30 per cent 50,00,000 (1 March 2021 - 24 May 2021) India’s daily cases 40,00,000 dROP IN CASELOAD IN THE PAST 10 DAYS NATIONWIDE MAY 24 MAY 25 Fresh cases 2,22,315 1,96,427 Recoveries 3,02,544 3,25,850 Deaths 4,454 3,511 30,00,000 20,00,000 Jab-o-meter May 24 bhubaneswar l wednesday l may 26, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l LATE CITY EDITION Daily Covid cases go below 2 lakh, lowest in a month Single-day rise in new Covid infections fell to the lowest level in 41 days on Tuesday, according to Union health ministry data Source: mygov.in 10,00,000 0 1 Mar 1 Apr 1 May 24 May 23,65,395 doses Take your May 25 shot 18,77,419 doses Total doses: 20,04,94,991 1,84,372 Daily test positivity rate, too, comes down Cases down in DELHI, but up in T.N., N-E A total of 1,96,427 new coronavirus infections were reported in the past 24 hours, while the toll tally climbed to 3,07,231 with 3,511 fresh fatalities – the lowest in 21 days, the data updated at Tuesday 8 am showed. India had registered 1,84,372 new cases on April 14. In another positive note, the daily test positivity rate came down to under 10% to settle at 9.54% ■ ■ Data show that active caseload in six states, including Delhi, has come down by half since mid-May. However, in Tamil Nadu and some north-eastern states, cases seem to be going up The Union health ministry said cumulatively, the active caseload in India has now come down to 25,86,782 | P7 fRESH CASES WERE REPORTED ON aPRIL 14, THE PREVIOUS LOWEST POINT CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Odisha moves 2.5L people to safety before Yaas landfall 7.5 lakh people to be shifted from 10 districts to 6,891 cyclone shelters; 404 teams deployed for rescue, restoration ops E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar With Yaas inching closer to the north Odisha coast and set to make landfall somewhere between Dhamra port and south of Balasore with wind speed topping 140-150 kmph early on Wednesday, the State government in a massive evacuation operation shifted over 2.5 lakh people from the vulnerable districts to cyclone shelters by Tuesday evening. Special Relief Commissioner PK Jena said, the government has targeted to shift 7.5 lakh people from 10 coastal and adjoining districts to safer places including 6,891 cyclone shelters. The SRC said that Balasore and Bhadrak will be in the eye of the storm and 79,588 and 73,103 persons have been evacuated from these two districts respectively As large ar. eas of Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts will be inundated because of an expected storm surge between two and four feet, over 60,000 and 11,184 persons have been shifted from these two districts respectively . Besides, evacuation of people residing in low lying and vul- nerable areas have also been made in Cuttack, Jajpur, Keonj h a r, M ay u r b h a n j , P u r i , Dhenkanal and Khurda districts. “Evacuation is going on in full swing. The process will be completed by tonight. Response forces and restoration teams are on the ground,” he said. Arrangements for providing temporary shelter materials (polythene sheets) have been made for the households if houses will be damaged by cyclonic wind/ heavy rain in the affected areas. The SRC said expecting mothers are being shifted to Maa Gruha or community health centres. The h i g h - r i s k p re g n a n t women are being shifted to nearest hospitals. He added that all Covid guidelines are being followed in cyclone shelters. Three ply masks are being provided to each evacuee to use during the entire period of stay in the shelter. He also urged youths not to put their lives at risk by taking selfies during the cyclone. The State government has also made massive deployment for rescue, restoration and relief measures in the areas to be affected by the cyclonic CONTINUED ON: P5 storm. Cyclone preparedness More than 2.5 lakh people evacuated to 5,523 cyclone shelters Plans to evacuate 7.5 lakh people from 10 districts, 6,891 cyclone shelters ready 52 NDRF, 60 ODRAF, 206 Fire Service and 86 wood cutting teams deployed Satellite phones with all collectors 467 9,990 quick reaction teams for clearing of roads 308 personnel deployed for power restoration health teams mobilised, 635 medical relief centres opened storm surge High sea swells at Chandipur beach in Balasore under the influnce of cyclone ‘Yaas’ on Tuesday | Biswanath Swain Yaas is here for landfall, will it pack power? E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar IN the large band between Paradip and Sagar Islands, weather agencies finally have some agreement that Cyclone Yaas would make landfall most probably - near Dhamra in Bhadrak district on Wednesday morning. India Meteorological Department says the storm, upgraded Sizing up economy stress HDFC Bank flags likely defaults in retail loan repayment by individuals In the face of uncertainty, people are saving every penny for a rainy day Sesa Sen @ New Delhi Express News Service WITH the pandemic still raging and no end in sight for the common man’s economic distress, banks are bracing for an era of retail loan defaults. Retail loans, which dominated the Covid restructuring of most private banks in 2020-21, are likely to see higher delinquencies