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 ■ ■ KOCHI l wednesday l april 28, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 18 l LATE city EDITION Floodgates to open with scarce supply Limited vax stock may cripple next phase launch; Sputnik V doses expected to arrive by May-end S U MI S U K A N YA D U TTA @ New Delhi Even as the country is gearing up to open the floodgates of vaccination for all (18 years and above) from May 1, the drive may get off to a slow start owing to acute shortage of supply . The liberalised vaccination drive comes at a time when Covishield and Covaxin supply is limited. Already, in many states, those above 45 years are struggling to secure slots for their first or even second dose. Serum Institute, with a production capacity of 6 crore doses a month, and Bharat Biotech with a capacity of 1 crore doses, are too stretched to meet the huge demand even though all efforts are on to raise their production capacity quickly . Experts say the shortage will continue for some time as foreign supplies may not be available for several weeks. Sources said Russian vaccine Sputnik V may be available by May-end. According to health ministry officials, the Centre has procured over 17 crore vaccine doses so far and is looking to procure another 58 crore by September, which will be sufficient for the 34 crore-odd priority groups (45 years and above). States and private hospitals will have to arrange on their own for vaccinating those in the 18-44 year group. “Where is the vaccine for the youth? It is easy to make an an- Mumbai to give jab only at pvt hospitals Mumbai: Registered citizens in the 18-44 age group will get their Covid vaccines only at the vaccination centres of private hospitals for now, the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation said on Tuesday Augmenting medical O2, can’t have unlimited stock: Centre Express News Service @ New Delhi The Centre on Tuesday submitted its national plan for Covid-19 preparedness before the Supreme Court while saying it does not contain micro details on day-to-day management. The plan gives an overview of the distribution of essential supplies and services, and the efforts to procure medical oxygen from all available sources within and outside India. “The national plan, however, does not include microscopic details as to the day-to-day management of the issues arising out of different disasters,” the affidavit said. Explaining the medical oxygen situation, the affidavit said, the stock of the life-saving gas cannot be unlimited in any country “While the government . started all out efforts to augment oxygen resources..., these supplies are to be distributed to all states, especially those which are critically burdened with high number of active Covid cases, in a balanced manner,” the home ministry’s affidavit said. It, however, warned that “any singular/isolated deviation in such plan for a particular state (either under a judicial order or otherwise) without keeping in mind the national availability and everchanging requirements of each state is bound to have a cascading effect on oxygen supply to other states.” On the Remdesivir situation, the 106-page affidavit said its production has been expedited. Taking suo motu cognisance of the issues arising out of the Covid outbreak, the SC had directed the Centre to submit a national plan. During the hearing, a new bench led by Justice D Y Chandrachud said it never proposed to interdict the high courts that are already seized of the matter, nor enter the executive domain. All it intended to do was to offer suggestions and solutions. The court named Jaideep Gupta and Meenakshi Arora as amicus curaie after Harish Salve recP9 used himself. nouncement,” said public health expert Antony Kollannur. He feels vaccination for the 18-44 year age group should have opened only after completion of the second dose of health staff and frontline workers as well as completion of first dose of all above 45 years. India would need 188 crore vaccine doses considering its 94 crore adult population, says economist R Ramakumar. It may be a humongous challenge, however, to procure that many doses even by year-end as the government has not made any prior agreement with any foreign vaccine makers. Technicians refilling oxygen cylinders to cater to the growing demand at a unit at Mancheswar in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday | Biswanath Swain NATIONWIDE April 26 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 27 3,52,991 2,19,272 2,812 Jab-o-meter April 26 Take your shot 3,23,144 2,51,827 2,771 April 27 31,74,688 doses 24,55,869 doses Total doses 14,77,27,054 unsung hero Warrior who braved kidney ailment loses fight to Covid As her friends watch the video again, some break down, others “EVERYBODY should pray for choke. They can only remember me. What else can I say? Let me Aswathi as a cheerful girl. To her see. I’m going there. Don’t colleagues, she was a know what awaits me. Let brave warrior who, deme go and find out,” a spite a kidney disorder, smiling Aswathi Unhelped others around nikrishnan was heard her. saying in a video of a fareThey are in shock as well meeting at the WayaAswathi had taken both nad district TB centre in doses of Covid vaccine a Mananthavady before bemonth ago. Aswathi ing transferred to a govDaughter of UnUnnikrishnan er nment lab at Sultan nikrishnan, a tea factory Bathery . worker at Rippon, Aswathi had Perhaps it was one rare high aspirations. “My daughter moment when she was seen low had the dream of going out of on confidence. The 24-year-old lab Wayanad for work and making it technician did not complete big in life,” said Unnikrishnan. a month there as she contracted “She never used to sit idle at ● More on P4 Covid and lost her life on Monday home,” he said. . A m i ya M e e t h a l @ Kozhikode Sharp bytes Looking at it from an Indian point of view, how are these companies and franchises spending so much money...on the IPL when there’s people not being able to get accepted into hospital? Andrew Tye, Rajasthan Royals pacer who left for Australia midway the IPL It’s challenging and things have to be managed for the players and staff, and we know the horrific nature of what’s happening outside the bubble. Eoin Morgan, KKR skipper Our IPL space: P11 AAP govt gets a rocket New Delhi: Angered over AAP government’s mismanagement of the Covid situation, the Delhi High Court said it will ask the Centre to take over ‘if you cannot manage it’ | P9 STATEWIDE Apr 26 Apr 27 Fresh cases 21,890 32,819 Recoveries 7,943 18,413 Deaths 28 32 23.24% the test positivity rate in state on Tuesday 255% rise in cases over the past two weeks, says CM Mutant variants of virus behind fast spread in state | P2 Mutant virus: State’s major hosps to get more O2 beds Express News Service @ T’Puram IN THE wake of coronavirus that has undergone genetic variation spreading at a rapid pace in the state, testing will be stepped up in railway stations and airports, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said. With the state’s Covid cases witnessing a rise of 255% over the past two weeks, Pinarayi urged people to join the Covid brigade to fight the pandemic along with healthcare workers. After chairing a meeting to assess the Covid situation in the state, the CM told reporters that steps are being taken to increase oxygen beds at all major hospitals as well as Covid First Line Treatment Centres and Covid Second Line Treatment Centres. Beds in ESI hospitals too will be converted to oxygen beds. The state will also prepare a buffer stock of oxygen taking into account the serious Covid situation. On Tuesday, the state reported 32,819 fresh cases, the highest ever since the outbreak, with the test posi t iv i t y r at e t o u ch i n g 23.24%. In the wake of rising cases in jails, Pinarayi said the government was thinking of sanctioning parole for ● More on P4 prisoners. 18 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express
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