Nepal PM Oli loses confidence motion Nepal’s embattled Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli lost a crucial trust vote in the House of Representatives on Monday, pushing the Himalayan nation into further turmoil amidst a record surge in Covid cases. Oli, 69, lost the confidence motion, days after the Nepal Communist Party Maoist Centre, led by Pushpakamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, withdrew its support. Oli, who decided to seek the trust of the 275-member House, managed to garner only 93 votes. P11 bengaluru l tuesday l may 11, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 18 l late city EDITION 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 Little room for Top Court to interfere in vax policy: Govt Delays, shortages mar launch of vax drive for 18+ age group in Karnataka R a n j a n i M a d h a v a n @ Bengaluru Says any overzealous intervention could squeeze room for solutions E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e CoWIN platform helps tracking @ New Delhi Centre justifies online registration on the CoWIN platform, saying it allows the governmet to track those who have received one dose and send them reminders for their second dose. Also, the database will strengthen the Centre’s ability to undertake macro-health planning in future Door-to-door vaccination is impossible due to logistical requirements. For example, the 30-minute observation window during at-home vaccination will 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 NATIONWIDE MAY 9 MAY 10 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 4,03,738 3,66,161 3,86,444 3,53,818 4,092 3,754 STATEWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths may 9 47,930 may 10 39,305 31,796 490 32,188 596 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 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. govt, pvt centres to get Sputnik V shots Sputnik V, the vaccine to fight Covid-19 developed in Russia, is set to be incorporated in India’s vaccination drive within the next few days, and will be available at both private and government facilities, TNIE has learnt. With this, India’s inoculation drive is expected to get a shot in the arm, considering that the number of average daily jabs have come down drastically since its peak in the beginning of April, largely due to an acute shortage of Covishield and Covaxin doses. The first 1.5 lakh doses of Sputnik V were imported in India by Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, which arrived on May 1. P9 A health staffer vaccinates a young woman at KC General Hospital in Bengaluru on Monday | shriram bn The full-fledged vaccination drive for the 18-44 age group in Karnataka was launched on Monday amid shortage of vaccine doses, confusion and delays at inoculation centres. At K C General Hospital in Bengaluru, one of the centres for the vaccination drive, there were long queues, mismanagement of different age groups of beneficiaries, confusion on ground and fights between beneficiaries and authorities. Three categories of people had turned up at the hospital those who had registered on Bodies floating on Ganga add to Bihar, UP worries Rajesh Kumar Thakur & An u r a a g S i n g h @ Patna/Lucknow 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 Pradesh, where similar sightings at a border village in Ghazipur district were report- ed. However, 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 3035. “These bodies are not of the people from Buxar. It has come from upstream Ganges,” Samir told the media. 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.” Continued on: P9 the CoWIN portal and got a slot, those who had registered but without a slot, and some walking in directly The Bruhat . Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had instructed the hospital to give the jabs to only those registered with slots, drawing the ire of those who were waiting from as early as 6 am. Those without access to CoWIN, smartphones and computers were left out of the vaccine process. A token system was introduced at the Government School of Nursing building for those who were registered but did not get a slot at P5 KC General. Double mutant a cause for concern The SARS-CoV-2 virus’ ‘double mutant’ variant, first detected during the month of October last year in Mumbai, not only appears to be ‘taking over’ other virus variants across Karnataka to wreak havoc, but has also been declared as a Variant of Concern (VoC) by the World Health Organisation. According to experts, this double mutant — also known as B.1.617 — has been found in 147 samples tested for genome sequencing in Karnataka. P4 BJP-ruled states join free vaccination chorus An u r a d h a S h u k l a @ New Delhi As the chorus for free Covid vaccine doses for states grows louder with even BJP-governed 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 Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, too, have urged the Prime Minister’s Office to tweak the vaccination policy to make 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 or import them at a higher rate. “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” and differential pricing of vaccines. The Finance Ministry is going to reassess the fiscal viability and 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: P12
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