14052021-TT-01.qxd 5/13/2021 11:24 PM Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.141 no.132 | 12 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 haryana US TRIES TO QUELL ISRAEL, PALESTINE VIOLENCE WORLD /thetribunechd RECONSIDER TIES WITH CRYPTO EXCHANGES, CONSIDERING LIVE TELECAST OF SC PROCEEDINGS: CJI BACK PAGE RBI TELLS LENDERS BUSINESS /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com friday | 14 may 2021 Expecting 200 cr doses by Aug-Dec, willcover 95 cr adults: Top govt aides Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 13 Amid a growing clamour for Covid vaccines and stock shortages across states, the Centre today said it was expecting that over 200 crore doses would become available in India between August and December this year, and reaching up to 300 crore by the first quarter of 2022. Noting that India had inoculated 32 per cent of its people aged 45 years and above with single dose as against 27 per cent in France, 34 per cent in Germany and 46 per cent in the US, top government advisers today said the rate of vaccine coverage in India was “a matter to be proud of”. Chairman of the empowered group on vaccines VK Paul projected the availability of 216 crore vaccine doses in India between August and December 2021, saying that the country would soon have enough stocks to cover 95 crore adults who would require 190 crore doses. The projected availability of over 200 crore doses includes 75 crore doses of Covishield, 55 crore doses of Covaxin, 15.6 crore doses of Sputnik V (vaccines licensed in India) and stocks of the yet to be licensed vaccines — Bio E vaccine (projected availability of 30 crore doses between August and December); Zydus Cadila DNA vaccine (5 crore doses), continued on page 9 Increase aid to India: Lawmakers to Biden 3,62,727 FRESH CASES TOTAL DEATHS ACTIVE CASES 2,58,317 37,10,525 4,120 DEATHS IN 24 HOURS FB CAMPAIGN TO FIGHT COVID ‘MISINFORMATION’ Facebook on Thursday said it would roll out a campaign in the coming weeks to “educate and inform people” about how to detect misinformation related to Covid-19. PTI MODI TO TALK TO DMs OF 100 HIGH-BURDEN DISTS A patient on oxygen support inside a bus in Bengaluru on Thursday. PTI PM MISSING ALONG WITH O2, MEDICINES The PM is also missing, along with vaccines, oxygen and medicines. All that remain are the Central Vista Project and GST on medicines. Rahul Gandhi ❝ Washington, May 13 Fifty-seven US Congressmen have written to President Joe Biden, urging him to bolster America’s Covid-19 assistance to India. “The sharp increase in cases has overwhelmed India’s healthcare system. We must do our part to quell the virus everywhere it persists,” the lawmakers said in a letter to Biden on Wednesday. “We are extremely concerned with regard to India’s deadly second wave. India is now the epicentre of the pandemic,” said the letter initiated by Congressman Brad Sherman. WORLD Govt: Virus will find new Provide food, ration for stranded pathways, curbs the key migrants, SC tells Delhi, Hry, UP Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 13 The Centre on Thursday said the virus would ultimately go to villages as its natural course was to look for vulnerable populations to infect. VK Paul, who leads the government Covid response, said, “The virus will ultimately go to the villages. Finding new transmission pathways, when it does not find enough people to infect in cities, it will travel to villages. Containment is the key.” Paul also said while it UPWARD TREND Punjab, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, HP Odisha, , Assam, Puducherry & Manipur ON THE DECLINE Maha, UP Karnataka, Haryana, , JK, Chandigarh and Ladakh was known that the second wave would come, no modelling had indicated its size. The remarks came on a day when government data showed a plateau in daily cases and positivity rate for three days but above 15 per cent positivity rate in 24 states. New Delhi, May 13 The Supreme Court on Thursday directed Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to open community kitchens in the NCR for stranded migrant workers amid the current wave of Covid-19 and facilitate transportation for labourers who want to return home. Passing a slew of interim directions to ameliorate the miseries of migrant workers facing difficulties in the wake of the recent surge in Covid-19 cases and restrictions imposed in several FACILITATE MOVEMENT The Bench directed that the district administration, in coordination with the police, may identify such stranded migrant labourers and facilitate their transport either by road or train. parts of India, the apex court directed that dry ration be provided to them in the national capital region (NCR) under ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Scheme’ or any other scheme by the Centre and governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. A Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah said the Centre may also issue instructions to the Ministry of Railways to take necessary and adequate measures to cater to the need of migrant workers. The top court passed the order on an application filed by three activists who sought directions to the Centre and states to ensure food security, cash transfers, transport continued on page 9 Covishield dose gap widenedto12-16wks Tribune News Service NewDelhi, May13 India today increased the interval between the two doses of the Covishield vaccine