MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 03 JANUARY 2022 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P10 WEATHER PARTLY CLOUDY SKY. SHALLOW TO MODERATE FOG IN THE MORNING. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 21 AND 06 DEGREES CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY P6 Covid spike prompts fresh curbs in Bengal Schools, colleges to be shut; metro, local trains to run at 50 pc capacity Max: 98% STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE TEMPERATURE Max: 20.4°C (+1) SUN RISES 07:15 hrs MOON RISES 08:48 hrs Min: 05.0°C (-2) SUN SETS 17:37 hrs MOON SETS 18:13 hrs THUMBNAILS Pigeons flying high on a winter afternoon in the SUBRATA DUTTA Capital on Sunday. Jammu bridge collapse injures 13: Atleast thirteen people were injured in Jammu's Samba district after an under-construction bridge collapsed in the Vijaypur area on Sunday. Those injured were rescued by J&K Police and referred to the hospital for treatment. The bridge is being constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) over the Devika river at Ramgarh-Koulpur. The middle section of the bridge collapsed following which a JCB was called to remove the debris. The cause of the accident was not known immediately. App targeting Muslim women blocked: Following outrage over a new app that puts out a list of Muslim women up for ‘auction’ along with their photographs, Union IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Sunday said the app has been blocked and the government is working with the local police in Delhi and Mumbai on the matter. The app ‘Bulli Bai‘ was hosted on GitHub. It is the second instance in almost six months wherein Muslim women have been put up for ‘auction‘ along with photographs. KOLKATA 2 JANUARY A fresh set of restrictions have been imposed across the state from tomorrow, under which schools and colleges have yet again been shut with attendance in offices and capacity in metros and local trains being restricted to 50 per cent along with curbs on restaurants and shopping malls. Night curfew, prohibiting movement of people and vehicles is being enforced between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. All restrictions have been imposed till 15 January. Flights from Mumbai and Delhi will operate twice a week, only on Monday and Friday, from 5 January while direct flights to the UK have been temporarily suspended from tomorrow. As per the new airportrelated curbs, all incoming international passengers will have to undergo mandatory Rapid Antigen Test from tomorrow onwards. This apart, mandatory RT PCR tests would be conducted for 10 per cent instead of two per cent of the international passengers. Local trains have been allowed to ply with 50 per cent capacity till 7 p.m. while long distance trains will operate as per their usual schedule. Metros will operate as usual but with 50 per cent capacity. Swimming pools, spas, gyms, beauty parlours, saloons and wellness centres shall remain closed. All entertainment parks, zoos, tourist places shall remain closed. Shopping malls and market complexes will NEW DELHI, 2 JANUARY The country is all set to kickstart the Covid-19 vaccination drive for 15-18-year-old children from tomorrow (January 3, 2022) here, sources said in the Union Health Ministry. So far, over 3.5 lakh beneficiaries of the 15-18 age group have registered themselves on the CoWIN portal to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, as on Sunday morning. As per the data on the CoWin dashboard, 3,57,984 beneficiaries of the 15-18 age group had registered on the portal, the sources added. The registrations for vaccinating 15-18-year-old chil- dren against Covid-19 began on January 1. CoWIN is an Indian government web portal for Covid19 vaccination registration, owned and operated by India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In the context of the vaccination of the age group 1518 years, the Union Health Secretary informed the States and UTs that only Bharat Biotech's Covaxin will be administered and additional doses of ‘Covaxin’ will be sent to all states and UTs. Those with the birth year of 2007 or before will be eligible for vaccination under this category. Individuals will be required to furnish a valid identity India begins to enter Covid-19 3rd wave, daily positivity rate at 2.55 p.c. RESTRICTIONS RETURN Night curfew, prohibiting movement of people and vehicles is being enforced between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. All restrictions have been imposed till 15 January. 3,48,89,132 Local trains have been allowed to ply with 50 per cent capacity till 7 p.m. while long distance trains will operate as per their usual schedule. Metros will operate during usual operational time but with 50 per cent capacity. 