SATURDAY FOREIGN FLIGHT SUSPENSION EXTENDED TILL AUGUST 31 01 AUGUST, 2020 morningstandard.in 7.5 lakh facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard instagram.com/themorningstandard INDIANS BROUGHT HOME UNDER THE VANDE BHARAT MISSION Services under travel bubbles to go on CENTRE TO SC Flights operating under the ‘Transport Bubble’ agreements that India has signed with the US, France, and Germany won’t be affected. The restrictions won’t apply also to international all-cargo flights. Suspension that began in late March was to end on Friday. It was extended in light of the mounting Covid-19 cases in the country ‘5 STATES YET TO CLEAR DUES’ Delhi among states which have not paid docs, HCWs A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 7 NEW DELHI PAGES 12 J8.00 Baijal overturns Kejriwal govt’s Unlock 3 decisions, AAP seethes ANNOUNCEMENT E X P R ESS N E WS S E RV I C E @ New Delhi Starting August 2, the Sunday Magazine brings you three new astrology columns by A Tora, Sundar Balakrishnan and Meenakshi Chawla L-G Anil Baijal on Friday overruled the Delhi government’s decision to allow hotels and weekly markets under Unlock-3, triggering another spat between the two. “The matter was discussed with Hon’ble Chief Minister and it was agreed that while — Editor there has been improvement, pandemic situation in the capital continues to be fragile and the threat is still far from over. Therefore, a cautious and conservative approach is required,” a statement issued by the L-G office said. The Delhi government had on Thursday unveiled its Unlock-3 plan — following the guidelines released by the Centre — announcing to end the night curfew and allowing hotels to function normally Weekly mar. kets were to be operated on trial basis. Baijal, who is also the chairman of the State Disaster Management Authority, has the authority to take the decisions related to Covid-19 pandemic management in the city . “The BJP-led central government is deriving sadistic pleasure by inflicting pain and misery on Delhiites and undermining the democratically elected government here,” AAP spokes- person Raghav Chadha said. Later in the evening, the government termed the Baijal’s decision as “incorrect” and suggested it could send the proposal again for reconsideration “if the L-G is agreeable”. “Revival of Delhi’s economy while , at the same time containing Covid-19, is the topmost priority of the government.” This is the second time within a week that the L-G has overturned a decision of the AAP government. A day earlier, the panel of lawyers suggested by the cabinet for nomination as public prosecutors in the northeast Delhi riots cases was rejected by Baijal using his special powers under the Constitution. Core output -ve for 4th month in a row Eight infra industries post 15% contraction in June against 22% in May and 37% in April, showing feeble recovery EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi DESERT STAY Rajasthan Congress legislators arrive at Jaipur airport on Friday as they are shifted to Jaisalmer ahead of the Assembly session on August 14 | PTI | P7 21 die after consuming illicit liquor in Punjab H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh AT least 21 people have died while another person is critical after allegedly consuming spurious liquor in Amritsar, Batala and Tarn Taran districts of Punjab over the past two days. The Punjab Government has ordered a magisterial inquiry by the divisional commissioner in Jalandhar into the suspicious deaths. Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta said the first five deaths were reported from Mucchal and Tangra villages in Amritsar on July 29 night. On July 30, two more persons died in suspicious circumstances in Mucchal, while one person was hospitalised in a critical condition and later succumbed at the Sri Guru Ramdas Hospital. Later, two more deaths were from reported from the same village while another two reportedly died in Batala city . On Friday, five more persons died in Batala, taking the toll in the city to seven, while one person has been referred to the Civil Hospital in a critical condition. Four more deaths were reported from Tarn Taran. Harjeet Singh, whose father died, said: “Our father’s blood SWEET GIFTS TO EMBASSIES FROM TEMPLE TRUST pressure shot up after consuming spurious liquor on Wednesday We called the doc. tor but his health deteriorated so we took him to the hospital where he was declared dead. People make this kind of liquor but they are never caught.” The police arrested a woman, Balwinder Kaur, of Muchhal and registered a case under section 304 of the IPC and Excise Act. Further investigations will be conducted by a Special Investigation Team constituted by the SSP Amritsar (Rural), from where the first cases were reported. The post mortem of four persons was conducted on Friday to ascertain the exact cause of the deaths. