TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 20 APRIL 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR AIR CHIEF LEAVES FOR FRANCE TO DISCUSS DELIVERY OF RAFALE JAISHANKAR DISCUSSES BILATERAL TIES WITH UAE COUNTERPART P4 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 37 and 19 degrees Celsius respectively. P5 Encourage and educate people: PM Modi’s message to doctors Min: 27% NEW DELHI, 19 APRIL Min: 18.5°C (-3) SUN SETS 18:50 hrs MOON SETS 02:01 hrs SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 19 APRIL THUMBNAILS E Women offer prayers outside a shrine on the sixth day of Ramadan in Srinagar on Monday. SC stays proceedings in Amazon-Future case: F The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the ongoing proceedings before Delhi High Court in the case related to the amalgamation of Future Retail Ltd (FRL) with Reliance Retail. Amazon had moved the apex court on 8 April challenging the Delhi High Court's division Bench order that had vacated a stay on Kishore Biyani-led Future Group proceeding with its Rs 24,713-crore asset sale to Reliance Industries. P8 veryone above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against Covid from 1 May, the Central government said today as it liberalised the vaccination drive to allow states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers. Under the third phase of the vaccination drive commencing next month, the vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the Central government and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to state governments and in the open market. Manufacturers would have to make an advance declaration of the price for 50 per cent supply that would be available to the state governments and in the open market before 1 May, 2021, an official statement said. Based on this price, state governments, private hospitals, industrial establishments, and others would be able to procure vaccine doses from the manufacturers. Private Hospitals would have to procure their supplies of Covid-19 vaccine exclusively from the 50 per cent supply earmarked for entities other than those coming through the central government channel. The private vaccination providers would need to transparently declare their self-set vaccination price and the eligibility through this channel would be opened up to all adults, that is everyone above the age of 18, the statement Moderate turnout in UP panchayat elections: Moderate polling was recorded in the first six hours of voting on Monday for the second phase of the Uttar Pradesh panchayat polls in 20 districts where 3.48 lakh candidates are in the fray for over 2.23 lakh posts. Gautam Buddh Nagar recorded the highest polling percentage of 48 per cent till 1 p.m. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called the vaccine as the biggest weapon in the fight against Covid-19 and urged doctors to encourage more and more patients to get the jab. In a virtual interaction with India’s leading doctors on the pandemic situation and vaccination progress, he also noted that Covid-19 is spreading rapidly in tier2 and tier-3 cities this time, and asked them to connect with their colleagues working there and give them online consultations to ensure that all protocols are followed. Urging doctors to educate people against “rumours” on Covid treatment and prevention, PM said it is very important in added. Vaccination will continue as before in the government of India vaccination centres free of cost to the eligible population ~ healthcare and frontline workers and all people above 45 years of age. SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 19 APRIL these difficult times to not become a victim of panic. For this, Modi said, emphasis must also be on counselling of patients admitted in hospitals. The Central government has recently taken many important decisions related to the supply of essential medicines, injections and sufficient availability of oxygen, he said, adding that states have been given necessary guidelines about SNS/PTI these. The Union Health Ministry said the important decision to allow vaccination to everyone above the age of 18 from 1 May was taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In view of the prevailing Covid situation, it has been decided by mutual agreement that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom will not visit India next week NEW DELHI, 19 APRIL British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has cancelled his 25-26 April visit to India in view of surging Coronavirus cases in this country. “In view of the prevailing Covid situation, it has been decided by mutual agreement that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom will not visit India next week,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said. MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS He said Johnson and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be holding a virtual meeting in the coming days to launch plans for a transformed India-UK relationship. ''Both leaders attach the highest importance to taking the IndiaUK partnership to its fullest potential and propose to remain in close touch in this regard and look forward to an in-person meeting later in the year,” he added. Johnson had been under intense pressure in his country to cancel his visit to New Delhi, amid growing concerns of the Corona crisis in India. Britain’s Opposition Labour Party had yesterday joined calls for Johnson to cancel the visit. Britain adds India to travel Red List: Britain on Monday imposed its strictest travel curbs on India after an explosion of Covid cases there. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that effective from 0300 GMT on Friday, India was being added to Britain’s “red list” of countries, banning all arrivals from India except for UK or Irish nationals. The Hong Kong government had earlier announced suspension of all Vistara flights on MumbaiHong Kong route till 2 May. ‘2nd wave fuelled by Cong-ruled states’: Vardhan slams ex-PM PRESS TRUST OF INDIA History shall be kinder to you Dr Manmohan Singh ji if your offer of ‘constructive cooperation' and valuable advice was followed by your @INCIndia leaders as well in such extraordinary times ! NEW DELHI, 19 APRIL Hitting back at senior Congress leader Manmohan Singh for his critique of the government’s Covid19 management, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday alleged the second wave of the pandemic was instead fuelled by Congress-ruled states as they were busy raising doubts about vaccines rather than vaccinating people. Responding to Singh’s letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vardhan also said that the letter drafters of the senior Congress leader have done a “Many Congress members and Congress ruled state governments have taken extraordinary interest in spreading falsehoods regarding the efficacy of these vaccines, thereby fuelling vaccine hesitancy” HARSH VARDHAN - UNION HEALTH MINISTER great disservice to his standing. Acknowledging that while Singh understands the importance of vaccination as an important method of fighting the Covid-19 battle, Vardhan said in his letter that “irresponsible” public pronouncements made by some Congress leaders have resulted in a below national average vaccination coverage of senior citizens and even front-line workers in some of the Congress-ruled states. Tweeting the letter to Singh, the health minister said, “History shall be kinder to you Dr Manmohan Singh ji if your offer of ‘constructive cooperation’and valuable advice Italy initiates solatium for kin of killed Indian fishermen PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 19 APRIL The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that Italy has initiated the transfer of Rs 10 crore compensation to be given to the kin of two Indian fishermen killed by Italian Marines off the Kerala coast in February 2012. The Centre told a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde that as soon as the money is received, the government will deposit it with the apex court as per the 9 April direction. We are awaiting the receipt of money, advocate Rajat Nair, appearing for the Centre, told the bench. The bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and India logs record-2.73L new virus cases, 1,619 fatalities India’s total tally of Covid19 cases crossed the 1.50crore mark with around 25 lakh cases being added in just 15 days,while active cases surpassed the 19lakh mark,according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday. The nationwide tally of Covid-19 cases mounted to 1,50,61,919 with a record single-day rise of 2,73,810 coronavirus infections. The death toll increased to1,78,769with a record 1,619 daily new fatalities,the data updated at 8 am showed. The country’s total Covid-19 infections had surpassed the one-crore mark on 19 December after which it took 107 days to cross the 1.25 crore on 5 April. However, it only took 15 days for the cases to cross the 1.50-crore mark. Registering a steady increase for the 40th day in a row, the active cases increased to 19,29,329, comprising 12.81 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate has dropped to 86 per cent. Exploding Delhi surge: 23,686 cases, 240 deaths: Reeling under exploding coronavirus cases, Delhi today recorded 23,686 fresh infections and 240 deaths ~ its highest-ever single-day Covid fatality count ~ according to the Delhi government’s latest health bulletin. The city’s Covid positivity rate stood at 26.12 per cent. Delhi’s coronavirus caseload rocketed to 8,77,146 while its death toll soared to 12,361, the health bulletin said. The fresh cases were detected out of 90,696 Six-day lockdown in Covid-ravaged Capital 1,50,61,919 19,29,329 2,73,810 1,44,178 1,78,769 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. MONDAY 19 APRIL 2021 tests, the bulletin stated. So far, 7,87,898 lakh Covid patients have recovered in Delhi. India under Covid-siege Boris cancels India visit due to virus spike STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Covid surge: Summer vacation in Delhi schools from 20 April: The Delhi government on Monday advanced the summer vacation in all schools in the national capital in view of the COVID-19 situation. The vacation which was scheduled from May 11 to June 3 has now been rescheduled from April 20 to June 9. P12 Centre says it has liberalised Covid vaccination to allow states, private hospitals, industries to procure doses directly from manufacturers TEMPERATURE Max: 37.8°C (+1) SUN RISES 05:50 hrs MOON RISES 11: 44 hrs P6 Above-18 can get Covid jabs from 1 May 1 RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 76% SEISMIC UPHEAVAL IN EUROPEAN CLUB FOOTBALL TESTING TIME V Ramasubramanian, was hearing the Centre’s application for closure of case against the two Italian marines~ Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre. The bench asked whether the amount has been deposited. Nair told the bench that Italy has initiated the transfer of money. The bench said that the Centre’s counsel had earlier insisted on an early hearing and on the last date said that money would be deposited within three days. On 9 April, the top court had directed the Centre to deposit in its account Rs 10 crore to be given by Italy for the kin of two Indian fishermen and said the court itself will disburse the compensation. was followed by your @INCIndia leaders as well in such extraordinary times!” Singh on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Modi suggesting five measures to battle the Covid-19 crisis, including ramping up vaccination and boosting supply of medicines. Vardhan said, “People in responsible positions in your party as well as in the state governments formed by your party do not seem to share your view.” “Let alone thanking our scientists, many Congress members and Congress ruled state governments have taken extraordinary interest in spreading falsehoods regarding the efficacy of these vaccines, thereby fuelling vaccine hesitancy, and playing with the lives of our countrymen. “A sitting chief minister of your party created a dubious world record of sorts by being the only head of government directly inciting people against an indigenously developed vaccine! Some Congress leaders even shamed the vaccines in public but took their doses in private, quietly,” he