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 ■ ■ COIMBATORE SUNDAY APRIL 18, 2021 `12.00 PAGES 24 LATE CITY EDITION 50% OF MAHA COVID SAMPLES SHOWING DOUBLE MUTATIONS Genome sequencing showed presence of variants B.1.617-E484Q and L452R in nearly half of the samples, pointing to their role in the spike HEALTH MINISTRY YET TO GIVE A CLEAR PICTURE The B.1.617 variant has also been found in samples from eight states but the proportion is much smaller than Maharashtra’s. Data from other countries suggest that E484Q can escape antibody neutralisation, while L452R is known to increase infectivity. The Health ministry, however, says there is no epidemiological link yet between the mutants and the second wave 16,79, 740 LOCALLY DOMINANT VARIANTS FOUND ■ ■ ■ Signals of locally dominant mutations driving outbreaks — N440 in Kerala and B.1.618 in West Bengal — have also been noted Maharashtra added 63,729 cases to its tally amid a crippling shortage of oxygen and hospital beds; 398 deaths were reported Karnataka, too, reeling under plasma, bed and drug shortage ACTIVE CASES IN INDIA; RECOVERY RATE HAS FALLEN TO 87.23% CAPITAL CRISIS ON OXYGEN SUPPLY Delhi and Mumbai running out of medical oxygen; situation “very serious”, says Arvind Kejriwal NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths APRIL 16 APRIL 17 2,33,351 1,23,354 1,341 2,40,423 1,25,751 1,303 SOUTHERN COMFORT ANDHRA PRADESH BEDS: 11,194 (available) OXYGEN: No shortage TELANGANA BEDS: 26,823 (available) ● Oxygen consumption has doubled to 2.4 MT per day ● Plan to stop industrial use of oxygen Patients with oxygen bag masks being taken to another hospital to make space for critical Covid patients, at Govt Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad on Saturday | PTI PA R V E Z S U LTA N @ New Delhi AS Covid-19 cases in Delhi saw an alarming spike of 24,000 within a single-day span — a jump of 4,500 from the previous day — Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed the situation “very serious and worrisome” and said the city was f acing shor ta g e of oxyg en and Remdesivir. The CM, however, added that he had spoken to Union health minister Harsh Vardhan to ensure adequate supply of oxygen and reserve more beds in central government hospitals, including in intensive care units (ICUs), for Covid patients. “Supplies of oxygen and Remdesivir are running short. Because cases are increasing rapidly we are facing shortage , of oxygen, Remdesivir and Tocilizumab (another drug) though a few days ago our assessment was that there is enough stock. Today I had a meeting with senior , officials and the scarcity of these three articles was noticed,” said Kejriwal while addressing a digital press briefing. Stating that the central government has always helped Delhi in its fight against the pandemic, the Delhi CM said he is hopeful that this time too, the Centre would come to its aid. “I spoke with Harsh Vardhanji and requested for more beds in the central government- run hospitals and adequate supply of oxygen, Remdesivir, and Tocilizumab. The Central government has 10,000 beds and I have requested that 50% of them should be reserved for Covid patients. Private hospitals are facing more shortage of oxygen,” said Kerjiwal. He said the health infrastructure has its limitations and that beds, including those in ICUs, are running out fast. However, the government is making efforts to arrange more beds, particularly with oxygen facilities. He said the government is making arrangements for 1,300 beds in Yamuna Sports Complex and Commonwealth Games Village at Akshardham. At Radha Soami Satsang Beas campus, initially 2,500 beds will be available and 2,500 more will be added subsequently he added. , Arrear pending since ’90? Anna Univ lets you clear it SUSHMITHA RAMAKRISHNAN @ Chennai ANNA University has announced a special chance for students admitted since 1990 to clear their pending arrear exams. They will get three chances — in August/ September 2021, February 2022, and August 2022. The university, in a statement on Friday, advised students to utilise these chances “with utmost care and diligence” since it will be the final opportunity . It said two categories of students will be permitted for these special exams. “Students of university department of Anna University Chennai, admitted in the , academic year 1990 onwards — both UG and PG under full-time and part-time mode,” is one category . The consideration will also be extended to students of affiliated colleges of Anna University and students admitted to colleges affiliated at the time of admission. However, the chance will only be provided to students who were admitted since 2002 and those who were pursuing their third semester at least, in 2001. The eligibility criteria includes: “Students of affiliated colleges of Anna University and students admitted in the affiliated colleges at the time of admission i.e. during academic year 2001 (3rd semester onwards) and currently in autonomous ones including distance education offered by Anna UniP2 versity .” ● Hospitals told to rationalise oxygen use only for critical cases TAMIL NADU BEDS: 69,000 (available) OXYGEN: No shortage ● Tamil Nadu has an oxygen capacity of 1,167 kilo litres and close to 90% of it is available KERALA BEDS: 7,745 (available) OXYGEN: No shortage KARNATAKA BEDS: 23,176 (available) OXYGEN: No shortage ODISHA BEDS: 5,000 (available) OXYGEN: No shortage ● Stocking up oxygen 10 times the current availability of 231 MT EXPRESS READ HC clears Girija for NGT post Chennai: The Madras High Court on Saturday vacated the interim stay on the appointment