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Chennai Hyderabad January 18, 19 Highlights: Active cases in Tamil Nadu falls below 6000

Tamil Nadu Telangana Coronavirus Assembly Elections 2021 January 18, 19 Highlights: As of Monday, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu is 5725.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai, Hyderabad |
Updated: January 20, 2021 9:02:58 am
COVID-19 Test, Coronavirus TestAccording to a bulletin released by the Health and Family Welfare Department of Tamil Nadu, 1,52,79,808 samples from the state have been sent for testing till date. Express Photo: Praveen Khanna

Tamil Nadu Telangana Assembly Elections COVID-19 January 18, 19 Highlights: Tamil Nadu recorded 551 positive cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the state tally to 8,31,323. Among these, Chennai reported 158 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 2,29,238. The state recorded eight deaths on Monday, putting the state toll at 12,272. All eight of them had succumbed due to comorbidities. The state discharged 758 patients following treatment, putting the total number of recoveries at 8,13,326.

A total of 26 passengers who had returned to Tamil Nadu from UK and 20 of their primary contacts have tested positive for COVID-19 till date. Among the 26 primary cases, nine cases were reported in Chennai, three each in Thanjavur, Madurai, Nilgiris and Chengalpattu and one each in Theni, Nagapattinam, Coimbatore, Karur and Virudhunagar. Among the 20 contact cases, six were reported in Chennai, three in Thanjavur, two each in Nilgiris and Theni, four in Chengalpattu and three in Nagapattinam.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s visit to Delhi on Monday gained huge significance with multiple sources in the AIADMK and BJP mentioning negotiations to let V K Sasikala — the ousted party leader who is scheduled to be released from a jail in Bengaluru on or before January 27 — merge or join the AIADMK-BJP alliance before the Assembly polls. Palaniswami is expected to talk politics with BJP bigwigs on Monday and Tuesday during the visit, which has been touted as one to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the inauguration of the newly-built Jayalalithaa Memorial in Chennai.

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Catch the latest news in Chennai and Hyderabad as we bring you live updates on Tamil Nadu Elections 2021, COVID-19, lockdown 6.0 and phase 6 of the unlock across Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and more through the day. Also read Karnataka Bengaluru news

18:24 (IST)19 Jan 2021
Jayalalithaa's memorial to be inaugurated on January 27

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami will inaugurate the memorial of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in Chennai on January 27.

17:34 (IST)19 Jan 2021
EPS rules out chances of Sasikala returning to AIADMK

Following his meetings in Delhi with the union home minister Amit Shah, on Monday, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said there is no chance of ousted party general secretary V K Sasikala returning to AIADMK. “There is no chance… She is not at the party now,” he said.

When asked about ongoing talks about Sasikala’s return to the party ahead of her expected release from the Bangalore prison in a couple of days, CM Palaniswami said the decision taken by AIADMK was certain. “I can say that… 100%… there is no chance of Sasikala returning to AIADMK,” he said. He added that most of Sasikala supporters are back in AIADMK and that “only few people are there” in her camp now.

“Amma (late J Jayalalithaa) too had kept her away from the party. Only after Amma’s death, Sasikala entered the party. She was not in AIADMK when Amma was alive,” said CM Palaniswami, who was once the most trusted loyalist of Sasikala.

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16:51 (IST)19 Jan 2021
Kannada activist in fresh soup after vandalism of welcome boards on TN-Karnataka border

Activist and leader of Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha, Vattal Nagaraj has landed in a fresh soup after he, along with members of his outfit, damaged display boards of the state highways department in areas situated close to the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border. The roads connecting the two borders are dotted with ‘Welcome’ and ‘Thank You’ boards, erected on behalf of Erode district and highways departments.

The incident in question took place near the Ramapuram area in Thalavadi hills of Erode district on January 10, as about twenty members of the outfit, led by the Nagaraj, tore off stickers which had welcome messages in Tamil. They then proceeded to damage the boards, raising slogans that the welcome messages be scripted in Kannada. They further claimed that Thalavadi belongs to Karnataka.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Nagaraj said “Thalavadi is Kannada land. I launched a protest in 1969, demanding that Thalavadi be annexed (from Tamil Nadu) and officially declared as part of Karnataka. The authorities here should put up Kannada boards. Not a single word (on these boards) is Kannada.”

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16:19 (IST)19 Jan 2021
Hyderabad healthcare worker hospitalised after covid vaccine inoculation

A 24-year-old healthcare worker was admitted into Gandhi hospital in Hyderabad after she developed adverse effects post immunisation. She was inoculated at UPHC Uppal on Saturday and was brought to the hospital Monday evening.

According to Gandhi hospital, necessary investigations were done and she was being monitored closely. This is the first such case reported in Telangana after nearly 4000 healthcare workers took the vaccine jab on Saturday and eleven cases of mild reactions were reported the same day.

