01052021-TT-01.qxd 4/30/2021 11:40 PM Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.141 no.119 | 16 pages | ~6.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 haryana READY TO STEP UP EFFORTS TO HELP INDIA: UN WORLD /thetribunechd RIL Q4 PROFIT LEAPFROGS TO ~13,227 CRORE BUSINESS COVID ENTERING TIER 2, 3 CITIES: AIIMS BACK PAGE /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com saturday | 1 may 2021 Can’t take coercive action over Can’t roll out 18+ vaccine SOS on social media, says SC drive today, say 10 states ❝ ‘Centre mustn’t leave vax pricing to makers’; order expected today NO INFO CLAMPDOWN If citizens communicate their grievances on social media and Internet, it can’t be said it’s wrong information. Bench Satya Prakash Tribune News Service NewDelhi, April 30 The Supreme Court on Friday said states can’t take coercive action against people sharing distressing information on social media to seek medical help for their dear ones during Covid-19 pandemic. “I flag this issue at the outset... We want to make it very clear that if citizens communicate their grievances on social media and the Internet then it can’t be said it’s wrong information. We don’t want any clampdown on information,” a Bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud said while hearing a suo motu PIL on Covid management. “We will treat it as a contempt of court if such grievances are considered for action,” said the Bench, which also included Justice LN Rao and Justice SR Bhat. Terming the second wave of the pandemic as a “national crisis”, it said, “There should be free flow of information… we should hear voices of citizens.” The UP Government had IN BRIEF Lockdown in Goa; positivity rate 50% PANAJI: Amid an extremely high test positivity rate of over 50 per cent, Goa went into a four-day “lockdown” to curb Covid-19 cases while streets were largely bereft of vehicles in the state on Friday. PTI Apollo to start vax drive for 18-44 group today NEW DELHI: The Apollo Hospitals Group will begin vaccinating citizens in the 18-44 age group at all its centres in the country from May 1, according to a statement on Friday. PTI No celebrations over poll results, says HC CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Friday appealed to political leaders and party cadres in Tamil Nadu not to go in for celebrations, including bursting of crackers, after the announcement of election results, citing the Covid spread. PTI Virus-infected HP labourers ‘isolated’ in toilet Tribune News Service Dharamsala, April 30 A contractor allegedly isolated his five Covid-hit labourers in an under-construction toilet at a bus stand in Pangi area of Chamba district. Video images of the labourers sleeping in the toilet evoked shock and anger among local residents. Chamba Deputy Commissioner DC Rana, when contacted, said: “Officials, who were sent to Pangi to verify the facts, found that the contractor had allotted a room to the labourers at the underconstruction bus stand. They were using the ‘sulabh shauchalaya’ at the bus stand as washroom. The SDM, Pangi, has now moved the labourers to an inn.” ‘WHY NOT BUY ALL DOSES?’ ■ The Bench wanted to know A distressed Covid-19 patient with a relative waits to receive oxygen at Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, on Friday. PTI reportedly ordered strict action under the National Security Act against those allegedly creating panic by making “false appeals” for help for Covid patients on social media. However, the top court said, “Let a strong message go to all the states and their DGPs... clampdown on information is con- trary to basic precepts.” Noting that the government should not leave vaccine pricing and distribution to manufacturers, the Bench sought to know why the Centre was not buying 100 per cent of the Covid vaccine doses as it was better placed to determine equity and dis- why the Centre wasn’t buying 100 per cent of vaccine doses ■ Why not follow the national immunisation policy with respect to Covid vaccines, it asked. ■ Vaccine makers are publicly funded, hence vaccines are ‘public goods’, it said burse. “Why can’t the Centre follow the national immunisation programme policy with respect to Covid vaccines?” It asked. The top court — which had last week taken suo motu cognisance of the Covid management — will formally issue its order on Saturday. Aditi Tandon Tribune News Service New Delhi, April 30 Ahead of the adult Covid inoculation drive which is scheduled to begin on Saturday, several states said they did not have the vaccine stocks to roll out the plan even as the Centre acknowledged that any new programme took time to stabilise. Punjab, Delhi, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal categorically stated that while they had placed orders with the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, the doses were not yet available for May 1 rollout. More than 2.5 crore people in the 18-44 age group have already registered on CoWIN platform and are awaiting appointments even as India witnessed another high of nearly 4 lakh daily cases. The inoculation drive started on January 16 with the target of covering 30 crore priority people at the earliest. The coverage has been much less with Prime Minister Narendra Modi today telling a meeting of the coun- INDIA TO IMPORT 4.5L VIALS OF REMDESIVIR The government has started importing anti-viral Remdesivir injection to ease shortages in the country in the wake of a surge An upset woman after a long in Covid cases which neared wait for vaccination in Kolkata. 4 lakh on Friday. BOOSTING PRODUCTION DRONES TO DELIVER VAX 50 CR population in 18-44 The Civil Aviation Ministry on Friday permitted the Telangana Government to use drones for experimental delivery of vaccines within the visual line of sight. DON’T QUEUE UP OUTSIDE VAX CENTRES: KEJRIWAL Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday appealed to people in the targeted age group not to line up at vaccination centres in Delhi on May 1 as the capital had not received vaccine supplies yet. STAY IN TOUCH WITH PEOPLE, PM TELLS MINISTERS cil of ministers that over 15 crore doses had been given. The meeting took note of Covid as “once-in-a-century crisis” that has challenged the world. The PM urged union ministers to stay in touch with people of their respective regions, help them and keep getting their feedback China reaches out amid surge, but India wary Tribune News Service New Delhi, April 30 China on Friday made a major reachout to India through a letter from its President Xi Jinping to PM Narendra Modi followed by a telephonic conversation XI