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has given the Jalandhar Divisional Commissioner the authority to co-opt any civil, police officer or any expert for an expeditious inquiry He . promised strict action against those found complicit in the case, in which a woman has so far been arrested. Taking immediate and serious note, the CM also directed the police to crack down on spurious liquor manufacturing units that may be operating in the state. Apart from distributing sweets in Ayodhya, Ram Temple trust to send special laddoos to the embassies in the national capital | P8 DESPITE relaxation in lockdown measures, output of the eight core industries contracted 15% in June. However, the latest dip has a silver lining as it is lower than that of the previous two months — 22% contraction in May and 37% in April, signalling uneven recovery in manufacturing activity . According to economists, the improvement was mainly because of relaxation in lockdown and improvement in economic activities. Industrial activity is expected to pick up pace going forward with more relaxations coming into play . “The slightly positive factor is that the decline in growth has improved,” said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist, CARE Ratings. Performance of the eight core industries — electricity, steel, refinery products, crude oil, coal, cement, natural gas 1.2 2.6 -0.2 0.7 3.1 2.2 Figures in % 6.4 Jun 19 Jul 19 Aug 19 Sep 19 Oct 19 Nov 19 Dec 19 Jan 20 Feb 20 Mar 20 Apr 20 May 20 Jun 20 -8.6 -5.1 -5.5 -15.0 MONTHLY GROWTH RATES OF EIGHT CORE INDUSTRIES (Overall) and fertilisers — is crucial as they account for 40.27% in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP). So, any contraction in core sector output will also drag down the IIP numbers. Sectorwise data showed all sectors, barring fertilizers, showed negative growth, with the steel sector showing the steepest contraction at 33%. Coal contracted by 15.5%, natural gas by 12%, electricity 11% and crude oil 6%, while refinery products, which weigh 28.02% of the IIP witnessed an , 8.9% contraction. -22.0 -37.0 Cement production, though, showed sharp uptick from 85.3% contraction in May to a negative growth of 6.9% in June. This shows progress in construction activity, which is a key indicator of the health of the infrastructure sector. However, not all experts are as optimistic. “With virus cases still rising, many restrictions will remain for an extended period. The upshot is that the recovery in Indian industry is likely to be slow and bumpy,” said Darren Aw, Asia economist at Capital Economics. TV IMPORT CURBS TO PUSH LOCAL MANUFACTURING AND ASSEMBLING MSMES CAN’T BE REFUSED CREDIT UNDER EMERGENCY CREDIT FACILITY New Delhi: To encourage local manufacturing and assembling, the Centre has imposed restrictions on imports of fully-built colour television sets. The curbs, however, are unlikely to impact prices, but it is expected to benefit local contract manufacturers, attract investments in component production and better assembly lines, say industry executives. Officials also say the move would fuel the country’s dream of becoming a manufacturing hub | P10 New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said banks cannot refuse credit to MSMEs under the emergency credit facility and any refusal should be reported. “If refused, such instances must be reported,” she said, adding the govt is working with the RBI on need for restructuring of loans to help industry tide over Covid impact | P10 Fiscal deficit widens to 83% of Budget estimate For the quarter, tax revenues were at 8% of the full year tarWITH lockdown measures bad- get of `16.35 lakh crore, while ly hitting the government’s non-tax revenues were at only revenue collection and expend- 4% of the full fiscal target of iture shooting through the `3.85 lakh crore. roof, India’s fiscal deficit widICRA has predicted the net ened to `6.62 lakh crore in the tax revenues of the Centre, April-June quarter, accounting non-tax revenues and disinvestfor 83.2% of the target for the ment proceeds to together trail whole financial year. the budgeted level by more The deficit is unusually high than `6 lakh crore. for a quarter, say experts. In the same period, total ex“Our baseline estimate is penditure was `8.16 lakh crore that the fiscal deficit will as the government frontsurge to `13 lakh crore loaded spending on in FY21 from the budgmany accounts includeted level of `8.0 lakh ing the direct benefit crore. This anticipatscheme, free food Fiscal deficit in ed fiscal slippage, g rain supply and the April-June even in our base case Ujjwala programme. quarter scenario, exceeds the Expenditure rose 13% extent by which the Cenover three months to `8.16 tre’s market borrowings have lakh crore, compared to `7.22 already been increased,” said lakh crore last year. Aditi Nayar, principal econoFiscal deficit had already mist at ICRA. touched a seven-year high at As expected, revenue collec- 4.6% of the GDP for 2019-20. tion remained subdued. Data The government has already released by the Controller Gen- increased its market borroweral of Accounts (CGA) on Fri- ings target to `12 lakh crore for day revealed that the net tax the current fiscal year from receipts were `1.35 lakh crore, earlier estimates of `7.8 lakh compared to `2.51 lakh crore in crore to fund some portion of the same period last year. its budget spending. A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi H6.62 L cr India’s low virus deaths due to location? S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi INDIA’S Covid-19 mortality rate of 2.2% and its comparatively low number of deaths per million people have puzzled scientists and researchers the world over. Now, some of the country’s top cancer