27042021-TT-01.qxd 4/26/2021 11:20 PM Page 1 13 EU SUES ASTRAZENECA OVER VAX DELAY WORLD /thetribunechd chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.141 no.115 | 12 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 haryana /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com tuesday | 27 april 2021 EC ‘singularly’ to blame for 2nd Covid surge, says Madras HC Chennai, April 26 The Madras High Court on Monday castigated the Election Commission over the Covid-19 second wave in the country, holding it “singularly” responsible for the spread, called it the “the most irresponsible institution” and even said its officials might be booked on murder charge. The EC allowing political parties to organise rallies and meetings led to the spread of the pandemic, the court said. “Were you (living) on another planet,” the Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy asked EC officials. The Bench made the stinging observation on a PIL by Karur AIADMK candidate and Transport Minister MR Vijayabaskar for the April 6 Assembly poll, seeking a direction to the authorities to ensure fair counting of votes on May 2 observing the Covid19 protocol. When EC counsel told the judges that continued on page 10 edit: death by apathy Mask up even at home to halt spread: Govt New Delhi, April 26 The Centre today said the risk of runaway spread of Covid infection was real unless people began practising Covid-appropriate behaviour now and states resorted to tough local lockdown measures to curb steep surge. A patient gets free oxygen at a gurdwara in Ghaziabad on Monday. PTI BIDEN DIALS MODI | US TO SHARE ASTRA VAX WITH WORLD CHINA STOPS CARGO DON’T PANIC, ENOUGH FLIGHTS TO INDIA OXYGEN STOCK: MHA China’s state-run Sichuan Airlines suspended cargo flights to India for 15 days to insulate its people from the virus. Sources said this was the second time China has done so. BACK PAGE Asking people not to panic over medical oxygen, the Centre has said the country had enough stock of the gas and the issue of transportation to high-demand areas was being addressed. PUNJAB SHOPS TO BE SHUT BY 5 PM Punjab orders closure of shops by 5 pm | Extends night curfew from 6 pm to 5 am daily | Imposes weekend curfew CENTRE TELLS SII, BHARAT BIOTECH TO SLASH RATES After India logged 3,52,991 daily cases in a new world record for the fifth day, the Health Ministry said most states had crossed previous infection peaks by several times. The Centre had last night advised lockdown in cities and districts reporting over 10 per cent positivity for a week and more than 60 per cent occupancy of oxygen or ICU beds. continued on page 10 5 die in Hisar for want of oxygen, probe on Deepender Deswal Tribune News Service Hisar, April 26 Five Covid-19 patients died at Soni Burns Hospital here today due to oxygen shortage. While the hospital management blamed it on delay in supplies, DC Priyanka Soni called it sheer negligence on part of the hospital. “We have three oxygen suppliers in the district. Had the hospital contacted us, we would have made arrangements for the supply,” she said, adding that a magisterial inquiry into the deaths had been ordered and the matter referred to the District Medical Board. Refuting the negligence charge, Dr Rajat Soni of IN BRIEF Siachen avalanche kills two soldiers NEW DELHI: Two Army soldiers died after being buried under an avalanche in Siachen sector. The avalanche occurred on April 25. The soldiers were rescued by evening, but succumbed to injuries later. The Army said rest of the troops and porters were safe. — TNS Maruti’s former MD Khattar passes away NEW DELHI: Former managing director (MD) of Maruti Suzuki India Jagdish Khattar died on Monday morning following a cardiac arrest. Khattar joined then Maruti Udyog Limited in July 1993 and was promoted as MD in 2002. PAGE 10 3 MORE DEATHS IN REWARI HOSPITAL 31 fatalities in a day at Rajindra Three more Covid patients have died at Virat Hospital in Rewari because of oxygen shortage. “Their condition worsened on Sunday after the hospital ran out of oxygen. They were put on ventilator but two died at night and the third on Monday morning,” said hospital director. Soni Burns Hospital claimed he had repeatedly sought the assistance of the district authorities for the oxygen supply and posted messages on the WhatsApp group created for the purpose. An official source said Dr Soni posted messages at 4.07 am, saying that continued on back page Tribune News Service An ambulance outside Patiala’s Rajindra Hospital. RAJESH SACHAR Patiala, April 26 The Government Rajindra Hospital here reported 31 Covid deaths in the past 24 hours. Doctors at the hospital said 19 patients had died within 24 hours of admission and nine within 48 hours. Currently, 300 patients are undergoing treatment at the hospital. Surbhi Malik, in-charge, Covid isolation, said while the proportion of moderately ill patients was much higher than those very sick or critical in the previous wave, “it is now the reverse”. INSIDE Only 1 O2 hospital plant working in Punjab, none of six in Haryana Vishav Bharti & Sushil Manav Tribune News Service Chandigarh, April 26 Even as the Centre announced installation of three oxygen plants in Punjab last year, it could set up only one. The Centre was to install 162 plants across the country under the PM Cares Fund. The three plants in Punjab were to be installed at the government medical colleges in Faridkot, Patiala and Amritsar. The plant at the Faridkot college became functional last month. Tanu Kashyap, MD, Punjab Health Systems Corporation, said they had submitted a site preparation certificate to the Centre on December 31 last THESE WERE ANNOUNCED UNDER PM CARES FUND PB SHORT OF 85 MT DAILY DAILY NEED FOR 200 MT COVID PATIENTS DAILY NEED FOR 50 MT NON-COVID PATIENTS AVAILABILITY 165 MT SHORTFALL 85 MT EXPECTED DEMAND 300 MT IN TWO WEEKS year. “We were told the vendor who was allotted the contract had backed out and that government agencies would do the needful,” the MD said. Still worse, none of the oxygen plants announced for six Haryana districts — Faridabad, Hisar, Karnal, Ambala, Sonepat and Panchkula — are functional. Machinery for the plants was supplied to the district hospitals nearly twofour months ago. Hisar Deputy Commissioner Priyanka Soni said the company responsible for the installation was to be blamed for the delay. A senior doctor in Ambala, who did not want to be quoted, said the company had assured them that the continued on back page What happened at Jaipur Golden Hospital BL Vohra I have some connection with Jaipur Golden Hospital in Delhi in which 20 critical patients died on the intervening night of April 2324 due to non-supply of oxygen by the government on time, sending shock waves across the country. On 24th early morning, I got a call asking me if I could help in getting oxygen as the hospital supply would last only till 9 am. I immediately called the Union Health Secretary, who assured me help and asked A man waits to refill cylinders with medical oxygen in New Delhi. PTI Since time was running out and lives were at stake, I sent a tweet to PM and some media houses… finally after quite a few hours only 1,000 litres of oxygen came which was hardly sufficient for a few hours. CUMMINS GIVES $50K FOR INDIA’S COVID FIGHT SPORT me to get in touch with the Health Secretary of Delhi Government, to whom he said he would speak right away. It took me more than half an hour to get in touch with the latter as his number was constantly busy. Meanwhile, I had spoken to the Delhi CP and a very high functionary of the Delhi Government. Finally, when I could speak to the Health Secretary of Delhi, he was very nice, offered prompt help and asked me to speak to another senior officer who was coordinating the supplies. continued on back page
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.
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