Polls done and dusted, fuel gets pricey Fuel prices are creeping up though economic activity is sliding due to Covid second wave 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 ■ 18 days since the last price revision. ■ Oil companies froze rate revisions during electioneering possibly to soften the blow in poll-bound states like West Bengal City Mumbai Chennai New Delhi Kolkata tirupati l wednesday l may 05, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION andhra pradesh may 3 May 4 Fresh cases 18,972 20,034 Recoveries 10,227 12,207 Deaths 71 82 Samples 1,15,275 1,15,784 tested AP covid tracker 11,84,028 10,16,142 Total caseload Total Cured 1,68,33,32 8,289 Total Deaths helpline Total sample Tests 1902 to lodge complaints 104 Total beds in 625 hospitals - 44,075 Covid helpline (24x7) Available ventilators - 2,882 Curfew to be imposed in the State from 12 noon to 6 am from May 5 to 18 to contain Covid-19 spread All firms, shops, business establishments, offices, educational institutions and restaurants shall close at 12 noon and reopen after 6 am. Hospitals, diagnostic labs, pharmacies and those dealing with essential services have been exempted from curfew Exempted from curfew Print and electronic media Covaxin Nil Water supply and sanitation Telecommunications, Internet Cold storages services, broadcasting services, IT and IT enabled services Available beds 15,402 (at 10 pm) vax stocks Covishield 5L doses All you need to know about curfew Petrol pumps, LPG, CNG, petroleum and gas outlets Power generation, transmission and distribution and warehousing services Private security services Manufacturing industries to follow protocol Visakhapatnam, Tirupati zoos closed In the wake of eight lions testing positive for Coronavirus in Nehru Zoological Park in Telangana, Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Vizag and Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park in Tirupati have been closed for visitors from Tuesday. Petrol (`) 96.95 (+0.12) 92.55 (+0.12) 90.55 (+0.15) 90.76 (+0.14) Diesel (`) 87.98 (+0.17) 85.90 (+0.15) 80.91 (+0.18) 83.78 (+0.17) Stay home, stay safe: Extended curfew comes into effect today E x p r ess N e w s S e r v i c e @ Vijayawada The State Cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday, approved imposition of partial curfew across the State for 14 days from Wednesday . The decision was taken in view of the spurt in Covid-19 cases. Already night curfew (10 pm to 6 am) has been in force from April 24. Now, the duration of the curfew has been extended. Curfew will be enforced from 12 noon to 6 am. Except for essential services, all others, including APSRTC services will be suspended from 12 noon. Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani) appealed to the general public not to venture out after 12 noon except for medical services. “For next two weeks, the entire State will be in self-isolation. All activities should be completed between 6 am to 12 noon,” he said, adding that this is an important step to curb the spread of Covid infection and save lives. Later in the evening, an order was issued formally clamping down the curfew and listing essential services that are exempted. Both print and electronic media, telecommunications, internet Nod to procure vaccine State Cabinet has given the nod to APMSIDC to procure 9.91 lakh Covishield vaccine doses from Serum Institute of India , Pune and 3.43 lakh Covaxin doses from Bharat Biotech International Limited Hyderabad. services, broadcasting services, IT and IT-enabled services, fuel stations, energy services, water supply and sanitation are exempted from curfew. All manufacturing industries will be operating following Covid protocol and all agricultural operations including procurement of agricultural produce are exempted with a rider that they will follow Covid protocol. Another important decision taken was to vaccinate people aged above 45 in a saturation mode before taking up vaccination for 18-44 age group. The vaccines to be procured as suggested by the Centre for 18-44 age group by the State will be used for completing the vaccination for 45+ age group along with the vaccine doses provided by the Centre. P4 Annavaram temple closed for devotees Covid second wave has an adverse impact on temples in the State. Sri Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy temple in Annavaram has decided not to allow devotees for darshan in view of extended curfew in the State from Wednesday. Other major temples have reduced darshan timings. Devotees will be allowed to have darshan at Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Varla Devasthanam in Vijayawada from 6.30 to 11 am only. India Inc largely in favour of complete national shutdown but health experts are divided, as they feel it should have been done during the onset of the wave Chorus for lockdown grows louder E XPR E S S N E W S S E RVIC E that businesses and jobs can be revived but the same cannot be said for human lives. “The CenA day after CII president Uday tral government should take Kotak called for a national stringent steps and push peolockdown to break the chain of ple to stay at home. This will transmission of coronavirus, also bring some relief to the many corporate leaders came healthcare system and allow forward to support the idea them to treat people in dire saying it is alright to take an need,” he said. economic hit to save lives. HowAmerica’s top public health ever, health experts are divided expert and White House Chief over the effectiveness of such a Medical Adviser Dr Anthony move at this stage. Fauci, too, feels India must