04052021-TTB-01.qxd 5/4/2021 12:18 AM Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.5 no.122 | 12 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 NEPAL PM OLI TO SEEK TRUST VOTE ON MAY 10 WORLD /thetribunechd APRIL FACTORY ORDERS, OUTPUT RISE AT SLOWEST RATE IN 8 MONTHS BUSINESS AIIMS CHIEF CAUTIONS AGAINST MULTIPLE CT SCANS BACK PAGE /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com tuesday | 4 may 2021 O2 shortage kills 24 in K’taka hospital Signs of plateau in Pb; cases Govt orders probe | Minister admits supply glitch | Claims not all deaths due to lack of oxygen INDIA’S COVID BURDEN CROSSES 2 CR Bengaluru, May 3 In yet another hospital tragedy in the country in recent days, 24 patients, 23 of them Covid-infected, died at Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar district hospital due to alleged oxygen shortage. The government has ordered a probe and warned of stringent action against those found guilty. The incident evoked a sharp response from the Congress, with party leader Rahul Gandhi wondering “how much more suffering before the ‘system’ wakes up”. Alleging oxygen shortage, the family members of the deceased staged a demonstration at the hospital and raised slogans. Chamarajanagar district in-charge continued on page 9 rising in Hry, Himachal, J&K Tribune News Service 3.68 LAKH IPL MATCH OFF AS 2 KKR PLAYERS TEST POSITIVE As Kolkata Knight Riders’ Varun Chakravarthy (R) and Sandeep Warrier tested positive, the team’s IPL match with Royal Challengers Bangalore, scheduled in Ahmedabad on Monday, had to be postponed. SII GETS ~1,732 CR FROM GOVT FOR 11 CR DOSES Relatives of deceased patients grieve at Chamarajanagar district hospital in Karnataka on Monday. PTI PFIZER DONATES DRUGS WORTH ~510 CR Pfizer said on Monday it was sending Covid drugs worth over ~510 cr to India as part of Covid treatment protocol, company’s CEO Albert Bourla said. NOT SHORT OF OXYGEN, CLAIMS MHA The Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday claimed there was “no shortage” of the life-saving gas, but suggested it should be used “judiciously” by hospitals. BACK PAGE The SII on Monday endorsed the government statement that 100 per cent advance of ~1,732.50 crore has been released to the company on April 28 for 11 crore doses of the Covishield vaccine for May, June and July. New Delhi, May 3 India’s cumulative Covid burden on Monday night crossed the grim milestone of 2 crore with 23 states and UTs, including Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh, continuing to see a steep daily rise in infections. After daily cases dropped marginally for a second straight day to settle at 3,68,147, the government said there were early signs of the infection plateauing in 10 states and UTs, including Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Maharash- FRESH CASES 3,417 DEATHS IN 24 HOURS TOTAL DEATHS ACTIVE CASES 2,18,959 34,13,642 tra, Jharkhand and Ladakh. “Plateau of cases is being seen in Punjab, UP and also , Uttarakhand, but these are very early signals. Continued efforts of containment are a must to preserve and build on these gains,” Joint Secretary, Health, Lav Agarwal said. He said there were still rising trends in daily cases in 23 states, which included Chandigarh, Haryana, HP , J&K, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Twenty-two states still had positivity rate of more than 15 per cent, which was a cause for concern, the Health Ministry said, reiterating that states with districts that had more than 10 per cent positivity rate should consider local lockdowns for 14 days to start with. The government said two lakh people aged 18 to 44 years had been inoculated so far with 12 states having commenced the adult vaccination drive that began from May 1. Covid duty for med interns:Centre Prepare O2 buffer stock, govt told MHA seeks report on Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 3 To boost the availability of medical personnel for Covid management, the government on Monday postponed the NEET for PG medical admissions till August 31. Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said, “The decision has been taken so that medical interns prepar- NEET-PG POSTPONED TILL AUGUST 31 ■ The government on Monday postponed the NEET-PG for at least four months ■ The move aims at making a large number of qualified doctors available for pandemic duty ■ Also, final-year students will manage mild cases under the supervision of their faculty ing for the exams can be made available for the pandemic response. Students will be given at least one month for preparation while announcing the revised date.” The government decided to allow final-year MBBS students to conduct tele-consultation and monitor mild Covid cases under the care of senior doctors. The decisions were taken at a meet chaired by the PM. Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 3 As the oxygen crisis persists, the Supreme Court has asked the Centre to prepare a decentralised buffer stock of oxygen for “unforeseen circumstances” in collaboration with states to make it immediately available if the normal supply chain to any hospital gets disrupted for any reason. ‘REVISIT VACCINE POLICY, MAY CREATE DISPARITY’ The Centre told to revisit its vax pricing policy, as it would prima facie result in a detriment to the right to public health. A Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud also asked the Centre and states to “seriously consider” imposing a ban on mass gatherings and super-spreader events. The Bench said they should consider imposing a lockdown to curb the virus spread in the second wave in the interest of public welfare. In case lockdown measures were imposed, arrangements be made beforehand to cater to the needs of various communities, it said in its April 30 order that has been published now. continued on page 9 Take remarks in right spirit, SC tells EC Rangers open fire, pact NewDelhi, May3 The Supreme Court today expressed its unwillingness to interfere with the Madras High Court’s comments that the Election Commission should probably be booked on murder charge for the worsening Covid situation, saying it didn’t want to demoralise high courts. A Bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud said the media should be allowed to report oral observations made by courts as they “are a powerful Says don’t want to demoralise High Courts PLEA ON MEDIA ‘TOO FAR-FETCHED’ ■ The SC termed as ‘too far-fetched’ the EC’s plea of restraining media from reporting remarks made during court proceedings ■ Says media must be allowed to report oral observations by courts as it is a ‘powerful watchdog in democracy’ watchdog in democracy”. Terming the demand for restraining the media from reporting observations made during court proceedings as “too far-fetched”, the Bench advised the poll panel to take the high court’s remarks in the right spirit. The Bench reserved its order on the EC’s plea challenging the April 30 order of Madras HC refusing to entertain its petition on the issue. The HC had rapped the poll panel for failing to ensure compliance of Covid protocol during the polls. “We have to make sure HC judges and chief justices are independent to take views. We have to make sure that the media reports everything that happens in court,” said the Bench. “The EC is a seasoned constitutional body meant to ensure free and fair elections. It has done a good job. It should not be rattled by the observations made,” it added. — TNS breached within 6 wks Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 3 The agreement between military commanders of India and Pakistan to maintain a ceasefire along the IB was breached within six weeks after Pakistani Rangers fired from across the border in the Samba sector of Jammu & Kashmir on Monday. A senior BSF official said initial information showed that these were “small-scale violations.” The agreement to maintain calm along the border on February 25 was supposed to be a catalyst in unfreezing India-Pakistan ties. It also led to a meeting between Indus Water Commissioners after a gap of over a year. However, Pakistan took a step back when it allowed and then cancelled plans to import cotton and sugar from India. post-poll WB violence Mamata Banerjee with Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar in Kolkata. PTI Shubhadeep Choudhury Tribune News Service Kolkata, May 3 Violence unleashed allegedly by Trinamool Congress supporters against their political opponents in West Bengal has led to the loss of eight lives since last evening. Alarmed by the incidents, the Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a report from the state government. “The MHA has asked the West Bengal Government for a report on the post-election violence targeting opposition political workers in the state,” Hry faces O2 crunch, No doses, many Pb centres shut Cops recover 197 of 706 O2 cylinders sold illegally rations supply to dists State expects 2 lakh Tribune News Service Geetanjali Gayatri Tribune News Service Chandigarh, May 3 With Haryana feeling pressure over curtailed supply of oxygen, the government today urged the Centre to step up supplies to meet the shortfall in its allocated quota. The government has assigned daily quota of oxygen to all districts. Sources said the state was forced to rationalise the supply since it was getting way short of its sanctioned quota. Besides, no supply has been received from the Roorkee plant, which provides 25 MT per day, for the past two days. The Panipat plant too has informed the government that they could give only 85 MT of oxygen against 100 MT. In view of the crunch, the Hisar administration has alerted hospitals to use oxygen judiciously for the next two days. The sources said the CM was in touch with the Centre and had also sought allocation from alternative sources. They said that Panchkula, Jhajjar and Sonepat districts were “vulnerable” and hospitals there might face an acute shortage of oxygen if the allo- LOW SUPPLY, KHATTAR REACHES OUT TO CENTRE Chandigarh, May 3 Chaos was witnessed at Covid vaccination centres across Punjab today as a large number of people were turned away because of nonavailability of the vaccine. Vaccination centres in Bathinda were closed down as the stock had exhausted. Similar situation prevailed in Patiala, Sangrur, Barnala Faridkot, Jalandhar, Amritsar and other places. Bathinda district health officials directed NGOs and others to cancel all vaccination camps till further orders. The Civil Surgeon ordered vials to arrive today that the