1,22,801 27,553 Swimming pools, spas, gyms, beauty parlours, saloons and wellness centres as well as all entertainment parks, zoos, tourist places shall remain closed. Shopping malls, market complexes, movie halls and theatres will remain open till 10 p.m. and will permit only 50 per cent visitors. Restaurants and bars will operate with 50 per cent capacity till 10 pm. People flouting social distancing norms at a market amid the surge in Covid-19 cases, in Jalandhar on Sunday. ANI All schools, colleges and universities shall remain closed. Kolkata police personnel use microphones to conduct Covid awareness campaign. SNS remain open till 10 p.m. and will permit only 50 per cent visitors. Restaurants and bars will operate with 50 per cent capacity till 10 pm. Cinema halls and theatre halls may operate with 50 per cent of seating capacity and up to 10 pm. A notification in this regard was issued by state chief secretary HK Dwivedi today according to which all schools, colleges and universities shall remain closed and only administrative activities shall be permitted. “All government offices including public undertakings as well as private offices and establishments shall function with 50 per cent of employees at a time. Work from home shall be encouraged as far as possible,” said the notifi- document such as Aadhaar Card, PAN Card, Voter Card etc. After getting vaccinated, they will receive a certificate for the same. Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya reviewed public health preparedness aganst Covid and the national Covid-19 vaccination progress with States/UTs. "We have put up a strong fight against Covid earlier and this learning must be used to re-focus on efforts against Omicron variant," he said. “States and UTs have been advised to share their requirement of vaccine doses through district wise estimation of beneficiaries using Co-WIN, the sources said. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE All government offices including public undertakings as well as private offices and establishments shall function with 50 per cent of employees at a time. Anti-Covid vaccination for teenagers begins today STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE With 1,525 new Omicron Covid-19 cases on Saturday and test positivity rate increasing to 2.55 %, India is heading towards the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic ~ adding more than 27,553 new Covid cases during the past 24 hours. Though the Omicron version of Covid-19 is mostly confined to populated metropolitan cities, it has already registered its presence in 23 states and Union Territories. The cause of worry is the exponential increase in Covid cases up from 6,987 new cases last week to 27,553 cases on Saturday ~ over 294 per cent increase in just seven days. On last Sunday the total number of active cases was 76,766, which has increased to 1,22, 801 active cases, a nearly 60 per cent increase. The daily test positivity rate also reveals the seriousness of the situation~ last Sunday the government said the daily positivity rate has come down to 0.74 per cent; on Saturday the daily positivity rate was 2.55 per cent. According to the data Not more than 50 people at a time shall be allowed for any social, religious and cultural gatherings. cation. Meetings and conferences shall be allowed with a maximum of 200 people at a time or 50 per cent seating capacity of the hall, whichever is lower. Not more than 50 people at a time shall be allowed for any social, religious and cultural gatherings. For funeral services and last rites, not more than 20 people shall be allowed. Announcing the restrictions after holding a meeting in Nabanna, Mr Dwivedi warned of action against people who visit markets and malls without wearing masks. “Remember wearing masks is compulsory. The night restrictions will be strictly enforced. The Covid cases are on a rise but there is nothing to panic as we are having 1.5 per cent bed occupancy in hospitals. All infrastructure including Covid beds and oxygen supply are adequate,” said Mr Dwivedi. He said that 95 per cent of patients are asymptomatic or have fever and body ache. These patients don’t have to get admitted in hospitals but should opt for home isolation, he added. The state government has identified micro containment zones in 11 places in Kolkata and similar measures will be taken for Howrah, Hooghly and North 24-Parganas. Mr Dwivedi said the Duare Sarkar outreach programme that was supposed to begin from today has been postponed due to the Covid situation and rescheduled from 1 February. NEW DELHI, 2 JANUARY STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 2 JANUARY This is my resolve, and my dream.” Modi said with the advent of sporting infrastructure in villages and small towns, there are a rising number of sportspersons from these places. "Emerging sporting eco-system with resources and new streams is creating new possibilities. This generates trust in the society that moving towards sports is the right decision,” the Prime Minister said. The Major Dhyan Chand Sports University will be established at an estimated cost of about Rs 700 crore. It will be equipped with state of the art sports infrastructure including synthetic hockey ground, football ground, basketball , volleyball , handball, kabaddi