as borrowers are busy fighting the impact of the second wave of infections, Sashidhar Jagdishan, For the first time in CEO and MD of HDFC Bank, said on Tuesday . so many years, we Borrowers who had to avail cover under regprobably may not ulatory dispensations like moratorium and restructuring after the first Covid wave are more have a grip on what is going to happen. likely to default, the CEO said, implying that We should see asset the lender will be “cautious” in these extraorquality come back dinary times. HDFC Bank already saw an upto what we saw in tick in cheque bounce rates in April. the March quarter Talking to investors in a call hosted by Macin a couple of quarters’ time quarie Research, Jagdishan said that the second Covid wave hitting the rural areas will Sashidhar Jagdishan, have an impact on both business momentum CEO & MD, HDFC Bank and recovery . As on March 31, the bank restructured total loans worth `6,508.37 crore comprising 3.36 lakh accounts under the Reserve Bank’s one-time scheme. Of this, 2.87 lakh accounts were for retail loans amounting to `5,456 crore or 92.5%. Corporate borrowers have largely stayed away from restructuring their dues. The trend is similar for other private banks, too. Total restructuring by Axis Bank amounted to `844.6 crore, of which retail loans accounted for `503.71 crore as on March 31. Similarly Kotak , Mahindra Bank restructured loans worth `121.5 crore, of which `82.38 crore consisted of retail loans. ICICI Bank and Yes Bank were outliers that saw more corporate loan recast. INDIANs have salted away a neat `1 lakh crore in bank deposits in just three fortnights of the current fiscal (FY22). Interest rates are literally nailed to the floorboards, so the big money flowing into banks, experts caution, could be a sign of rising household stress. It’s an unusual increase for the months of April and May, and with lockdowns in force, some believe it’s a sign of precautionary savings, compounded by the need to hold disposable cash to counter health and economic uncertainties. Typically, bank deposits and credit offtake decline in April and May. But, FY21 bucked the trend with deposits rising by a staggering `2.8 lakh crore in the first three fortnights. Now, FY22 is a torchbearer, with customers saving much more this fiscal, but whether this will have @ New Delhi It was not just microblogging site Twitter that was issued notice by the Delhi Police Special Cell for tagging BJP leader Sambit Patra’s tweet as manipulated media in the alleged Congress toolkit case. The police also served notices on two Congress leaders — former Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Gowda and Congress social media head Rohan Gupta, it has now emerged. Both were asked to join the probe, said a senior Facebook on compliance New Delhi: Amid speculation on the fate of social media firms for failing to align with India’s IT rules, Facebook said it needs more engagement with the Centre. Twitter declined comment | P8 officer, adding, “These notices were issued a week ago following a Congress complaint.” Notices to them and Twitter were sent on the same day May 22. , Rohan Gupta said, “We had filed our police complaint on May 18 but they did not register Deposits (H crore) Credits -1,75,73 -83,297 -56,379 2,82,876 1,03,334 -2,50,525 -1,04,780 -1,46,966 -1,19,028 -80,025 1st fortnight 2nd fortnight 3rd fortnight 1,01,357 -80,579 82,555 -60,333 -28,783 9,091 Source: RBI, SBI Research a significant salutary impact on consumption spending is unclear. As an OECD paper underscored last December, lockdowns in several countries strengthened motives for precautionary saving among households, discouraging investment and purchases of durable goods. P10 India’s GDP is likely to grow at 1.3% in the fourth quarter of FY21 and may see a contraction of around 7.3% for the full financial year, according to SBI research report ‘Ecowrap’. The NSO will release provisional annual GDP estimates for FY21 on May 31 any FIR. Then we filed a complaint in Chhattisgarh and joined a case as co-applicant. We have written to the Delhi Police seeking transfer of the case to Chhattisgarh.” The Congress on Tuesday pushed ahead further, demanded that Twitter add the manipulated media tag to tweets by 11 Union ministers including Giriaj Singh, Piyush Goyal, Smriti Irani, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Dharmendra Pradhan and Ramesh Nishank, for spreading malicious propaganda in the fake toolkit case. however, changed location to Budhabalanga Estuary, to the north of Chandipur. There was also difference when it came to maximum sustained wind the storm would pack in when it approached the coast during early morning and noon. National forecaster IMD stuck to its prediction that gale wind speed reaching 155 km/ hr to 165 km/hr and gusting up to 185 km/hr will prevail over northwest Bay of Bengal, along and off north Odisha, adjoining West Bengal coasts including in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Bhadrak districts on Wednesday morning. Puri, Cuttack, Khurda and Jajpur districts will witness wind speed reaching 80 km/hr to 90 km/hr and gusting up to 100 km/hr during the period. CONTINUED ON: P5 Phase 3 trial of new Covid drug