VISAKHAPATNAM l saturday l april 10, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Second Covid wave poses higher risks for economy Businesses to take huge hit if cases spike The rating agency expects a moderately worse environment for the Indian banking sector in 2021, but challenges would intensify if rising infections and follow-up measures to contain the virus further affect business and economic activity. Fitch forecasts India’s GDP growth at 12.8% for FY22. But the rising pace of infections poses renewed risks to the forecast, it said Fitch Ratings on Friday said the second wave of infections poses increased risks for India’s fragile economic recovery and its banks Challenging times for banking sector ■ ■ Over 80% of new cases are in six states, which account for 45% of total banking sector loans. Any further disruption in economic activity in these states would hit business sentiment, Fitch said Meanwhile, another report by Oxford Economics said India’s economy is resilient but the next few months will be critical MSME and retail loans are most at risk, according to Fitch Ratings CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Not just vax, Remdesivir supply short E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Mumbai/Jaipur/Bhopal/Bengaluru Amid states g rappling with stretched Covid facilities and vaccine shortage, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot sent an SOS to the Centre regarding vaccine supply on Friday even as more inoculation , centres were shut in Maharashtra, taking their total count to 592. There were reports of shortage of Remdesivir that is used to treat Covid patients, in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. Seventy-five of the 120 centres Big Data NATION WIDE April 8 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 1,26,789 59,258 685 visakhapatnam records highest single-day spike of 335 covid-19 cases Visakhapatnam: The district witnessed a sharp spike of 335 Covid-19 cases on Friday. The daily count is the highest since October. It recorded 290 cases on Thursday and 298 cases on Wednesday. There are 2,243 active cases in the district on Friday as against 2,082 on Thursday. The total Covid tally of the district went up to 64,474. The total recoveries increased to 61,675 with the discharge of 173 people from hospitals. Two more fatalities were reported in the district, said Andhra Medical College principal and Covid Special Officer PV Sudhakar. District Medical and Health Officer PS Suryanarayana said most of the new infections were reported in Vizag city. The new cases emerged from Madhurawada, Arilova, MVP Colony, Simhachalam and Pendurthi. As many as 6,000 Covid tests are being conducted a day. Eight surveillance teams were deployed for contact tracing and testing. A special drive will be organised in the district to vaccinate the remaining frontline workers. All the remaining Covid vaccine doses in the district will be used on Saturday as it is expected to get new stock by Monday, he said across Mumbai, including a jumbo facility in the Bandra Kurla Complex that was inoculating 4,000 people daily, halted vaccinating people on Friday as supply dried up. “We have been asking the Centre to ramp up the supply, but there is no positive response. To set up a centre, we spend a lot of money on infrastructure and engage many trained people. Shutting down the centres is a big setback to our vaccination drive,” said a senior health official in Maharashtra. In Rajasthan, the vaccine stock April 9 1,31,968 61,899 780 will last only two days, Ashok Gehlot said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and sought immediate supply of 30 lakh doses to ensure smooth continuation of the inoculation drive, particularly during the ‘tika utsav’ proposed by the PM. With hospital beds filling up and demand for oxygen growing, supply is drying up in some states. Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has already stated that the state is in “dire need” of oxygen of 1,700-2,500 MT oxygen by Continued on: P5 April-end. Maha pitch for 1,200 ventilators andhra pradesh Apart from vaccines and Remdesivir shots, Maharashtra needs 1,200 more ventilators from the Centre, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Friday Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 8 April 9 2,558 915 6 2,765 1,245 11 Jagan sends SoS to PM, seeks 25 lakh vaccine doses for State E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to urgently make available 25 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine before April 11 (Sunday) so that the 4-day ‘Tika Utsav’ could be celebrated successfully. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Jagan drew his attention to the severe shortage of vaccines being faced by the State. “Currently, my state has only 2 lakh doses and another 2 lakh doses are expected to be received today. There is an urgent need for another 25 lakh doses for our State which if made available to us before 11th April, Tika Utsav can be celebrated,” he informed and further explained the roadmap drawn up for the Tika Utsav. It may be mentioned that the Prime Minister has given the call for the Tika Utsav to be held from April 11 to 14. Jagan, in his missive, told Modi that an action plan has been drawn up to cover six lakh people (four lakhs in rural areas and two lakhs in urban areas) per day totalling to 24 lakh people in four days of the utsav. “However, for ensuring that such Tika Utsav is a success, the vaccine supplies must be assured,” he stressed and urged the Prime Minister to instruct the Health Ministry to supply 25 lakh doses of Covid vaccine to the State. The State government has proposed to rope in volunteers to mobile eligible people for vaccination during the utsav. Every day, 1,145 villages and 259 wards covering 1,140 PHCs and 259 UHCs will be covered. In four days, 4,850 villages and 1,036 urban wards will be covered to ensure that all people aged above 45 are vaccinated in the State. Resort politics back as Assam Oppn candidates flown to Raj Eighteen from AIUDF and two from Congress brought to Fairmont Hotel in Jaipur to keep them off BJP reach @ Kolkata/New Delhi/Patna/Mumbai Unauthorised US Navy drill in Indian Zone MAYANK SINGH @ New Delhi Two days after a US Navy conducted an unusual ‘navigation operation’ through India’s Exclusive Economic Zone off Lakshadweep Islands without prior permission, Delhi on Friday conveyed its concer ns to Washington through diplomatic channels. On Wednesday, the US Navy had issued a statement saying its warship, USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), “asserted navigational rights and freedoms 130 nautical miles west of the Lakshadweep Islands, without requesting India’s prior consent.” According to the US, India’s claims on EEZ under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) are inconsistent with international law. While India ratified the UNCLOS in 1982, the US is not a signatory . Admiral Arun Prakash, former Navy chief, said it is strange the US Navy not only chose to violate India’s rights but publicise it. YS Sharmila, sister of CM Jagan Mohan Reddy, waves to the crowd at a public meeting in Khammam, Telangana on Friday | EXPRESS Sharmila fires at KCR, plans 3-day fast E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Khammam Summoning the mood when her late father YS Rajasekhara Reddy took out his historic Praja Prasthanam Padayatra on this day 18 years ago, YS Sharmila, in a prelude to launching her party , called Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to account on the promises he had made to various sections of society including the , jobless youth, farmers, minorities and other disadvantaged sections like the tribals. Though she deferred the launch of her party to her father’s birth anniversary on July 8, she did not leave much to imagination as to what the party’s philosophy would be and how she intended to go forward. She made no secret of her intention of fighting not only the TRS but also the other two Opposition parties — Con- gress and the BJP — which were all working hand in glove. She announced an agitation programme, which includes a three-day hunger strike by her at Hyderabad from April 15 and from then on, relay hunger strike by the leaders of the party all over the State till such time the State government comes out with a notification for filling 1.91 lakh jobs in the government as promised by Chandrasekhar Rao. P4 review meet Develop Bhogapuram-Vizag route: CM to officials E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday directed officials to focus on the development of the area between the upcoming international airport at Bhogapuram and Visakhapatnam city to ensure that the region offers a quality life to the people. He was speaking at a review meeting on the development of Greater Visakhapatnam, which has been announced as the executive capital of the State. Interestingly, renowned architect Bimal Patel was also present at the meeting. He is the man behind the design of Central Vista Project in New Delhi and also the architect of development plan for Kashi Vishwanath temple complex in Varanasi. The Chief Minister instructed the officials concerned to pay special attention to the development of road network connecting Bhogapuram and Visakhapatnam city. At the same time, he said the plans for the development of road network should integrate