MADURAI SUNDAY APRIL 25, 2021 `12.00 PAGES 24 LATE CITY EDITION 8 DEAD, 31 MISSING IN U’KHAND AVALANCHE; RESCUE OPS ON Disaster struck Border Roads Organisation’s Sumna-Rimkhim road site in Chamoli near India-China border on Friday night 384 RESCUED AFTER GLACIER COLLAPSES The avalanche occurred after a part of a glacier collapsed, trapping around 430 road construction workers. Search operations were mounted by the Indian Army and ITBP, resulting in the rescue of 384 people. Seven injured persons were flown to the Army hospital in Joshimath in helicopters. Both the Army and the ITBP’s forward camps in the area were unaffected | P8 18 inches SECOND MAJOR DISASTER SINCE FEBRUARY ■ The site is located near the confluence of the Girthigad and the Kiogad, two streams that originate from the Dhauli Ganga river, which witnessed a calamitous avalanche in February, killing 80 ■ The road is crucial to gain access to locations like the disputed Barahoti area, where Chinese transgressions have been reported ICE LOST PER YEAR IN GLACIERS SINCE 2000 DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE 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 ANNOUNCEMENT Dear reader, India is going through its worst phase of the Covid pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of people are struggling, many in vain, to exercise their right to live, as a ramshackle universal healthcare system proves that it has no answers to the challenges posed by a creepy bug. The health ministry’s daily bulletin of fresh positive cases and fatalities has hit the stratosphere, so have SOS messages from individuals and hospitals seeking oxygen refill and lifesaving medicines. Hospitals refuse fresh admissions for want of Covid beds. The rush at crematoriums is heart-breaking. Most of us already have friends or relatives who have succumbed to Covid-19 or are battling for life. In such a tragic time, we find it incongruous that the festival of cricket is on in India, with layers of bio bubbles creating protection. This is commercialism gone crass. The problem is not with the game but its timing. Cricket, too, must accept that we are passing through an unprecedented crisis. In the circumstances, The New Indian Express has decided to suspend IPL coverage in the newspaper with immediate effect till a semblance of normalcy is restored. This is a small gesture towards keeping the nation’s attention focused on life and death issues. We are sure that our readers will see the point. These are times when we must stand as one nation with one resolve. — Editor SOS MESSAGES FLOOD TWITTER @Tarunvijay My elder cousin brother, 91, no plasma available, no oxygen cylinder. Hospiral docsxsaidghar le jaiye. #Faridabad. Where are we heading t ? Those without any connection, those who do not know any influential person, those who are just commoners,,,, @malini_aisola @JaiveerShergill An Undertaking that loved ones are being asked to sign at @SarojHospital, Delhi hospital that says it is not the responsibility of the hospital if the patient dies due to scarcity of oxygen Need hospital bed for a 8month pregnant lady -oxygen level has dipped to 84 and situation not looking good at all. She is right now in Dwarka -Any leads please let me know!! @AdityaRajKaul #SOS DELHI Baby needs ventilator. In Critical State. Ad-Nehru vihar Mustafabad Delhi Age 2.2year Please help, Delhi!! @sumeetbhasin Requirement of Plasma Donor on urgent basis of “A or AB” blood group. Age - 53 Years/ Female Admitted in Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh thaman S @MusicThaman FIGHTING FOR LIFE A VERY GOOD MUSICIAN O+VE PLASMA VERY URGENT LOCATION DIYA HOSPITAL Delhi HC asks Centre when 480 MT of oxygen per day allocated for Delhi would see light of the day, raps Delhi govt for being inefficient; says people who could be saved are also dying HC fumes as govts pass the oxygen buck TWEETS CRITICAL OF GOVT TAKEN DOWN K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi THE Delhi High Court on Saturday pulled up both the Centre and the Delhi government for passing the buck in the midst of a pandemic and directed them to ensure smooth supply of oxygen to various hospitals in the national capital. In an urgent hearing on Saturday a bench of justices Vipin , Sanghi and Rekha Palli warned it will hang any person who tries to obstruct oxygen supplies to hospitals here. The court said those who have low immunity may eventually die but the problem comes when people who could be saved are also dying. “We are calling it a wave, it is actually a tsunami,” the court said. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, said there might be a rapid rise in the number of cases in May and June and the country needs to be ready for the worst. He explained how the government is working round the clock to import oxygen and are exploring the remotest possibility of generating oxygen from wherever it is possible. The court was hearing sub- Twitter took down dozens of tweets in India, some of which were critical of the Centre’s handling of the pandemic, to comply with an emergency order from the government. The order had directed it to censor over 50 tweets, including some from prominent users NATIONWIDE APRIL 23 Covid patients getting free oxygen, arranged by a Sikh organisation at Indirapuram Gurdwara, in Ghaziabad on Saturday | PTI missions by the counsel for Maharaja Ag rasen Hospital, Jaipur Golden Hospital, Batra Hospital and Saroj Super Speciality Hospital here over shortage of oxygen for treating seriously-ill Covid patients. “States are arranging from tankers to everything. We are just assisting them. But in Delhi, everything is put on us,” the Centre said. “Let’s try and not be a cry baby Solicitor General Tushar ,” Mehta said in response to Delhi government lawyer’s complaint that the Centre was not comply- to what endeavour they have made to secure tankers to get the supply of oxygen allocated to it by the Centre. The court observed that while the tankers had reached the plant in Durgapur and were ready to be transported through railway for Rourkela and Kalinga Nagar, the Delhi government did not arrange tanker. “We know how people react (when they lose their loved ones). Let’s not have a law and order situation,” the HC said. The matter would be heard P7 next on April 26. 20 die due to oxygen shortage in Delhi as hosps gasp for supply S I D D H A N TA M I S H R A & PA R V E Z S U LTA N @ New Delhi Amid the tremendous shortage of medical oxygen in the national capital, catastrophe struck at a private hospital, taking 20 lives on Saturday . At least 20 Covid patients were left without oxygen at Jaipur Golden Hospital, which caused their death in the wee hours. Totally dependent on high-flow medical oxygen, these critically ill patients were undergoing treatment at the hospital, which has moved court demanding oxygen. “The loss of lives happened because our oxygen was late by seven hours. We needed good pressure which could not be maintained. This worsened the situation,” DK Baluja, MD of Jaipur Golden Hospital, told this newspaper on Saturday . The director said that the crisis is far from over, as despite several SOS calls, they have just four hours of oxygen left at the hospital. The situation could again take a turn for the worse if something is not done immediately . In Delhi, which saw the death of 25 patients at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital a day earlier, the clamour for oxygen from hospitals was heard throughout the day. Some said they are left with stock only for a few hours. Hundreds of patients are admitted in dif ferent hospitals. Many helpless hospital administrations are advising patients to relocate or make arrangements for the gas on their own. ing with the guidelines for oxygen allocation. It also asked the Centre when the 480 MT of oxygen per day allocated for Delhi would see the light of the day . “You had assured us that 480 MT per day will reach Delhi. Tell us when will it come?,” the court questioned Centre after the Delhi government said it was getting only 380 MT oxygen per day over the past few days and it received only around 300 MT on Friday . The court also questioned Delhi government officials as Centre says `150/ dose, SII says `400 3,32,730 1,93,279 2,263 APRIL 24 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 3,46,786 2,19,838 2,624 The initial prices were kept very low globally as it was based on advance funding given by those countries for at-risk vaccine manufacturing. The initial supply price for all government programmeshas been the lowest — SII statement N I R U PA M A V I S W A N AT H A N WHAT ELSE IS