MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 26 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 DEATHS OF MIGRANTS SHAMEFUL: POPE THE WOMAN BIDEN FEARS THE MOST P7 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 38 and 19 degrees Celsius respectively. P10 P12 Delhi lockdown Govt bars use of liquid oxygen for non-medical purposes extended by another week NEW DELHI, 25 APRIL Min: 28% TEMPERATURE Max: 37.7°C (-1) SUN RISES 05:44 hrs MOON RISES 18:07 hrs P10 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 62% KKR HOPE TO REVIVE CAMPAIGN BORIS JOHNSON UNDER GROWING PRESSURE Min: 18.0°C (-5) SUN SETS 18:53 hrs MOON SETS 05:52 hrs THUMBNAILS A street boy sitting idle during the lockdown at Yamuna Bridge (ITO) ,in the Capital on Sunday. SUBRATA DUTTA Baghdad hospital fire: Iraq's Interior Ministry said Sunday that 82 people died and 110 were injured in a catastrophic fire that broke out in the intensive care unit of a Baghdad hospital tending to severe coronavirus patients. Negligence on the part of hospital authorities has been blamed for the Saturday night fire, which initial reports suggest was caused when an oxygen cylinder exploded in the ward of P10 Ibn al-Khatib hospital. SC judge dead: Supreme Court judge Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar died at a private hospital in Gurgaon, sources said on Sunday. He was 62. The mortal remains of the judge will be taken to his Rajaji Nagar residence in Bengaluru, where last rites will be conducted. Justice Shantanagoudar was admitted to the Medanta Hospital due to a lung infection and was in the ICU. Wargames: The Indian and French navies on Sunday kicked off a three-day mega wargame in the Arabian Sea in the backdrop of rising concern over China's growing maritime presence in the Indian Ocean region. The French Navy has deployed its nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, and its entire carrier strike group in the exercise. Severity of Covid-19 is unabated, says CM Kejriwal SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 25 APRIL DIRE STRAITS D elhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced extension of the ongoing lockdown in Delhi for another week, saying the severity of Covid-19 is unabated and positivity rate has been as high as 36 per cent in the last few days. The lockdown imposed on April 19 night will now continue till 5 a.m. on May 3, he said. Before the extension, it was scheduled to end at 5 a.m. on April 26. “We will have to watch the situation for a few more days whether the cases decrease or increase,” he said. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) in an order for extension of the lockdown allowed services of courier outlets, electricians and plumbers, repair of water purifiers, and shops shelling books and electric fans. The chief minister said the onslaught of the coronavirus has not subsided even as the government had imposed six-day lockdown as a last weapon in its arsenal. “The public opinion is for extension of lockdown. The positivity rate reached up to 36-37 per cent in past few days although it has slightly dipped now. It is around 29 per cent today,” he said. To keep a watch on oxygen availability, the Delhi government has decided that manufacturers, suppliers and hospitals will update supply and consumption data every two hours on a portal set up by it. “This is to ensure that the Delhi government knows At the LNJP Hospital, New Delhi as coronavirus cases surge on Sunday. SNS where shortage might be felt and is able to divert resources in that direction in time, Kejriwal said. He said the Centre has further increased Delhi's oxygen quota by 10 MT per day and hoped the chaotic situation due to oxygen crisis in Delhi will end in a few days. “The Centre has incre-ased Delhi's quota from 480 MT to 490 MT per day. But we are yet to receive full quota. Currently only 330-335 tonnes per day supply is being received by us,” he said. The chief minister said his government is receiving much support from the Centre and both are properly coordinating to solve the oxygen supply problem. Kejriwal who had wrote letters to Chief Ministers of states for helping Delhi with spare oxygen and tankers, said, “Negotiations have begun with some states and I will update you about any positive results as and when they come.” Noting that ministers and officers of his government were working overnight to ensure steady oxygen supplies to the hospi- The lockdown that started April 19 night will now continue till 5 a.m. on 3 May. It was to have ended on April 26 Delhi recorded 350 Covid-19 deaths and 22,933 cases with a positivity rate of 30.21 per cent on Sunday. It was the 4th day in a row that Delhi recorded more than 300 deaths due to the coronavirus. tals, he said, “I do not claim that all our efforts have reaped successful results. In some cases, we have failed, and in some others we have managed