ground, lawn tennis court, gymnasium hall, synthetic running stadium, swimming pool, multipurpose hall and released by the Ministry of Health and family Welfare, the most Omicron affected states in India are Maharashtra (460 new Omicron cases), Delhi (351 new Omicron cases), Gujarat (136 new Omicron cases),Tamil Nadu (117 new Omicron cases), and Kerala (109 new Omicron cases). Most of the cases reported are from towns of the states and rural areas are still unaffected by the new variant of the virus, admitted a senior officer of the Health Ministry. Government, however, claimed that the recovery rate has not shown any alarming fall and continues to hover over 98 per cent during the past fortnight. The ministry further said that as of now, there is no alarming increase in hospital admissions due to Covid-19 and most of the new detected cases were being treated at home. The Centre on Sunday indirectly told state governments that the peak of the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic in India might be as much as three to four times higher than the earlier peaks ~ which means the third peak might add 12 9,249 4,81,770 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 02 JANUARY 2022 to 16 lakhs new Covid cases every day. “The Omicron variant being highly transmissible, a high surge in cases can overwhelm the medical system," Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya warned state governments while interacting virtually with the state health ministers, and officials of state health departments. He told state governments to immediately improve the health infrastructure, particularly the ICU beds, oxygen supply and pediatric ICH/HDU beds. The health minister said that state governments have used just 17 per cent of the available approved funds under Emergency Covid Response Package (ECRP-II) and urged them to use the ECRP-II fund to expedite the physical progress in terms of ICU beds, Oxygen beds, Pediatric ICU/HDU beds. Health ministry denies India failed to meet vaccination target STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 2 JANUARY Refuting the allegations that India ‘missed its vaccination target’, the Union Health Ministry on Sunday claimed that India’s national Covid-19 Vaccination programme has been one of the most successful and largest vaccination programmes compared to many developed western nations. Since the start of the National Covid vaccination drive on 16th January, 2021 India has administeredover90%of1stdose and 65% of 2nd dose to its eligible citizens, claimed a senior officer of the Union Health Ministry here on Sunday. In the vaccination drive, India has achieved several milestones unprecedented in the world, including administering over 100 crore doses Since the start of the National Covid vaccination drive on 16th January, 2021 India has administered over 90% of 1st dose and 65% of 2nd dose to its eligible citizens, claimed a senior officer of the Union Health Ministry. Over 11 states/UTs in India have already achieved 100% of 1st dose vaccination, while 3 States/UTs have already achieved 100% full vaccination (both 1st and 2nd dose) against Covid-19. in less than 9 months, administering 2.51 crore doses in a single day and administering 1 crore doses per day on several occasions, the ministry said. Compared with other developed nations, India has done a better job in administering Covid vaccination to its eligible adult citizens of 93.7 crore (as per RGI) across all its States and UTs, the officer pointed out. In case of 1st dose coverage to the eligible popula- tion, USA has covered only 73.2% of the population, UK has covered 75.9% of its population, France has covered 78.3% of its population, and Spain has covered 84.7% of its population, the Ministry said adding that “India has already covered 90% of the eligible population with 1st dose of vaccine against Covid-19. Similarly, for the 2nd dose of vaccines, the USA has covered only 61.5% of its population, the UK has covered Youth should take up sports as profession: PM Modi Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that with sporting infrastructure coming up in villages and small towns it was his resolve and dream that youths should be encouraged to "take up sports as as a profession." The Prime Minister's remarks came while laying the foundation stone of Major Dhyan Chand Sports University in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. Speaking on the occasion the Prime Minister said, “In Indian history, Meerut has not just been a city but a significant center of culture and strength." He said for sports to thrive in the country, "it is necessary that the youth should have faith in sports and should be encouraged to take up sports as a profession. P12 P4 RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Min: 46% MESSI TESTS COVID POSITIVE WAR OR WORDS OVER ALLED D.LITT DENIAL TO KOVIND TWO PRESIDENTS TALK COURT SETBACK FOR PRINCE ANDREW a cycling velodrome. The university will also house facilities for Shooting, Squash, Gymnastics, Weightlifting, Archery, Canoeing