bhubaneswar l Saturday l april 17, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late CITY EDITION SC norms for fast disposal of cheque-bounce cases The SC on Friday issued a slew of directions for fast disposal of cheque-bounce cases, which have choked justice delivery system 30% Negotiable instruments act to be amended Evidence through affidavit The Supreme Court said there should be a single trial in multiple chequebounce cases, if transactions involved are the same. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde asked the Centre to make suitable amendments in the Negotiable Instruments Act and recommended that cases lodged in 12 months time against a person be clubbed into one case ■ ■ The apex court directed all high courts to issue guidelines for trial courts for speedy disposal of cheque bounce cases The court also said the evidence in such cases can now be tendered by filing affidavits, and there would be no requirement to examine witnesses physically Share of cheque-bounce cases in total pendency at trial courts & high courts 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 Bid to ramp up oxygen, vax production, supply No vaccination during weekend curfew; 50% sites run dry in State PM takes stock, urges synergy to ease bottlenecks; Bharat Biotech gets aid to produce more Covaxin; other firms too to manufacture it E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Faced with an acute shortage of medical grade oxygen and vaccines in the wake of the massive second Covid wave that is nowhere near its peak, the Centre on Friday sought to ease all bottlenecks as part of its crisis management and step up their production. Prime Minister Narendra Modi did a comprehensive review of the oxygen situation and urged Union ministries and state governments to build synergy to address gaps in the system. The meeting came a day after the government decided to import 50,000 metric tonnes of oxygen after first claiming that there is enough production capacity within India to meet the demand. To address vaccine shortage, the government sought to scale up production of the indigenous Covaxin developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, by providing `65 crore aid to the company’s unit in Bengaluru. It has already allowed Mum- bai-based Haffkine Institute to produce Covaxin on technology transfer basis. Covaxin’s share in the current vaccine pool in just about 15%, as the present capacity of Bharat Biotech is about 1 crore doses a month. The Centre plans to increase production to 2 crore doses by May-June and by 6-7 crore by July-August, for which talks are on with at least two more companies - Indian Immunologicals Ltd, Hyderabad and BIBCOL, Bulandshehar. The meeting convened by the PM specifically took stock of the oxygen availability in 12 high burden states, including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 15 2,00,739 93,528 1,038 April 16 2,17,353 1,18,302 1,185 Variants of concern Of about 14,000 Covid samples whose whole genomic sequencing has been carried out, 1,189 tested positive for variants of concern, the Centre said on Friday Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. These states have already been allocated 4,880 MT, 5,619 MT and 6,593 MT for meeting their projected demand as on April 20, April 25 and April 30, respectively . Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Friday wrote to the state chief secretaries, advising free inter-state movement of oxygen carrying vehicles, saying no curb shall be imposed on oxygen manufacturers and suppliers to impose geographical limits on supplies. Meanwhile, a section of the saints camping in Haridwar for the Maha Kumbh were agitated after an akhada claimed the mela would end on Saturday A . final decision will be taken by the Akhada Parishad, the apex body of 13 akhadas. At of now, at least 50 seers have tested positive for Covid 19. They include Mahant Ravindra Puri of the Niranjani Akhada who on Thursday announced that his akhada will consider closure of the mega event on April 17. P7 Odisha govt forms high-level panel to curb black marketing of Covid drugs E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar With instances of hoarding and black marketing of Remdesivir and other Covid-19 treatment drugs raising serious concer n in many parts of the country, Odisha government on Friday constituted a high-level committee to prevent such malpractices in the State. The three member State level committee headed by the Additional Director General of Police, Crime Branch, will strictly monitor the market and take preventive action against possi- ble hoarding and black marketing of medicines and other medical supplies essential for treatment and prevention of Covid-19. While the Drugs Controller will be convenor of the committee, the other members will be not below the rank of joint secretary from the Health and Family Welfare department. A notification issued by the Home department said that the decision was taken after it was found that medicines and other medical