KOTTAYAM l friday l july 09, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION spectators banned from Tokyo OLYMPIC VENUES Following a state of emergency aimed at containing rising Covid cases in the capital, organisers forced to take big call ap first-ever games behind closed doors On Thursday evening, organisers met with local and national government officials and Olympic and Paralympic chiefs to make what Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto termed a “very difficult decision”. Fans from abroad were banned months ago. The decision means Tokyo 2020 will be the first Games ever held largely behind closed doors ■ 920 call on events outside tokyo later ■ Some events like surfing, football and marathon will take place outside Tokyo. A decision on fans at events outside Tokyo would be taken in consultation with the governors of each region Decision regarding the admission of spectators during Paralympics will be taken after the completion of Games cOVID CASES IN TOKYO ON july 7, highest in region since mid-may 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 Govt free to go after Twitter: HC E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Delhi High Court on Thursday said the Centre was free to initiate action against Twitter in accordance with the IT rules in case it had breached them. Parallelly, new Union information technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the law of the land is supreme, adding those who live and work in India have to abide by the country’s rules. Justice Rekha Palli granted two weeks to Twitter to file hard copies of the notarised affidavit of a competent officer on compliance with the new rules. Talks today “It is made clear that since this court has only granted time to Twitter to file its affidavits to show compliance of the rules and there is no interim protection granted, it will be open for the Union of India to take action against Twitter in accordance with rules in case of any breach of the rules,” the court said, while slating the case for next hearing on July 28. For its part, Twitter said it was not seeking any protection. The microblogging site said it has appointed a resident of India as its interim Chief Compliance Officer effective July 6. Regarding the Nodal Contact Officer, it will try to fill the position on an interim basis in two weeks. And the process of hiring an interim Resident Grievance Officer is expected to over by July 11, it informed. While the appointments are interim, it would not lessen the responsibilities imposed on those officers to ensure compliance with the new IT Rules, Twitter assured. Twitter also told the court that its first compliance report covering the period of May 26 to June 25 will be filed by July 11. First Cabinet meet seeks to learn from past errors L23K-crore infra Telangana to send private jet for Kitex team E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi A six-member delegation from the Kitex group led by chairman and managing director Sabu M Jacob will hold talks with Telangana gover nment on implementing the `3,500-crore project in the state on Friday A special representative of . the Telangana government will arrive in a private jet in Kochi on Friday morning to escort the Kitex delegation to Hyderabad. The jet carrying the delegation will leave Kochi at 10.30am. Telangana Industries Minister K T Rama Rao had held an initial round of talks with Sabu after which he invited the Kitex CMD to Hyderabad. The minister has arranged a dinner in honour of the Kitex CMD on Friday night, which will be attended by top industrialists in the state. Kitex directors Benny Joseph and K L V Narayanan, vice-president (operations) Harkishen Singh Sodhi, chief finance officer Bobby Michael and general manager Saji Kurian will accompany Sabu to Hyderabad. As many as nine states had invited Sabu to invest in their states after he announced the decision to scrap the `3,500-crore project in Kerala alleging harassment by the state government. “Telangana has been ranked number one in ease-of-doing business in the country and they are , offering many incentives to investors. They have a separate incentive package for the textile industry which provides more employment opportunities compared to other industries. They have textile parks, and leading textile business leaders like Welspun have established their units in the state. We will explore the possibility of investing in Telangana based on the outcome of the talks on Friday,” Sabu told ● More on P5 TNIE. package to deal with third wave The `23,123 crore package is a follow up to the `15,000 crore package Having burnt its fingers because of provided by the Centre last year to sluggish response during the initial deal with the first wave of the panstages of the Covid second wave, the demic. Making it clear that the govfirst meeting of the recast Cabinet ernment does not want to take any presided by Prime Minister Naren- chances with the third wave, Mandra Modi on Thursday sought to daviya said the spread and sweep of quickly address challenges from the the package will include creation of anticipated third wave by rustling field hospitals with 5,000 bed capaciup a `23,123 crore healthties, ICU and oxygen beds, Outreach to care package. buffer stock of critical The package aims to restive farmers medicines worth `1 crore create paediatric units in in each district and setThe Union Cabinet all 736 districts because also sought to address ting up 10,000 litre oxygen of the apprehension that plants. concerns of the the third wave could af- agitating farmers by Also, the Centre will fect children. The Centre allowing inclusion of work with states for unialso intends to build synformity in the manner in the Agriculture ergy with state governwhich trained human reProduce Marketing ments while implementsources like resident docCooperatives ing the package as against tors, interns, final year (mandis) in the the policy of passing the J1 lakh crore interest MBBS students and parabuck to states during the medics are roped in for subvention scheme second wave. unveiled in the Union emergency services for a Union Minister for Budget for creation of fixed duration with standHealth and Family Welardised compensation. agriculture fare Mansukh Mandaviya The plan includes auginfrastructure said the Centre and the menting 20,000 ICU beds states will work as a team to imple- in the public healthcare system out ment the package between July and of which 20% will be reserved