05052021-ATR-01.qxd 04-05-2021 23:05 Page 1 c m y b Amritsar TRIBUNE PAGE 2 USING WASTE BOTTLES AS PLANTERS IS HER HOBBY The lockdown kindled an interest within Harjinder, who uses every waste bottle in her house as a planter. FORECAST Randeep Hooda has teamed up with NGO Khalsa Aid to provide oxygen concentrators to the needy people. MAX 37°C | MIN 24°C | YESTERDAY MAX 37°C | MIN 24°C GENERALLY CLOUDY SKY PAGE 3 ACTOR RANDEEP HOODA TEAMS UP WITH NGO KHALSA AID SONIA BALANI TO BE SEEN IN WEB SERIES BHOPAL TO VEGAS PAGE 4 Sonia will now be a part of upcoming web series Bhopal to Vegas alongside Ahaan Nirbaan and Arun Sharma. SUNSET WEDNESDAY 7:13 PM SUNRISE THURSDAY 5:40 AM WEDNESDAY | 5 MAY 2021 | AMRITSAR 16 more succumb to virus, toll tops 1,000 in dist 34,176+ve cases so far with 674infections reported on Tuesday HELPLINE FOR PATIENTS ■ Control Room: 0183-2500398, Tribune News Service Amritsar, May 4 The district reported 16 deaths due to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, with which the toll reached 1,014 on Tuesday. The health authorities have also reported 674 new cases, with which the count increased to 34,176. The new cases include 511 influenza-like illness cases and 163 contacts of positive patients. The health authorities have also reported the recovery of 370 patients, with which the recovery count improved to 28,156. The district at present has a total of 5,006 active cases. Four die, 71 test positive in Tarn Taran The death toll reached 229 in COVID UPDATE NEW CASES 674 TOTAL CASES 34,176 NEW DEATHS 16 TOTAL DEATHS 1,014 NEW RECOVERY 370 TOTAL RECOVERY 28,156 ACTIVE 5,006 the district after four more persons succumbed to the virus on Tuesday. Deputy Commissioner Kulwant Singh said 71 new positive cases were also reported with which the active caseload reached 852. Of these active cases, 524 persons were isolated at their respective homes. In the district, 99,161 persons have been given the vaccination against the pandemic. TARN TARAN DIST TO GET 500 PSA O2 PLANT SOON Tarn Taran: All preliminary formalities have been cleared to set up an oxygen plant in Tarn Taran. Jasbir Singh Dimpa, Member Parliament, announced to release a grant of ~50 lakh from his MPLAD fund while presiding over a meeting of officials here on Tuesday. He also gathered information regarding the Covid-19 treatment and the availability of oxygen in the district. The proposed oxygen plant to be established at the district Civil Hospital would be of the capacity of 500 PSA (pressure swing absorption technique), which would generate 50 cylinders of oxygen in 24 hours. The plant would be operational in the coming two months, said Kulwant Singh, Deputy Commissioner. Local MLA Dr Dharambeer Agnihotri asked people to abide by the Covid-19 protocols to deal with the crisis. OC 0183-2500498, 0183-2500598, 0183-2500698, 0183-2500798 (Open 24*7) ■ Health Dept helpline: 0183-2535322, 0183-2535323 ■ Medical helpline: 104 ■ Contact a doctor: 1800 180 4104 ■ Bed availability and status: Punjab Covid App (updated daily at 5 pm) Tribune News Service Amritsar, May 4 Gagandeep Singh, a 30-yearold theatre actor, has appeared in many Punjab Natshala’s acclaimed plays such as Saka Jallianwala Bagh and Daughter of The Bin. He has travelled to several celebrated theatre festivals across the country performing folk theatre and working under noted theatre directors. As an artist, he believes in overcoming every challenge, but the last one-and-a-half year has been nothing but a waiting game for him. With no live events happening, he has been forced to take up a private job to earn his living. A lot of other theatre artists from Amritsar, the hub of art and theatre in Punjab, suffer the same. With theatre as their only source of income now suspended, most have either switched to private jobs or other creative outlets. “As a working theatre actor, there was no dearth of work before the pandemic hit. We used to perform every week, sometimes travel for months with our group to theatre festivals. I used to work behind the stage as well. The kind of recognition and money theatre brought was encouraging. But suddenly, everything was put on hold and now, even if live performances revive, it will take a long time before we get that kind of money or audience,” shares Gagan. Currently working in a marketing job, he waits to get under the spotlight again. Ravinder Sharma, another Residents who lost their battle to Covid-19 include Ashok Kumar, 69, a resident of Sundar Nagar; Kusum