supplies essential for Covid-19 are being hoarded and sold in the black market by some unscrupulous elements in the wake of the recent surge in cases. The committee will supervise the district wise position of availability of essential medical supplies and ensure that the officers conducting raids, search and seizure get full cooperation from various agencies including police wherever required. The district level authorities will monitor the position of availability of essential medical supplies and take corrective action including search and seizure as per the provisions of the statute, the notification added. E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e Covid victims being cremated at Swarnrekha Ghat in Ranchi on Friday | PTI Maharashtra Aurangabad district administration has acquired the oxygen plant of R L Steel in Chitegaon of Paithan to produce nearly 500 medical grade oxygen cylinders per day New Delhi IndiGo to waive fee to change time or date on domestic tickets that are booked between April 17 and April 30 due to Covid. However, cancellation fee will be chargeable Uttar Pradesh Full lockdown across all UP districts this Sunday Andhra Pradesh Vaccine stock exhausted, just 4,300 doses could be administered on Friday; CM writes to Modi for 60 lakh more doses ODISHA Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 15 O2 status check Madhya Pradesh Daily supply up from 130 MT to 295 MT. In 34 districts. 1,273 O 2 concentrators installed till date. Air Concentrator Units are being installed in 8 districts BIHAR Govt claims oxygen availability is sufficient for the next 7-10 days. But private hospitals complain of oxygen scarcity JHARKHAND Govt claims there is no shortage, but patients are facing problems in getting oxygen support. A special task force has been formed to address it express read April 16 2,989 837 2 Covid cases cross 3,000 mark, TPR nears 10 pc 3,108 952 3 Bhubaneswar: The new Covid-19 cases surged past 3,000-mark in Odisha with 3,108 people testing positive and three succumbing to the disease in last 24 hours. The daily count was highest in the past six months as 3,144 infections were detected on October 7 last year | P2 EC bans rallies from 7 pm to 10 am in Bengal UK home secy clears Nirav’s extradition London: UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has signed off on the order to extradite fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, wanted in India on fraud and money laundering charges. Modi has a 14-day window to appeal against the decision | P7 P r o n a b M o n d a l @ Kolkata In the all-party meeting called by the Election Commission on Friday there were no takers for the TMC’s suggestion to club , the remaining phases of the polls. However, keeping in view the serious Covid situation, the EC asked parties to religiously follow protocols. The poll panel warned them of criminal action in case of violation of Covid guidelines. “Candidates and political parties shall ensure absolute, repeat absolute, adherence to Covid guidelines...” the poll panel said in its order. It asked star campaigners to tell their audience to wear masks in the beginning of the event itself and directed political parties to provide masks and sanitisers to all those who come to attend rallies. The EC cut short the time for rallies and public meetings by banning them from 7 pm to 10 am. It also extended the silence period from 48 hours to 72 hours for the remaining three phases scheduled to be held on April 22, 26 and 29. Bengal reported 6,747 P8 new cases in the past 24 hours. Eight killed in shooting at US FedEx facility A gunman killed eight people and wounded several others before apparently taking his own life in a late-night attack at a FedEx facility near the Indianapolis airport, police said, in the latest in a spate of mass shootings in the US PAGE-9 Family Welfare Minister Naba Kishore Das has requested Union Health Minister Dr The State government on Fri- Harsh Vardhan to allot 25 lakh day announced suspension of doses of Covishield in a single vaccination drive in the ur- lot for the next 10 days. ban areas of 10 districts borThe Health Minister said dering Chhattisgarh during even as the State is prepared weekends until further order. to undertake three lakh vacThe halt in vaccination has cinations daily it is not possi, been necessitated in view of ble due to scanty supply “Odi. the weekend shutdown im- sha is being allocated two to posed in the districts to con- three lakh vaccine doses in a tain the spread of Covid-19. gap of two days. Since it takes However, the drive will con- about three days to transfer tinue in rural areas of the vaccine from the State vacdistricts. cine store to cold chain Meanwhile, batpoints in the far-off distling acute shortage tricts, there is stock out of vaccines, the govsituation in several disernment once again tricts due to intermitAround 400 urg ed the Union sites will carry tent supply,” Das pointHealth Ministry to out vaccination ed out. supply adequate While there is nil on Saturday. quantities