tirupati l friday l april 16, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION WPI inflation shoots up to 8-year high of 7.39% in March Rising crude oil and metal prices pushed up the wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation in March, government data showed on Thursday Low base contributes to spike WPI inflation was 4.17% in February 2021 and 0.42% in March 2020. The low base of March last year, when the data was computed with a low response rate due to the Covid lockdown, contributed to the spike in March 2021. This is the third straight month of increase in the WPI. The last time WPI showed such a high level was in October 2012, when inflation was 7.4% ■ 32.1% Driven by oil, metals, chemicals ■ Inflation in the fuel and power basket was 10.25% in March, against 0.58% in February on higher fuel prices Icra Chief Economist Aditi Nayar said the jump in WPI-inflation was driven by metals, textiles, chemicals, rubber, etc as many of them recorded large price increases globally in recent months | P10 Inflation of crude petroleum and natural gas in March 2021 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 Oxygen scarcity continues; Delhi overtakes Mumbai’s single-day peak; kumbh mela may end soon, akhada parishad to take final call Didi wants rest of phases clubbed, EC isn’t willing Mumbai vijayawada Express News service @ New Delhi Rejecting rumours that the remaining phases of elections in West Bengal would be clubbed in view of the rising Covid cases, the Election Commission said on Thursday that there is no such plan. Later in the day, Bengal CM and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee urged the Election Commission to consider conducting the remain polls at one go. “Amid an ongoing pandemic, we firmly opposed @ECISVEEP’s decision to conduct WB polls in 8 phases. Now, in view of the huge surge in #COVID19 cases, I urge the ECI to consider holding the remaining phases in ONE go,” she tweeted. Ex-chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi said the law doesn’t allow shortening the campaign period from the prescribed 14 days but postponing or extending by a few days is possible. “Clubbing with the last phase is doable,” he said. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi New Delhi The daily fresh Covid case count in the country shot past the 2-lakh mark on Thursday morning for the first time, amid reports of acute oxygen scarcity from various states. To get a sense of the unprecedented public health emergency staring India in the face, the country took just 10 days to double its active cases from 1 lakh to 2 lakh, while the US had taken more than 20 days in doubling to 2 lakh. And daily fatalities have crossed 1,000 since the last two days. Many experts fear the current trend may push daily infections up for many days to come and the country may even surpass the highest daily infections of over 3 lakh registered in the US in early January . Amid all the anxiety about the ongoing Maha Kumbh in Uttarakhand becoming a super spreader, there was some selfregulation as the Shri Panchayati Niranjani Akhada, one of the 13 participating akhadas, announced the conclusion of the mega event on April 17 instead of the scheduled May 8 in view of the pandemic. A final call will be taken by the apex body of 13 akhadas, Lucknow Clockwise from above: A family member after performing cremation of a Covid-19 victim at the Nigambodh Ghat; Gateway of India wears a deserted look; A no stock board is displayed at a vax centre in Vijaywada; The Bhaisakund crematorium in Lucknow being covered with blue tin sheets after videos showing many dead bodies burning went viral; A Covid-19 patient is given an oxygen supply mask inside an ambulance, outside the the Government Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad; People without masks at the Heritage Street, Amritsar | PTI/Express Ahmedabad Rush at Cremation grounds getting difficult to handle N a m i ta B a j pa i , R a j e s h K u m a r T h a k u r a n d An u r a a g S i n g h @ Lucknow/Patna/Bhopal Bodies of Covid patients piling up at cremation grounds have become a nightmare for the authorities. While Bihar is getting defunct electric crematoriums restarted in state capital Patna, in Uttar Pradesh the authorities in Lucknow came up with another solution: to cover up the cremation ground at Bhainsakund with tin sheets. The cover (see pic) was built a day after videos showing a large number of burning pyres went viral amid allega- Covid patient dies by suicide at kgh Visakhapatnam: A 50-year-old woman, who was undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at CSR block in the King George Hospital, leapt to death from the fifth floor of the building on Thursday. According to One Town police inspector Venkata Narayana, the woman along with her 53-year-old husband and 75-year-old motherin-law were admitted to the KGH CSR block on April 5 after testing positive for Covid. Her husband and mother-in-law were discharged after they recovered. This reportedly caused anxiety and fear in the mind of the woman that she might not recover. The family is from Anakapalle. Suicide Helpline OneLife: 78930-78930 Daily case count crosses two lakh, doubles in 10 days tions of the fatality count being under-reported. The Lucknow municipal authorities on Thursday got the tin sheets put up around the cremation g round’s boundary to block its view from outside. The step was taken keeping in mind people’s safety since it’s a Covidaffected area, they claimed. Given the huge rush of bodies, people are forced to wait for hours to cremate their dear ones. The Lucknow municipal corporation has decided to open more electric crematoriums and also to keep about 50 pyres ready daily to handle the next day’s rush. In Patna, too, there is a big queue every day, with exhausted cremation