Mishra, 56, of Ramdass Nagar on Sultanwind Road; Balwinder Kaur, 40, of Parariwal; Surjit Singh, 45, of Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar; Nirmal Khanna, 65, of Anand Avenue; Atul Kapoor, 43, of Green Avenue; Kuldeep Singh, 58, of Gurmaan Nagar on Sultanwind Road; Tripta Bhalla, 75, of Rishi Vihar on Majitha Road; Patwinder Singh, 56, of Jaspal Nagar on Sultanwind Road; Hajoor Singh, 62, on Majitha Rad; Radha Sharma, 42, Aman Avenue; Baljit Kaur, 42, on Majitha Road, Darshan Singh, 55, on Majitha Road; Ischa Devi, 66, of Guru Nanak Pura; Amrit Singh, 56, Aman Avenue Khandwala and Madhu, 61, of Basant Nagar on Majitha Road. INOCULATION DRIVE TAKES A HIT, COURTESY INADEQUATE VIALS NHM STAFF GO ON STRIKE Mounting casualties and surfacing of a large number of cases notwithstanding the fact that the district is not getting adequate vaccines and oxygen supply from the government continue to bother the district administration and Health Department as these hamper the inoculation drive to combat the surging positive cases of Covid-19. The number of people turning up at Covid-19 centres to get inoculated has far exceeded the availability of vaccines. However, the Health Department is grappling with slackening supply of vials from the government level. As a result, the count of daily jabs has come down to an average of 5,000. Dr Charanjit Singh, Civil Surgeon, accepted that the department was grappling with scarcity of vials. There were about 4,000 vials on Monday and about 8,000 of these were likely to arrive on Tuesday. Similarly, he said, the district required 35 metric tonnes of oxygen daily. However, the supply remains far from satisfactory. He said the replenished stock of oxygen cannot be quantified as their supply remains irregular. Tarn Taran: On the call given by the National Health Mission Employees’ Union, Punjab, the employees working with the Health Department went on strike for an indefinite period from Tuesday. As the employees have responded to the strike call en masse, the vaccination drive against Covid-19, Covid-19 sampling and the emergency services were badly affected. The striking employees under the leadership of district president Sukhbir Kaur held a rally in front of the Civil Surgeon’s office and heavily condemned the state government for not regularising them. OC SURGE IN CASES BOOSTS SALE OF MASKS, SANITISERS IMA URGES DC TO CAP PRICES OF OXYGEN CYLINDERS Amritsar: The sale of masks and sanitisers is once again in full swing following the surge in positive cases during the second wave of the Covid-19. Surinder Duggal, a wholesale chemist, said the demand of face coverings and sanitisers increased manifold in comparison to last month. Their demand had been slackening for the past some months. It gained momentum after the resurgence in positive cases in the middle of the last month when more positive cases were daily being detected in the district, he observed. Prof Mohan Singh said: “It is important to have cotton masks. It must remain dipped in detergent for a few minutes. It must be dried in the sun. One must avoid mixing of masks at home. While removing it for the night, its infected surface (outer one) should be turned inside out.” Gunbir Singh, a vigilant citizen, said, the importance of frequent hand-washing and the need to keep a pocket bottle of sanitiser should not be ignored at any cost. Naresh Goel, a sanitiser manufacturer, said, two kinds of liquid hand sanitisers — ethanol and isopropyl alcohol (IPA) — were available. He suggested that citizens must prefer IPA-made sanitiser as it was suitable on almost all kinds of skins. “There are nearly a dozen licenced sanitiser-preparing units in the city. However, unapproved units cannot be ruled out.” He said one should not compromise with the quality of sanitiser at any cost. TNS Amritsar: IMA Amritsar presented a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner to cap the rates of oxygen cylinders. A delegation led by president, IMA, Amritsar, Dr Amandeep and secretary Dr JS Grover said keeping in mind the shortage of oxygen being reported from elsewhere and even the city, the request has been put forth. “Although the administration is doing a good job in ensuring smooth supply, the hike in rates by vendors has irked private hospitals dealing with Covid patients. We also urged An IMA delegation submits a memorandum to the the administration to scrap GST on Deputy Commissioner in Amritsar on Tuesday. oxygen in this pandemic,” said Dr