to ensure oxygen supply to its destination.” Delhi recorded the highest single-day rise in its Covid-19 deaths with 357 more people succumbing to the viral disease on Saturday as well as over 24,000 fresh cases. The city has reported nearly 2,500 deaths due to the deadly virus in a 12-day period. Several hospitals in the national capital are grappling with severe shortage of medical oxygen. The DDMA in its order on Sunday stated that the situation of Covid-19 in Delhi has again been reviewed and it is observed that positive cases as well as positivity rate is still very high. “....therefore, in order to contain the spread of virus and to further break the transmission chain, curfew needs to be extended for a further period of one week in Delhi (except for essential activities and services), as an emergency (SEE P2) measure.” The Central government on Sunday barred the use of liquid oxygen for any nonmedical purpose and asked manufacturing units to maximise its production for medical use. The order by Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla came amidst scarcity of medical oxygen in many parts of the country, particularly in Delhi, that have been hit by a fresh wave of the coronavirus pandemic. After reviewing the oxygen supply situation, the government decided that no exception will be allowed to any industry on the use of liquid oxygen, modifying its earlier order that exempted a few industries. The central government A patient inhales oxygen outside Indirapuram Gurudwara, SNS Ghaziabad, on Sunday. is trying to source oxygen from different parts of the country and making it available in the worst-hit states by running special trains. It is also getting cryogenic tanks from Singapore and the UAE to transport oxygen and oxygen concentrators from the United States. The home secretary dir- ected state governments to ensure that “use of liquid oxygen is not allowed for any non-medical purpose and all manufacturing units may maximise their production of liquid oxygen, and make it available to the government for use for medical purposes only, with immediate effect and Twitter, FB remove nearly 100 posts after govt order PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 25 APRIL Twitter and other social media platforms have removed about 100 posts and URLs after the government asked them to remove content that was critical of the handling of the current medical crisis or spreading fake news around the pandemic. Twitter said it has notified the impacted account holders of its action taken in response to a legal request from the Indian government, while Facebook did not comment on the issue. Sources said the companies have complied with the order. However, it wasn't immediately known what the removed posts were. Government sources said the IT ministry, on the recommendation of the Govt sources said that the order was issued in view of the misuse of social media to spread fake or misleading information and create panic about the pandemic Ministry of Home Affairs, asked the social media platforms to remove the posts and URLs (uniform resource locators) to “prevent obstructions in the fight against the pandemic and disruption of public order due to the said posts”. They added that the order was issued in view of the misuse of social media platforms by certain users to spread fake or misleading information and create panic about the pandemic in society by using unrelated, old and out-of-context images or visuals, communally sensitive posts and misinformation about Covid19 protocols. Although reports suggested that the posts critical of government handling of the crisis were asked to be removed, sources said the government is open to criticism and suggestions in the fight against Covid-19. However, they said it is necessary to take action against those users who are misusing social media during this crisis for unethical purposes. Twitter removed or restricted access to more than 50 posts in the past month at the behest of the government, including tweets that criticised its handling of the pandemic. 3.49 L new cases, 2,767 fatalities 2nd wave has shaken the country, admits PM PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, 25 APRIL Showing no sign of slowing down, India logged a record 3,49,691 new coronavirus infections in a day, taking its total tally of Covid-19 cases to 1,69,60,172,while active cases crossed the 26-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday. The death toll increased to1,92,311with a record 2,767 daily new fatalities,thedata updated at 8 a.m. showed. Active cases have increased to 26,82,751 comprising 15.82 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate has further dropped to 83.05 per cent. Thenumber of people who have recuperated from the dis- ease has reached 1,40,85,110, while the case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.13 per cent, the data stated. In