YK MYK INDIA’S COVID-19 VACCINE DRIVE WILL BE A ‘WORK IN PROGRESS’ ‘KAAGAZ’ SONG ‘JUG JUG JIYO’ LEAVES YOU WITH HOPE OPINION SCREEN & CINEMA Morning India Rs. 3 KOLKATA THURSDAY, 7 JAN, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—231 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) WEATHER TODAY MAX 30 C MIN 18 C Sky will be clear. AT A GLANCE SGPC NOT TO EXTEND INVITE TO MODI FOR ‘ANTIFARMER’ STAND CHANDIGARH: Owing to his ‘anti-farmer’ stand by bringing three farm laws that the farmers have been demanding to revoke, the highest religious body of the Sikh community, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), has decided that Prime Minister Narendra Modi won’t be extended the special invite for the Sikh centenary events. Normally, the SGPC extends special invites to the Prime Minister and the President on historical occasions. “We have decided not to extend any special invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the upcoming centenary events, including the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur,” SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur said. OVER 50 HONG KONG OPPN LAWMAKERS, ACTIVISTS HELD HONG KONG: Over 50 opposition lawmakers and activists were arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of violating the national security law, for their part in a primary election run-off last July. Among the arrested were former lawmakers James To Kun-sun, Lam Cheukting, Andrew Wan Siukin. WORLD CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,03,77,329 TOTAL DEATH: 150,179 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 86,986,256 State committed corruption with Aphan money, direct cannon of Dhankhar Kolkata: There has been corruption with Amphan's money. This time Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar made an explosive comment. The Governor visited East Midnapore on Wednesday. Wife Jagdeep Dhankhar worships at the Bargabhima temple in Tamluk. He then went to the Tamluk Museum also. He spoke to reporters at Kolaghat Guest House. Dhankhar came out from pujo and pierced the state on multiple issues. The names of Satish Samanta and Sushil Dhara from freedom fighter Matangini Hajra were heard on the face of the Governor. He attacked the state on external issues. At the same time, the governor was vocal in his allegations of corrup- tion. On the other hand, the Trinamool has fired at the governor. Kakli Ghoshdastidar has claimed that Raj Bhavan is the party office of BJP. The Calcutta High Court has summoned the CAG report on Amphan's relief corruption. The court directed to submit the report within three months. The court wants a detailed report on economic and efficiency. Who got the money? The report should also state which government officials are involved. On December 1, the court ordered an audit of Amphan's relief through the CAG. The state pleaded for reconsideration of that directive. Another nationwide vaccine dry run to be held on Jan 8 NEW DELHI: Ahead of the roll-out of coronavirus vaccine in few days, another dry-run will be conducted across the country on January 8. On January 2, almost all states and Union Territory conducted dry run at 285 session sites spread across 125 districts to assess ability and readiness of authorities to administer shots to hundreds of millions of people, including many in remote corners of the country. It was conducted to test the end-to-end planned operations and the mechanism that has been set up to ensure smooth conduct of the Covid-19 vaccination. On December 28 and 29, the first dry run was conducted in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, Rajkot and Gandhinagar district of Gujarat, Ludhiana and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar of Punjab and Sonitpur and Nalbari districts of Assam. The Central government plans to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people in the first phase of drive. It will be offered to one crore healthcare workers, along with 2 crore frontline and essential workers and 27 crore elderly, mostly above the age of 50 years with co-morbidities. The Health Ministry on Tuesday announced that vaccination drive will be rolled-out by January 13. SUFFICIENT VACCINES SECURED FOR HEALTHCARE, FRONTLINE WORKERS: GOVT TOTAL DEATH: 1,879,134 PAGE 7 73 DETECTED TO HAVE NEW UK COVID MUTANT STRAIN NEW DELHI: The Central government on Wednesday said that a total of 73 persons have been detected with the new “more transmissible” UK coronavirus mutant strain, and they are being kept in physical isolation in health facilities. Out of these total cases, eight have been detected by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Delhi, 20 at the CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) in Delhi, and 11 at the National Institute of Mental Health and NeuroSciences (NIMHANS) in Bangaluru. Three such cases have been detected at the Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, one at the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in West Bengal and 30 in the National Institute of Virology, Pune. According the Health Ministry, all these persons have been kept in single room isolation in designated Health Care facilities by respective state governments. Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine. ‘Happy New Year’ tweet deleted by Dhankhar's after meeting with Mamata KOLKATA: 'Courtesy meeting' in the atmosphere of conflict! On Wednesday afternoon, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee suddenly visited the Raj Bhavan. She had an hourlong meeting with Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. According to sources, this is a courtesy call at the beginning of the new year. Several issues of the state have been discussed in the space of 'courtesy meeting'. The governor tweeted after the meeting with the chief minister. Then delete the tweet. This is where the new speculation started. On December 29, TMC sent a letter to President Ramnath Kovind demanding the removal of the governor. On Wednesday, Jagdeep Dhankhar targeted the State govt to exit tripartite treaty on power WHITE COVER Border Roads Organisation has cleared the runway at Srinagar International Airport after it was closed due to heavy snowfall on Wednesday. ANI SANJAY SAHAY RANCHI: The State government on Wednesday decided to exit from the tripartite agreement between the state government, the Union power ministry, and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which enables the power ministry to recommend deduction of money from the state government’s account in RBI for payment of dues to power companies. A decision to this effect was taken in the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister (CM) Hemant Soren on Wednesday. Speaking on the issue, the CM said that the agreement by the previous government has affected the people of the state. He said the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) has started implementing power cuts in the state even as the Centre is deducting money from the state account. ‘Love Jihad’: SC declines to stay UP, U’khand laws against inter-faith marriages, issues notice NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to stay the provisions of an Uttar Pradesh Ordinance and an Uttarakhand law, brought to checking unlawful religious conversions for inter-faith marriages. A bench headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde agreed to examine the validity of legislations, ‘The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion Of Religion Ordinance, 2020’ and the ‘Uttarakhand Freedom Of Religion Act, 2018’, and issued notice to the two state governments. The top court has sought response within four weeks. The counsel petitioners - SC SEEKS RESPONSE OF CENTRE ON PIL AGAINST THREE FARM LAWS NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Wednesday sought response of the Centre on a PIL challenging the constitutional validity of newly enacted three farm laws on grounds including that Parliament lacked power to make legislations on the subject. The plea also raised questions over the validity of ‘the Constitution (3rd Amendment Act) of 1954’ which allegedly empowered the Centre to frame the controversial laws on agriculture. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said it would hear on January 11. PAGE 5 Vishal Thakre and others, and NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace - during the hearing stressed for a stay on these ‘love jihad’ laws and termed the provisions as “oppressive” and “obnoxious”. The bench also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian replied that it would have been ideal if the petitioners had moved the respective High Courts instead of coming to the apex court. The Chief Justice said the challenge to the law is already pending in High Courts and asked the petitioners to go there. “We are not saying you have a bad case, but approach the High Court in first instance, instead of coming here”, observed the bench. Senior advocate C.U. Singh, representing one of the petitioners, submitted that it is obnoxious to put burden of proof on the married couple to establish that the motivation for the marriage is not conversion. EXPERTS ON BIRD FLU RISE DON’T PANIC, AVOID UNDERCOOKED MEAT & EGGS NEW DELHI: Several states from North, West and South India are witnessing a sporadic rise in the cases of Avian Influenza (bird flu). States like Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala have reported close to 25,000 deaths predominantly of ducks, crows and migratory birds. The news has started to trigger panic among the public. The people, still fear-struck with the Covid-19 infection, are afraid that the bird flu, which is also a viral disease, may turn