CLOSED @ Chennai AS Tamil Nadu reported a fresh spike of a whopping 14,842 cases and 80 deaths on Saturday, the State government pressed the lockdown button to tackle the onslaught by announcing a fresh set of restrictions from Monday . According to the new guidelines, apart from continuing with the night curfew and Sunday lockdown, malls, large standalone shops and shopping complexes will remain closed on all weekdays. Other enclosed spaces like theatres, gyms, bars, recreation clubs, auditoriums and conference halls will be shut. Standalone TASMAC outlets can function, but the attached bars can’t. As May 2 is a Sunday, and comes under the lockdown guideline, the government will soon make that day an exception and issue a detailed safety guideline for vote counting. To avoid panic buying and prevent shopping clusters, the gover nment has per mitted standalone grocery stores and vegetable shops (except those W I T H Big shops, shopping complexes Dining services at restaurants Recreation clubs, auditoriums, conference halls Beauty parlours, spas, salons Religious places (shut to public) TN COVID TRACKER 1,00,668 active cases 10,66,329 tally STATEWIDE APRIL 24 Fresh cases 13,776 14,842 Recoveries 8,078 9,142 Deaths 78 80 SPECIAL COVERAGE: P2 in malls) to function, as also departmental stores without airconditioning and with 50 per cent of their customer capacity . While restaurants, messes and tea shops will be allowed to offer takeaway services, guests in hotels and lodges will have to be served food in their respective rooms. But beauty parlours, spas and salons in all corporations and municipalities P4 will have to be shut. T H I S THE COVID GENERATION APRIL 23 13,475 toll I S S U E PLUS 12 PAGES 80% BEDS AT GOVT TERTIARY HOSPS IN CHENNAI FILLED E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE confusion over the price of SII’s vaccine continued on Sunday with the Centre , saying it would keep procuring Covishield and Covaxin at `150 per dose. The statement came on a day when SII said it would sell its Covishield for `400 a dose to states and `600 for private hospital. The Union health ministry’s clarification was in response to Congress leader Jairam Ramesh’s tweet, saying the Centre would be paying more than what other countries had paid. However, Ramesh said the Sunday’s statement did not address the issue of the price differential. “1. SII said `400 is the new price for ALL new govt procurements - States & Centre. What’s the truth? 2. States have to buy from SII at `400 -Highest in the World- for Made in India vaccine. Why?” he tweeted. Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech, issued its rate card, saying its Covaxin would be sold at `600 a dose to states and at `1,200 to private hospitals. Malls, theatres, gyms and bars shut from tomorrow EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai/Tiruchy/Coimbatore/Madurai Call centre for oxygen The State govt has set up 24x7 call centres to ensure oxygen supply to hospitals. Healthcare institutions in need of oxygen supply may call 104 for assistance AMID the exponential growth in the number of Covid cases, only about 20 per cent of the beds are vacant at government tertiary hospitals in Chennai. In Tiruchy, Coimbatore and Madurai, too, hospital beds are fast filling up, prompting officials to make arrangements to handle the influx of patients. Of the 4,368 beds at Chennai’s RGGGH, Stanley GH, Kilpauk GH, Omandurar GH and King’s Hospital, 3,444 are occupied by patients with Covid or symptoms of the disease, leaving only 924 beds vacant. At the RGGGH, 512 of the 1,618 beds are vacant, while at Stanley GH, only 191 of the 1,200 beds are available. Omandurar has just 72 of its 575 beds available, while the corresponding figures at King’s are 59 out of 525. Of the 450 beds at KMCH, 90 are available. To avoid crowding, officials urged people with mild symptoms not to visit tertiary hospitals. At the Chennai Corporation’s Covid-19 health centres, 1,017 out of 1,750 beds are vacant. These health centres are at tier II hospitals, such as the Communicable Diseases Hospital in Tondiarpet. Corporation officials said these hospitals were set up as stand-by centres for people with moderate symptoms, and have oxygen CONTINUED ON: P4 supply too.
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