20042021-TTB-01.qxd 4/20/2021 12:20 AM Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.5 no.108 | 12 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 PAKISTAN OPENS TALKS WITH BANNED ISLAMIST PARTY WORLD /thetribunechd SENSEX PLUNGES 883 PTS AS COVID WOES RESURFACE BUSINESS VARDHAN: CONG FUELLED VAX HESITANCY BACK PAGE /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com tuesday | 20 april 2021 Stricter curbs in Vaccine for all above18 from May1 Punjab till Apr 30 Need to buy from open market | States, pvt hospitals to procure directly from makers Aditi Tandon Tribune News Service Tribune News Service THEATRES, GYMS SHUT Chandigarh, April 19 As Covid cases rise rapidly, the Punjab Government on Monday ordered stricter curbs, including extension of night curfew by an hour from 8 pm to 5 am and closure of bars, cinema halls, gyms, spas, coaching centres and sports complexes in the state from Tuesday till April 30. Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who chaired a Covid review meeting, directed the police department to strictly enforce the restrictions. The rates for RT-PCR and rapid antigen test (RAT) by private labs have been reduced to Rs 450 and Rs 300 (additional charges for home collection of samples) in a bid to promote increased testing. Gatherings of more than 20 persons, including for weddings and cremations, have been banned across the state. A prior approval from the district administration will be needed for all gatherings of more than 10 persons, except for cremation. All weekly markets have also been ordered to remain closed. Those having attended any large gathering would have to be mandatorily home-quarantined for five days and tested IN BRIEF Composer Shravan tests +ve, critical MUMBAI: Shravan Kumar Rathod of the popular composer duo Nadeem-Shravan is critically ill and in hospital. He had recently tested Covid-positive. Shravan reportedly has co-morbidities. He is currently in Raheja Hospital, Mahim, Mumbai. — IANS Britain places India on travel ‘red list’ LONDON: Britain has added India to its travel “red list”, which bans all travel from the country and makes a 10-day hotel quarantine must for UK residents. The Health Secretary said, “Anyone who is not a UK or Irish citizen... cannot enter the UK if they have been in India in the last 10 days.” — PTI ■ Night curfew extended by an hour from 8 pm to 5 am ■ Bars, cinemas, gyms, spas, coaching centres, sports complexes shut till April 30 ■ Restaurants, hotels open for takeaway and home-delivery from Monday to Saturday ■ Gatherings of more than 20, including in weddings and cremations, banned ■ Those flying into Punjab need negative RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours ■ Number of passengers in buses, taxis and autos cut to 50 per cent of capacity ■ Recruitment test for patwaris put off; MBBS, BAMS, nursing examination to be held online LOCKDOWN IN MOHALI ON RAM NAVAMI as per protocol, said officials. Health Secretary Hussan Lal said by May 5, the state was projected to receive 6,000 cases a day if urgent steps were not taken in high-burden Ludhiana, Mohali, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Patiala districts. The CM directed that RAT booths be set up at bus stands and railway stations to screen passengers. China talks wasteful:Rahul New Delhi, April 19 Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today accused the Centre of jeopardising India’s national security, and termed its talks with China as “wasteful”. “Chinese occupation of Gogra-Hot Springs and Depsang plains is a threat to India’s strategic interests, including the DBO airstrip,” he said on Twitter. “National security jeopardised by GOI’s wasteful talks. Our nation deserves better,” he said. His remarks come after reports that China has refused to pull back its troops SHIMLA: Due to surge in Covid cases, the Himachal Pradesh Government has decided to keep all educational institutions, schools, colleges and universities, closed till May 1. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by CM Jai Ram Thakur here on Monday. INSIDE IAF Chief Bhadauria leaves for France NEW DELHI:Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Monday left for France. “The visit of Chief of Air Staff from April 19 to 23 will enhance potential avenues for strengthening interaction between the two air forces,” the Indian Air Force said. — PTI Dhindsa, Brahmpura to float new party CHANDIGARH: SAD (Democratic) chief Sukhdev Dhindsa and SAD (Taksali) chief Jathedar Ranjit Brahmpura on Monday announced dissolution of their parties to form a new party in the first week of May. INSIDE SECURITY JEOPARDISED National security massively jeopardised by GOI’s wasteful talks. Our nation deserves better. ❝ Rahul Gandhi, CONG from Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang in eastern Ladakh. The Congress on Sunday asked the Centre to explain why disengagement talks with China had “not yielded results” at other friction points in eastern Ladakh. — PTI MANMOHAN TESTS +VE, ADMITTED TO AIIMS RUSHING HOME: Migrants rush to board buses for their villages after lockdown announcement in Delhi. PTI Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (88),who tested positive for Covid-19, was admitted to AIIMS with mild fever on Monday. The Congress veteran and his wife had taken the first shot of the vaccine at AIIMS on March 4 and the second dose on April 3. Medical experts said antibodies to the virus normally develop two weeks after the second dose. Sources said Singh was stable and his symptoms were mild. He is admitted to the Trauma Centre. 