WRITES TO PM, OFFERS SUPPORT TO FIGHT COVID WITH WANG, EAM FLAGS SUPPLY CHAINS In conversation with Wang Yi, S Jaishankar highlighted the importance of “supply chains and air flights being kept open”, in an allusion to a Chinese air cargo firm suspending its ops to India. between Foreign Ministers Wang Yi and S Jaishankar. Following the delivery of relief from two aircraft, US Secretary of State Tony Blinken also spoke to Jaishankar to review the flow of equipment and material from America. The call came shortly after the Jaishankar-Wang conversation. Xi is the fourth major world leader this week to Weekend lockdown Micro containment in 6 in nine Hry districts worst-hit dists of Punjab Chandigarh, April 30 The Haryana Government has imposed a weekend lockdown in nine districts effective 10 pm on April 30 till 5 am on May 3. The nine districts are Panchkula, Gurugram, Faridabad, Sonepat, Rohtak, Karnal, Hisar, Sirsa and Fatehabad. The orders were issued by Chief Secretary Vijai Vardhan under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. Any person violating the norms will face legal action under various provisions of the Act and Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. An official said during the lockdown the residents must stay indoors. “No person shall leave their homes or shall move on foot or by MORE CURBS TO CONTAIN SPREAD ■ Lockdown effective from 10 pm on April 30 till 5 am on May 3 in P’kula, Gurugram, Faridabad, Sonepat, Rohtak, Karnal, Hisar, Sirsa and Fatehabad ■ Violators to be booked under Disaster Management Act vehicle or travel or stand or roam around on any road or public places during the period,” he said. The movement of those persons shall be exempted who are tasked with law and order, emergencies and municipal services, health, electricity, fire and mediapersons with accreditation. — TNS Tribune News Service Chandigarh, April 30 Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh ruled out a complete lockdown for now while chairing a virtual emergency meeting today to review the Covid situation in the state. Stating that lockdown was not a solution, he directed the DCs of the six worst-affected districts of Ludhiana, SAS Nagar (Mohali), Jalandhar, Bathinda, Patiala and Amritsar to further tighten the microcontainment strategy and ensure 100 per cent testing. “Lockdown leads to exodus of labourers and forces them to go to states with even lesser medical facilities,” he said. Urging the industry to set up Bathinda Car Bazar comes to aid of Covid patients with free rides SukhmeetBhasin Tribune News Service Bathinda, April 30 To overcome the shortage of ambulances and check overcharging by drivers, dealers at the local Car Bazar have come up with a free service to transport Covid patients. Sanjay Jindal, a car dealer, said: “In these tough times, people are being forced to pay more for ambulance service. Many can’t even afford it. We have decided to help the residents by offer- Alleges ambulance drivers fleecing people ing them free transport service. We have a lot of cars at our disposal which will be pressed into service.” There are reports that ambulance drivers have started charging Rs 2,000 for a single trip to and from hospital within the city against Rs 500 earlier. And if one has to go to Ludhiana, the drivers ask for Rs 17,000-20,000 against Rs 3,500 during the normal times, sources said, adding that another Rs 1,200-1,500 was charged for providing oxygen during the transportation. continued on page 13 DCS TOLD TO FOCUS ON 100% TESTING Capt has asked DCs of six worst-hit districts — Ludhiana, Mohali, Jalandhar, Bathinda, Patiala & Amritsar — to ensure 100% testing their own Covid treatment centres and makeshift hospitals to treat their workers suffering from mild to moderate infection, he laid stress on teamwork to fight the Covid battle. He also directed the Chief Secretary to persuade retired doctors and nurses as well as final-year MBBS students to pitch in at Covid facilities. HP to ramp up testing, buy more machines Shimla, April 30 To ramp up Covid testing facilities, HP will procure more RT-PCR machines. The additional machines will help in ensuring timely reports of the samples, which are getting delayed due to a thrust on extensive testing, especially the RT-PCR tests. “The state is purchasing more RT-PCR machines and will also provide more staff for multiple runs in these centres,” said Dr Nipun Jindal, MD, NHM. INSIDE age group 100 CR doses needed to vaccinate all 8 CR per month vax production in India 1 YEAR it’ll take to inoculate all in this group reach out to PM Modi after US President Joe Biden, Japan PM Yoshihide Suga and Russian President Vladimir Putin. In his letter, Xi Jinping expressed concern about the recent situation in India and said continued on page 13 on the situation. He also stressed upon the “need to ensure that issues at the local level are promptly identified and addressed”. Hospitals remained stretched to breaking point after over 3 lakh new cases for the ninth day in a row. Edit: Oxygen imbalance Int’l flights now suspended till May 31: DGCA NEW DELHI: The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday issued an order to extend the suspension of scheduled international commercial passenger flights till May 31. In the order, the aviation regulator said some international scheduled flights “may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-tocase basis”. The international passenger services have been suspended in India since March 23 , 2020, due to the pandemic. But special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission. — TNS Nail paint can alter oximetre reading: Govt NEWDELHI: A government advisory by the office of principal scientific advisory to the Prime Minister on Friday said people should ensure clean nails while using oximetre to test oxygen saturation during Covid. “Nail polish leads to inaccurate oximetre reading,” it said. Meanwhile, the import of oxygen concentrators for personal use where customs clearance is sought as “gifts’’ has been allowed. Crack whip on hoarders: HC Tribune News Service Chandigarh, April 30 The Punjab and Haryana High Court today gave the central and the state investigation agencies the liberty to act against hoarders as it permitted the revival of a diposed of petition on Covid management Holding a marathon hearing spread over two sessions, the Bench of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh asserted: “Here is a situation where the question is of Article 21. There is a feeling that drugs are being 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).