Amandeep. He said rise in price means more expenses in dealing with Covid patients. “Since there is capping on charges by government, capping should also be done on cylinder prices,” he said. The DC assured the delegation of prompt action and capping. He also ensured uninterrupted supply of oxygen to hospitals in city. TNS Theatre artistes seek financial relief Neha Saini THOSE WHO LOST THEIR LIVES With no theatre activity or live performance in last one year, actors look to find another career ❝ I tried surviving on whatever savings I had for some time. In November last year, when the lockdown was lifted, we hoped that theatre will revive, but given the situation now, I think one has to take up whatever comes their way to support the family financially until things go back to normal. Gagandeep Singh, THEATRE ARTISTE ❞ creative discourse ❝With nothere is nothing to create happening, anymore, no one to consume the art, which can be mentally taxing as well. I appeal to the authorities to provide financial relief to those theatre or folk artistes, who are in dire need. Manchpreet, NOTED THEATRE DIRECTOR & PLAYWRIGHT ❞ theatre artiste who is working as a language coach for an IELTS company online, too, shares a similar story. “Theatre artistes were never out of work. There was so much happening in terms of work, experimentation and recognition. They were getting work in TV OTT platform and even , films before the lockdown impacted the entire industry and everything came to a grinding halt. Luckily, those who had enough reserves could get through, but folk artistes and behind the scenes crew have to take up other jobs for survival,” he says. The biggest tragedy of it all remains that despite suffering from financial and talent loss, no relief has come in the way of theatre fraternity. “It’s a tragedy that devoted theatre artistes, who have given 20-30 years to stage and had no other source of income, were put out of work due to the lockdown. And we cannot even help them sail through this difficult time. Not just livlihood, but theatre artistes have also suffered through mental blocks due to this pandemic,” said Manchpreet, a noted theatre director and playwright. Sajan Kapoor, another theatre actor, is among the few lucky ones to have found an alternative platform to work. “A lot of theatre actors found work in upcoming Punjabi OTT platforms working in web series or web content that has lately been in demand. But with productions and release of few projects on hold, there is just hope that things will improve soon,” he says. c m y b People line up outside a bank in Amritsar on Tuesday. VISHAL KUMAR Covid-19 guidelines go for a toss outside banks Neeraj Bagga Tribune News Service Amritsar, May 4 People scrambling for space outside bank branches sent the lockdown advisory of social distancing for a toss on Tuesday. They blamed this on reduction in working hours for the public. Those visiting the banks had to not only stand in long queues, but also go through several checkpoints on their way due to the curfew. Avneet Kaur, who has a savings account with a nationalised bank outside Guru Nanak Dev University, said: “The norm of social distancing was tough to follow as officials of the bank branch were not allowing customers inside. Without deploying any staff members outside, they expect account holders to make a queue and comply with all norms. It is expecting too much, isn’t it?” she asked. While some banks made sure that customers maintain social distance while standing in queues, others ignored it total- ly. Though two cops were deployed outside all banks, they proved helpless in managing the huge rush of customers. Inderpreet Singh, a senior citizen, standing outside the branch of another bank on GT Road, said there was one queue for all. An employee of a bank comes at the entrance and inquires for the kind of work from a customer standing in front. Then, he goes inside with the documents and after some time returns and hands over the documents to the person concerned. This process is repeated every time. This exercise consumes a lot of time. Another customer Abhit said the duration for public dealing from 10 am to 2 pm is insufficient. He said he approached the bank for accessing the locker between 2 pm and 4 pm, which was denied. Over a fortnight ago, he had approached the branch during the same time and it was found convenient as a few people were available in the main branch inside the Hall Gate.
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