24042021-TT-01.qxd 4/23/2021 11:42 PM Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.141 no.112 | 16 pages | ~6.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 haryana EU SEALS WORLD’S LARGEST DEAL WITH PFIZER WORLD /thetribunechd SBI SLASHES GDP GROWTH FORECAST TO 10.4% AMID RISING CURBS BUSINESS RUSSIA, FRANCE OFFER TO SEND OXYGEN TO INDIA BACK PAGE /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com saturday | 24 april 2021 25 patients dead at Delhi’s Ganga Ram amid oxygen crisis; hospitals move HC Tribune News Service INDIA’S ACTIVE CASELOAD New Delhi, April 23 Delhi’s oxygen emergency entered the fourth day today with 25 critical Covid patients dying at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital amid supply shortages and many facilities moving the High Court for help. Oxygen supplies far from stabilising, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met CMs of 11 high-burden states, including Delhi, and said the Indian Air Force and Railways had been deployed to reduce travel time for oxygen supplies. After Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal told the meeting that Haryana and UP had been obstructing Delhi’s oxygen supplies, the PM said every state must ensure no oxygen tanker was stopped or stranded. Later in the day, the MHA said it had written NEW FATALITIES 24,28,616 2,263 5 STATES MAHARASHTRA | CHHATTISGARH | UP | K’TAKA | KERALA IAF, Rlys deployed to ease oxygen supply, PM tells CMs of high-burden states | New evidence suggests Delhi surge directly related to UK variant: NCDC ZYDUS’ DRUG CLEARED FOR COVID TREATMENT EVEN SINGLE JAB CUTS INFECTIONS BY 65%: STUDY New Delhi: The Drug Controller General of India on Friday granted emergency use authorisation to Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadilla’s anti-viral Virafin for treatment of moderately ill Covid patients. TNS make up for 59.12% of the active cases London: A single dose of either Oxford or Pfizer vaccines, currently being administered in the UK, cut the Covid-19 infection rate by around 65 per cent, according to a new UK study. PTI CANADA BANS FLIGHTS FROM INDIA, PAK The Canadian government has banned all passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days, the longest such ban imposed by it. INDIA ON UK’S COVID ‘RED LIST’ TRAVEL BAN The UK’s ‘red list’ travel restrictions came in force for India on Friday, which bans entry for travellers from the country. PTI Relatives grieve the death of a family member due to Covid-19 at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi on Friday. MANAS RANJAN BHUI to all states/ UTs to provide adequate security and exclusive corridors to oxygen transporting vehicles. Though the PM today also met leading oxygen manufacturers, including Reliance’s Mukesh Ambani, NO OXYGEN AT MP HOSPITAL, 5 DIE 5 patients died after the stock of oxygen got over at a hospital in MP's Jabalpur urging them to boost supplies, the ground situation remained grim with India logging 3,32,730 daily cases in another world record. Delhi continued to remain the Continued on page 13 edit: gasping for oxygen Another tragedy, 14 die in hospital blaze Virar (Maha), April 23 Fourteen Covid-19 patients died after a fire broke out at the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Palghar district of Maharashtra on Friday, the police said. While 13 were charred to death in the ICU, one patient died while being shifted to another hospital, an official said. There were 83 patients in the hospital, 17 of them in the ICU, when the fire broke out on the second floor of the four-storeyed Vijay Vallabh Hospital shortly after 3 am. Relatives of the victims claimed the hospital employees were asleep when the blaze broke out and there was nobody to help the patients at the ICU. The tragedy comes two days after 24 Covid patients either on ventilator or oxygen support were suffocated to death when the oxygen supply stopped suddenly due to a malfunction in the MoD to procure 23 oxygen plants from Germany Maharashtra Minister Eknath Shinde at the blaze site in Virar on Friday. PTI main storage at a civic hospital in Nashik. A fire broke out in Mumbai’s Dreams Mall, which housed a Covid-designated hospital, in the intervening night of March 25-26. The fire, that raged for over 40 hours, claimed nine lives, including those of patients on ventilator support. — PTI PRICING UNFAIR For next 2 months, free Pb rules out lockdown VAXThe vaccination policy Leaving with satisfaction: ❝ for 18-plus is unfair towards CJI in his farewell speech addl foodgrain to 80 cr the states. There has to New Delhi, April 23 Amid the fresh Covid-19 outbreak in the country, the government has decided to allocate 5 kg per person per month free foodgrain to nearly 80 crore beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, for May and June. The allocation will be on the same pattern as under the “Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY)”. Under the special scheme, around 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries covered Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Householders (PHH) will be provided additional 5kg per person per month free foodgrain (rice/wheat), over and above their regular monthly entitlement. IN BRIEF Norwegian climber tests +ve on Mt Everest KATHMANDU: A Norwegian climber became the first to be tested positive for Covid-19 at Mount Everest base camp and was flown by helicopter to Kathmandu, where he has been hospitalised. — AP BJP promises free vaccine in Bengal NEW DELHI: The BJP on Friday promised free-of-cost Covid vaccine in West Bengal “as soon as it comes to power in the state”. The party had made a similar promise ahead of the Bihar poll last year. — TNS Area under summer crops up by 21.5% NEW DELHI: For the second successive year, the area under summer crop cultivation has increased in the country. The summer sowing is 21.5% higher than it was last year. — TNS ~26,000-CR SPEND ■ Around 80 crore beneficiar- ies will be provided additional 5kg per person per month free foodgrain (rice/wheat) in May and June ■ The additional allocation, over and above the regular monthly entitlement of beneficiaries, will cost Centre around ~26,000 cr Chandigarh, April 23 The Punjab Government has ruled out imposing lockdown in the state. Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, who is micro-managing the state’s Covid management strategy, said the state should soon see the second wave peak. “We are effectively dealing with the second, more viru- be parity in rates of the vaccine to be given to the states and the Centre. Capt Amarinder Singh, CHIEF MINISTER Double mutant not found in Pb: CSIR Aditi Tandon Tribune News Service The Centre would bear the full expenditure of over Rs 26,000 crore on account of cost of foodgrain, intrastate transportation etc. as part of the central assistance to states/UTs, officials said. — TNS lent wave of the pandemic. The recently imposed restrictions and increase in daily testing from 35,000 to 60,000 seem to be working. The case fatality rate is coming down. There is no reason to impose lockdown. Our emphasis is on strict compliance of the restrictions already imposed,” she said. — TNS New Delhi, April 23 In an encouraging development for the Covid vaccine plan, scientists at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have found that the Serum Institute’s Covishield works against the Says Covishield works against new strain double mutant, believed to be a potential factor behind the sudden surge. Rakesh Mishra, Director, CSIR’s Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, said findings from an early study revealed that Covishield offered protection against the double mutant. The scientists said the double mutant had been detected in some samples from Maharashtra, but was not a common cause for infection. “Punjab and Kerala don’t have it. Continued on page 13 Badals get HC clean 400 apply for bed on chit in Kotkapura case G’gram portal, 4 get it Saurabh Malik Tribune News Service Chandigarh, April 23 The Punjab and Haryana High Court has not only given Punjab’s former CM Parkash Singh Badal a clean chit in the Kotkapura firing case, but also ruled that the conclusion of police firing being unprovoked was against the record. The Bench ruled that IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh (who has taken premature retirement) indulged in political manoeuvring and misused his official position. In his 89-page judgment release today, Justice Rajbir Sehrawat ruled that conversation between a CM with the district administration or the state DGP during disturbed law and order was not sufficient to infer conspiracy to kill or injure anybody through police firing upon PROBE CONDUCTED IN PERFUNCTORY MANNER ■ Report by Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh more in nature of hypothesis based on assumptions rathar than facts ■ Even before starting the investigation in (FIR no.192 