im“Saving lives is more impor- pose a nationwide lockdown tant than producing steel. Pro- for a few weeks. “It is quite obduction can suffer as long as vious to everyone that the situthe country is in need of any ation in India is extremely seriresource available with the ous,” he said in a recent company,” said Sajjan Jindal, interview to a news agency, managing director of adding India must foJSW Group, which Maha cases cus on mass vaccinasupplies liquid oxygen tion and setting up a coming to hospitals. large number of down Another corporate makeshift hospitals India’s worst leader, who did not on a war footing. Covid-hit state wish to be named, said However, healthcare Maharashtra India’s healthcare sysexperts in India are tem is stretched to its reported 51,880 not convinced of the limits. “At this point cases on Tuesday. need for lockdown The state has in time, saving lives is when the infection is been able to more important than already rampant and bring down fresh considering the fact economic activities. cases to a Suspending non-esthat the new variant manageable sential business activof coronavirus is airrange after it ities and a complete borne, making it more l o ck d ow n fo r t wo imposed a state- transmissible than wide lockdown weeks is the only way the earlier one. last month out,” he said. Dr Oommen John Calling for a balof the George Instianced approach, real estate ty- tute for Global Health India coon Niranjan Hiranandani pointed out that it will be difsaid, “A complete economic ficult to ensure that people stay lockdown will cast a dark shad- within their homes in densely ow on economy and lead to populated urban contexts. more fatalities due to increased “At the current stage of the unemployment.” pandemic, unrestricted access Rohit Poddar, MD, Poddar to diagnostic tests is critical,” Housing and Development Ltd, he said. too feels a lockdown will have Having faced widespread a drastic impact on the econo- criticism last year for imposmy “The need of the hour is to ing a nationwide lockdown . strike a balance between a full without warning, the Centre lockdown and allowing busi- this time is not in favour of ness operations to prevent a shutting down the economy On . downward trajectory of the April 8, Prime Minister Nareneconomy,” he said. dra Modi told states to manage Ashish Mishra, CEO of advi- the Covid situation without imP7 sory firm, Unnault, explained posing a lockdown. NATIONWIDE may 3 MAY 4 Fresh cases 3,68,147 3,57,229 Recoveries @ New Delhi 3,00,732 3,20,289 3,417 3,449 Deaths Jab-o-meter May 3 Take your shot May 4 16.5 lakh doses 11,49,009 doses Total: 16,04,18,105 Ambulances take dead bodies from the Super Speciality Hospital in Anantapur on Tuesday night; (R) Kin of a victim in tears; (below) Anantapur MLA Ananta Venkatrami Reddy with district collector Gandham Chandrudu at the hospital | Express O2 disruption causes death of 4 patients E x p r ess N e w s S e r v i c e @ Anantapur At least four Covid-19 patients reportedly died due to disruption in oxygen supply in the cancer unit of a super-speciality hospital in the district on Tuesday night. There were allegations that shortage of oxygen led to the death of the patients. According to sources, the patients who are on ventilator support faced severe problem in breathing due to sudden disruption in oxygen supply between 7:30 and 8 pm, and some of them fell off from their beds. Noticing that the oxygen supply was stalled, security guards and other hospital staff immediately brought oxygen cylinders and provided oxygen to the patients. Some other patients were rushed to the adjacent superspeciality unit. By the time alternative arrangements were made and some shifted to the super-speciality unit, at least four patients breathed their last. The district authorities converted the cancer unit attached to the super-speciality hospital into a Covid hospital in the wake of spike in cases. The unit has a 3 KL capacity oxygen tank. District Collector Gandham Chandrudu, District Medical and Health Officer Kameswara Prasad and Anantapur MLA Anantha Venkatarami Reddy rushed to the hospital to take stock of the situation. Mediapersons were not allowed to enter the hospital premises. Speaking to the media outside the hospital, a woman whose husband was admitted to the unit four days ago, said that the hospital authorities had been saying that her husband was recovering. “All of a sudden, they informed me that my husband had died,’’ she wailed. Emerging out of the hospital, MLA Venkatarami Reddy said there was a minor disruption notices to superintendent, contractor District Collector Grandham Chandrudu has issued a show-cause notice to cancer hospital superintendent Bhaskar asking him to explain why action should not be taken against him for the disruption in oxygen supply and the death of patients. Similarly, he slapped a notice on Varasi Agency, which runs the oxygen plant on the hospital premises asking why its contract should not be scrapped for the lapse. in supply of oxygen to the ICU and four patients had died. The MLA, however, added that the deaths were because of the critical condition of the patients. Collector Chandrudu left the hospital without disclosing any information while the DM&HO said that he is not the incharge to reveal anything and asked the media to get a comment from the Collector first. The hospital incharge K Bhaskar was not available for a comment. Just a few days ago, there were similar reports of deaths of patients, who were on ventilator support in Anantapur Government General Hospital and death of eight patients in Hindupur