HYDERABAD TUESDAY MAY 11, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION NEPAL PRIME MINISTER OLI LOSES VOTE OF CONFIDENCE CULMINATION OF LONG-DRAWN POWER TUSSLE Needing 136 votes to win the motion in a 275-member House of Representatives, KPS Oli could muster support of only 93 The result means Oli’s premiership ends with immediate effect. Monday’s voting was the culmination of a tussle between Prachanda and Oli for NCP’s control. Matters came to a head in December last when Oli dissolved the House, claiming Prachanda was attempting to run a parallel government. On May 6, Prachanda walked out, leaving Oli at the helm of a minority govt ■ 28 PRACHANDA TO ALLY WITH OPPOSITION ■ The Prachanda faction is likely to join hands with Nepali Congress and other parties to form a coalition government at the earliest The alliance between Oli-led CPN (UML) and Prachanda’s CPN (Maoist Centre) had won a majority in the 2017 elections. After their victory, the two parties had formally merged in May 2018 P9 MEMBERS OF OLI’s PARTY ABSTAINED DURING THE VOTING 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 Vax strategy equitable, little room for judicial independence: Centre Says any overzealous intervention could squeeze room for innovative solutions on the go COWIN PLATFORM HELPS TRACKING Telangana police stop ambulances at Pullur toll plaza on NH 44 on Monday Police finally allow AP ambulances carrying Covid patients to enter TS EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad/Vijayawada AFTER sealing borders for ambulances transporting Covid-19 patients from Andhra Pradesh to Hyderabad citing shortage of beds, the Telangana police relented by Monday evening and began allowing them without any hassles. Though no orders have been issued, police officials basing on the “oral instructions” from the government, stopped all ambulances entering Telangana but by evening opened the borders for all of them. “We are allowing the ambulances now. No need for proof of confirmed beds,” a police source said. Apparently to save themselves from further embarrassment as denial of entry for ambulances turned out to be a very insensitive decision, the police beat a retreat and allowed the Covid-19 patients to reach Hyderabad for better medical treatment. As the police denied entry during the day the ambulanc, es queued up at border checkpoints at Kodad in Suryapet district and at Pullur in Jogu- lamba-Gadwal district. The issue was severe in all these places while blocking was also reported from Khammam and Bhadrachalam, the districts bordering Andhra Pradesh. But some attendants of patients who could pull strings managed to pass through the border in the morning even though they had no documentary proof of confirmed beds in any hospital, while other patients were sent back. This led to ambulances queuing up on the roads in Nalgonda, Suryapet and Jogulamba-Gadwal districts. According to sources in Vijayawada, a total of 46 ambulances en route to Hyderabad were stopped at Pullur toll plaza in Kurnool district on NH 44 though during the day though only 10 of them were carrying patients. After Kurnool police spoke to their Gadwal counterparts in Telangana, the latter allowed those who have documents confirming bed availability in Hyderabad hospitals. They cross-checked the details with the respective hospitals, before allowing the paCONTINUED ON P2 tients. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi Centre justifies online registration on the CoWIN platform, saying it allows govt to track those who have received one dose and send them reminders for their second dose. Also, the database would strengthen the Centre’s ability to undertake macro-health planning in future Door-to-door vaccination was impossible due to logistical requirements. For example, the 30-minute observation window during at-home vaccination would needlessly tie up the healthcare worker Three-tier health infra to manage cases - Covid care centres for mild cases, Covid health centres for moderate cases and Covid hospitals for severe cases. For admission to a Covid health facility, positive RT-PCR or rapid antigen test report is not required THE Centre put up a stout defence of its Covid-19 vaccine policy before the Supreme Court and asked it not to interfere, claiming the ‘wisdom of the Executive should be trusted’ in times of grave crisis. In its 218-page affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on Sunday night, the Centre addressed the bench’s queries on handling the crisis in great detail. “In the context of a global pandemic, where response and strategy of the nation is completely driven by expert medical and scientific opinion, there is little room for judicial interference. Any overzealous, though well-meaning, judicial intervention may lead to unforeseen and unintended consequences, in absence of any expert advice or administrative experience, leaving doctors, scientists, experts and executive very little room to find innovative solutions on the go,” the Centre said. However, a three-judge bench comprising justices D Y Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat could not continue its hearing on the suo motu case because of technical glitches and the matter was put off till Thursday . Elaborating on the vaccine drive, the Centre said it is the biggest ever and completely different from the immunisation drives of the previous decades. Also, unlike the vaccination campaigns of the past, the Covid-19 immunisation drive did not have the luxury of time. “Earlier, there had been no requirement of an emergency vaccination drive like the sudden emerging situation since 2019 onwards. Secondly, scientists in the field of medicine and vaccination had enough time to develop the vaccine and thereafter, there was enough The executive functioning of the government needs discretion to formulate policy in larger interest - Centre’s affidavit THE Coronavirus is not sparing even Maoists living in the jungles on either side of the Telangana-Chhattisgarh border. According to police sources, about 100 Maoists, including a few top leaders, are suffering from Covid-19 and are unable to get appropriate medical treatment. Unlike in the first wave, the virus is now spreading to forest areas too. The Maoists who have contracted the infection have no access to medical care. These Maoists are taking treatment surreptitiously in villages under Dantewada, Sukma and Bijapur districts which are on the border with Telangana. It is learnt that the condition of some Maoists is very critical but they are afraid of coming out into the open for better medical care for fear of being arrested by police. Though it is said that police are cutting medical supplies to the villages where Maoists are suspected to have holed up, the police officials are denying the allegation. They said that they are ready to get the Maoists medical help if they come out and surrender. “We have tightened vigil on the border villages as part of our duty We are trying to provide good treatment to the . CONTINUED ON P4 Maoists,” one police officer said. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad WAITING IN HOPE A woman attendant of a Covid patient feeds her baby as she waits outside Gandhi Hospital in Secunderabad on Monday | VINAY MADAPU DOZENS of bodies, in various stages of decay, of suspected Covid-19 victims were spotted in the Ganges at Chausa block of Bihar’s Buxar district on Monday morning, sparking a scare. While the locals said such sights were frequent ever since officials started dumping bodies into the river after running out of firewood at the crematoriums, authorities claimed they had flowed into the state from upstream Uttar MAY 9 NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 10 4,03,738 3,66,161 3,86,444 3,53,818 4,092 3,754 JAB-O-METER May 9 6,71,646 doses TAKE YOUR May 10 SHOT 24,30,017 doses TOTAL: 17,26,33,761 Pradesh, where similar sightings at a border village in Ghazipur district were report- @ New Delhi AS the chorus for free Covid vaccine doses for states grows louder with even BJPgoverned states raising the demand, the finance ministry is looking at whether such a move is fiscally feasible. According to highly placed sources, apart from Odisha, West Bengal and Kerala, NDA-ruled MP and Bihar, too, have urged the PMO to tweak the vaccination policy to make the jabs available to states for free. A senior official in the finance ministry told TNIE that states have questioned the logic behind the Centre forcing them to arrange for vaccines on their own. “Many states have informed the PMO that despite placing orders, the process is slower than expected. Also, there is a lot of pressure for a rethink over the “transfer of grant”. The finance ministry will hold a meeting in a day or two after consultation with the health ministry, the PMO and the Niti Aayog,” said the senior official cited above. CONTINUED ON P7 THE State Cabinet, which is scheduled to meet on Tuesday , will discuss the pros and cons of imposing lockdown in the State. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has convened a Cabinet meeting at 2 pm at Pragathi Bhavan to discuss imposition of lockdown in the wake of spike in Covid-19 cases. The moot question again is: Will he or won’t he? “The Covid-19 cases did not witness downtrend in some states, even after imposing lockdown there. According to reports, there are no encouraging results in those states. In this backdrop, diverse views are emerging on clamping lockdown. Under these circumstances, the State Cabinet will discuss the desirability of imposing lockdown. The Cabinet will also discuss the im- TELANGANA MAY 9 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 4,976 7,646 35 MAY 10 4,826 7,754 32 pact of imposing lockdown on the paddy purchases and take a final decision,” an official release by the CMO stated. However, immediately after the Cabinet meet on lockdown broke out, netizens reacted in different tunes. Some alleged that the State government was thinking of imposing lockdown after the Ramzan festival, which is likely to fall on Friday . Some demanded that there should be a complete lockdown in the State. Some others felt that since Covid-19 has peaked out, it