from 6-8 weeks to 12-16 weeks after an expert panel recommended changes based on the experience in the UK. “The Health Ministry has accepted this recommendation of the Covid Working Group for extension of the gap between the first and second doses of Covishield vaccine to 12-16 weeks,” an official statement said. The group chaired by leading vaccinologist NK Arora relied on studies from the UK that established the efficacy of AstraZeneca vaccine reached 82.4 per cent after the second dose in people Tribune News Service EQUIPMENT: CENTRE Chandigarh, May 13 A blame game has erupted between the Centre and state government over supply of ‘faulty’ ventilators to Punjab under the PM Cares Fund. The state had claimed that around 90 per cent ventilators sent by the Centre were faulty and non-functional. Countering the charge, the Union Government said the state’s infrastructure to run The Centre said a few more states, which were supplied ventilators, failed to install the machines in hospitals. The Union Health Secretary wrote to seven such states on April 11 to get the installation expedited. However, authorities in Punjab said as soon the necessity arose, the ventilators were put into service and most performed poorly. IN BRIEF the equipment was faulty, not the ventilators. In a statement, the Union Health Ministry said among KATHMANDU: KP Sharma Oli, as leader of the largest party in Nepal’s Parliament, was reappointed as PM on Thursday as Opposition parties failed to secure majority seats. WORLD Court junks Kalra’s anticipatory bail plea NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Thursday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Navneet Kalra in connection with alleged black-marketing of oxygen concentrators. — PTI Qaida man seeks nod to work as doc in Tihar NEW DELHI: Sabeel Ahmed, an alleged Al-Qaida member, a doctor lodged in Tihar, has moved a Delhi court seeking nod to assist prison staff in treating infected inmates. — PTI Chandigarh, May13 Faced with shortage of vaccine amid the second wave, the Punjab Cabinet has decided to join the COVAX facility alliance for global sourcing and procurement of Covid vaccines at best price, becoming the first state to take such an initiative. The Cabinet has also decided to start from tomorrow vaccination for families of healthcare workers in government with a dosing interval of 12 weeks or more. If the two doses were given less than six weeks apart, the efficacy was only 54.9 pc. “It’s a sciencebased decision. We started with a dosing interval of 4-6 weeks for Covishield which was raised to 6-8 weeks. The UK and WHO recommended an interval of over 12 weeks between the two doses of Covishield. In the UK, continued on page 9 Should we hang ourselves over vax shortage: Minister Bengaluru, May 13 Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers DV Sadananda Gowda on Thursday sought to know whether people in the government should hang themselves for failure to produce vaccines. He was talking to mediapersons here. — PTI New Delhi, May 13 The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has postponed the June 27 civil services preliminary examination to October 10 in view of the alarming Covid situation. The commission conducts civil services examination annually in three stages—preliminary, main and interview — to select officers of the IAS, IFS and the IPS. The UPSC prelims exam was scheduled to be conducted for which the notification was issued on March 4 for 712 vacancies. — TNS NOD TO PURCHASE OF COVAXIN FOR INDUSTRIAL WORKERS and private sectors as well as those suffering from co-morbidities in the 18-44 years’ category. It also approved the purchase of Covaxin for industrial workers for whose vaccination the industry has expressed willingness to pay. The decisions were taken at a Cabinet meeting held to review the situation. INSIDE Bodies buried on the banks of the Ganga in Unnao district of UP. PTI Bodies found buried near Ganga in Unnao Mukesh Ranjan Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 13 The Uttar Pradesh authorities continue to retrieve unclaimed decomposed bodies of suspected Covid victims in the state with corpses today found buried in the sand on the banks of the Ganga in UP’s Unnao district. Over the last 3 days, decomposed and bloated bodies have been found washed ashore in two other districts of the state — Ghazipur and Ballia. The first such incident was reported four days ago from the bordering Buxar district in Bihar, where the district administration retrieved 71 bodies from the Ganga. After locals informed the administration about the bodies buried on the Baksar ghat along the Ganga in the Bigha- PROBE ORDERED After the matter came to light, a sub-divisional magistrate was sent to the spot for a probe. He will submit his report soon. ❝ Ravindra Kumar, UNNAO DM NHRC ISSUES NOTICE The NHRC has issued notices to the Union Jal Shakti Ministry, UP and Bihar after receiving complaints about bodies found floating in the Ganga in the two states. pur Patan tehsil area, Unnao District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar rushed officials to the spot and ordered a probe. “The district administration swung into action after locals spotted bodies buried on the Baksar ghat with some continued on page 9 Khattar blames farm ECpaneltoidentifyflaws Guv shown black flags in Cooch Behar stir for spike in villages during Assembly polls Tribune News