vijayawada l thursday l may 06, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION 25% of global Covid deaths last week were from india WHO Epidemiological Update said that of the 93,000 global deaths between April 26 & May 2, India accounted for 23,000 46% global cases in the subcontinent Europe & Africa record lesser deaths Continuing the trend of spike that started around eight weeks ago, the global case count touched 57 lakh in the past one week, of which 26 lakh came from India. In the South-East Asia Region, case and death counts were high, with India accounting for over 90% in both categories. The WHO said the case count was at its highest levels since the beginning of the pandemic ■ ■ ■ Cases in India surged by 20%, the highest globally, followed by Brazil, which saw an increase of only 4%, the report added Case incidence in the Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Africa & the Americas slumped, while the Western Pacific Region was stable Death count decreased in Europe, Africa and the Western Pacific 32% decrease in cases recorded in Turkey, followed by France’s 23% 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 RBI offers balm for most-affected sectors Double mutant S es a S e n @ New Delhi With the second wave of Covid infections peaking in many parts of the country and experts warning of a third wave, the Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday admitted that India’s economic outlook seems “highly uncertain” and that all projections can go awry . In an unscheduled address on Wednesday, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said the unex- pected spike in Covid cases and localised lockdowns could stymie economic recovery . To cushion the blow to the economy, Das unloaded various monetary tools for banks and relief measures for small businesses as well as individuals. RBI announced a special `50,000 crore term liquidity facility with three-year tenor for banks to support entities such as vaccine manufacturers. Das also announced a one-time loan restructuring for individuals as well as cash-starved sectors. Banks will create a ‘Covid loan book’ and such loans will be considered as priority sector lending. Further, banks can park surplus liquidity equal to the size of such books with RBI for a rate 40 bps higher than reverse repo rate of 3.35%. While the an- nouncement nudged banks to undertake fresh lending to the emergency health services, it may be noted that bank credit offtake was only 5.6% in FY21 despite a host of liquidity measures by RBI last fiscal. The central bank has offered a special `10,000-crore longterm repo operation of three years tenor for small finance banks. This move is aimed at enhancing the flow of credit to microfinance institutions. P10 tight deadline SC puts Centre on leash while giving relief from contempt K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi T he S u p r e m e C o u r t o n Wednesday stayed a contempt notice slapped on the Centre by the Delhi High Court but gave the government time till 11 am on Thursday to share its comprehensive action plan on ramping up medical oxygen supply to Delhi’s hospitals to 700 MT. “The plan shall indicate the sources of supply, provisions for transportation, and all other logistical arrangements necessary to ensure the fulfillment of the requirement of NCT of Delhi,” its order later said. A bench comprising justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah said exercising powers under contempt will not solve the problem faced by Delhi. “When country is facing a humanitarian crisis court must aim at problem solving,” their order read. “The Centre’s effort now has to be to comply Putting . officers in jail or hauling them up for contempt is not going to get oxygen to Delhi.” During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, “If Delhi gets 500 MT of oxygen, they will be able to manage.” However, Justice Chandrachud said, “As an institution, we can’t accept that. We ourselves have ordered you to supply 700 MT. We can’t go back.” Mehta said, “It is my assumption that a particular quantity is enough. It is the case of the Delhi government that they need 700 and after some days 900. Let there be an audit by an independent body on the real requirement.” Delhi received 585 MT on Wednesday . Justice Chandrachud said, “We will give you some time to calculate how much you can go up to tonight midnight and how are you going to achieve the 700 MT target. We can’t accept 585 MT for today or tomorrow. We have to inch as close to 700 MT as possible.” NATIONWIDE MAY 4 MAY 5 Fresh cases 3,57,229 3,82,315 Recoveries 3,20,289 