charged. “A word of advice from you to them may have ensured better cooperation from these people,” the minister said. Manmohan tests Covid positive: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tested positive for Covid19 and was admitted to AIIMS, New Delhi with a mild fever on Monday afternoon. Singh, 88, has been admitted to the AIIMS trauma centre, which is a dedicated Covid facility, sources said. LMO tanker onboard the wagon to transport Liquid Medical Oxygen in Mumbai Lockdown for a week in UP cities Deserted look of Chandni Chowk on Monday. SNS SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 19 APRIL Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a six-day lockdown from 10 p.m. on Monday till 5 am on 26 April which he said was necessary to deal with the rising number of Covid-19 cases as the city’s health system was stretched to its limits. The national capital’s health system is stretched although it has not collapsed yet, he said, adding that despite around 25,500 cases coming up every day, Delhi’s health system is still functioning. The lockdown is needed to prevent the health system of Delhi from collapsing under the increasing number of patients as there is an acute shortage of medicines, beds, ICUs and oxygen, Kejriwal said. Noting that the decision to impose lockdown was not an easy one, Kejriwal appealed to migrants in the city not to leave Delhi. The government will take good care of them, he said, adding that essential services will be allowed during the lockdown. Kejriwal said that his government will improve the health system in this period. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority said that movement of people will be allowed for marriage related gatherings and up to 50 people will be permitted to attend a wedding. Essential services will be allowed during the lockdown, but private offices and other establishments like shops, malls, weekly markets, manufacturing units, educational and coaching institutes, cinema halls, restaurants, bars, assembly halls, auditoriums, public parks, sport complexes, gyms, spas and beauty parlours will remain closed. (SEE P2) Campaigning closes for sixth phase of Bengal polls SNS & PTI KOLKATA, 19 APRIL Curtain came down at 6.30 p.m on Monday on the campaigning for 43 Assembly constituencies of West Bengal which will go to polls on 22 April in the sixth phase of elections. In view of the rising cases of Covid-19 in the state, the Election Commission (EC) has extended the silence period from 48 hours to 72 hours in each of the remaining three phases of the Assembly polls to be held on 22, 26 and 29 April. Polling will be held between 7 am and 6.30 pm at 14,480 polling stations in 17 constituencies in North 24 Parganas district, nine each in Nadia and Uttar Dinajpur Polling will be held in 17 constituencies in North 24 Parganas, nine each in Nadia and Uttar Dinajpur and 8 in Purba Bardhaman districts and eight in Purba Bardhaman district. Altogether 306 contestants including the BJP’s national vice president Mukul Roy, senior TMC leaders and ministers Jyotipriya Mallick and Chandrima Bhattacharya, and CPI(M) leader Tanmay Bhattacharya are in the fray. The political fate of film director Raj Chakraborty and actress Koushani Mukherjee, who were fielded by the Trinamul Congress, will also be sealed in this phase of the election. There are more than 1.03 crore voters in these 43 constituencies, who are eligible to exercise their franchise. The BJP’s star campaigner list included such as Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, party president J P Nadda and actor Mithun Chakraborty. On the other hand, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee led party’s campaigning for the sixth phase. BJP to curb rallies: BJP president JP Nadda has decided that in view of the Covid crisis, all public meetings of BJP leaders henceforth in Bengal, including those of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will not have more than 500 people. Mamata rules out lockdown STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE MALDA/RAIGANJ, 19 APRIL Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today ruled out chances of the state government imposing a lockdown or night curfew in the state due to the surge in Covid-19 cases. She was addressing a Press meet in Narayanpur under the Malda police station. Addressing another rally at the Sirsa Madrasa Maidan in Chakulia in North Dinajpur district, Miss Banerjee said, “I had requested the ECI to hold the last three phases on a single day to save people from Covid, but the officials concerned did not do so. I still pray to them with folded hands to conduct the last two phases on a single day,” she said. Amidst a surge in coronavirus cases, the Allahabad High Court on Monday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to impose a weeklong lockdown in Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar, Gorakhpur and Allahabad Punjab extends night curfew Amid rising Covid-19 cases, Punjab government on Monday announced stricter curbs, including extension of night curfew by an hour and closure of bars, cinema halls, gyms, spas, coaching centres and sports complexes in the state till 30 April. P3 Maha: 6 states of ‘sensitive origin’ Struggling to contain the huge Covid-19 surge, Maharashtra has declared six states, including Delhi and the NCR region, as places of “sensitive origin” in a bid to stop the influx of other variants of coronavirus into P5 the state. SC rejects plea for 100% matching of VVPATs with EVMs NEW DELHI, 19 APRIL The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea seeking 100 per cent matching of the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips with the electronic voting machines (EVMs) vote count in the elections, saying it will not interfere in the middle of poll process. In April 2019, the apex court had directed the EC to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs to five polling booths per Assembly segment in the Lok Sabha polls and said it would provide greater satisfaction not just to political parties but the PTI entire electorate.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.