CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 13 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 IT’S TIME FOR EL SUPREMO TO GO INDIA OPENED UP PREMATURELY: DR FAUCI P10 RAINFALL: 0.3 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Min. 54% Max: 33.0°C (-2) Min: 22.5°C (-4) SUN RISES SUN SETS 04:57 hrs 18:08 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 05:52 hrs 19:33 hrs Next moon quarter on 20 May THUMBNAILS A Palestinian man passes by the remains of a building destroyed by Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City on Wednesday. AGENCIES (P10) Justice Chandrachud tests positive: Supreme Court judge Justice D Y Chandrachud has tested positive for Covid-19, the apex court sources said on Wednesday. The top court meanwhile issued a notice which said the scheduled hearing on Thursday before a three-judge bench headed by Justice Chandrachud in the suo motu case for ensuring distribution of essential supplies and services during the Covid-19 pandemic stands deferred as one of the judges of the bench had Covid. SC denies Navlakha bail plea: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea of activist Gautam Navlakha, seeking bail in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case of Bhima Koregaon in Maharashtra. A bench of justices UU Lalit and K M Joseph dismissed the appeal of Navlakha against the Bombay High Court order denying him bail in the case. On March 26, the top court had reserved its verdict on a plea of Navlakha against the Bombay High Court order. 103-year-old Gandhian back home after beating Covid Eminent Gandhian and freedom fighter H S Doreswamy has won the Covid-19 battle at the ripe old age of 103 and is returning home. “I developed symptoms five days ago but there were no complications as such. Yet, I decided to get admitted because I have respiratory problems. Now, I am getting discharged,” the centenarian told PTI on Wednesday. According to him, he got admitted to Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research (SJICSR), a government-owned autonomous hospital. Sources close to him said the director of the Jayadeva Institute Dr C N Manjunath, cardiologist and the son-in-law of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, personally monitored the treatment for Doreswamy. Born on April 10, 1918, Harohalli Srinivasaiah Doreswamy plunged into the freedom struggle by taking part in the Quit India movement and was jailed for 14 months from 1943 to 1944. The Gandhian had also participated in the Mysuru Chalo movement to compel the Mysuru Maharaja to accede to the Indian State post-independence. A graduate of the Central College, Bengaluru, he was a teacher before he tried his PTI hand at journalism. P12 Mamata writes to PM, offers land to set up Covid vaccine plants STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Vax drive stumbles due to shortages Not ‘Indian’ variant: Govt NEW DELHI/MUMBAI, MAY 12 s states face an acute shortage of COVID19 vaccines, Maharashtra decided on Wednesday to suspend its drive to vaccinate people in the age group of 18 to 44 years while Delhi also temporarily shut Covaxin administering centres for them as it has run out of stock. The Tamil Nadu government was the latest to announce global tenders for procurement of Covd-19 vaccines, while the Rajasthan government was also mulling a similar step. Uttarakhand officials said the state will import 20 lakh doses of Sputnik vaccine over the next two months. States like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Delhi have already opted for global tenders to meet their needs. While the vaccination drive appeared to be faltering in several states, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan urged them to first focus more on second dose vaccinations. He stressed that India is the fastest country globally to reach the landmark of administering 17 crore doses in 114 days. The minister pointed out that of this, while 13.66 crore people have been administered the first dose, the second dose has been administered to only to 3.86 crore, the ministry said. “Hence, it is very important that we first focus more on second dose vaccinations. States should not lose sight of those who are to get A NEW DELHI, 12 MAY At New Delhi’s LNJP hospital, on Wednesday. SUBRATA DUTTA the second dose of the Covid vaccine. “Seventy per cent ought to be allocated to meet the requirement of the second dose, while 30 percent ought to be reserved for the first dose,” he was quoted as saying in a statement. Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said SII has informed it that it would be able to provide 1.5 crore Covishield vaccines to the state only May 20 onwards. “There is no sufficient supply of vaccine vials by the Centre for inoculation of above-45 age group people. Hence, the state cabinet decided to divert the stock, purchased for the 18-44 age group, for the above-45 age group. Therefore, we are suspending the inoculation of the 18-44 age group for some period,” Tope said. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said Bharat Biotech has informed the Delhi government that it cannot provide “additional” Covaxin doses to the national capital. The stock of Covaxin in Delhi has finished and as a result around 100 vaccination centres set up in 17 schools have been closed, he said. The national capital received 2.67 lakh more doses of Covishield on Tuesday evening and there are 4.18 lakh Covishield doses left for people in the 18-44 age group which can last up to nine days, AAP leader Atishi said. “The Covaxin manufacturer has in a letter said that it cannot provide Delhi government vaccines due to unavailability, under the instruction of concerned government official. It means that the central government is controlling the supply of the vaccine,” Sisodia said. However, Joint Secretary in the Union health ministry Lav Agarwal on Tuesday denied that the Centre had any role to play in the purchase of vaccines by the states. Bharat Biotech Joint Managing Director Suchitra Ella said the company has already dispatched Covaxin lots to 18 states on May 10 and said it was disheartening to listen to some states complaining about Bharat Biotech's intentions regarding the supply of Covid vaccine. “50 of our employees are off work due to covid, yet we continue to work under pandemic lockdowns 24x7 for U,” she said in a tweet. Taking umbrage at the B.1.617 mutant of the novel coronavirus being termed an “Indian variant”, the Union health ministry said the WHO has not used the word “Indian” for this strain in its document. The ministry dismissed as “without any basis and unfounded” media reports that have used the term “Indian variant” for the B.1.617 mutant strain, which the WHO recently said was a “variant of global concern”. The WHO also said it does not identify viruses or variants with names of countries they are first reportPTI ed from. The Tamil Nadu government said an allocation of about 13 lakh vaccine doses to the state is not sufficient to cover all those in the 18-45 age group. Hence, “the government has decided to go in for global bids to procure vaccines,” an official. The Rajasthan government is exploring the possibility of purchasing Covid19 vaccines from other countries through global tenders, Health Minister Raghu Sharma said. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, however, said it would have been better if the central government had procured the vaccines by floating global tenders and distributing them to states. Active Covid case count dips for 2nd day; India sees 4,205 deaths Uttarakhand govt to distribute Ivermectin to all residents SNS & PTI DEHRADUN, 12 MAY NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, 12 MAY BENGALURU, 12 MAY P9 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Rain or Thundershower with strong gusty winds very likely. Temperature to be in the range of 33-24 degrees Celsius. TEMPERATURE P7 Maha to halt vaccination for 18-44 age group; Delhi shuts Covaxin centres WEATHER Max. 84% THE HAPPY HALF OF SOCCER’S DIVIDED CITY HARDLINER AGAIN SEEKS TO BE IRAN’S PRESIDENT India's total Covid-19 active cases dipped to 37,04,099 with a net decline of 11,122 cases in a span of 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday. This is the second consecutive day that active cases have dipped, the ministry said. A total of 4,205 deaths were also reported in a span of 24 hours, the highest daily fatalities figure so far, taking the Covid-linked death toll to 2,54,197. The active caseload now comprises 15.87 per cent of the country's total infections. Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Haryana, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh cumulatively account for 82.51 per cent of India's total active cases, the ministry said. The National Mortality Rate currently stands at 1.09 per cent, the ministry said. The cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has exceeded 17.52 crore, the ministry said. West Bengal registered 20,377 fresh Covid cases and 135 deaths today. Kolkata recorded 3,989 cases and 44 deaths while North 24 Parganas saw 4,091 fresh cases and 27 deaths in the last 24 hours. 2,33,40,938 37,04,099 3,48,421 3,55,338 2,54,197 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. WEDNESDAY 12 MAY 2021 The Uttarakhand government will be distributing Ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug, among the residents of the state as a preventive medicine against the spread of Covid-19, a senior official said. The announcement comes after Goa and Karnataka issued similar directions. The decision was taken on the recommendation of the state-level clinical technical committee, an order issued by Chief Secretary Om Prakash to all district magistrates said. The panel has recommended the Ivermectin tablet as mass chemoprophylaxis to effectively control the surge of Covid-19 infection apart from the vaccination drive, the order said. The move comes even as the World Health Organisation has warned against the use of Ivermectin PTI to treat Covid-19. KOLKATA, 12 MAY West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today yet again wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over inadequate supply of vaccines and stated that her government is ready to provide land and all the required support for manufacturing Covid vaccines. "We, in West Bengal, are ready to provide land and support for any manufacturing/franchisee operation for authentic vaccine manufacturing," she wrote. In her letter, Miss Banerjee said the vaccine is the real antidote to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic. “The production of vaccines in the country is extremely inadequate and insignificant in the context of the massive needs of the people at large. About 10 crore people in West Bengal and 140 crore people in the country need vaccination, here and now, but The production of vaccines in the country is extremely inadequate and insignificant in the context of the massive needs of the people at large. MAMATA BANERJEE only a microscopic percentage has been covered,” said Miss Banerjee. She said that globally there are many manufacturers and urged Mr Modi to identify reputed and authentic manufacturers with the help of scientists and experts.“It is possible for us in this country to speedily import vaccines from those ends across the different parts of the world," she added. "Liberal, proactive and discerning import of vaccination is the paramount need today," the chief min- Serum, Bharat Biotech to ramp up vax output PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 12 MAY Amidst multiple states reporting a shortage of Covid-19 vaccine, Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech have submitted to the Centre their production plan for the next four months, informing they can ramp it up to 10 crore and 7.8 crore doses respectively by August, official sources said. The sources said the Union Health Ministry and the office of Drugs Controller General of India had sought from both the firms their production plan for June, July, August and September. The Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech's indigenously developed Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, being manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India, are currently being used in India's inoculation drive against coronavirus. Dr V Krishna Mohan, the Whole-time Director of Bharat Biotech, has conveyed to the government that the production of Covaxin would be raised to 3.32 crore in July, and to 7.82 crore in Bharat Biotech has said Covaxin production would be raised to 3.32 crore in July and to 7.82 crore in August. Serum Institute has said Covishield production would be ramped up to 10 crore doses in August. August which will be maintained in September too. Prakash Kumar