“She complained of vomitings, giddiness, and general weakness since yesterday(Sunday). Doctors who are on special duty for the vaccine reactions (AEFI COMMITTEE) have examined her. Her temperature is normal. Pulse and BP are normal. Oxygen saturation is 100 percent on room air(without oxygen). She’s stable at present,” said Dr. Raja Rao, superintendent of the hospital.

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15:46 (IST)19 Jan 2021
Delayed withdrawal of northeast monsoon brings over 1000% surplus rain to southern states in January

An active and extended northeast monsoon this year has brought about 1000 per cent surplus rainfall to Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Lakshadweep in January alone. Thirty per cent of the annual rainfall recorded in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, coastal and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh, and south interior Karnataka has been also contributed by the winter rain between October and December.

After its onset was announced on October 28, a delay by a fortnight from normal, the southern states recorded 10.3 per cent rainfall above the Long Period Average of 337.6 mm till December, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) data states. This is the highest rain to be recorded during the season since 2016.

Two cyclonic storms, Nivar and Burevi, also augmented the monsoon activity in early December and added to the quantum rainfall for the season. Till December, Rayalaseema (99 per cent), Tamil Nadu (87 per cent) along with Kerala and Mahe (34 per cent) had received rainfall beyond their stipulated seasonal quota. The southern sub-divisions, overall, had recorded 53 per cent excess rainfall in December.

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14:58 (IST)19 Jan 2021
Tamil Nadu reopens schools for classes 10 and 12 after 10 months

Schools in Tamil Nadu reopened on Tuesday after a 10-month hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The schools which will reopen in a phased manner will follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the government.

A week ago, CM Edappadi Palaniswami issued a statement that said each class will have a maximum strength of only 25 students to maintain social distancing and the students will be provided with Zinc and Vitamin tablets by the health department to boost their immunity. The decision to reopen schools was taken by the government after holding a consultation with parents and teachers. The government said 95 per cent of the parents consented to reopen the schools.

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14:49 (IST)19 Jan 2021
Andhra HC ex-judge disputes correctness of phone call transcript

Stating that he had spoken over a call with a suspended District Munsif wherein he is alleged to have made enquiries about land dealings by kin of a Supreme Court judge, former Andhra Pradesh High Court judge Justice (retd) V Eswaraiah Monday contended before the Supreme Court that the English transcript of the same filed before the High Court which had ordered an inquiry into the conversation “was incorrect…”.

Eswaraiah’s plea challenging the August 13 order of the High Court — which ordered a probe into the alleged conversation saying the records placed before it contained information that purportedly disclosed a serious conspiracy against the judiciary — came up Monday before a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan which posted it for further hearing in the first week of February.

The SC had earlier asked him to clarify his stand with regard to the purported conversation.

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13:50 (IST)19 Jan 2021
Centre flags Tamil Nadu, Kerala for poor vaccine coverage

The Centre has flagged Tamil Nadu and Kerala over their poor vaccine coverage of their priority group at less than 25 per cent and has directed them to engage with healthcare workers to build vaccine confidence, The Indian Express has learnt.

“During the video conferencing that is held every day, both Tamil Nadu and Kerala told us that they found varying amounts of vaccine hesitancy among their health care workers,” a top government source, part of the team monitoring the vaccination drive, told The Indian Express.

“We have told these states to engage with these healthcare workers. After all, the vaccine hesitancy is not going to go away if the state government is not going to engage with the beneficiaries and communicate the facts,” sources said.

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13:23 (IST)19 Jan 2021
Puducherry govt in trouble as ally DMK decides to fight without Congress in Assembly polls

The Congress-DMK alliance ruling over the Union Territory of Puducherry may be headed for collapse with the latter announcing on Monday that it will contest all 30 seats in the upcoming Assembly elections. Senior DMK leader S Jagathrakshagan made the announcement soon after a meeting of DMK functionaries in Puducherry.

After chairing the party meeting, Jagathrakshagan addressed a gathering near Puducherry where he categorically stated that DMK will contest and win all 30 seats in the UT. To the surprise of many, he added: “If we fail (to win polls), I will commit suicide on this stage.”

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13:05 (IST)19 Jan 2021
Leopard spotted roaming around Hyderabad airport

A leopard was sighted near the boundary wall of Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in the early hours of Monday. Caught on security cameras, the animal could be seen walking along and then scaling the airport’s fence around 3am.

Telangana Forest department officials have examined the footage and confirmed the presence of the leopard. A source from the airport said the spot where the leopard was sighted is towards the south of the sprawling campus, around half-a-kilometre from the runway.