ground workers saying they are not even getting time to have food. The Bihar government has instructed that corona patients must be cremated in electric furnaces alone. At Bansghat, where the city’s only electric crematorium was operational, Alok Kumar, a worker, said: “About 20-25 bodies are being brought daily.” One body takes 45-60 mins to burn. “25-plus bodies being brought every day means we hardly get any break,” said Niru, 35, another Bansghat worker. More vax stocks expected to arrive by tomorrow 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 Thursday directed officials to write to the Centre for supply of Covid vaccine doses as the 6.4 lakh doses received on Tuesday night were completely exhausted. As of now, the State has no vaccine stocks. The Chief Minister, who has recently shot off a missive to the Prime Minister seeking 25 lakh doses, is likely to write again with a similar request. In a record of sorts, the CBI to probe cops who framed Nambi Narayanan E x p r e s s N e w s s e r v i c e @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Thursday accepted Justice D K Jain Committee’s report on the lapses of Kerala Police officers in the ISRO spying case and asked the Centre to hand it over to the CBI for further probe. A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar asked the CBI to submit its report within three months and made it clear that the panel’s report can’t be made public or shared with anyone, including former ISRO scientist S Nambi Narayanan. The court also clarified that the copies of the report can’t be given even to officials named in it or in the petition. The bench directed the CBI to treat the Jain panel report as a preliminary inquiry report and proceed further. Two-and-a-half-years after it was asked to look into the lapses in wrongfully arresting Nambi Narayanan in 1994, the Jain Committee submitted its report to the SC in a sealed cover. The panel probed the roles of police officers Siby Mathews, K K Joshua and S Vijayan in framing Narayanan. health department successfully administered 6,28,961 doses to the people on a single day on Wednesday. The rest were administered as a second dose to the beneficiaries on Thursday . By evening, the situation was back to square one. In fact, at many places in Srikakulam, Vijayawada and a few other places in Krishna district, Guntur and other parts of the State, ‘no vaccine’ boards were displayed at the centres much to the disappointment of the people. Online registration was also P5 stopped. Amritsar Tika Utsav 1.28 crore vax doses administered during 4-day Tika Utsav. But four days prior to that, 1.45 crore vaccine doses were administered AP COVID TRACKER STATE WIDE 9,42,135 Total cases 9,03,072 Total recoveries 7,353 Covid toll 31,710 Active cases 1,55,70,201 Total samples tested April 14 April 15 Fresh cases Samples tested Deaths Recoveries 4,157 35,732 18 1,606 5,086 35,741 14 1,745 Govt geared up Dial 104 for info on Covid services 1902 to lodge complaints Private hospitals to display treatment cost Primary contacts of Covid patients to be tested 6.05% positivity rate 15,669 beds available 1987 ventilators available 22,637 patients in home isolation 57,303 Remdesivir available 108 hospitals are under the health department for COVID treatment Decide on Collegium advice in reasonable timeframe: SC Express News service @ New Delhi Expressing concern over the Centre’s inordinate delay in responding to the Supreme Court Collegium’s recommendations for appointment of judges, the apex court on Thursday sought a ‘reasonable time frame’ from the government for a decision. It pointed out that 10 names recommended by the Collegium were pending with the government for a year-and-half. Attorney General K K Venugopal said the government will take a decision within three months. While reserving the order on a plea filed by NGO Lok Prahari seeking appointment of additional judges in high courts under Article 224A of the Constitution to reduce the pendency of cases, a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde also flagged the rise in false complaints against judges. The bench said judges should not be made to feel insecure because of that and there should be clarity about their tenure. The bench favoured fixing the tenure of two or more years for ad-hoc judges if they are appointed in high courts. Woman judges While hearing a plea on having meritorious women advocates as judges, CJI said many decline it citing domestic burdens. the Akhada Parishad. As many as 2,269 Covid positive cases have been detected so far in the mela area. With Delhi overtaking Mumbai’s single-day peak (11,163 on April 4) by recording over 17,000 fresh cases, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a weekend curfew and the closure of malls, gymnasiums and auditoriums till April 30 as part of sweeping restrictions to break the chain. Maharashtra stayed on top of the Covid chart with 61,695 fresh cases and 349 fatalities. As NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 14 1,84,372 82,339 1,027 April 15 1,97,865 1,04,507 1,019 many as 36 lakh patients in the state are on home quarantine while 27,273 are under institutional quarantine. With Uttar Pradesh recording 22,439 new cases and staying at second highest on the national list, the government decided to incremnetally increase the time of night curfew across the state. Also to handle the incoming migrant rush, the UP government has directed all district magistrates to open quarantine centres and kitchens for them. NEET PG exam National Eligibility-CumEntrance Test for PG courses scheduled to be held on April 18 postponed Train services up The Railways has pushed its train operations to 70% of pre-Covid level to handle the rush of migrant workers trying to return home
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