CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 12 MAY 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR SHARE VACCINE FORMULA WITH PHARMA COMPANIES: KEJRIWAL TO MODI BORIS SEEKS TO BOLSTER ECONOMY, UNION IN NEW PARLIAMENT P10 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. One or two spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 35-22 degrees Celsius. ‘NEW WINDIES LOT WON’T BRING GLORY DAYS BACK’ ASSAM’S NEW CM P5 P6 Active cases down by over 30k in a day RAINFALL: 102.0 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY SNS & PTI SUDDEN DOWNPOUR First time in 61 days, total recoveries in a day surpass new Covid cases Max.96% P12 TEMPERATURE Min. 62% Max: 35°C (0) Min: 27.1°C (1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 04:58 hrs 18:08 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 05:15 hrs 18:40 hrs Next full moon on 26 May THUMBNAILS A Covid patient at Guru Tegh Bahadur Covid Care Centre of the Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib, in the Capital on Tuesday. SNS Kerala's K R Gowri Amma no more: Legendary Marxist firebrand and former minister K R Gowri, one of the founding leaders of the Communist movement in Kerala and the lone woman member in the state's first cabinet, died at a private hospital here on Tuesday. She was 102 and had been suffering from various age-related ailments for some time, party sources said. She was the lone surviving member of the first Kerala legislative Assembly and the only woman in the first state P4 Cabinet. Lower GDP growth forecast: Moody's Investors Service on Tuesday slashed India's growth forecast for the current FY to 9.3 per cent, from the 13.7 per cent projected earlier, on account of the negative impact of the second wave of Covid-19. India is experiencing a severe second wave of infections which will slow the nearterm economic recovery and could weigh on P8 longer-term growth dynamics, it said. ED files money laundering case against Deshmukh NEW DELHI, 11 MAY The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a criminal case under the anti-money laundering law against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh in an alleged “bribery” case, official sources said on Tuesday. They said the case registered under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been filed after studying a CBI FIR that was filed against Deshmukh late last month. The central probe agency may now summon Deshmukh, 71, for questioning apart from others who have a role in the case, they said. The ED case comes about after the CBI first carried out a preliminary enquiry, followed by filing a regular case, on the orders of the Bombay High Court that asked it to look into the allegations of bribery made against Deshmukh by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. The agency will probe if illicit funds were generated in the transfer and posting of police personnel in Maharashtra and if illegal extortion was done by cops as alleged by Singh in his complaint. The CBI booked Deshmukh and others under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and section of Prevention of Corruption Act for “attempt to obtain undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance of public duty”. PTI he total active Covid-19 cases in the country dipped to 37,15,221 on Tuesday with a net decline of 30,016 cases being recorded in a span of 24 hours for the first time after 61 days, the Union health ministry said on Tuesday. The total recoveries in a span of 24 hours too outnumbered the daily new Covid-19 cases after 61 days. India’s cumulative recoveries have surged to 1,90,27,304 with 3,56,082 recoveries being registered in a span of 24 hours. A total of 3,29,942 infections were reported in a span of 24 hours, taking the total tally of cases to 2,29,92,517 while the death toll climbed to 2,49,992 with 3,876 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. Meanwhile, the cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has increased to 17.27 crore. According to the ministry, 5,24,731 beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group have received their first jab in the last 24 hours and cumulatively 25,59,339 across 30 states and UTs since the start of the phase3 of vaccination drive. More than 25 lakh vaccination doses were T 2,29,92,517 37,15,221 3,29,942 3,56,082 2,49,992 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. TUESDAY 11 MAY 2021 administered in a span of 24 hours. Besides, 8,900 oxygen concentrators, 5,043 oxygen cylinders, 18 oxygen generation plants, 5,698 ventilators/BiPAP machines and more than 3.4 lakh Remdesivir vials received as part of global aid to India have been delivered/dispatched to states and UTs to bolster Covid combat, so far. Bengal cases: West Bengal registered 20,136 fresh Covid cases and 132 deaths today. Kolkata recorded 3,998 cases and 39 deaths; North 24 Parganas recorded 3,971 fresh cases and 42 deaths in the last 24 hours. Total Covid case count is 10,32,740 and toll is 12,593 in the state. Modi cancels UK visit for G7 summit over Covid-19 crisis STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 11 MAY Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not visit the United Kingdom next month to attend the upcoming G-7 summit in person due to the Covid-19 crisis at home, it was announced here today. “While appreciating the invitation to the Prime Minister by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to attend the G-7 Summit as a special invitee, given the prevailing Covid situation, it has been decided that the Prime Minister will not attend the G-7 Summit in person,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in response to questions. The summit of the leaders of the world’s biggest economies will be held in Cornwall, UK, between 11 and 13 June. The UK, US, Germany, France, Canada, Italy and Japan make up the G-7. Leaders of India, Australia and South Korea were invited to this