for March, for which consultations will children. For rural, peri-urban and be held with each state government tribal areas, “creating pre-fabricated on ways to strengthen their medical structures for adding additional beds infrastructure. The nine-month span at the existing CHCs, PHCs and SHCs is the upper limit for executing the (6-20 bedded units) and support plan, he assured. would also be provided to establish Mandaviya stressed that the gov- bigger field hospitals (50-100 bedded ernment will expedite work on ad- units) depending on the needs at tierdressing critical issues based on the II or Tier-III cities and district HQs” lessons learnt from the second wave, will be part of the package. It will like augmenting oxygen beds, add- also provide for adding 8,800 ambuing ambulances and ensuring avail- lances to the existing fleet in the pubability of critical medicines. lic sector. M A N ISH A N A N D @ New Delhi crowding at Bevco outlets HC asks govt to consider customers’ dignity, says liquor being sold like contraband E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kochi The Kerala High Court on Thursday criticised the government for not controlling the crowding and serpentine queues in front of Bevco outlets amid the pandemic spread. The court orally observed that liquor was being sold like a contraband, and that the dignity of persons standing in the long queues should be considered by the state. When customers line up in front of the liquor shops and spill over to the public places, it certainly is an affront to the collective dignity of society as a whole, observed the court. The customer is put to a great amount of humiliation, which he is forced to endure because the sale of liquor is virtually a monopoly of the Beverages corporation. Hence, sufficient facilities should be provided by the government and corporation. It is the government’s duty to make sure that sufficient facilities are given to the customers so that they can buy their choice of liquor in a civilised manner like any other commodity High Court “However, what we now see is that every counter of Bevco or at least most of them have these sinuous queues of people, waiting for hours to obtain their quota of beverage,” pointed out the court. “You seem to be selling your product, not like a commodity; but like a contraband. Though there was an order to provide adequate facilities in 2017, the government has not taken any action. There is a systemic failure on this issue,” observed the court. “It is the government’s duty to make sure that sufficient facilities are given to the customers so that they can buy their choice of liquor in a civilised manner like any other commodity and then leave the counters without their self-respect being compromised.” Justice Devan Ramachandran made these observations while hearing a petition seeking to initiate a contempt of court case against the excise commissioner and others for not implementing the 2017 order. The court said it is rather distressing that the factual situation at the ground level has not been altered at all. “On the contrary, it has become ● More on P2 far more perilous.” FB can’t skip Delhi riots panel: Sc K an u Sa r da @ New Delhi Stressing that social media platforms should show accountability towards its users, the Supreme Court on Thursday said the Delhi Assembly can seek information from Facebook and its officials in connection with their alleged role in the 2020 Delhi Riots. However, the Assembly’s Peace and Harmony committee would have no jurisdiction over issues like law and order of Delhi, which comes under the Central government. “Because of the nature of the riots, the Assembly without trans- gressing into any field of the Union under 7th Schedule can look into the issue,” a three-judge bench of the court said. Hearing a plea by Facebook India against the summons issued by the committee to its head Ajit Mohan, the bench, while calling it premature, stated he must appear before the committee, but his representative can choose not to answer questions outside of the Assembly’s domain. The bench said social media platforms like Facebook have the power and potential to influence people State reports first case of Zika infection in T’Puram E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram Kerala has been put on alert after Zika virus infection was detected for the first time in the state on Thursday The National Insti. tute of Virology, Pune, confirmed the infection in a pregnant woman from Para s s a l a i n Thiruvananthapuram. Of the 19 samples sent for testing from different parts of the capital district, 13 more are suspected to be Zika positive, though an official confirmation is yet to ar- rive. The 13 samples are those of health workers. Health Minister Veena George has directed all district health officers to be on alert on the new infection that primarily spreads through mosquito bites. The Zika virus infection has been detected at a time when the state has been struggling to control the Covid spread. The 24-year-old woman from Parassala was admitted to General Hospital on June 8 with symptoms such as fever, headache ● More on P4 and body rashes. across borders, and debates and posts on them have the potential to polarise the society as most people do not have the wherewithal to verify the content. “The capital can ill-afford any repetition of the occurrence, and thus, the role of Facebook in this context must be looked into by the powers that be. It is in this background that the Assembly sought to constitute a Peace and Harmony committee. It cannot be said that its concerns were misconceived or illegitimate,” the court said in its 188-page judgment. Room rents for Covid care in pvt hospitals fixed again T’Puram: After facing criticism from the High Court over allowing private hospitals to decide on room rent charged from Covid patients, the government has reintroduced the price capping. As per the new order, the private hospitals can charge D2,645 to D2,910 for general wards and D5,290-D9,776 for private rooms depending on category of hospital. Edit: Course correction needed in Kerala’s Covid strategy | P6 Jab-o-meter Take your shot July 7: 31,04,426 doses NATIONWIDE july 7 july 8 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 43,733 45,892 47,240 44,291 930 817 stateWIDE july 7 july 8 July 8: 36,08,940 doses Fresh cases 15,600 13,772 Total doses Recoveries 11,629 11,414 148 142 36,85,76,352 Deaths
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