6-day Delhi lockdown triggers exodus Tribune News Service New Delhi, April 19 As health systems reached breaking point, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a six-day lockdown in the national capital saying the government could not have people dying on the roads and hospital corridors. The lockdown triggered an exodus of migrants. Thousands gathered at Anand Vihar ISBT here to catch a ESSENTIAL SERVICES EXEMPTED ■ All essential services will contin- of private doctors and nurses ue to run without any restriction ■ No curbs on movement of pregnant women and patients ■ All modes of transportation— buses, metro, autos, taxis and others—can run as before ■ No restrictions on the services ■ Passengers going to airport or railway station exempted, provided they produce ticket ■ No pass required for interstate and intra-state movement of essential and nonessential goods SUMMER VACATION IN SCHOOLS ADVANCED Delhi Government on Monday advanced summer vacation in all schools. The vacation, which was to start from May 11 till June 30, has been rescheduled from April 20 to June 9. bus back home, despite Kejriwal appealing them not to rush back home, assuring the lockdown would not be extended. A senior police officer said maximum force had been deployed at the ISBT. Mukesh Pratap, who works at a cloth factory and a native of UP's Bareilly, said he wanted to return home. “Lockdown will definitely affect our livelihood, so it is better for us to be with our families at home,” he said. No proof young more vulnerable: ICMR Aditi Tandon 70% of the patients above the age of 40 Tribune News Service New Delhi, April 19 The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) today shared data from hospitalised Covid patients during the first and the second waves of the pandemic to show that there was no evidence of the younger people being at greater risk today than before. The council also said the proportion of deaths among those admitted was the same in 2021 as in 2020. A family waits to be tested at a Delhi hospital on Monday. PTI More than 70 per cent of the hospitalised Covid patients in both waves have been over 40-year-old, show data from 9,485 patients— 6,642 between September and November 2020 and 1,405 between March and April 2021, collected from 40 hospitals across India. “There is no overarching extra risk to the youth of becoming Covid-positive in the current wave. There is no shift in the age prevalence of Covid in India and the old continue to be more vulnerable,” said Member Health NITI Aayog VK Paul, chairman of the National Expert Group on vaccination. The ICMR analysis, however, shows many more patients are in need of oxygen today than in 2020, although the proportion of those who died is the same— 9.6 and 9.7 through the peaks of two years. Johnson’s India visit off, again New Delhi, April 19 UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has cancelled his visit to India for the second time this year. The cancellation comes in the wake of Delhi’s preoccupation with the surge in Covid cases. Earlier, Johnson had to cancel his January 26 visit because Covid cases had spiked alarmingly in the UK at that time. — TNS Curtail election schedule: Didi Chakulia (WB), April 19 West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee today urged the Election Commission to reconsider its decision to stick to the original poll schedule, as she stressed that wrapping up the last three phases of poll on a single day or at the most two days would check the spread of Covid to some extent. — PTI HC: Lockdown in 5 UP cities Prayagraj, April 19 The Allahabad High Court today ordered a complete lockdown in five cities in Uttar Pradesh till April 26. The cities are Lucknow, Prayagraj, Kanpur, Varanasi and Gorakhpur. Responding to a public interest litigation (PIL), the Bench, comprising Justice Siddhartha Verma and Justice Ajit Kumar, directed the state government to strictly enforce the curbs. — IANS REMDESIVIR ROW Before quitting, ex-IG Eye on elections, HP seeks early Sena sees plot to disturb flagged plan to submit hearing in SC against NGT order Mahalaw& healthorder challan against Badals Pratibha Chauhan HP schools to remain closed till May 1 New Delhi, April 19 All Indian adults will be able to access Covid vaccinations from the open market starting May 1 with the government on Monday announcing a liberalised inoculation policy to fight a punishing second wave that saw record 2,73,810 cases and 1,619 deaths today. Under the new plan, vaccine makers will need to reserve only 50 per cent of their doses for the Union Government from May 1 and can offer the rest to states and the open market. All imported vaccines will be available in the open market for anyone to buy. The manufacturers would need to declare the prices for the 50 per cent stock (meant for other than Union Government sources) before May 1 to enable states, hospitals and private establishments to procure it based on transparent pricing declarations. The Liberalised and Accelerated Phase-3 Strategy of the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme was finalised today at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said that by April 30, the Continued on page 9 edit: delhi’s covid crisis 2,73,810 CASES IN 24 HRS | 1,50,61,919 TOTAL CASES | 1,619 MORE FATALITIES | 1,78,769 TOTAL DEATHS Tribune News Service Shimla, April 19 Keen to regularise the over 25,000 unauthorised constructions, the Himachal Government has sought an early hearing of the petition in the Supreme Court against the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order, seeking relaxation in the construction norms. Urban Development and Town and Country Planning (TCP) Minister Suresh Bhardwaj, who also happens to be the local Shimla MLA, MAJORITY OF ILLEGAL STRUCTURES IN SHIMLA ■ BJP govt wants over 25,000 unauthorised constructions, including 10K in state capital and suburbs, regularised ■ Several influential people, including politicians, bureaucrats and realtors, are owners of these illegal structures. has said a request has been made for an early hearing of the petition already filed in the Supreme Court. With Assembly elections due next year, the Jai Ram Thakur regime is keen that some solution to the longpending issue can be found at the earliest. The highest number of such structures (over 10,000) is located in Shimla town and its suburbs. Several influential people, including politicians, bureaucrats and realtors, are owners of these unauthorised structures. The state government has moved the SC against the November 2017 NGT order, which not only barred fresh constructions in the already Continued on page 9 Mumbai, April 19 The Shiv Sena today slammed BJP leaders Devendra Fadnavis and Pravin Darekar for objecting to Mumbai police’s grilling of a pharma firm’s top executive over alleged stocking of Remdesivir vials, and wondered if there was a conspiracy to disturb the law and health order. An editorial in the Sena mouthpiece “Saamana” accused the BJP of having a clear agenda that the Maharashtra Government should fail in handling the Covid situ- Go after hoarders, not political opponents, says Congress ation, and charged it with making efforts in that direction with the help of the Centre. It said the state government and the Opposition should be unanimous at least on the issue of saving lives of people and no one should seek political mileage out of pyres of people dying for want of the drug. — PTI SKM launches ‘Phir Delhi Chalo’ to bolster agitation Mukesh Tandon Tribune News Service Panipat, April 19 Aiming to strengthen its agitation against the central farm laws, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) has decided to launch ‘Phir Delhi Chalo’ movement from April 24, the day the farmers’ protest completes 150 days. The SKM, a joint forum of farm unions spearheading the protest, on Monday coined the new slogan to ramp up numbers at the protest sites on the Delhi border. A special convention had been planned on May 10 and farm leaders from across the country would participate in it, the forum said. Union leaders said the date for the scheduled “Parliament march” would be announced at an appropriate time. Ashish Mittal, SKM member, said as farmers were away Farm stir will complete 150 days on April 24 Women at a protest against the farm laws in Amritsar. VISHAL KUMAR for wheat harvesting, their focus would first be on calling them back. He said the BKU (Ugrahan) had called upon its members to start reaching Tikri border from April 21. Farm activist Yogendra Yadav alleged the government was hatching a conspiracy in the garb of anti-Covid measures to quell their stir. “They used the same trick last year. We will not let it happen,” he said. Jupinderjit Singh & Balwant Garg Tribune News Service Chandigarh, April 19 Days before the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed his investigation into Kotkapura police firing case, Kunwar Vijay Pratap (IG whose resignation was accepted today) had written to the Punjab Police and Home Department on the challan to be submitted against former CM Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Badal. The ex-IG, who resigned on April 14, in the letter dated March 15, also brought to the notice of the government through the Punjab DGP Director of Bureau of , Investigation, and the Additional Chief Secretary, Home, that the Akali leaders had threatened him. He also specifically said the government and the state legal department did not take any action on his complaint about receiving threats from the accused. He also sought protection for the witnesses in the case, citing the mysterious death RESIGNATION ACCEPTED Punjab Govt on Monday accepted the resignation of IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh. He had resigned on April 14, days after the HC quashed the investigation carried out by him in the Kotkapura case. SUKHBIR THREATENS DEFAMATION SUIT Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal has said he will file a defamation suit against the IG for making “false claims” in the letter. of one of them, Surjit Singh, in January 2020. The Tribune has a copy of the letter. The letter contains a detailed note about the entire investigation and legal points. None of the officers to whom the letter was addressed responded to The Tribune’s queries. Continued on page 9
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