of doses. stock of Covishield vacThere is no The vaccination vaccine stock in cine presently at the Koraput, was badly affected State-level, regional and Jharsuguda on Friday as only 781 district stores, only and Nuapada sites of the total 1,476 91,424 doses of Covwere open for inocu- Dr Bijay Panigrahi, ishield and 2,49,196 doslation in 29 districts. es of Covaxin are availDirector, Family It was no vaccinaable in cold chain points Welfare tion day for Koraput in the State. The State district due to nonreceived three lakh dosavailability of doses. The es of Covishield on Friday . number of inoculations came Director of Family Welfare down to only around 91,195 on Dr Bijay Panigrahi said it will Friday from over two lakh a take at least a day to dispatch few days earlier. the vaccine to the districts. Health officials said Odi“Around 400 sites will carry out vaccination on Saturday. sha required more doses of There is no vaccine stock in Covishield as the vaccine Koraput, Jharsuguda has been approved for and Nuapada,” he the entire State said. Of the 53,79,650 while Covaxin doses of vaccines, has been allowed including 48,42,870 for Bhudoses of Covbaneswar ishield and only . 5,36,780 doses of Citing exCovaxin received t re m e ly l ow so far, the State and intermittent has adminissupply of Covid tered 49,01,975 vaccines to the doses. State, Health and @ Bhubaneswar US keeps India in currency watch list Washington: The US on Friday placed 11 countries, including India, China, Japan, South Korea, Germany and Italy in the currency practices monitoring list. The other countries are Ireland, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Mexico Monsoon to be normal this year, says IMD Hot day As mercury rises, college-going girls cover themselves with their stoles to beat the heat in Bhubaneswar on Friday | Express New Delhi: The Southwest monsoon, which brings nearly 75% of rainfall to the country, is expected to be normal this year, the India Meteorological Dept said on Friday. The 50-year average will be 98% with an error margin of 5%, it added Covid -ve report, vax certificate must for entry into Srimandir E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Puri AMIDST an upsurge in coronavirus transmission, the Shree Jagannath Temple administration (SJTA) on Friday made RTPCR negative reports mandatory for pilgrims from outside the State for entry into the shrine. Revising its Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), the temple administration said, all devotees coming in from other states will have to produce Covid-19 negative reports generated within 96 hours of their entry. Alternatively, those who have received both doses of vaccine can produce the vaccination certificate. However, locals will be exempted from this norm. The new SOP, which was devised after Chief Administrator of SJTA Dr Krishan Kumar held a virtual meeting with Chhatisha Nijog earlier in the day, will come into effect from April 19. Collector Samarth Varma, SP K Vishal Singh and managing body members took part in the meeting. Devotees intending to enter the Srimandir will have to produce Aaadhar or photo ID cards at the Simhadwar. While devotees could enter through Simhadwar, they must exit through other three gates. The SOP also mandated that the temple would be closed for devotees on Saturdays and Sundays. Earlier it remained closed only on Sundays for sanitisation. Though the temple will be closed on the weekends, servitors would perform their respective duties. However, devotees can have darshan of the deities from the “Bahar Kanth” and return. Three security teams would enforce minimum social distance norms among devotees from barricades till exit from temple. This apart, every devotee should wear face mask properly and sanitise hands and not touch anything in the temple nor carry any offering. The SOP said, temple complex including barricades would be sanitised on Sunday and interiors would be done twice in a week after completion of all nitees and rituals in the night. It was also resolved to sanitise the Badadanda. Temple administration has been taking adequate care to protect the servitors as Devotees coming in from other states will have to produce Covid-19 negative reports generated within 96 hours of their entry. Those who have received both doses of vaccine can produce the vaccination certificate Shree Jagannath Temple Administration several important festivals and rituals are approaching, including Chandan Yatra and observance of Ram Navami, the day construction of three chariots for annual Rath Yatra would be initiated by carpenters. The Covid care centre at Nilachal Bhakta Nivas which was closed would be reactivated from Saturday where infected servitors would be treated in isolation. Similarly, the Puri administration is keeping a close vigil on servitors and their families returning after participating in Haridwar Kumbh Mela. Steps are being taken to conduct their RT-PCR test, said AK Jena, Administrator (Development).
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