Singh, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at Serum Institute of India, informed the government that Covishield production would be ramped up to 10 crore doses in August and maintained at that level in September. “We confirm that the quantities mentioned will be fulfilled under all circumstances... the production during June and July may also increase by some quantity,” Singh said in a letter to the health ministry. ister added. She said world players could also be encouraged to open up franchise operations in India. "I urge you to embark upon this endeavour without any further delay,” Miss Banerjee wrote. Over the last few days, Miss Banerjee wrote to Mr Modi requesting free vaccination for all, adequate supply of vaccines, oxygen and essential drugs like Remdesivir and Tocilizumab and to exempt Covidrelated life-saving drugs and equipment from GST and customs duty to eliminate supply constraints. She had also slammed the Centre over Covid management and had said, "I haven't got any reply till now from Mr Modi over the issue of free vaccination. Why are they not allotting Rs 30,000 crores for vaccines when they are making new Parliament and statues, spending Rs 20,000 crores?" Opp parties call for free mass vaccination NEW DELHI, 12 MAY The Opposition parties today asked the government to take immediate steps to control the Covid19 pandemic which has assumed “dimensions of a human catastrophe” in the country. In a joint letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 12 major Opposition parties including the Congress, DMK, Trinamul Congress and the CPI-M asked him to begin a free, universal mass vaccination campaign across the country immediately, and a suspension of the CentralVista project to aid the fight against the pandemic. They also demanded providing foodgrains to the needy, and giving Rs 6,000 monthly to the unemployed. The leaders have said the pandemic has assumed unprecedented dimensions of a human catastrophe in the country, and that it was imperative for the government to undertake and implement these measures. “Unfortunately, your government has either ignored or refused all these suggestions. This only compounded the situation to reach such an apocalyptic SNS human tragedy.” Details on Page 5 Covid-19 pandemic was a preventable disaster: Int’l panel AGENCIES Covid-19 has been a terrible wake-up call. So now the worldneeds to wake up, and commit to clear targets, additional resources,new measures and strong leadership to prepare for the future.We have been warned. GENEVA, 12 MAY The catastrophic scale of the Covid-19 pandemic could have been prevented, an independent global panel concluded Wednesday, but a "toxic cocktail" of dithering and poor coordination meant the warning signs went unheeded. The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR) said a series of bad decisions meant Covid19 went on to kill at least 3.3 million people so far and devastate the global economy. Institutions "failed to protect people" and science-denying leaders eroded public trust in health interventions, the IPPPR said in its long-awaited final report. Early responses to the outbreak detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019 INDEPENDENT PANEL FOR PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE "lacked urgency", with February 2020 a costly "lost month" as countries failed to heed the alarm, said the panel. To tackle the current pandemic, it called on the richest countries to donate a billion vaccine doses to the poorest. And the panel also called on the world's wealthiest nations to fund new organisations dedicated to preparing for the next pandemic. The report was requested by World Health Organization (WHO) member states last May. The panel was jointly chaired by former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark and former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a 2011 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. The report, "Covid-19: Make it the Last Pandemic", argued that the global alarm system needed overhauling to prevent a similar catastrophe. "The situation we find ourselves in today could have been prevented," Sirleaf told CMYK reporters. "It is due to a myriad of failures, gaps and delays in preparedness and response." The report said the emergence of Covid-19 was characterised by a mixture of "some early and rapid action, but also by delay, hesitation, and denial. “Poor strategic choices, unwillingness to tackle inequalities and an uncoordinated system created a toxic cocktail which allowed the pandemic to turn into a catastrophic human crisis." The threat of a pandemic had been overlooked and countries were woefully unprepared to deal with one, the report found. The panel did not spare the WHO, saying it could have declared the situation a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) ~ its highest level of alarm ~ on January 22, 2020. Instead, it waited eight more days before doing so. Nevertheless, given countries' relative inaction, "we might still have ended up in the same place", said Clark. It was only in March after the WHO described it as a pandemic ~ a term that is not officially part of its alert system ~ that countries were jolted into action. As for the initial outbreak, "there were clearly delays in China ~ but there were delays everywhere," she added. Without the lag between the first identification inWuhan and the PHEIC declaration ~ and then the "lost month" of February 2020 ~ "we believe we wouldn't be looking at an accelerating pandemic, as we have for the last 15 or 16 months or so. As simple as that,” said Clark. The panel made several recommendations on how to address the current pandemic. Rich, well-vaccinated countries should provide the 92 poorest territories in the Covax scheme with at least one billion vaccine doses by September 1, and more than two billion by mid-2022, it said. The G7 industrialised nations should pay 60 percent of the $19 billion required to fund vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics via theWHO's Access to CovidTools Accelerator programme in 2021, it added. Fellow G20 nations and others should provide the rest. The WHO and the World Trade Organization should also get major vaccine-producing countries and manufacturers to agree voluntary licensing and technology transfers for Covid-19 vaccines, the panel said.
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