doctors say they have found a biological (and geographical) explanation for it. Doctors at the Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) in Mumbai proposed that the lower incidence of deep vein blood clots in warmer areas and those closer to the equator may help understand India’s relatively low mortality rate. Their study published in the , ICMR’s Indian Journal for Medical Research, points out that deaths per million in India, which stand at 25 as of Friday is considerably lower than , most other countries. For instance, it is 849 in Belgium, 679 in the UK and 470 in the United States. Also, India’s mortality rate of 2.2% (meaning 2.2 deaths per hundred positive cases) stands in contrast to the UK’s 15.2%, Italy’s 14.2% and Spain’s 10%. The global fatality rate is around 3.8%. Multiple studies from China, Europe and the US have linked blood clots in deep veins to Covid-19 deaths. Researches from various other countries have identified venous thromboembolism (VTE) —a condition in which a blood clot forms in the deep VIRAL STATS 5.45 lakh ACTIVE COVID-19 CASES IN INDIA 1,580 6.42 lakh patients on ventilator tests conducted in the last 24 hours, the Union 8,504 health ministry said on patients in Friday morning the ICU 12,255 people on oxygen support 64.54% is India’s Covid-19 recovery rate 1.88 crore tests conducted so far through 1,331 labs veins—as an important cause of poor gaseous exchange and death in Covid-19 patients. Studies have also found Ddimer—a small protein fragment present in the blood after a blood clot is an important predictor of death. The doctors at TMC, however, have shown indirect evidence for a lower incidence of VTE from India. Less than 5 in more than 20,000 women who receive tamoxifen—an anti-breast cancer drug—at the TMC annually , develop clots—a known sideeffect of this drug. The doctors say there’s no need for widespread anxiety over the disease and suggest that strict lockdowns are not necessary . COVID SCENARIO For once, Sisodia will not be complaining for being proven wrong S O M R I TA G H O S H @ New Delhi DELHI’S Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s alarming prediction of the Covid-19 scenario in the national capital has, thankfully, turned out to be completely wrong. On June 9, Sisodia had said the coronavirus-positive cases in the capital could reach 5.5 lakh by July-end and that the city would need 80,000 beds. The projection was apparently based on the infection doubling rate in Delhi at that time. However, the hospitals are breathing easy as the cases have been on a decline for past several days and less than 3,000 Covid-19 patients are currently admitted in hospital. As per the Delhi government’s corona app, 13,626 general beds are currently available of which only 2,998 remains occupied. Only 371 positive patients are currently admitted in Delhi government’s Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, which has the largest capacity with 2,000 beds. The 1,500-beds Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, which is also under A Covid-18 test study camp at RML Hospital in New Delhi on Friday | SHEKHAR YADAV the state government, has 78 patients admitted at present. Central government hospitals like AIIMS-Jhajjar and Delhi campuses have around pa- tients 100 admitted each, while their combined bed capacity is 1,515. Among private hospitals, Max Hospital in Saket has cur- rently the highest number of patients, with 155 out of 200 occupied. However, 404 ventilation beds out of 1,218 remain occupied while the rest 814 are vacant. At AIIMS-Delhi, 47 ventilator beds out of 50 are occupied, with only three being available. At Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, which has a total capacity of 191 beds with ventilators, only 11 patients are admitted. According to medical experts, the corona peak in Delhi had passed by June-end and cases started dipping from July first week. Only 613 fresh cases were reported on July 27 while it was around 2,500 on an average in the first week of the month. While Sisodia’s dire prediction has come untrue, it had, at that time, forced the Delhi government to ramp up its preparations and had even prompted the Centre to step in. And that is perhaps the reason that the Covid graph is declining in the capital. Currently, there are only 7.89% active cases while the recovery rate is 89.18%. Mehbooba’s detention extended by three months F AYA Z W A N I @ Srinagar THE Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday extended the detention of Peoples Democratic Party chief and former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti under the Public Safety Act (PSA) by three more months. At the same time, People’s Conference chairman and former minister Sajjad Gani Lone was set free from house detention just five days before he was to complete a year in detention. Mehbooba has been under detention since the Centre’s reading down of Article 370 in August last year. Her detention was set to expire on August 5. After it was extended till November, her daughter Iltija Mufti tweeted, “The petition challenging her unlawful detention has been pending in SC since 26th February. Where does one seek justice?” Mehbooba is the only mainstream leader still unP8 der PSA detention.
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