BHUBANESWAR l wednesday l april 14, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l LATE CITY EDITION Skymet predicts healthy, normal monsoon this year The private weather forecaster said on Tuesday this season’s rainfall will be 103% of 50-year average of 88 cm, with an error margin of 5% 106% of long-period average rain in June “That is the healthy normal,” said G P Sharma, president (meteorology), Skymet Weather. He added there is 60% probability of a ‘normal’ monsoon and 15% probability of ‘above normal’ rainfall. On a monthly scale, June is likely to receive rainfall of 106% of the long-period average, while July may record 97%. August and September are expected to get 99% and 116% ■ 2021 North India, n.e. may get less showers ■ In terms of geographical risk, the plains of north India along with a few parts of the north-east region are likely to be at risk of being rain-deficient through the season, the Skymet said The India Meteorological Department, India’s official weather forecaster, is likely to release its monsoon forecast later this week could mark the third consecutive year of good monsoon for India 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 15-day janta curfew in maharashtra Seating capacity in public transport system In autos, only two passengers will be allowed to travel at a time. For four wheelers, 50% vehicle capacity will be permitted. Full seating occupancy will be allowed on buses. Strict restrictions for enforcement relate to movement of people but not on goods and commodities, the Maharashtra government said in its advisory Sec 144 to be in force in entire state from Wed 8 pm; SOS to the PM to rush oxygen by air SU D HIR SURYAWA N SHI @ Mumbai Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday announced a 15-day long state-wide ‘janta curfew’. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code will come into effect on April 14 at 8 pm and will be in force till May 1, he said in an address to the people of Maharashtra. During the period, people will not be allowed to travel without a valid reason. All establishments, public places, activities, services shall remain closed. This, however, will not apply to those offering essential services. “Public transport will not be halted but will be restricted to those working in essential services like doctors, nurses and bankers. Industry is allowed to operate but workers should stay near the plant, he said. Thackeray added the state government will use the 15 days What will be open l Hospitals, diagnostic centres, clinics, vaccination, medical insurance offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and other medical and healthcare services. l Groceries, vegetable shops, fruit vendors, dairies, bakeries and all type of food shops l Public transport, including flights, trains, taxis, buses and auto rickshaws l Export, import of all commodities l E-commerce for the supply of essential services l Petrol pumps, ATMs, all kinds of cargo services l Offices can work with max 50% capacity l All manufacturing sectors involved in essential services to work with full capacity to set up more healthcare facilities to deal with the crisis. The announcement came on a day when the state reported 60,212 positive cases. In his address, Thackeray also flagged the shortage in oxygen, Remdesivir and beds for Covid patients. He said Maharashtra urgently needs 50,00060,000 Remdesivir doses and 980 tonnes of oxygen. “If cases continue to rise, What will not be open l All restaurants and bars for indining; home delivery allowed but no takeaway or pick-up l All establishments, public places, activities and services. Only people from essential services category then we will need around one lakh Remdesivir injections and even more oxygen. I spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he gave permission to bring oxygen from West Bengal and some northern states. However, it is difficult to bring oxygen from faraway places by road as it will consume a lot of time,” Thackeray said, adding that he has requested the Centre to rush life-saving oxygen will have unrestricted movement l No schools, colleges across the state l Cinema halls, swimming pools, gyms, etc l No shooting of movies or serials l Places of worship to remain closed and medicine using military . All registered auto drivers, construction labourers, domestic workers and hawkers will be given `1,500 each. “Besides, 3 kg wheat and 2 kg rice will be given to the poor for one month, free,” he added. Thackeray also raised the issue of GST compensation. “The state should get all financial help from the Centre during the pandemic,” he said. Door wide open for 11 districts run dry, 66% sites closed sans vaccine foreign vaccines S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi A day after adding Russia’s Sputnik V to the list of approved vaccines, India populated it further by deciding to put emergency approvals for foreign-produced coronavirus jabs on the fast track that have been granted restricted use per mission elsewhere. By doing so, it sought to take the sting out of the mounting criticism on sparse approvals by insisting on bridging trials, leading to vaccine shortage at a time when Covid infections in the country have surpassed the first peak of the pandemic India witnessed last year. The fig leaf of bridging trial continues to stay, as the first 100 beneficiaries of such foreign vaccines shall be assessed for seven days for safety outcomes before they are rolled out for further immunisation programmes within the country . Authorities, however, maintained that it may be several weeks before any of the foreign made vaccines are available for public use in India and will also depend on the interest shown by the manufacturers. The matter was discussed at length and decided upon at the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC), chaired by V K Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog, on