into an epidemic. However, the health experts have negated such a possibility and advised the public to take precaution and not panic. The doctors said that the risk of human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 virus that causes the bird flu is very rare unless one works in proximity with the infected species of birds. “People who work closely with poultry are at high risk of getting the infection. Otherwise, human to human transmission of the H5N1 virus is very rare. Hence there is no need to panic,” Dr. Harshal R. Salve, Associate Professor at Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) told IANS. “The bird flu is detected in sick birds and has the possibility to spread among humans only with those handling poultry or infected birds,” said Dr. Rajeev Gupta, Director- Internal Medicine, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh (Delhi). Dr. Upali Nanda, Head, Preventive Health & ConsultantMedicine, Medeor Hospital Qutab Institutional Area (Delhi), also said that human-to-human transmission of the Avian Influenza is very unusual. Meanwhile, the public has started to ditch eggs and chicken ruling party with Amphan relief. In this atmosphere, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited Raj Bhavan in the evening. She was inside for an hour. According to Nabanna sources, this is a New Year's courtesy visit. The Governor tweeted, "I and First Lady Sudesh Dhankhar exchanged New Year's greetings with the Chief Minister at Raj Bhavan." After a while, the governor deleted the tweet and sent another tweet. The tweet read, 'Mamata Banerjee in Raj Bhavan. Sudesh Dhankhar and I exchanged greetings with her. The only difference between the two tweets is 'Happy New Year'. CENTRE SENDS MULTI-DISCIPLINARY TEAMS TO KERALA, HARYANA PAGE 7 meat in fear that it might carry the H5N1 virus and could infect the ones who would consume it. While there is no connection between the spread of Avian Influenza and consumption of eggs, the doctors suggested ditching undercooked poultry products and meat for a while to allay the fear. “There is no evidence available that suggests the spread of bird flu through eating meat or eggs. Nonetheless, eating raw meat and eggs should be avoided in the affected region till the incidents come down,” advised Dr. Salve. He goes on to add that the pub- lic should not let their guards down and continue to follow the safe and hygienic practices adopted amid the pandemic to steer clear from any possibility of encountering the H5N1 virus. Dr. Nanda said that it is anyway not advised to eat semicooked meat and eggs. “People can also take extra precaution besides properly cooking the meat and poultry,” she added. “Wash your hands with warm water and soap, especially before and after handling the raw poultry and eggs. Use different utensils for cooking raw meat and make sure meat is cooked properly until steaming hot. Avoid direct contact with live and poultry birds,” Dr Nanda advised. She also suggested avoiding visiting live animal markets or poultry farms for now. “If need be, wear a mask and gloves all the time. Also, do not go near or touch bird droppings or sick and dead birds,” Dr. Nanda added. The bird flu is not yet detected in the poultry birds. The National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, where samples of animals sent across India for detection of diseases, told IANS that it has not found the presence of the H5N1 virus in the poultry birds yet. The president of Ghazipur Mandi, biggest poultry market in the national capital, also informed IANS that no incidence of the bird flu among chicken meat has been reported in the market as yet. NITISH CHUCKLES OVER DEMAND FOR ‘BHARAT RATNA’ TO SONIA PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday chuckled over the demand for conferring Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour in the country, on Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Kumar remarked that the Congress could have done the needful while the UPA, led by it, ruled the country for two consecutive terms. “All have the right to raise any type of demand”, he said with a barely suppressed laugh when asked about the suggestion made by former union minister and ex-chief minister of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat that Gandhi, besides BSP supremo Mayawati, be considered for the civilian honour. Rawat said in support of his demand that while the Congress president has taken the honour of Indian womanhood to new heights, the BSP chief had inspired millions of oppressed. “I wonder why they did not do the needful when they were in power. No need for raising such a demand would have remained in that case, Kumar quipped. The Bihar Chief Minister was talking to reporters outside the police headquarters which he had visited to take stock of the law and order situation in the state.