and Kayaking, among other facilities. The University will have the capacity of training 1080 sports persons including 540 female and 540 male sportspersons. On the occasion, the Prime Minister noted the contribution of Meerut and its surrounding region in giving a new direction to independent India. The people from the region, he said, have sacrificed on the border for the defense of the nation and enhanced the country's prestige in the playground. This region has kept the flame of patriotism alive, he emphasized. “In Indian history, Meerut has not just been a city but a significant center of culture and strength”, the Prime Min- ister said. He also narrated his exhilaration on feeling the spirit of the Museum of Freedom, Amar Jawan Jyoti and temple of Baba Aughar Nath ji. Remembering Major Dhyan Chand who was active in Meerut, Modi said a few months back, the central government had named the country's biggest sports award after the sporting icon. The Sports University of Meerut is being dedicated to Major Dhyan Chand today, the Prime Minister said. Modi referred to the change of ethos in the state of Uttar Pradesh where earlier criminals and mafias used to play their games. He recalled the period where illegal occupation, harassing daughters used to go scot free. He remembered the insecurity and lawlessness of earlier times. He lauded that now the Yogi government is instilling fear of law among such criminals. This change has brought confidence among the daughters of bringing laurels for the entire country, he added. Describing youth as the cornerstone and also expansion of New India, the Prime Minister said,"Youth is the shaper and also the leader of New India. Our youth today have the heritage of antiquity and also have a sense of modernity. And so, where the youth will go, India will also move. And the world is going to go where India goes." The Prime Minister said that in the last few years, his government had given top priority to the Indian players to get four tools ~ resources, modern facilities for training, international exposure and transparency in selection. 69.5%of its population, France has covered 73.2% of its population, and Spain has covered 81% of its population. While India has covered over 65% of the eligible population with 2nd dose of vaccine against Covid-19, the Ministry said. Further, over 11 states/UTs in India have already achieved 100% of 1st dose vaccination, while 3 States/UTs have already achieved 100% full vaccination (both 1st and 2nd dose) against Covid-19. Many States/UTs are soon expected to achieve 100% vaccination very quickly. A nation-wide Covid-19 vaccination campaign Har Ghar Dastak campaign was implemented from 3rd Nov 2021 which includes mobilization, awareness, vaccination campaign through reaching out to all missed out and dropped out eligible beneficiaries through house-to-house visit. This has also resulted in an increase of 1st dose coverage by 11.6% since introduction of the campaign.While the 2nd dose coverage increased by 28.9% in the same period, the Ministry said. Keeping in view the global surge of Covid-19 cases in December last year and detection of Omicron variant, India has decided to further refine the scientific prioritisation and coverage of Covid-19 vaccination of teenagers in the agegroup of 15-18 years. Further, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has given approvals to two additional vaccines in December 2021. These include Biological-E’s Corbexax vaccine and SII’s Covovax vaccine. SC probe panel seeks inputs from possible Pegasus victims INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 2 JANUARY The Supreme Court appointed committee probing the Pegasus spyware snooping matter has issued a public notice seeking details from people who may have felt their mobile devices may have been infected by Pegasus malware. The panel has asked the Pegasus victims to send the information before noon of January 7, 2022. On October 27, the top court said it was compelled to take up the cause to determine the truth, as it appointed an independent expert technical committee supervised by a retired top court judge, Justice R.V. Raveendran, to probe the Pegasus snooping allegations. The committee asked the citizens who have reasonable cause to suspect that her/his mobile has been compromised due to specific usage of NSO group Israel's Pegasus software to contact it with reasons, which led them to believe that the device was infected with the malware. The committee also asked the people to inform it whether they are in a position to allow it to examine the device. "In case, the committee feels your responses for suspicion of the device being infected with the malware compel a further investigation, then the committee shall request you to allow examination of your device," said the notice. The committee said the collection point would be in New Delhi and the mobile device will be delivered back on completion of the investigation.
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