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 ■ ■ BENGALURU SUNDAY APRIL 18, 2021 `12.00 PAGES 26 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 LOCALLY DOMINANT VARIANTS FOUND 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 ■ ■ ■ 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 16,79, 740 ACTIVE CASES IN INDIA; RECOVERY RATE HAS FALLEN TO 87.23% CAPITAL CRISIS ON OXYGEN SUPPLY new cases as K’taka M’rashtra mulls battles bed shortage importing O2 Delhi and Mumbai running out of medical oxygen; situation ‘very serious’, says Kejriwal PA R V E Z S U LTA N @ New Delhi EXPRESS READ Pandemic shadow over Karnataka bypolls Belagavi: The Covid surge hit bypolls to Belagavi Lok Sabha and Basavakalyan Assembly constituencies on Saturday, which saw fewer voters. P4 78.36 pc voting in Bengal 5th phase polls Kolkata: Around 78.36% voter turnout was seen till 5 pm on Saturday, across 45 assembly constituencies of West Bengal, during fifth phase of voting. P10 WITH THIS ISSUE MAKING WAVES PLUS 12 PAGES 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 facing s h o r t a g e o f ox yg e n a n d Remdesivir. The Chief Minister, 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-19 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 governmentrun 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 subsequentP9 ly he added. , NATIONWIDE APRIL 16 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,33,351 1,23,354 1,341 APRIL 17 2,40,423 1,25,751 1,303 via sea route E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bengaluru People wait in the observation room after getting vaccinated at KC General Hospital in Bengaluru | SHRIRAM BN STATEWIDE APRIL 16 APRIL 17 Fresh cases Active cases Deaths Recoveries Fresh cases in B’luru Urban 14,859 1,07,315 78 4,031 9,917 17,489 1,19,160 80 5,565 11,404 Even as it is grappling with oxygen supply ICU beds, ventilators , and Remdesivir doses for Covid-19 patients, Karnataka on Saturday logged its biggest single-day spike so far at 17,489 new cases — an increase of 2,630 cases over Friday’s figures. Bengaluru Urban district, which has been driving the spike in numbers, saw a whopping 11,404 fresh cases, even as it struggles with its health infrastructure. Ironically former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy who test, , ed positive for Covid-19 on Saturday could not get a bed for him, self at Manipal Hospital and had to shift to another hospital despite Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar’s intervention. Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, who was in the thick of campaigning for the Lok Sabha and Assembly bypolls, too tested positive for the virus. CONTINUED ON: P3,4 PM directs beefing up health infra EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi Hours after prevailing upon the largest seer group to conclude Kumbh gathering at Haridwar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday evening took stock of the Covid-19 situation. In a video conference, the Prime Minister discussed the roadmap for scaling up the availability of vaccines and ventilators with senior officials of various Union ministries, which were directed to increase the bed count through a slew of temporary hospitals and isolation centres. The meeting came on a day the country recorded its highest single-day spike so far (2,40,423 ). “The PM spoke about the need to utilise the full potential of India’s pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand of various medicines. He was briefed on the actions taken to address the shortage of Remdesivir, whose production has been increased to reach 74.10 lakh vials/month for May against the January-February figure of 27-29 lakh vials a month,” the PMO said. CONTINUED ON: P9 S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I @ Mumbai 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 tons (MT). However, the demand has surged to 1,278 MT daily . “Many hospitals have stopped admitting Covid patients as they do not have enough oxygen to provide to patients. CM Uddhav Thackeray in his letter to , PM Modi, has said that if positive cases continue to increase, then by April-end, Maharashtra will 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’d need help from the Central Government. We need to act quickly before the situation gets out of hand in hospitals,” said a senior government official. State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the Centre has suggested bringing the supplies from faraway places where P9 steel plants are located.
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.