GGH due to shortage of oxygen. Though admitting that there was short supply of oxygen, officials claimed that the deaths were not due to shortage of oxygen, but those who were in critical condition and with comorbidities lost their life. No Covid protocol for disposal of bodies? IPL suspended after Covid cases in bubble K M a d h u S u d h a k a r @ Kurnool Majority of private hospitals treating Covid-19 patients in the district are allegedly disposing of bodies of victims without following the Standard Operating Procedure of packing them in PPEs and leakproof body bag and treating them with chemicals. The bodies of Covid victims are being handed over to their family members directly from ICUs of the hospitals. As per government orders, the Covid victims bodies shall not be given directly to the family members and the last rites must be performed by munici- pal authorities following protocol. Explaining the process to be followed in disposal of bodies, Kurnool Government General Hospital Deputy Superintendent Dr C Prabhakar Reddy said the virus will be active for six hours after the death of a patient. “As per Covid protocol, the body has to be kept in a PPE and packed properly soon after the death and it must be handed over to the family members only after six hours,’’ he said. The last rites must be performed by municipal authorities in the pres- ence of family members and relatives. There is an every likelihood of attendants of the victim contracting the virus if the body is handed over to the kin without following Covid protocol. Manoj Kumar, a relative of a Covid patient who died in a private hospital in Kurnool city recently, alleged that none of the private hospitals treating Covid cases are following the guidelines in disposal of bodies. “The private hospital staff used to hand over the body to the family members after covering it with a bed- sheet and it is shifted in a private ambulance,’’ he said. Speaking to TNIE, Covid Dead Body Management Protocol Officer Dr Siva Shankar Naik, who is the Head of Department of Forensic Science in Kurnool Medical College, said during the first wave, every Covid body used to come to the mortuary from where they used to pack and dispose it of as per protocol. “But nowadays, the bodies are straight away handed over to patients’ relatives. Only 14 bodies have come to the Kurnool GGH mortuary from hospitals, including private and government hospitals,’’ he said. E x p r ess N e w s S e r v i c e @ Chennai The inevitable has happened. The BCCI postponed the IPL indefinitely. Just over a week ago this newspaper had suspended its IPL coverage due to the pandemic and the devastation it has been causing. It had said, the timing of the tournament was not right. And over the past week, ever since the teams moved from Chennai and Mumbai, there has been anxiety among the players and support staff. It even led to players’ pull-out and even Ravichandran Ashwin took a break to be with his family who had the infection. But after two players in Kolkata Knight Riders and two support staff in Chennai Super Kings tested positive, the BCCI was still looking at shifting the IPL to Mumbai. But after Wriddhiman Saha testing positive for Covid-19 at the Sunrisers Hyderabad’s camp the board was forced to suspend it indefinitely Australian . contingent is left stranded because of stringent policy of their government for those who return from India. Delhi HC says it will not do an O2 ostrich K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi The Delhi High Court on Tuesday put the Centre on notice over hauling it up for contempt of court for failing to comply with its May 1 order to provide Delhi 490 MT oxygen immediately for Covid patients and a subsequent Supreme Court order to bridge the city’s deficit. In sharp comments, a bench comprising justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli told the Centre, “You can bury your head in the sand like ostrich, we won’t.” Criticising the Centre for poor execution, the bench suggested: “You should hand over the distribution of oxygen tankers to an IIT or an IIM. They will do a much better job... The point is Supreme Court has said Delhi must get 700 MT, so it must get it. It’s your responsibility .” While the Centre raised its supply to 433 MT on Monday night, the Delhi government said it is not enough. “Even with 420 MT people are dying,” the Delhi government represented by senior advocate Rahul Mehra said. But when the Centre tried to dismiss it as rhetoric, the bench shot back: “How can you be so insensitive? Is this merely rhetoric? How can you say this? It’s highly unfortunate.” The Centre also informed the court that 12 oxygen tankers are on their way to Delhi, adding it will file a compliance affidavit in the SC. But the bench retorted, “We fail to understand what good a compliance affidavit will do when the required oxygen is not being brought to Delhi.” express read Cabinet approves hike in Remuneration for priests, imams, pastors Vijayawada: The State Cabinet on Tuesday approved the proposal to enhance the financial support to archakas working in temples and muazzins and imams in mosques and pastors in churches. The Cabinet, which discussed the subject of promoting religious harmony in the State, has decided to enhance the remuneration/ honorarium of archakas in temples and muazzins and imams in mosques. The Cabinet also felt the need to extending the same to pastors in churches and approved the proposal to extend financial assistance to the pastors by giving an honorarium of `5,000 per month.
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