dated Oct 14, 2015), he declared police firing was totally ‘unprovoked’ and the protesters were ‘peaceful’; he intended to create a narrative in favour of a party ■ Public pressure to get alleged erring police officials convicted seems to have hit the fairness of the probe ❝ Conclusion of police firing being unprovoked against record. Bench the protesters, unless some other material was collected by the investigating officer to establish prior meeting of Continued on page 13 SanjayYadav Gurugram, April 23 Within four days of its launch, the Gurugram administration app received over 400 requests for beds. However, only four applicants got them while 14 are on the waiting list. The administration has formed a special team to verify the eligibility of bed seekers and are giving preference to those with Gurugram address on their Aadhaar Cards. Of the 400 applicants, 230 had proof of Gurugram address. Of them, 20 were found eligible for beds, and four finally got it. “There is no need to panic as we are ensuring that every person with a valid need for bed gets it. Yes, many people are applying for beds in panic but we have a team to analyse the patient situation and make recommendation for UPSURGE OVER THE WEEK Day +ve Recoveries Deaths Friday 4,319 1,670 9 Thursday 3,553 1,450 10 Wednesday 2,988 1,227 4 Tuesday 2,344 842 4 Monday 1,809 1,228 5 beds,” said Deputy Commissioner Yash Garg. What left applicants harried was that to secure hospital admission, Continued on page 13 Only 1 oxygen plant working in Himachal, govt claims 4 pratibha chauhan tribune news service Shimla, April 23 Even as the Himachal Government yesterday claimed four pressure swing adsorption oxygen generation plants have been made operational in the state, an investigation by The Tribune found that only one such plant at Zonal Hospital, Dharamsala, is functional. The ones at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital (Shimla), Government Medical College and Hospital (Mandi) and Dr YS Parmar Government Medical College (Nahan) are yet to be made opera- tional. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is funding the project. Shimla’s former Deputy Mayor and CPM leader Tikender Panwar said: “Why mislead the public and make false claims when the situation is quite the contrary?” Continued on page 13 TECH TEAMS STUCK IN MAHARASHTRA ■ Seven oxygen generation ■ An enquiry found that only one plants were proposed to be set up in the hill state under a Centre-funded project ■ The government on Thursday claimed that four of these have been made functional such plant is functional and the others are at different stages of commissioning ■ Authorities say Covid surge in Maharashtra, which is providing technical help, delayed the work New Delhi, April 23 Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, who demitted office on Friday, said in his farewell speech, "I leave with the satisfaction that I did my best...I hand over the baton to Justice (NV) Ramana who will, I am sure, very ably lead the court." Attorney General KK Venugopal, Supreme Court Bar Association President Vikas Singh and senior advocates heaped praise on him for leading the judiciary during the pandemic. "When the pandemic broke Justice SA Bobde out, CJI Bobde started virtual hearing and almost 50,000 cases have been disposed of. It's a great achievement," Venugopal said. CJI Bobde dealt with several key matters, including the historic Ayodhya verdict. — TNS New Delhi, April 23 The Ministry of Defence has okayed the move of the Armed Forces Medical Services to import 23 oxygen generation plants from Germany. To tide over the crisis, the MoD has also decided to give extension to 238 Short Service Commission doctors till December 31. These doctors were to end their tenure during 2021. 238 SSC doctors get extension till Dec 31 The oxygen generation plants are expected to be here within one week, Defence Ministry spokesperson Bharat Bhushan Babu said on Friday. Each plant can produce 2,400 litres of oxygen per hour, thereby catering to 20-25 patients round the clock. The advantage of these plants is that they are easily portable. As of now, these oxygen units will be deployed only at military hospitals, which are straining under an increased load of serving and retired personnel. Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has swung into action by carrying out sorties from various parts of the Continued on page 13
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).