TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 08 JUNE 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR OLI JOINS HANDS WITH JANATA PARTY TO STRENGTHEN GRIP US LAWMAKERS PUSH BIDEN FOR MORE VACCINES TO INDIA P10 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Strong surface winds during the day. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 41 and 27 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 81% P9 Min: 30% Min: 26.1°C (-2) SUN SETS 19:18 hrs MOON SETS 17:32 hrs THUMBNAILS Centre to give free vax to states for 18+ group Govt to shoulder all responsibilities from procuring jabs to providing states OPPOSITION’S FLIP FLOPS From 21 June in all the states everyone above 18 years of age would be provided free vaccination The PM said even as many states had initiated the unlocking process it was important that people continued to strictly follow all the Covid protocols Garib Kalyan Ann scheme, a scheme to India launched the world’s largest vaccine drive on 16 January. But even before that Opposition parties led by Congress party began efforts to spread vaccine hesitancy, confuse and mislead the public on vaccination STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 7 JUNE Central team visits a cyclone Yaas-hit area at Gosaba in South 24 Parganas on Monday. IANS 50 killed as passenger trains collide in Pakistan: Two passenger trains collided in Pakistan's southern Sindh Province early Monday morning, killing at least 50 people and injuring 70 others, prompting authorities to call in the Army and paramilitary forces for rescue operations. The accident occurred when the Millat Express train from Karachi to Sargodha derailed and fell on the opposite track and collided with Sir Syed Express headed from Rawalpindi to Karachi. (P9) IMA writes to PM Modi: In the wake of incidents of assault on doctors by relatives of patients, the Indian Medical Association on Monday sought PM Narendra Modi's intervention in ensuring “optimum milieu” for medical professionals so that they can work without fear. Maldives foreign minister elected UNGA chief: Maldives foreign minister Abdulla Shahid has been elected as the president of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that will start in September. Abdulla Shahid received 143 votes during the election. The president of UNGA needs 97 votes in the 193-member strong assembly. Centre buys time on scheme for Covid-hit children NEW DELHI, 7 JUNE The Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday that it needed some more time to apprise the court of the modalities on the recently launched ‘PM-CARES for Children’ scheme for kids orphaned by Covid-19. The National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said West Bengal and Delhi have not provided latest data on the number of children who have lost their parents due to Covid. A bench of Justices L N Rao and Aniruddha Bose was informed by the Centre, that they are in consultation with states and ministries to work out the modalities of the PM-CARES for Children PTI scheme. I n a broadcast to nation, the ninth one since the outbreak of Covid -19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said from 21 June onwards the Central government would take up the entire responsibility of procuring vaccines and providing the same free of cost to all the states for vaccinating all citizens in the 18 and above age categories in the country. Modi said the Central government will purchase 75 per cent of doses and arrange for their supply to state governments free of cost. He clarified that earlier a part of the responsibility of about 25 per cent was delegated to the state government after they had insisted on the same. He however said that by restoring the previous status quo all responsibilities for the vaccination had since been restored back to the central government. The Prime Minister said in the coming two weeks provide free food grains covering about 80 crore of the population, had been extended up to November this year the Central government in tandem with the states would hammer out the modalities of vaccination. He said on 21 June in all the states everyone above 18 years of age would be provided free vaccination. ‘Those who want to get the jab privately can do so as 25 per cent of the vaccines will be set aside for such people. The centre will purchase 75 per cent of the vaccines and give it free to states,’ Modi said. The Prime Minister cautioned people against rumour mongers engaged in spreading a canard against the Covid 19 vaccines in the country. He exhorted youths to create awareness about the benefits of vaccination. He said even as many states had initiated the unlocking process it was important that people continued to strictly follow all the Covid protocols. He asserted the country would come victorious in the battle against coronavirus. Modi said the government’s Garib Kalyan Ann scheme, a scheme to provide free food grains cov- Be it discrediting vaccines, spreading rumours to fuel vaccine hesitancy, frequently changing position on vaccine distribution process, deliberately asking for vaccine to be 'opened up for all' despite knowing the government was following a scientific order of priority, Opposition party leaders have done everything to harm India’s vaccination drive. KEY ISSUES 1.Demands for decentralization and U-turn 2. Ask where vaccines are, then waste them, ask govt to stop exports, then ask why exports were stopped 3.Announce free vaccines, later ask Modi to fulfil their empty promise 4. Demands to open up Vaccination for All Adults and claim shortage later 5. Creating vaccine hesitancy In letter to Prime Minister Modi written on the 9th of April, Rahul Gandhi asked for state governments to be given a greater say in vaccine procurement and distribution. A month later, however, he reversed the position in his tweet. RAHUL GANDHI ering about 80 crore of the population, had been extended up to November this year. The Prime Minister said contrary to the prevailing perception among a section of people the vaccination in India was among the fastest in the world. He expressed his sympathy to the families of people who had lost their loved ones to the second wave of the Covid 19. He said the country’s capaci- In the month of March, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal demanded decentralization of the vaccination process wanting greater control on the who to vaccinate. In May, he did a U-turn wanting the centre to step in again. KOLKATA, 7 JUNE West Bengal government today cancelled the Madhyamik and Higher Secondary examinations in view of Covid pandemic. The decision has been taken after seeking opinion from stake holders and the expert committee. “Majority of the public and students as well as the expert committee are not in favour of conducting the board exams.We have received 34,000 emails and 79 per cent of them are in favour of scrapping the Madhyamik exams while 83 per cent are against the Higher Secondary exams, said chief minister Mamata Banerjee while announcing the cancellation of the classes 10 and 12 board examinations at Nabanna on Monday. P12 One lakh new Covid cases, lowest spike since 5 April SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 7 JUNE India on Monday logged 1,00,636 new Covid infections in 24 hours, which were 13,824 less than the day before. It is also the lowest number of cases since 5 April when the country logged 96,982 new cases. In the past 24-hour, 2,427 more people succumbed to the pandemic, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry said. On Sunday , India had reported 1,14,460 cases, lowest spike since 6 April. India’s overall tally of Covid-19 cases now stands at 2,89,09,975 with 14,01,609 active cases and 3,49,186 deaths so far. Over the last few days, India’s fresh Covid cases have seen downward trend, maintaining over one lakh infections every 24 hours, while the deaths have also remained below the 3,000 mark. A total of 1,74,399 people have been discharged in the last 24 hours, taking the total discharge to 2,71,59,180 till date. ‘Third wave can be prevented’ NITI Aayog’s Member (Health) V K Paul on Monday hoped that the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic can be prevented by following appropriate norms. Dr Paul’s remarks came while presenting a brief snapshot of the vaccination status, preparedness for paediatric Covid-19 care, and the way forward at the 28th meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on Covid. He stressed that India is fully prepared but caution remains the key as lockdowns are lifted. SNS 2,89,09,975 Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said a total of 28,252 cases of mucormycosis have been reported in India so far from 28 states in which 86 per cent have a history of Covid-19 infections and 62.3 per cent of diabetes. Delhi’s positivity rate dips to 0.36 pc: Meanwhile, Delhi today reported 231 new coronavirus infections — the lowest since 2 March — and 36 Covid-linked deaths with the positivity rate dipping to 0.36 per cent, according to the Delhi government’s latest health bulletin. (SEE P2) 14,01,609 1,00,636 1,74,399 3,49,186 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. MONDAY 07 JUNE 2021 WAITING FOR THEIR TURN ARVIND KEJRIWAL ty building in vaccination and Covid related health infrastructure had witnessed impressive growth in the last one year. Modi also admitted that shortage of oxygen in the wake of the second wave had been unprecedented in the medical history of India. He said India was in the process of developing a nasal vaccine and once it is available it would help ramp up vaccination further in the country. Students studying abroad wait for their turn to get vaccinated against Covid-19 at a IANS special vaccinantion centre, in Hyderabad on Monday. Covaxin trials: AIIMS Delhi starts screening of children Mumbai unlocks: Eateries, gyms reopen PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Restaurants, gyms, salons, public grounds and other commercial establishments reopened after nearly two months on Monday in Mumbai, which falls in level-3 of the Maharashtra governments five-level ‘unlock plan’. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) appealed to citizens not to let their guard down and follow all precautions to check the spread of Covid-19. Buses of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), the city civic body’s transport wing, were allowed to ferry passengers with 100 per cent seating capacity, though local trains were restricted for those working in medical and essential NEW DELHI, 7 JUNE The screening of children for trial of Covaxin, India’s first indigenously developed Covid19 vaccine, among those aged between 2 and 18 started at the AIIMS here on Monday. The trial on children has already started at AIIMS Patna to see if the Bharat Biotech jab is suitable for children. Participants would be given the vaccine after their screening report comes. The trial is to be conducted on 525 healthy volunteers. In the trial, the vaccine will be given by intramuscular route in two doses at day 0 and day 28. “The screening of children for conducting trial of Covaxin has started. Participants would be given the vaccine after their screening reports come,” Dr Sanjay Rai, Professor at the Centre for Community Medicine at AIIMS, said. India’s drug regulator had granted permission for conducting the phase 2/3 clinical trial of Covaxin in the age group 2 to 18 years on May 12 Covaxin is being used on adults in India's ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive. The government last week cautioned that even though Covid-19 has not taken a serious shape among children till now, its impact can increase among them if there is a change in virus behaviour or epidemiology dynamics, and said preparations are being strengthened to deal with any such situation. A national expert group has been formed to review Covid19 infections in children and approach the pandemic in a renewed way to strengthen the nation's preparedness, NITI Aayog Member (Health) V K Paul had said at a press conference. The group has examined signs which were not available four-five months before, he said. It has also considered available data, clinical profile, the country’s experience, disease dynamics, nature of the virus and the pandemic and has come up with guidelines, which will be publicly released soon. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA WHAT LIES AHEAD The evaluation methods for Higher Secondary and Madhyamik students will be finalised by the two boards after consultation with experts and the state education department within seven days The evaluation process has to be decided keeping the The state government on Sunday had all-India exams in mind. Students sought public opinion should not face problem in appearon the issue via email. ing at the competitive exams The government by or pursuing higher studies. Monday had received Infact the evaluation 34,000 emails and 79 per process will be such that it cent of them were in would be benefifavour of scrapping the Madhyamik exams cial for the stuwhile 83 per cent were dents. against the Higher Secondary exams CM MAMATA BANERJEE Miss Banerjee said that the evaluation methods for Higher Secondary and Madhyamik students will be finalised by the two boards after consultation with experts and the state education department within seven days. “The evaluation process has to be decided keeping the all-India exams in mind. Students should not face prob- lem in appearing at the competitive exams or pursuing higher studies. Infact the evaluation process will be such that it would be beneficial for the students,” she said. The state government on Sunday had sought public opinion on the issue via email. On 3 June, the state government had formed an expert committee comprising the head of the secondary board, the chief of state child rights protection panel, a doctor and academics to check the feasibility of conducting West Bengal board exams amidst the Covid pandemic. The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education conducts the Madhyamik which was scheduled to be held in the second week of August as Delhi lifts curbs MUMBAI, 7 JUNE Bengal cancels classes X, XII board exams STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE BEFORE THE FINAL, INDIANS RELISH RIVALS’ PLAUDITS P5 PM’S SPEECH TEMPERATURE Max: 40.3°C (0) SUN RISES 05:23 hrs MOON RISES 04:21 hrs ‘DEFENCE REFORMS TO MAKE INDIA A GLOBAL POWERHOUSE’ announced by Miss Banerjee and Higher Secondary exams, conducted by the West Bangal Council of Higher Secondary Education, was slated to be held in the last week of July. Over 12 lakh students are set to appear for Madhyamik and 8.5 lakh for Higher Secondary examinations this year. Most of the state boards including both the Central boards, CISCE and CBSE, have cancelled the Class 12 exams and have decided to assess students based on the internal marks. CBSE: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Monday asked schools to conduct their pending class 12 practicals and internal assessments only in online mode, and submit marks by 28 June. People workout at a gym in Thane after unlocking process of Covid lockdown began in a phased manner. AGENCIES services. The BMC in a tweet said, “Mumbai, a gentle reminder! While we are getting back on track with the phase-wise opening, we can't go off the rails on our common main goal - a Covid free Mumbai. Let's reopen, but with care. Follow all precautions!” Air turbulence injures three in Kolkata-bound Vistara flight Jolted by the devastating second wave of the Covid19 pandemic, the national capital moved slowly towards normal life as shops in markets and malls reopened on odd-even basis on Monday after nearly two months. Kejriwal announced to start mass vaccination campaign ~ Jahan Vote, Wahan Vaccination, adding that vaccination centres to be shifted to polling booths in each constituency of Delhi. SNS See Page 2 The Maharashtra government has announced a fivelevel plan to relax the coronavirus-induced restrictions in the state, based on the weekly positivity rate and the occupancy of oxygen beds. Easing of curbs under level-3 category are applicable for places where the positivity rate is five per cent to 10 per cent and the oxygen bed occupancy is more than 40 per cent. The BMC on Sunday issued detailed guidelines on the easing of restrictions. Mumbai is at the level-3 with a positivity rate of 5.56 per cent and oxygen bed occupancy rate of 32.51 per cent for the May 28-June 3 week.As per the government's order, essential shops in Mumbai will remain open on all seven days in a week till 4 pm, but non-essential shops will function only on weekdays till 4 pm, BMC officials said. Earlier, both essential and non-essential shops were allowed to remain open till 2 pm. Fire breaks out in Pune sanitiser plant; 17 dead INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 7 JUNE PUNE, 7 JUNE A Kolkata bound Vistara flight UK 775 that was flying in from Mumbai experienced air turbulence that has left three passengers critically injured but the flight landed safely at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International airport. The airport spokesperson said that the three critically injured persons have been shifted to Charnock Hospital by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). Other passengers were sent to their destinations after giving first aid. The flight had a total of 123 passengers on board and the air turbulence occurred at 25 nautical miles from SNS Kolkata. At least 17 persons, mostly women, were killed in a major fire, followed by explosions, that erupted in a sanitiser manufacturing factory in Maharashtra’s Pune district on Monday afternoon, officials said. The blaze erupted around 3 p.m. in private chemical company, SVC Ltd, in the MIDC area of Pirangut village, and quickly spread within the enclosed premises, trapping many working there. While at least 17 persons perished in the blaze, around 10 other workers are feared trapped or missing in the incident, said an official of Pune Rural Police Control. Thick clouds of black-grey smoke could be seen billowing out of the factory premises alarming the locals. Fire Brigade teams from MIDC, Mulshi, disaster rescue teams and others rushed to the spot to battle the conflagration. Pune Collector Rajesh Deshmukh, SP Abhivan Deshmukh and other officials also rushed to the site to supervise the relief operations. A company official said that while the blaze was brought under control by late evening, questions remained on how the fire could have started. Tehsildar Abhay Chauhan had earlier said that 11 bodies were recovered as rescue operations were going on in full swing. Another six bodies were found later.
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