Sunday last. “This decision will facilitate quicker access to such foreign vaccines by India and would encourage imports, including import of bulk drug material, optimal utilisation of domestic fill and finish capacity,” the Union health minP9 istry said in a statement. Easy access The relaxation in rules makes it easier for jabs by Pfizer, Moderna, J&J and Novavax to apply for emergency use though they have not been tested on Indian population NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 12 1,68,912 91,719 904 April 13 1,61,736 76,481 879 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar AMID the strong second wave, the Covid vaccination continued to remain affected in Odisha with as many as 11 districts going without administering a single jab the whole day on Tuesday. Health department sources said over 66 per cent session sites were closed in the State. Vaccination was conducted only at 495 centres of the 1,476 centres and a mere 66,787 doses were administered against the target of over 2.5 lakh. The districts where vaccination came to a complete halt included Sambalpur, Puri, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Nayagarh, Boudh, Gajapati, Dhenkanal, Koraput, Jharsuguda and Sonepur. Apart from the districts, only one centre each was open in Balangir and Kendrapara, two each in Jagatsinghpur and Keonjhar, three in Balasore, five in Deogarh, six each in Nabarangpur and Rayagada and seven in Kandhamal. Even as both the Centre and 1,784 new cases in Odisha The new Covid-19 infections flared up sharply in Odisha as 1,784 people tested positive and two succumbed to the disease in last 24 hours | P3 ODISHA Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 12 1,741 538 2 April 13 1,784 523 2 State governments have been stressing on vaccination in the affected districts, no inoculation session could be conducted in at least four such districts including Jharsuguda and Koraput which share border with worst hit Chhattisgarh. The State has received two lakh doses of Covaxin on Tuesday. But, it will cater to the needs of beneficiaries in only Bhubaneswar as it is exclusively used in the Capital city, while Covishield is supplied to rest of the State. Health officials said more than 15 districts, which have been facing acute shortage of vaccine, will be forced to stop the drive on Wednesday. The 2.71 lakh doses of Covishield, received on Monday, have been dispatched to the districts, which had earlier run dry. Director (Family Welfare) Dr Bijay Panigrahi said the health administration has been facing difficulties in planning vaccination sessions due to non-availability of required quantity of vaccines. “Odisha should not be dealt on par with other states. The wastage is very negligible here and we are one of the top-10 states as far as vaccine usage is concerned,” he said. Additional Chief Secretary of Health PK Mohapatra said the State government is in constant touch with the Union Health Ministry for allotment of vaccine. “We have urged them to supply more Covishield doses as it is the only vaccine approved for the entire State,” he said. The State has 2.39 lakh doses of Covishield and 2.55 lakh doses of Covaxin in stock. So far 45,85,049 doses have been administered. silent protest West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday (pix) protested in the heart of Kolkata against the EC’s 24-hr campaign ban on her After her ban ended at 8 pm, she hit out at the EC at a rally, saying, “Efforts are on to stop me from campaigning at any cost.” Meanwhile, the EC barred BJP leader Rahul Sinha from campaigning for 48 hrs and sent notice to Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh | P10 Who will answer the poor police show? siba mohanty SK Hyder’s sensational escape from Cuttack’s SCB Medical College and Hospital (SCB MCH) is a big loss of face for the Odisha government. It is an ignominious statement on the state of affairs in the State police. The facile suspension of a havildar and five constables who escorted the notorious gangster to SCB MCH only shows a sheer lack of accountability at the top and an attempt to wash hands off the case. The police establishment and prison authorities are trying to pass the buck on to each other. Prison, officially comes under Home , Department and not Odisha Police. Criminals like Hyder – or for that matter his rivals like Tito – do not just operate when they are free. Jails are as good a place as any for them as they can sustain their whole criminal ecosystem from behind the walls. That’s precisely why most police forces have dedicated agencies like Special Task Force (STF) to deal with organized crime and their ring masters. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik created STF (apart from Economic Offences Wing) un- der the Crime Branch for the same purpose. But, what is the point of a dedicated wing if it is not keeping track of criminals like Hyder? The very story of how Hyder managed or was allowed to get a cabin in State’s premier government-run hospital needs thorough investigation besides his frequent visits to Cuttack. The prison administration and SCB management have a lot to explain for the mess the gangster’s escape has left behind. Still, focus must be on the porous police system that let him make away so easily. The SCB MCH has an outpost with over a dozen personnel deployed there. Then there is a full-fledged police station at Mangalabag under whose jurisdiction the hospital comes. Were these two units not mandated to keep an eye on Hyder and his associates who eventually helped him escape? This brings to the fore an utter lack of criminal intelligence which led to such an embarrassment for State Police. Clearly, no one – neither STF nor Twin City Police - was watching the hardened criminal nor thought it was prudent to keep track of his cronies. CONTINUED ON: P7
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