of former Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan as an expert member of the Southern Regional bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). It observed that she is not ineligible to hold the post | P2 Global Covid deaths top 3 million Rio de Janeiro: The global toll from the coronavirus topped a staggering 3 million people on Saturday amid a deepening crisis in Brazil, India and France. The number of lives lost, as compiled by Johns Hopkins University, is about equal to the population of Kyiv, Ukraine or Caracas, Venezuela | P12 WITH THIS ISSUE MAKING WAVES PLUS 12 PAGES A socially-conscious humourist departs had not yet been ascribed with the meaning of social alertness. WE never worry about the mortality Vivekh has also been a charismatic of seemingly omnipresent artistes presence as an actor, bringing to his selike Vivekh. We don’t consider the rious characters — like in Boys, Sivaji, possibility that some day, Alaipayuthey — a rare vulnerthey may not be around to inability that even some top acvoke laughter or incite tors fail to register. Last year’s thought — in Vivekh’s case, it Dharala Prabhu, among ought to be ‘invoke laughter Vivekh’s last films, was a fitand incite thought’. For the ting example of his impressive last three decades or so of range as an actor, and his abilTamil cinema, Vivekh has 1961 — 2021 ity to play a good man so well been a ubiquitous presence. that you would rather that the He has enlivened our films hero fall in harm’s way, not with his socially-conscious comedy, him. He was whatever cinema needed and weaponised his humour against public issues like corruption, poor him to be: The track comedian who governance, casteism, superstition… would be a necessary distraction from Let’s remember that he began doing the serious hero, the well-meaning this at a time when the word ‘woke’ friend quipping witticisms, the selfS U D H I R S R I N I V A S A N @ Chennai less guide, or occasionally even a pro, tagonist. This is why as Tamil cinema evolved, and many actors and comedians got left behind, Vivekh continued to be relevant. As a new era of stars got ushered in — and then, another — who should stand along them, taunting and supporting in equal measure, but the enduring Vivekh? The actor will be remembered as a man with the laugh of a child, as a comedian who inspired us to laugh so. In the self-serving world of cinema, his work aimed at changing the world for the better. And quite fascinatingly, when films seemed to take themselves too seriously, he was there, a force of balance, to lighten things up. This was a humourist who desired positive change but never at the expense of FULL COVERAGE: P2 mirth. Maharashtra mulls importing oxygen for hospitals via sea route S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I @ Mumbai THE government of Maharashtra is contemplating sea-route import of oxygen to keep enough supplies for Covid-19 patients. The state’s daily production of oxygen is 1,200 metric ton (MT). However, the demand has surged to 1,278 MT daily . “Many hospitals in the state have stopped admitting Covid-19 patients because they do not have enough oxygen to provide to the patients. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in his letter to PM Modi has said if positive cases continue to increase, then by April-end, Maharashtra would need 2,000 MT of oxygen,” said a health official. Sources ruled out supplies by air of a large quantity of oxygen. “We are weighing seaway options for which we would need help from the Central government. We need to act quickly before the situation gets out of hand in hospitals,” said a senior gover nment official. State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that the Central government has suggested bringing the supplies from faraway places where steel plants are located. Bringing the supplies by road will take a long time, besides the quantity of oxygen would not be up to the desired level. “Therefore, we request the Central government to allow us to bring oxygen by railways. The Centre should also provide us adequate stocks of vaccines so that we can vaccinate at least eight lakh people daily. We have a good health infrastructure, but what we need is the central support,” Tope added. The state government has already approached the Centre with a slew of demands, including the increased availability of oxyg en cylinders and Remdesivir. Pharmas slash Remdesivir prices in the country New Delhi: Following an appeal by the Centre to the Remdesivir manufacturers not to charge more than `3,500 per vial in India, drug makers on Saturday slashed the price of the injection that has emerged as a key experimental therapy for moderate to severe Covid-19. It will now cost `899-3,490 per 100 ml vial NIGHT CURFEW AHEAD? With the number of new Covid cases in Tamil Nadu crossing 9,000 for the first time on Saturday, officials say stricter restrictions are on the cards, but a full-fledged lockdown has been ruled out. Here’s a look at the situation in the State ■ Night curfew, restrictions on gatherings and closure of entertainment spots likely to be mooted in CM’s meeting with officials today 9,344 of the 1,00,804 new samples tested returned positive 2,884 new cases in Chennai 22 New deaths in Chennai 1,13,349 vaccinated on Saturday, compared to 2,01,495 on Friday STATE WIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths APRIL 16 8,449 4,920 33 APRIL 17 9,344 5,263 39 across 9,80,728 peopleNadu Tamil have had Covid so far 13,071 patients died in TN 2,013 active cases in Tiruchy
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