tram and metro rail systems. Bypass roads connecting Bhogapuram international air- B E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Apprehending poaching by the BJP Assam’s Congress-led grand alli, ance of Opposition has moved 20 party candidates to a hotel in Jaipur. Eighteen from minority-based All India United Democratic Front and two from the Congress were sent to Rajasthan in a chartered plane on Friday . They all have been kept in Fairmont Hotel, where Rajasthan Congress MLAs were kept for days after rebellion by party leader Sachin Pilot. “We have just landed in Rajasthan. The Chief Minister (Ashok Gehlot) is making all arrangements for our stay one of them said. ,” Speculations are rife that the remaining Opposition candidates will fly out of Assam soon. The third and final phase Assam polls were held on April 6 and the results of the keenly-contested elections will be declared on May 2. Given past experiences, they are not taking any chances. In the last Manipur elections, the Congress had bagged 28 seats compared to the BJP’s 22 in the 60-member House but the latter managed to cobble together the numbers — courtesy defections — and form the government. Congress and AIUDF are components of the 10-party Opposition alliance, which was formed two months ago to oust the BJP from power. Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) is another key constituent of the alliance. Confirming this development, Congress Chief Whip in the Rajasthan Assembly Mahesh Joshi said, “It is now a well-known trend that the BJP tries to indulge in horse-trading. So, the aim is to take measures for protecting our people.” port to other places should also be planned. Beautification of Beach Road as a tourist attraction should be made an integral part of the Vizag city development project, he said. Municipal Administration and Urban Development Special Chief Secretary Y Srilakshmi, Visakhapatnam District Collector V Vinay Chand and other officials were present. Buddha and what’s left of the citadel The possibility of the BJP indulging in dirty tricks and influence our candidates made us take the decision AIUDF organising secretary Md Aminul Islam It has become a trend that the BJP tries to break the Congress after losing polls. So, the allies want to take guard Congress general secretary R S Surjewala Twenty leaders have come from Assam and we have been asked to take care of them. I don’t know how long they will stay here Congress Chief Whip in Raj Assembly Mahesh Joshi etween the binary of a ladaku neta (the warlike Mamata Banerjee) and the PM’s fort-destroyer act, complete with taunts and slogans, there’s another figure who’s also in the contest—quite strangely in his absence. He is Bud, dhadeb Bhattacharjee. The 77-year-old former West Bengal CM’s failing health—especially respiratory trouble in this Covid season—has kept him away from the public stage. All that has come from him by way of intervention in this election season is a statement. He shot a single arrow, talking of “the unravelling of the Singur-Nandigram conspiracy”, and the irony of “the conspirators now fighting each other” in the silence of the graveyard. Where did he find ‘silence’ in this deafeningly high-decibel contest? What he refers to is the silence— of West Bengal the lackthisany discussion, amidst very personalised campaign—on what SANTWANA BHATTACHARYA he believes to be the real issue. That is, the derailed industrialisation of Bengal. His own attempt to reverse that, beginning from Singur-Nandigram, was a dark and fated one: it had cost Buddhadeb his government and led to his ignominious exit from electoral politics. He had even lost the Jadavpur seat to his former chief secretary Manish Gupta, , by a margin of over 16,000 votes. That was in 2011, when Mamata swept into power on what was called a mandate for paribartan (change). Ten years down the line, the BJP is riding on the idea of asol paribartan (real change). If that sounds like an echo, there are reasons why it resonates. They are the same reasons from a decade ago. Jobless youth are the most common sight everywhere in the state—even though Bengal’s unemployment, if CMIE data is to be believed, is less than that of Haryana, Rajasthan or Bihar. Indeed, at 17.4% as per the CMIE 2020 annual survey , Bengal’s unemployment is even less than the national average. But it’s nearly double compared to neighbouring Odisha and Assam’s 9.6%. Take the group of youth, all graduates, whiling away their time around a tea stall outside one of Bishnupur’s famous terracotta temples. Continued on P8 None of them have jobs.
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10-04-2021 of The New Indian Express-Vishakapatnam