Service Oli PM again, Oppn fails to get numbers ventilators installed at Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital (GGSMCH), Faridkot, 88 ventilators were supplied by Bharat Electronics Limited and five by AgVa Healthcare. “There are issues/problems with the infrastructure, including non-availability of required pressure in the central oxygen gas pipelines. Further, the consumables like flow sensors, bacteria filters continued on page 9 edit: ventilator fiasco The working group is learnt to have recommended that Covid-positive patients defer their vaccinations for six months after recovery instead of the present 4-8 weeks post recovery. UPSC prelims exam to be now held on Oct 10 Centre, Punjab spar over ‘faulty’ ventilators Pb to inoculate 18+ kin of health staff from today STATES FAILED TO INSTALL Vishav Bharti & Balwant Garg POST-RECOVERY, JAB AFTER 6 MTHS MULLED Chandigarh, May13 Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today blamed the ongoing farmers’ agitation against three agri laws for a spike in Covid-19 cases in rural areas. “The rise in cases in rural areas is because of the (farmers’) dharnas. Many villages have seen a spike as people are coming from and going back (to dharna sites),” Khattar said while addressing a virtual press conference here today. The CM said he had appealed to farm leaders last month to suspend their agitation till the pandemic was brought under control. Again urging the farm leaders to end the stir, he said they should understand the situation. “They say they will take the vaccine, but will not get tested. If we do not conduct tests, how will we know who is infected or not. Therefore, they should come forward to AID FOR BPL FAMILIES ■ BPL families who have lost a member to Covid in second wave to be given ~2 lakh each ■ 20% of vaccine supply reserved for frontline workers — electricity, roadways, public health staff and scribes ■ Over 3,000 cylinders have been refilled and delivered to homes so far, the CM said get the tests done,” he said, adding that everyone should have faith in the healthcare system. On the alleged gangrape of a West Bengal woman at Tikri border, he said the police were conducting investigation. “Whoever is found guilty, strict action will be taken against them,” he added. New Delhi, May 13 The Election Commission has decided to set up a panel to identify shortcomings during the recently held five Assembly polls. Elections were held in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry. The ‘core committee’ has been tasked to identify shortcomings in the Election Commission’s regulatory regime, and the gaps in implementation and enforcement at the level of state chief electoral officers and district officials. The committee will also look into the need to strengthen the legal and regulatory framework to allow the commission to ensure more effective compliance of guidelines, including Covid-19 norms. — PTI Cooch Behar, May 13 West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was on Thursday shown black flags at Sitalkuchi, where four villagers died after firing by central forces during the elections, while “go back” slogans were raised at Dinhata during his visit to Cooch Behar district to meet people “affected” by the post-poll violence. Earlier in the day, the Governor said he was shocked by incidents of attacks following Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar meets a violence victim in Cooch Behar. PTI the West Bengal Assembly elections. “The country is facing a Covid crisis and West Bengal is facing twin challenges of the pandemic and continued on page 9 Rising positivity rate in Himachal’s 4 districts a worry Shimla, May 13 A high positivity rate of 26.3 per cent in Himachal has placed the state’s health services under a tremendous strain. The positivity and fatality rate has been on the rise for the past one week with 66 deaths recorded on Wednesday and 63 on Thursday. The count is too high for a small state like HP . The active cases crossed 40,000 on Thursday. The total cases since the outbreak of the pandemic have crossed the 1.50 lakh mark. The state saw a jump of 6 per cent in positivity rate within a week. The fatality rate stands at 1.42. Marriages and Kumbh returnees have proved to be super-spreaders. Even though the state government claims to produce more oxygen than is required, families who have lost their dear ones to the virus blame non-availability COVID METER: OVERALL POSITIVITY RATE JUMPS TO 26.3% DISTRICT +VE% DEATH % Lahaul Spiti Chamba Kullu Una Kinnaur Bilaspur 10.5 15.7 16.7 18.1 19.0 23.0 0.00 0.66 1.27 1.15 0.63 0.19 of oxygen for the deaths. Alarmingly, the positivity rate has crossed 30 per cent in four districts — Sirmaur DISTRICT +VE% DEATH % Hamirpur Kangra Mandi Solan Shimla Sirmaur 25.4 28.2 30.6 31.1 34.1 38.4 1.08 1.48 0.95 1.55 1.56 1.02 (38.4%), Shimla (34.10%), Solan (31.10%) and Mandi (30.60%). Even though the government has imposed a Covid curfew, the damage has already been done. The recent decision of the government to restrict the number of invitees to weddings to 20 has come rather late. Kangra has been the worsthit reporting 1,277 new cases and 15 deaths on Thursday. To manage the swelling number of patients requiring hospitalisation has become a daunting task for the district administration. — 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.
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