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12:35 (IST)19 Jan 2021
Dr. V Shanta to be cremated with police honours: EPS

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced that Dr. V Shanta, Chairman of Adyar Cancer Institute will be cremated with police honours. 

A veteran in cancer care and one of the senior-most oncologists who headed the Adyar Cancer Institute, Dr. Shanta died early Tuesday morning. She was 93. After she complained of discomfort on Monday night, Dr Shanta was taken to Apollo Hospitals in the city, where doctors tried to remove a block in a blood vessel. She died at around 3.55 am.

Dr Shantha joined the cancer institute about six decades ago as a resident medical officer, and since then, devoted her life to the field of oncology. Born in 1927 in a family that believed in educating women, she completed her MBBS in 1949 from the Madras Medical College and specialised in Gynaecology and Obstetrics.

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12:07 (IST)19 Jan 2021
235 fever clinics conducted in Chennai Monday

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) conducted 345 fever clinics in Chennai on Monday. A total of 19,968 people attended the clinics, with swabs collected from 222 people who were identified with ILI symptoms, while others were provided with medication for minor ailments.

The most number of camps were held in Anna Nagar (Zone 8) where 39 camps had been set up, while Manali (Zone 2) had the least with five camps.

11:54 (IST)19 Jan 2021
Party leaders free to quit and join other political parties: Rajini Makkal Mandram

As a few of its district functionaries quit to join the DMK, Rajinikanth’s proposed political outfit Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM) issued a statement Monday saying its members were free to leave the organisation and join any other political party.

In a statement, VM Sudhakar, the convener of RMM, said, “if members want to join any political party they are free to do after resigning from the post they hold in Mandram. Even if they do join other political parties, they will remain our beloved Thalaivar fans. RMM members shouldn’t forget that.”

On Sunday, the district secretaries of Thoothukudi, Ramanathapuram, Theni and a few other leaders joined Tamil Nadu’s opposition party in the presence of its leader MK Stalin.

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11:12 (IST)19 Jan 2021
DMK says will contest all Puducherry seats, ally Congress says watching closely

Just months ahead of the Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, there is tension in the Congress-DMK alliance in the Union territory. The first signal that the alliance may be heading for a collapse came on Monday with the DMK’s Puducherry leadership announcing that the party will contest in all the 30 seats in the elections.

The discord comes days ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Tamil Nadu, his second this month. If the DMK and the Congress part ways, the tension could cast a shadow in Tamil Nadu as well. The Congress high command in Delhi said it was watching the situation closely and is in touch with both Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and the Puducherry leadership.

The announcement by senior DMK leader S Jagathrakshagan came after a meeting of DMK functionaries in Puducherry. After chairing the party meeting, Jagathrakshagan addressed a gathering near Puducherry where he categorically stated that DMK will contest and win all 30 seats in the UT. “If we fail (to win polls), I will commit suicide on this stage,” he said to a round of applause.

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11:10 (IST)19 Jan 2021
Telangana reports 256 new cases, 2 deaths

Telangana registered 256 fresh coronavirus cases on Monday, taking the total positives to nearly 2.92 lakh while the toll surged to 1,581 with two more fatalities. 

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 51, followed by Medchal Malkajgiri and Rangareddy with 17 and 15 respectively, a government bulletin said on Tuesday.

The total number of cases stood at 2,92,128 while recoveries were 2,86,542. As many as 4,005 patients are under treatment and 31,486 samples were tested on Monday. Cumulatively, over 75.15lakh samples have been tested. The samples tested per million population was nearly 2.02 lakh, the bulletin said.

The case fatality rate in the state was 0.54 per cent while the recovery rate in Telangana was 98.08 per cent. (PTI)

10:39 (IST)19 Jan 2021
Kamal Haasan undergoes successful leg surgery

Shruti Haasan and Akshara Haasan on Tuesday jointly issued a statement announcing that the surgery of father Kamal Haasa’s leg was a success.

“We are happy to inform all of you that the surgery was a success! The surgery was performed on his leg this morning at Sri Ramachandra Hospital. performed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mohan Kumar along with Dr. J.S.N Murthy. The Doctors, attendees and the Hospital Management are taking wonderful care of our father and he is doing well , is in good spirits and working toward a speedy recovery,” said the statement.

Kamal is expected to return home from the hospital after 4-5 days and will continue to be in bed rest for a few more days before returning to work.

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10:07 (IST)19 Jan 2021
EPS in Delhi, Sasikala’s return to AIADMK or merger may be discussed

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s visit to Delhi on Monday gained huge significance with multiple sources in the AIADMK and BJP mentioning negotiations to let V K Sasikala — the ousted party leader who is scheduled to be released from a jail in Bengaluru on or before January 27 — merge or join the AIADMK-BJP alliance before the Assembly polls.