first dose of vaccine should not be administered to anyone till the new stock arrived. The available stock was to be utilised for the second dose of vaccination only. Patiala health officials also had to ask the beneficiaries “to go back” after the vaccine stock exhausted on Monday afternoon. Sources in the Health Department said they didn’t have even a single dose left with them, so no vaccination camp would be held in the district on Tuesday. Patiala Civil Surgeon Dr Satinder Singh said only around 800 beneficiaries could be administered the shots on Monday. In Sangrur, only 190 doses of Covid vaccine were left in the stock, so the vaccination drive had to be stopped. In Jalandhar, the Health Department had to recall Covishield vaccine from private centres to keep continued on page 9 Solan, May 3 As the country faces shortage of medical oxygen, the local police have served notices on firms and individuals to whom Baddi-based Indo Gases illegally sold 706 cylinders over the past around two weeks. Among the buyers were industrial units in the BaddiBarotiwala-Nalagarh belt, a distribution facility in Ghaziabad and firms in Delhi and other parts of the country, said sources. Thirty-seven sales of cylinders—706 filled and several empty—were registered in Baddi police serve notice on buyers the seller company’s records since April 19, data accessed by a six-member government probe committee from the Excise Department showed. Baddi SP Rohit Malpani said 197 cylinders had been recovered and handed over for use in medical exigencies. “All the buyers are being contacted telephonically by the police and served notices to surrender the cylinders,” he said. — TNS ■ The state is getting 252 MT of oxygen against the requirement of 300 MT ■ There has been no supply from the Roorkee plant, which provides 25 MT per day, for the past two days ■ The Panipat plant has curtailed supply from 100 MT to 85 MT cated quota did not arrive by Tuesday. Health Minister Anil Vij said the state was getting 252 MT of oxygen against the requirement of 300 MT. “There is no supply from Roorkee due to some technical and transportation issues. We are working on it,” he said. 11 ventilators with Muktsar govt hospitals, none used Tribune News Service Muktsar, May 3 The government hospitals in Muktsar district have 11 ventilators, but are unable to operate even one. Sources in the Health Department say seven ventilators are available at the Civil Hospital, Muktsar; two at the Civil Hospital, Malout; and one each at the Gidderbaha and Badal Civil Hospitals. But these ventilators are of no use for the patients as in case of emergency they have to rush to private hospitals. The district has reported 166 Covid deaths so far. Dr Ranju Singla, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Muktsar, said, “We don’t have manpower, like anaesthetists, medical specialists and officers, required to operate the ventilators. We are now NO ONE TO OPERATE THE MACHINES Since we don’t have the required manpower to operate the ventilators, we plan to shift five ventilators to Guru Gobind Singh Medical College & Hospital, Faridkot. Dr Ranju Singla, MUKTSAR CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER ❝ planning to shift five ventilators to Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot.” Asked whether the local staff would be able to run the remaining six ventilators, she said, “If we get manpower, then only we will be able to run the remaining ventilators. Or we can give the remaining ventilators to any private hospital, if demanded. In case of acute emergency, we can run only one ventilator, but are unable to maintain that.” She, however, claimed there was no shortage of oxygen at government hospitals. “We have oxygen support on all beds,” she said. Muktsar DC MK Aravind Kumar said the Civil Hospital was converted into a 100bed Covid hospital today. Mamata’s swearing-in tomorrow; Nadda to meet violence-hit an MHA spokesperson tweeted. Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had a lengthy discussion on the subject with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee when she called on him in connection with her oath ceremony at Raj Bhavan on May 5. “It is unfortunate that many lives have been lost, several injured, houses torched in the violence,” Dhankhar tweeted. continued on page 9 IN BRIEF No space for vax nationalism: FM NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said there can’t be any vaccine nationalism and that nations must share technology. — PTI CBI books ‘erring’ cops in ISRO case NEW DELHI: The CBI on Monday said it had registered an FIR against Kerala cops in the matter of alleged framing of space scientist Nambi Narayanan in the 1994 ISRO espionage case. — TNS File plaint on threats, Maha tells SII CEO MUMBAI: A Maharashtra minister on Monday said SII CEO Adar Poonawalla should lodge a police complaint in connection with the alleged threats that he had received, and assured probe into it. — PTI Met dept issues yellow warning for Himachal SHIMLA: The Meterological Department here has issued a fresh yellow warning of thunderstorm, lightning and gusty winds with speed of 30 to 40 kmph in mid and lower hills of HP on May 6 and 7. — TNS
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).