Bengal, while fresh Covid cases crossed the 15,000 mark, the situation in Kolkata has deteriorated further with over 3,000 people being detected positive in a single day. Bengal recorded a steep 15,889 fresh Covid cases and 57 deaths today. Kolkata logged 3,779 cases and 18 deaths while North 24-Parganas recorded 3,140 fresh cases and 15 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total Covid case count is 7,43,950 and death toll is 10,941 in the state till now while there are 88,800 active cases. The occupancy rate in Covid beds rose to 48.54 per cent while the discharge rate dipped to 86.51 per cent. NEW DELHI, 25 APRIL 1,69,60,172 26,82,751 3,49,691 2,17,113 1,92,311 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 25 APRIL 2021 The second wave of Covid-19 is testing people's patience and their capacity to endure pain, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday, adding that this “toofan” (storm) has shaken the country after it was full of enthusiasm and selfconfidence after successfully tackling the first wave. In his monthly Mann Ki Baat broadcast, Modi spoke to doctors, nurses and frontline workers, who shared their experience and views on the disease, and expressed confidence that people will soon come out from this crisis. The over 30-minute broadcast was entirely focussed on the pandemic, which has been rampaging across the until further orders.” The government also said that it would set up 551 dedicated pressure swing Adsorption (PSA) medical oxygen generation plants inside public health facilities across the country to boost availability of the life-saving gas. In a press note the PMO said that the PM Cares Fund has given in-principle approval for allocation of funds for their installation and the Prime Minister has directed these plants should be made functional as soon as possible. “These dedicated plants will be established in identified Government hospitals in district headquarters in various States/UTs. The procurement will be done through Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,” the PMO stated. country for weeks, with Modi asserting that defeating the disease is the biggest priority. “Many of our near and dear ones have left us untimely. After successfully confronting the first wave of coronavirus, the country was full of enthusiasm, full of self-confidence, but this storm has shaken the country,” he said. He urged people to go for vaccination against the disease and cautioned them against rumours about it. The Centre, he said, will continue to provide jabs free of cost to the eligible people (those over 45 years of age). “We have to accord priority to the expert and scientific advice at this time to win this battle,” he said. Modi also appealed to states to extend the benefit of the Centre's free vaccine campaign to the maximum number of people. “The government of India is applying its entire might to give a fillip to endeavours of state governments. The state governments too are trying their best to fulfil their responsibilities,” he said. A doctor, whose conversation with the prime minister was played in the programme, noted that people are scared about the pandemic situation, while saying that there is absolutely no need for it as 80 to 90 per cent of the infected people do not show any of these symptoms. It is imperative that treatment protocol is as per the doctor's advice, he said. Echoing his view, Dr Naveed Nazeer Shah from Srinagar urged people to follow Covid guidelines to avoid getting infected and to get inoculated. The prime minister said while people are getting infected by the disease, they are also recovering from it in big numbers, and also spoke to Preeti Chaturvedi of Gurugram, who shared her experience of dealing with the disease. She has now recovered. Modi also lauded the help offered by citizens during the pandemic. “I urge all of you to get vaccinated and we also have to take full care. 'Dawai bhi, kadai bhi', get vaccinated and maintain all precautions. Never forget this mantra. We will soon prevail together over this calamity,” the prime minister said. Covid testing line outside Indirapuram Gurudwara, Ghaziabad on Sunday. SNS UK sending medical aid As India battles a severe second wave of coronavirus pandemic, the UK on Sunday announced sending life-saving medical equipment including ventilators and oxygen concentrator devices to the country. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said vital medical equipment, including hundreds of oxygen concentrators and ventilators, is now on its way from the UK to India. Pakistan offers relief Pakistan has offered to provide relief support, including ventilators, to India to help the country fight the deadly wave of COVID-19 and said the two countries can explore possible ways of further cooperation to mitigate the challenges posed by the pandemic. Islamabad said late Saturday night said it was re-ady to send specific items quickly once the modalities were worked out. Vocalist dead Hindustani classical vocalist Pt Rajan Mishra died of Covid-19 complications at Delhi hospital on Sunday evening, shortly after friends and wellwishers put out SOS messages on social media looking for a ventilator for him. He was 70. Bhowanipore among key constituencies in penultimate phase of Bengal polls TIRTHANKAR MITRA/ SOMA MOOKHERJEE KOLKATA, 25 APRIL Marked by Election Commission clampdowns on campaigning to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the seventh phase of the ongoing state Assembly elections will witness a back to the wall electoral battle by Congress in parts of Malda and Murshidabad, its one-time political bastions, tomorrow. Many migrant workers from these districts who have returned home will exercise their franchise with their choice being swayed by their takes on NRC and CAA. Political heavyweights including Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and her Cabinet colleague, Sovandeb Chattopadhaya will cast their votes at Bhowanipore Assembly segment during the day. Another Trinamul Congress stalwart, Subrata Mukherjee will cast his vote at Ballygunge tomorrow. After Nandigram, the electoral battle at Bhowanipore Assembly constituecy will be the next litmus test of the Trinamul chief's popularity. Miss Banerjee vacated this seat in her home turf and moved to Nandigram to take on Suvendu Adhikari amidst Opposition allegations of retreating to a rural Bengal constituency sensing a groundswell of discontent. AT STAKE: 34 ASSEMBLY SEATS 9 in Murshidabad 9 in West Burdwan, 6 in South Dinajpur, 6 in Malda 4 in Kolkata In this last but one phase, some heavyweight ministers are also contesting not only from South Kolkata but also from Asansol (North), and Jangipur in Murshidabad. The state panchayat and rural affairs minister Subrata Mukherjee, state power minister Shovandeb Chattopadhyay and former Mayor and state urban development minister Firad Hakim are contesting from Ballygunge, Bhowanipore and Kolkata Port respectively. Sovandeb Chattopadhyay is contesting from Bhowanipore. Former Member -Mayorin-Council Debasish Kumar is contesting from Rash Behari. The state labour and law minister Moloy Ghatak is also in the poll fray and contesting from Asansol (North). The minister of state for labour Jakir Hossain who survived a bomb blast at the Nimtita railway platform while coming to Kolkata is also contesting in this election from Jangipur. Elections in two seats have been postponed. Due to sudden demise of the RSP candidate for Jangipur, Pradip Nandi due to the coronavirus and the death of a Congress candidate Rizzazul Haque in Samsergunj the election was shifted to 16 May. Veteran Trinamul leaders Subrata Saha is contesting from Sagardighi, and Idris Ali from Bhagwangola and Soumik Hossain from Raninagar. Shaoni Singha Roy and Akkurzaman who defected to Trinamul Congress are contesting from Murshidabad and Raghunathgunj respectively. In South Dinajpur,Shekhar Dasgupta, a lawyer is con- testing from Balurghat seat and veteran RSP leader and former minister Biswanath Chowdhury is not contesting this time. Veteran Trinamul leader Biplab Deb is contesting from Harirampur. While, minister Moloy Ghatak is contesting from Asansol (North), actress Shaoni Ghosh is pitted against BJP's fashion designer Agnimitra Paul in Asansol (South). The sitting MLA of Asansol.(South) of Trinamul Congress has been shifted to Ranigunj. CPI-M nominee Oishye Ghosh who shot to fame following a fracas at Jawaharlal Nehru University campus is contesting from Jamuria. In Durgapur (East), CM's advisor on agriculture, Pradip Majumdar is contesting against Col Dipanshu Chowdhury who defected to BJP from Trinamul and CPI-M's youth leader Abhas Roy Chowdhury. The former Asansol Mayor and Pandaveswar MLAJitendra Tewari who defected to BJP is contesting from Pandaveswar in BJP's ticket In Malda six Assembly segments are going to the polls in this phase where former minister Sabitri Mitra from Manikchak and veteran Congress leader, now Trinamul candidate, Samar Mukherjee from Ratua are contesting. The Election Commission, meanwhile, rubbished charges levelled by the Trinamul Con- gress chairperson and chief minister Mamata Banerjee of arresting Trinamul Congress workers on the basis of purported instructions being given by the EC observers and other EC officials as "baseless," false"and "misleading". Issuing a press statement, the Election Commission today said that no workers of any political party other than the criminals are being taken into custody as part of the preventive arrests with an eye to conduct elections without fear and intimidation. No such acts of arresting Trinamul Congress workers have come to the notice of the ECI so far, the Election Commission said in a statement.
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.