Palaniswami is expected to talk politics with BJP bigwigs on Monday and Tuesday during the visit, which has been touted as one to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the inauguration of the newly-built Jayalalithaa Memorial in Chennai.

A senior BJP leader said Palaniswami’s meetings with Home Minister Amit Shah and PM Modi will discuss the political scenario too. “Election seat-sharing and alliance strengthening were pending for discussion,” the leader said, adding that Sasikala’s nephew and AMMK chief TTV Dhinakaran had also expressed his willingness to join the AIADMK and “our leadership had a view that we should consider all possible options to make the alliance stronger”.

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10:06 (IST)19 Jan 2021
235 flights to fly between Chennai and major cities today

A total of 235 flights will be operated between Chennai and major cities today, with 118 arrivals and 117 departures scheduled at the Chennai International Airport.

09:21 (IST)19 Jan 2021
Veteran in cancer care, Dr Shanta of Adyar Cancer Institute, dies in Chennai

Dr V. Shanta, veteran in cancer care and one of the senior most oncologists who headed the Adyar Cancer Institute died early on Tuesday morning. She was 93.

After she complained of discomfort on Monday night, she was being taken to Apollo Hospitals in the city where doctors tried to remove a block in a blood vessel. She died at around 3.55 am.

Even as she had age related problems and had a stroke a decade ago, her colleagues said, she was active until her hospitalisation.

As a chairwoman of the Adyar Cancer Institute, which was started in 1954 with 12 beds and now runs with 423 beds and patients from all over the country, Dr Shantha had won several awards for her selfless work including Padma Vibhushan (2016), Padma Shri (1986), Padma Bhushan (2006) and the Magsaysay Award (2005).

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09:20 (IST)19 Jan 2021
37 UK returnees who tested positive discharged, kept under home quarantine

A total of 26 passengers who had returned to Tamil Nadu from UK and 20 of their primary contacts have tested positive for COVID-19 till date. Among the 26 primary cases, 19 of who tested negative in their follow up RT-PCR test have been discharged and kept under home quarantine. Similarly, 18 of the 20 contact cases have been discharged and kept under home quarantine.

Among the 26 primary cases, nine cases were reported in Chennai, three each in Thanjavur, Madurai, Nilgiris and Chengalpattu and one each in Theni, Nagapattinam, Coimbatore, Karur and Virudhunagar. Among the 20 contact cases, six were reported in Chennai, three in Thanjavur, two each in Nilgiris and Theni, four in Chengalpattu and three in Nagapattinam.

A total of 2300 passengers had travelled to Tamil Nadu from UK between November 25 and December 23, of which 2146 have been tested. Among these, 24 have tested positive, 2122 have tested negative and the tracing of more passengers is underway. Additionally, 3977 close contacts of the 2146 passengers who had tested negative were also tested for COVID-19 and were found to be negative.

A total of 518 passengers had travelled to Tamil Nadu from UK between January 8 and January 18, of which 360 have been tested. Among these, two have tested positive, 299 have tested negative and the results of 59 passengers are awaited. Tracing of further passengers is underway.

All the UK returnees and their contacts have been kept in isolation wards, according to the Tamil Nadu Health Department.

DMK leader M K Stalin.

Just months ahead of the Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, there is tension in the Congress-DMK alliance in the Union territory. The first signal that the alliance may be heading for a collapse came on Monday with the DMK’s Puducherry leadership announcing that the party will contest in all the 30 seats in the elections. The discord comes days ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Tamil Nadu, his second this month. If the DMK and the Congress part ways, the tension could cast a shadow in Tamil Nadu as well. The Congress high command in Delhi said it was watching the situation closely and is in touch with both Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and the Puducherry leadership.

READ | DMK says will contest all Puducherry seats, ally Congress says watching closely

Also Read | Puducherry govt in trouble as ally DMK decides to fight without Congress in Assembly polls

As a few of its district functionaries quit to join the DMK, Rajinikanth’s proposed political outfit Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM) issued a statement Monday saying its members were free to leave the organisation and join any other political party. In a statement, VM Sudhakar, the convener of RMM, said, “if members want to join any political party they are free to do after resigning from the post they hold in Mandram. Even if they do join other political parties, they will remain our beloved Thalaivar fans. RMM members shouldn’t forget that.”

READ | Party leaders free to quit and join other political parties: Rajini Makkal Mandram

For assistance on COVID-19-related queries and mental health support in Chennai, citizens can contact the Greater Chennai Corporation's (GCC) COVID-19 helpline 044 46122300 | Citizens can find the nearest GCC-facilitated COVID-19 fever clinic here | For lodging rain-related complaints and assistance during the monsoon, citizens can contact the GCC's monsoon helplines 044 25384530 or 044 25384540 or the control room 1913 (available 24x7)

Chennai Hyderabad Coronavirus January 14, 15 Highlights