year’s summit by Johnson as special guests. Last week, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had visited the UK to attend the G-7 foreign ministers’ meeting. Two members of Jaishankar’s delegation had contracted Covid-19 during the visit, forcing him to cancel the meet in person and deliver his speech virtually. Johnson, it was learnt, was keen on Modi attending the summit. He was scheduled to visit India to personally invite Modi for the summit in January. However, the Covid crisis in the UK at that time had compelled him to reschedule his visit to New Delhi. Meanwhile, Modi approbated the country’s scientists and innovators, tweeting, “In any challenging situation, our scientists and innovators have always risen to the occasion and worked to mitigate the challenge. Over the last year, they have worked industriously to fight COVID19. I appreciate their spirit and remarkable zeal.” 7 lakh more doses for states in next 3 days: Govt Airlifting empty tankers, training 500 drivers for O2 supply: MHA NEW DELHI, 11 MAY NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, 11 MAY NEW DELHI, 11 MAY More than 90 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses are still available with states and UTs which will receive over 7 lakh additional doses in the next three days, the Union health ministry said on Tuesday. The Centre has so far provided more than 18 crore vaccine doses (18,00,03,160) to states and UTs free of cost. States and UTs will receive 7,29,610 additional vaccine doses within the next three days. The ministry said the central government has been supporting the nationwide vaccination drive by providing free Covid vaccines. In the strategy it is made clear that every month only 50 per cent of the total Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) cleared vaccine doses of any manufacturer would be procured by Centre. It would continue to procure its share of 50 per cent of the monthly CDL cleared vaccines and continue to make it available to state governments PTI for free. The Centre has taken multiple initiatives to ramp up the oxygen supply across the country, including the airlifting of empty-tankers to reduce the turnaround time and training 500 drivers, a senior home ministry official said on Tuesday. Piyush Goyal, additional secretary, MHA also told a press conference here that 5,805 MT of liquid medical oxygen is being imported from abroad considering the future needs of the country. Goyal said a fast-track system has been put in place to import oxygen from wherever supply is available. He said the services of Railways and Air Force are being used for ferrying tankers to reduce the turnaround time. A total of 157 oxygen special trains have moved 637 tankers across the country, Goyal said. A virtual control room with senior central government and states/UTs officers has been set up for immediate solutions on realtime basis, he said. As many as 374 tankers with 7,049 MT capacity have been airlifted within the country, while 81 containers with a combined capacity of 1,407 MT have ben imported through the IAF, he said. Moreover, 1,252 oxygen cylinders, three oxygen generation plants and 835 oxygen concentrators have also been imported, the officer PTI said. A thunderstorm accompanied by heavy rainfall hit Kolkata and other districts of south Bengal on Tuesday afternoon. According to officials, four people were killed in rain-related incidents. In Murshidabad, a farmer died in a lightning strike in Samserganj while working in the field. IANS Continued on Pg 3 Early trend of decline in daily new cases, deaths: Centre PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 11 MAY An early trend of decline in daily new Covid-19 cases and deaths has been noted in the country, the government said on Tuesday, indicating that the devastating second wave of the pandemic is on the wane. According to the government, Maharashtra, Uttar 10-day lockdown in T’gana from today STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE HYDERABAD, 11 MAY Telangana today decided to impose lockdown from 10 am tomorrow for the next 10 days and invite global tenders to procure vaccines on a warfooting to tackle the spread of Covid-19 even as the High Court directed police to allow patients coming in from other states as stopping them violated Articles 15 and 21 of the Constitution. The court also pointed out that announcing a lockdown at such a short notice would bring hardship to migrant labourers who might choose to leave for their native places. The lockdown will be enforced between 10 am and 6am on the next day but every morning between 6 am and 10 am shops, ration shops, public transport including Metro and state-run buses would be allowed to run. However, for the rest of the 20 hours, there will be strict lockdown with cinema halls, clubs, gyms, swimming pools and sports stadia closed. Banks and ATMs will function along with other essential services as usual while government offices will run with 33 per cent staff. Paddy procurement has also been exempted. The announcement was, however, greeted with long queues in front of liquor shops with social distancing going for a toss. Oxygen scarcity claims 11 Eleven patients died at Sri Venkateshwara Ramnarain Ruia Government General Hospital in Tirupati of Andhra Pradesh after a disruption in oxygen supply due to delayed arrival of an oxygen tanker from Tamil Nadu. Angry relatives then barged into ICU as videos surfaced of patients gasping for breath. The district collector M Hari Narayana said though 11 patients on oxygen support died they were able to save others in the largest government facilities of Rayalaseema. Chief ministerYS Jagan Mohan Reddy in two separate letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought technology transfer of Covaxin to other manufacturers to ramp up production and increase allocation of oxygen to the state. CM has announced Rs 10 lakh compensation for the kin of deceased and