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 27 With 53 per cent vacancies, government schools of Nuh are functioning at half the strength of teachers. The maximum shortage exists in middle schools (Class V to VIII), which have just 36 per cent of the required teachers, including guest teachers. According to information furnished by the state government during the winter session of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha today, only 4,691 teachers are working against the requirement of 10,083 in Nuh government schools. There are 1,246 Trained Graduate Teachers (TGTs) and masters at the middle school level against the requirement of 3,436 teachers. This also includes 236 guest teachers and 16 contractual ones. There are 2,190 vacancies in this category. In response to an unstarred question posed by Congress MLA and deputy leader of the party in the House Aftab Ahmed, the government said HARYANA SESSION PRIME NUMBERS Requirement Vacant JBTs & head teachers TGTs & masters PGTs & lecturers 4,644 2,192 3,436 1,678 2,190 899 that all eight posts of head master of high school were vacant in Nuh district, while 110 principals were posted against the requirement of 119. Further, against 198 elementary school head masters, 104 are working. Against the requirement of 1,678 Post Graduate Teachers (PGTs) and lecturers, there are 647 regular teachers, 94 guest teachers and 38 contractual teachers. There are 899 vacancies of teachers for senior classes (Class IX to XII). As for the Junior Basic Teachers (JBTs) and head teachers (Class I to V), 2,192 posts are vacant against the requirement of 4,644. Of the continued on page 9 IN BRIEF Three more arrested for Sarhali RPG attack CHEERS TO MILLETS: Haryana CM ML Khattar and LoP Bhupinder Singh Hooda sit together for millet soup at the Vidhan Sabha complex in Chandigarh on Tuesday. 2023 is being observed as International Year of Millets. PUSH FOR PEACE I wished PM Modi a fruitful G20 presidency. I hope we can do more together for global stability in the coming year. ❝ Volodymyr Zelenskyy, UKRAINE PREZ efforts to end aggression, so I hope we can do more together for global stability in the com- ing year,” said Zelenskyy in the TV address. Hours earlier, he had spoken to PM Modi and sought India’s help in implementing a peace formula. Zelenskyy’s talk with PM Modi comes a week after his visit to the US, where the Pentagon offered him a Rs 16,000 crore military package, including Patriot missiles, to end Russia’s dominance of continued on page 9 edit: Zelenskyy’s appeal After L-G remarks, KPs move CAT, Adani group turns to govt challenge order against transfers to end cement plant crisis Jammu, December 27 Kashmiri Pandit employees, who have been protesting in Jammu for the past several months, have approached the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) against the J&K administration order stating that those granted employment under the PM’s special package cannot be transferred. The move to approach the CAT’s Srinagar Bench comes days after J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha said the employees protesting in Jammu and not resuming ON STRIKE SINCE MAY Kashmiri Pandit employees have been on a strike since May demanding relocation to Jammu from the Valley in the backdrop of targeted killings of employees from minority community by terrorists their duties in Kashmir would not be given salaries. Pandit employees have been on a strike since May demanding relocation to Jammu from the Valley in the backdrop of targeted killings of employees from minority community. They have also sought relief from being forced to join work at their respective postings till the government provides them a safe work environment. The petition filed by Boopinder Bhat and Yogesh Pandita is likely to be listed for hearing after December 30. They have challenged Subrule 4 of Rule 4 of the J&K Kashmiri Migrants (Special Drive) Recruitment Rules, which provides that “in case the appointee migrates from the Valley, he shall lose the job without any notice.” Ambika Sharma Tribune News Service Solan, December 27 Adani Cement has sought the HP Government’s intervention in running its cement plants in the state, claiming it was forced to shut the two plants due to non-cooperation from transporters. It claimed that due to the non-cooperation from transporters, the problems of dealers selling cement across the state had aggravated as they were losing business. There are about 1,400 dealers selling Claims had to shut units due to transporters’ ‘non-cooperation’ cement from Ambuja Cements Limited (ACL) at Darlaghat in Solan and ACC plant in Bilaspur across the state. Adani Cement, which took over the two plants recently, had unilaterally closed these on December 15 citing losses. The transporters had declined to accept lower freight rate of Rs 6 per tonne continued on page 9 Pavel Antov Putin ‘critic’ falls to death from Odisha hotel New Delhi, December 27 Pavel Antov, chairman of the Committee on Agrarian Policy and Ecology of the Legislative Assembly of Russia’s Vladimir Region, died after falling from the third floor of a hotel in Odisha’s Rayagada district. ANOTHER RUSSIAN DIED DAYS EARLIER IN SAME HOTEL Antov died while celebrating his birthday on December 25. He belonged to the ruling party of Russian President Vladimir Putin but had criticised civilian killings in Ukraine. He, however, made a turnaround by stating his post on social media was an “unfortunate misunderstanding”. In a video, the hotel receptionist said four Russians had come to stay in the hotel on December 21 along with their travel agent from Delhi. As per reports, one of the tourists, Vladimir Budanov (61), died continued on page 9 TARN TARAN: Busting a sub-module of Canada-based gangster Lakhbir Singh, the police have arrested three more persons for their role in the Sarhali RPG attack. A loaded RPG was seized from the suspects. OC Ex-minister Deshmukh may walk out of jail today MUMBAI: Former Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh is likely to walk out of jail on Wednesday as the Bombay HC on Tuesday refused to extend its stay on an order granting him bail in a corruption case. PTI PM’s brother, family hurt in accident near Mysuru MYSURU: PM Narendra Modi’s brother Prahlad Modi and family members sustained injuries when the car in which they were travelling met with an accident near here, the police said on Tuesday. PTI BJP fields candidates for MCD mayoral elections NEW DELHI: The BJP on Tuesday fielded Shalimar Bagh (North) council- lor Rekha Gupta for the post of mayor and Ram Nagar councillor Kamal Bagri for the post of deputy mayor for the January 6 election. TNS Posing as cops, gang of 4 used ‘nakas’ to rob commuters in Batala Ravi Dhaliwal Tribune News Service Batala, December 27 Residents heaved a sigh of relief when the Batala police, in a much-awaited breakthrough, busted a gang posing as policemen and setting up checkposts in and around the city to rob residents of cash and valuables. SSP Satinder Singh said for the past few weeks, he had been receiving complaints from harried residents that “some policemen were looting them at nakas after claiming that they (residents) were in the possession of drugs.” After the complaints started piling up, the SSP formed a special team, led by DSP (City) Lalit Kumar. Acting on a tip-off that a THREATENED PEOPLE WITH DRUG FRAME-UP ■ Posing as cops, gang mem- bers used to set up ‘nakas’ on the outskirts of the city ■ They threatened people that they would “policeman”, who was spotted a few hours earlier at a “naka”, was roaming under suspicious circumstances in plant drugs on them ■ Fearing arrest, panicky residents would hand over money & valuables to them the crowded Sukh SinghMehtab Singh Chowk area, Lalit Kumar and his team rushed to the spot. He started questioning the “policeman”, who was in uniform, and got suspicious when he started getting vague answers. Jagdeep Singh, a resident of Dhariwal, admitted to his crime after being subjected to sustained interrogation. The police seized 70 gm of heroin from him. His modus operandi was to establish checkposts on roads on the outskirts of the city. “He and his accomplices would then tell people that they would plant drugs on them. Fearing they would be arrested, panicky residents would hand over whatever money and valuables they had,” said the SSP . He said the police were hunting for Jadgeep’s three accomplices.
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