at Apollo E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Phase 3 clinical trials in nearly 2,400 people in India have begun to test the efficacy of experimental antiviral drug Molnupiravir against Covid-19, following regulatory approvals by the Central Drug Standard Control Organisation. This drug, developed by Merck originally, is an oral broad spectrum antiviral agent that has shown promise in treating mild and moderate Covid cases in early-stage trials in some countries. In India, five companies have entered into voluntary licensing agreements to produce generic versions of it. And MSN laboratories has received permission to conduct the trials. Dr Suneetha Narreddy, senior consultant, infectious diseases, at Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad, which is one of the 40 sites in India where the phase 3 trials will be held, said that the drug is showing promise. “Data from early stage trials (H crore) FY18 FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22 GDP to grow at 1.3% in March: SBI REPORT 2 Cong leaders get police notice in toolkit case E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e THE BIG CHANGE into a severe cyclonic storm on Tuesday, would intensify further and make landfall to the north of Dhamra and south of Balasore. The State Government said, the landfall could be between Bahanaga (Balasore) and Basudevpur (Bhadrak). Interestingly Joint Typhoon , Warning Centre said, the system may cross land near Bhitarkanika National Park, close to Dhamra. Its Warnig No 7, Narada scam CISF DG S K Jaiswal is new CBI chief CBI withdraws appeal in SC E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Senior IPS officer Subodh Kumar Jaiswal was on Tuesday appointed the new CBI chief for two years. A 1985-batch IPS officer of the Maharashtra cadre, he is currently the director general of CISF. A panel led by the PM had on Monday shortlisted his name for the post. He also served as Maharashtra’s DGP in the past | p8 ODISHA Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 24 MAY 25 11,059 11,614 32 and preliminary analysis of phase 3 trials from outside India looks very promising but we should wait till the trials are concluded in India to say something definitive,” she said, adding it is being given to non-hospitalised patients with mild and moderate disease. “Final analysis will depend on how many of the patients with or without this drug in the placebo and treatment arm go on to develop severe disease or needed hospitalisation.” 10,939 11,769 33 @ New Delhi The CBI on Tuesday withdrew its appeal against a Calcutta High Court order allowing house arrest for four persons, including three Trinamool lawmakers, instead of judicial custody after their arrest in the Narada scam. A vacation bench comprising justices Vineet Saran and B R Gavai took sharp note of the unusual five-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court formed to hear the matter. “Special bench is assigned to protect liberty. This is for the first time that a special bench was assigned to take away the liberty,” Justice Gavai said. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, flagged the intimidation by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and other top Trinamool leaders after the CBI arrested the four politicians. “Chief Minister Banerjee had gone to CBI office with her supporters and sat on a dharna; and the state law minister went with his followers to the special CBI court complex,” he said. But the bench said those incidents have to be seen separately and cannot influence the grant of bail. It, however, permitted Mehta to take back the appeal and raise all the grievances in the high court. The judges also said, “We don’t consider our judiciary to be that weak to be influenced like this. We don’t want to demoralise our courts.” S e c u r i t y Co v e r This BJP MLA can’t afford protection of central forces P r o n a b M o n da l @ Kolkata BJP MLA Chandana Bauri along with the central forces sent for her security by the party, in front of her dilapidated hut in Saltora, West Bengal FOR Chandana Bauri, BJP’s MLA in Saltora, West Bengal, defeating the TMC candidate in the recent Assembly elections was easier than bowing to her party’s decision to provide all BJP Bengal legislators with central force personnel security cover. Chandana, the wife of a daily wage earner, found it impossible to offer the four central force jawans, who were sent for her security, daily meals or make arrangements for accommodation for them. Reason: the MLA’s husband, who is jobless because of the lockdown, and her two children reside in a dilapidated singleroom hut with tiled-roof without running water or even a toilet. Touched by their protectee’s plight, the jawans have started buying vegetables from local groceries using their own money and giving it to the MLA for arranging meals for them and her family as well. “My husband is a mason. Our daily average earning is `400. Because of lockdown, the source of income has dried up. My husband and I are MGNREGA card holders,” she said. Chandana bagged victory from Saltora defeating her contender, a TMC veteran in the area, by 4,145 votes.
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