ordered an inquiry into the incident. Pradesh, Delhi and Chhattisgarh were among 18 states and Union Territories showing continued plateauing or decrease in daily new Covid19 cases. Addressing a press conference, a senior official, however, said Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Punjab were among 16 states and UTs showing continued increasing trend in daily new Covid-19 cases. Thirteen states have more than 1 lakh active Covid-19 cases each and 26 states have a positivity rate of over 15 per cent, the government said. India has been reeling under a calamitous second wave of the infection. However, daily numbers of deaths and cases have started to dip. PIL another attempt to stall Vista project: Centre to HC SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 11 MAY The Centre has told the Delhi High Court that the PIL seeking stay on the construction of Central Vista here amid the raging Covid pandemic was just another attempt to stall the project which has been facing such attempts from the beginning on one pretext or another. The “intentions and motive” behind filing of the plea are evident from the fact that the instant project has been singled out by the petitioners despite several other agencies, including Delhi Metro, carrying out construction activities across the national capital, the Centre has alleged. “The very fact that out of all these construction activities going on simultaneously for different projects by different agencies, the petitioner has chosen to be a public spirited citizen only with regard to one project only speaks volumes about his intentions and motive behind filing the present petition,” the Cen- tre’s affidavit has contended. Since the affidavit was not yet on record, a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh listed the matter for hearing on May 12. The court also allowed the early hearing application moved by the petitioners-Anya Malhotra, who works as a translator, and Sohail Hashmi, a historian and documentary film maker-who have contended the project was not an essential and therefore, can be put on hold for now during the pandemic. “The facility provides for strict implementation of Covid protocol strictly and also adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour, such as sanitization, thermal screening, physical/social distancing and masking,” the government has said in its affidavit. It has also said that contractor has provided health insurance to all concerned workers against Covid and a separate facility for conducting RT-PCR test, isolation and medical aid has also been set up at the site. Covid calamity: Racketeers see ‘opportunity’ in tragedies, fleece victims MANOJ CHAURASIA PATNA, 11 MAY The global pandemic has failed to “sensitise” the society. Even as the vicious virus continues to reel humanity, people have been caught involved in the black-marketing of oxygen cylinders, medicines and even sexually harassing family members of Covid victims. What, however, shocked everyone was the ordeal of a woman while she was trying to get treatment for her sick software engineer husband from one hospital to another in the state. In the video which has now gone viral on social media, the woman who finally lost her husband narrated her harrowing tale of how the hospital staffs-from ward boys and compounders to even doctors-mocked her misery and allegedly sexually harassed her. On 16 April, she admitted her husband, a software engineer in Noida, to a private hospital in Bhagalpur when his chest CT scan showed 60 per cent lung infection. He had contracted Covid-19 when he came to visit a relative in the town. “My husband was lying on a dirty bed for three hours but none came to change the bedsheet. Instead, the ward boy pulled my dupatta (scarf ) and touched my waist promising to help me,” she said. “My husband kept on watching all these lying helplessly on the bed. I too didn’t react since my only concern was his treatment,” she narrated, breaking down before the camera. Eventually, she shifted her husband to the local medical college and hospital in Bhagalpur after his condition didn’t improve. According to her, at this hospital too authorities were indifferent to the patient’s condition. “While nurses misbehaved with the patients’ attendants, doctors were rather busy watching movies on their mobiles,” she alleged. Again, she shifted her husband to another private hospital in Patna but encountered the same apathy. “A doctor at the hospital often rubbed his CMYK hips against me but I didn’t react. I would have hit him with my slippers if my husband was not admitted at the hospital. But now that he is no more, I have decided to fight against such vultures,” she said. Taking the matter seriously, Bhagalpur SP Natashs Gudia has formed a three-member team to probe the incident. This, sadly, is not the end of the story. The authorities have arrested a gang of nine who had charged Rs 1.10 lakh for providing an oxygen cylinder to the relative of an NRI. The NRI’s relative had contracted Covid and urgently required oxygen cylinder but when he contacted a local youth, a hefty sum was demanded. The NRI who stays in the US transferred the amount to the man’s bank account but later he reported the matter with the Economic Offences Unit. Police have also arrested an ambulance owner who had charged Rs 9,000 against Rs1,700 fixed by the government for transporting a patient from Patna to Bihta town, a dis- tance of mere 40 km. A case has also been registered against Buddha Hospital, a private healthcare facility in Patna, for changing Rs 50,000 for a day’s treatment against Rs 18,000 fixed by the government and also collecting Remdesivir injection from district administration after his release from the hospital. As such, for many hospitals the catastrophe is “opportunity”. The general complaints are that private hospitals have been fleecing victims over treatment.
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