3,38,439 3,449 3,780 Deaths Police stop vehicles at Garikapadu checkpost on Wednesday (right) A deserted road in Tirupati due to partial curfew | Express many disallowed at borders E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ Vijayawada Even as Day One of partial curfew was enforced smoothly , the closure of borders with neighbouring States, particularly with Telangana, led to stranding of vehicles at the inter-state checkposts with police preventing those coming from other districts after 12 noon. Hundreds of vehicles, including APSRTC and TSRTC buses, were stopped from entering AP borders at Garikapadu checkpost with the State enforcing partial curfew from 12 noon to 6 am. With no option left, ma- 35,35,250 29,70,476 24,33,551 21,14,639 Average weekly vaccinations 7,17,100 Apr 3-9 10-16 17-23 24-30 May 1-7 vaccine type (Total doses) Covaxin 1,50,18,420 Covishield 14,39,30,764 Vaccination by age so far 18-30 yrs 30-45 yrs 51,63,526 1,07,34,840 45-60 yrs 60 plus 5,95,46,821 53,75,143 Jab-o-meter May 4 Take your shot May 5 11,49,009 doses 18,90,346 doses Total: 16,24,30,828 jority of vehicles returned to their origination points while RTC buses went to nearby bus depots. Krishna district police intercepted all the vehicles entering the State via Kodad, Khammam and Hyderabad after 12 noon and told commuters to come before the stipulated time to avoid being stuck at the checkpost. Mild tension prevailed at the checkpost for some time with the commuters entering into a heated argument with police manning the checkpost citing that they were unaware of the partial curfew and they should P4 be allowed to enter AP . andhra pradesh may 4 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Samples tested covid tracker May 5 20,034 22,204 12,207 11,128 82 85 1,15,784 1,16,367 medical infra No. of hospitals - 636 12,06,232 ICU beds - 6,532 Total caseload 8,374 Total deaths Available - 1,406 O2 beds - 22,555 10,27,270 Available - 5,389 1,70,588 Available - 8,688 Total cured Active cases General beds - 15,933 Ventilators - 2,899 tied to surge, 3rd wave inevitable V K Paul says all options to break the chain on table, doesn’t rule out national lockdown E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e quired, will be taken.” Meanwhile, data shared during the briefing marked the The Centre on Wednesday B.1.617 variant – also known as came up with a grim warning double mutant – as a “variant that a third Covid-19 wave in of concern” for the first time. India was inevitable and admit- Samples collected from at least ted for the first time that 18 states, which underwent geB.1.617, an Indian mutant of nomic surveillance, showed the the virus, could be fuelling the presence of the variant. This massive surge in the country . variant, along with E484Q and “A phase three is inevitable, L452R mutants, was first identigiven the higher levels of the fied in February Its spread has . circulating virus, but it is not been exponential, overtaking clear on what time scale this several other local variants, inwill occur. We should cluding N440K and p r e p a r e f o r n e w Link between B.1.618, suggesting waves,” said K Vijay variant, surge that it was more transRaghavan, Principal missible. Data from Scientific Advisor to The director of the other countries sugNational Centre the Centre said on gest that while E484Q for Disease Wednesday . can escape antibody Amid clamour for Control said that neutralisation, L452R an exercise was stricter measures to increases infectivity . underway to contain the spread of According to the the fierce wave, Niti establish the link WHO, this Indian A a y o g m e m b e r between the rise strain has been de(health), V K Paul, of the variant and tected in at least 17 who also heads the na- the progression of countries, including tional Covid-19 task the disease in the t h e U K , U S a n d country force, did not rule out Singapore. the possibility of a naSources said that tional lockdown to break the following a request by the UK chain of the virus. government, India has agreed Listing the Centre’s guide- to send samples of B.1.617 for lines like night curfews and re- examining the efficacy of the strictions in districts with over available vaccines against it. 10% test positivity rate and Renu Swarup, secretary of more than 60% ICU bed occu- department of biotechnology, pancy Paul said: “In that direc- said initial data has shown that , tion there is a clear balanced vaccines in India effectively advisory. At the same time, if neutralised the variants in ciranything more is required, culation. More work is underthose options are always being way to