is of no use now. Meanwhile, IMA State president Lavakumar Reddy and presidentelect BNN Rao urged the CM to impose a 15-day lockdown in order to contain the virus. O2 horror: 11 dead, 5 in critical condition at Tirupati hospital E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Tirupati ELEVEN patients died and the condition of at least five others was critical after oxygen supply was disrupted for some time at the SVR Ruia Government Hospital here on Monday night. According to Chittoor District Collector M Hari Narayanan, the oxygen supply was disrupted due to delay in arrival of an oxygen tanker from Chennai. The authorities in the meantime used bulk cylinders to supply oxygen to patients who were on ventilators in the ICU. “The incident occur red around 8 to 8.30 p.m. Due to oxygen pressure issues, 11 patients who were on ventilator support Decaying bodies on Ganga add to Bihar, UP woes RAJESH KUMAR THAKUR & A N U R A A G S I N G H @ Patna/Lucknow ANURADHA SHUKLA TS Cabinet to discuss pros & cons of imposing lockdown Medical supplies cut off to smoke out +ve Maoists? B S AT YA N A R AYA N A R E D D Y @ Khammam time to manufacture, distribute and administer the vaccines,” the affidavit read while assuring that there is equitable allocation of vaccines to states based on their population size. On pricing, the Centre said, “Citizens would not be affected by the pricing as all the state governments have already declared that they would administer the vaccines free of cost.” As for citizens who can afford to pay, the Centre said it encourages them to take their jabs at private hospitals, as this would reduce the operational stress on the government vaccination facilities. On the money it gave to vaccine producers Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, the Centre said it was not an i nve s t m e n t b u t a dv a n c e payment. BJP-ruled states join free dose chorus ed. There was no clear word on the origin of the bodies. After the bodies were retrieved, Buxar DM Aman Samir ordered an inquest. While the locals claimed that 40-45 bodies were spotted, the DM pegged the number at 30-35. Confirming a similar sighting on the UP side of the Ganges, Ghazipur DM M P Singh told TNIE: “Buxar officials are coordinating with us. We spotted one body in the river in Ghazipur’s Bara village.” However, Singh’s claim was contested in Gahmar, a village adjoin- ing Bara, where locals claimed that not one, but several bodies were seen in the river. They concurred with Chausa villagers that the sudden shortage of firewood owing to a jump in cost was responsible for the disposal of the bodies on the Ganges. The river separates Bihar from UP with Bara , and Gahmar in Ghazipur on one bank and Chausa on the other. Locals in Chausa said that spotting carrion birds and stray dogs eating halfburnt bodies had become comCONTINUED ON P7 mon. lost their lives. This happened in a span of five minutes. The oxygen tanker arrived and the situation was quickly brought under control,” the Collector told the media. Around 30 doctors were working to stabilise the other patients following the in- cident. The Collector assured everyone that the problem was solved and there was enough oxygen now. Further, another tanker is scheduled to arrive in the morning with additional oxygen supply . He said a bigger tragedy was averted as the oxygen tanker arrived in the nick of time. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed profound grief over the death of 11 patients and ordered an inquiry into the incident. He directed the officials to ensure that this kind of tragedies do not recur. He instructed them to monitor oxygen supply situation at every hospital in the State roundthe-clock. SPUTNIK V READY FOR ROLLOUT, WILL BE AVAILABLE IN PVT AND GOVT FACILITIES S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V will be available at both government and private facilities within the next few days, TNIE has learnt. This could boost India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive, which has failed to gather pace due to an acute shortage of Covishield and Covaxin. Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Labs, which conducted Sputnik V’s clinical trials, has the rights to supply 12.5 crore doses of the vaccine. The firm received the first lot of 1.5 lakh doses on May 1. “The rollout of the consignment will be subject to the necessary clearances, which will be processed over the next few days,” Deepak Sapra, CEO (API and services) at Dr Reddy’s told TNIE. The clearances include testing at the Central Drugs Laboratory at Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh. Sapra said the initial quantity will be used as a pilot to test the robustness of the supply chain for the larger vaccination programme rollout. “Subsequent consignments will arrive in the next few weeks,” he added. Three other companies in India have tied up with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Sputnik V’s sponsor, for local production. The Russian embassy said the target is 85 crore doses per year.
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