fully establish the finddiscussed, and decisions, as re- ings, she added. @ New Delhi India’s vaccine drive loses steam, second doses delayed S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ chennai The speed of the country’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign is decreasing rapidly owing to an acute shortage of , doses, and the slowdown has triggered concerns that it could impede taming of the massive surge in cases across the country . The average daily doses administered has come down by nearly 80% over the last one month from its peak, when on average 3.5 million vaccinations had been done per day Accord. ing to the Centre’s own projection, the average daily vaccination between May 1- and 6 is only 7,17,100 — 79% less than average daily vaccinations done in the first week of April. The Centre has supplied states with 17.02 crore doses while 16.05 crore doses have been administered so far, as per the Union health ministry . States are struggling to procure vaccines independently under the new policy The reduced supply from . the Centre also means many people from priority age groups who have taken their first jabs are being forced to delay their second. The Union government on Wednesday said 36 lakh doses are set to reach states in 3 days. The health ministry plans to procure 11 crore doses of Covishield and 5 crore doses of Covaxin between May-July which will be supplied to states, but it may be available mainly for those over 45, and that too may not be adequate. Experts say India needs to vaccinate at least 6-7 million a day to cover the most vulnerable population within the next few months. “It is clear that the government did not plan well for the vaccination... And even now I see no sense of urgency said a WHO official. ,” covid Pandemic moving eastward, says centre A rise in the number of daily Covid-19 cases and mortality has been observed in Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand, indicating that the “pandemic is moving eastward”, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday. The list of districts where the positivity rate is above 20 per cent has been displayed on its website vsp stir They perform last rites of over 500 victims plan deferred by S r i K r i s h n a K u m m a r a @ Tirupati trade unions Vizag Steel Plant workers have deferred their proposed strike on May 6 demanding wage revision in view of Covid. In a strike notice issued on April 20, 11 workers’ unions stated that the wage revision has been long overdue | P4 Giving a decent farewell to Covid victims is a mission of 47-year-old J Md Ghouse. Since the outbreak of Covid, Ghouse and his friends under the banner Covid-19 JAC have performed the last rites of more than 500 Covid victims, who were abandoned by their kin. On Wednesday alone, they performed the last rites of 24 Covid victims. Of the total, 22 victims were orphans. Two bodies were handed over to Ghouse for the con- Covid-19 JAC shifts the body of a victim for performance of last rites in Tirupati | Express duct of last rites by their kin. Wearing PPE kits and following SOP for Covid dead body management, Ghouse and his friends, who have been fasting in view of Ramzan month, shifted the bodies to the Mamandur forest area where they were buried as per Covid protocol. Prior to that the last rites were performed to Covid victims, who were orphans, at SV Medical College. For Ghouse and his friends, performing last rites of Covid victims has literally become a daily routine P4 since August. Lockdown-like situation already in many states Maharashtra: Lockdownlike curbs imposed since April 5 Odisha: Two-week lockdown since May 5 Andhra Pradesh: Two-week noon-to-6 am curfew starting May 5 Kerala: Mini-lockdown till May 9, night curfew Telangana: Only night curfew so far Tamil Nadu: Shops selling essential commodities can function till 12 noon Karnataka: Corona Curfew extended till May 12 West Bengal: Shops to open from 7 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 7 pm Jharkhand: Lockdown since April 22 Madhya Pradesh: Staggered Janta Curfew in various districts Uttar Pradesh: Corona Curfew till May 10 morning Bihar: 11-day lockdown starting Wednesday Punjab: Non-essential shops shut till May 15 Haryana: Lockdown from May 3-10 Rajasthan: Virtual lockdown from April 19 to May 3 Chhattisgarh: Lockdown extended till May 15 J&K: Corona curfew in 14 districts till Thursday morning; four districts under curfew till May 10 Northeast: Almost all states have clamped night curfew; complete lockdown in Meghalaya's East Khasi Hills district
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