bhubaneswar l tuesday l may 11, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l 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 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 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi 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. 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. The executive functioning of the government needs discretion to formulate policy in larger interest - Centre’s affidavit BJP-ruled states join free dose chorus, govt to assess fiscal viability of vaccines. The finance ministry is going to reassess the fisAs the chorus for free Covid cal viability and will hold a vaccine doses for states grows meeting in a day or two after louder with even BJP-governed consultation with the health states raising the demand, the ministry the PMO and the Niti , finance ministry is looking at Aayog,” said the senior official whether such a move is fiscally cited earlier. feasible. Not just states, even econoAccording to highly placed mists are questioning the difsources, apart from Odisha, ferential pricing policy which West Bengal and Kerathey say creates supla, NDA-ruled Madhya ply side bottlenecks. `35,000 cr Pradesh and Bihar, They say India could vax spend too, have urged the have used its `35,000 Provisioning Prime Minister’s Ofcrore vaccine fund `35,000 crore fice to tweak the vaccreated during Budget expenditure for cination policy to for FY22 to vaccinate vaccines in the make the jabs availaa l l . H oweve r, t h e FY22 Budget ble to states for free. amount of `35,000 under the title A senior official in crore has been repack‘Transfers to the finance ministry aged under the Detold TNIE that states States’ does not mand for Grants to have questioned the inhibit the Centre states in the Budget. from using the logic behind the CenMeanwhile, the fifunds to buy tre’s forcing them to nance ministry has reCovid-19 shots, arrange for vaccines futed criticism from a the finance on their own or import section of economists ministry said them at a higher rate. that there is no provi“Many states have sion for expenditure informed the PMO that despite on Covid-19 by the Central govplacing orders, the process is er nment. “The amount of slower than expected. Also, `35,000 crore has been shown there is a lot of pressure for a under the Demand for Grants rethink over the “transfer of No. 40, titled ‘Transfers to grant” and differential pricing States’,” it said. 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. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Amid rising concerns over Covid-19 triggered mucormycosis, Odisha on Monday reported its first case of the deadly fungal infection. Known as ‘black fungus’, the infection has been detected in a 71-year-old man, a native of Jajpur with uncontrolled diabetes. He had tested positive for Covid-19 on April 20. Health department sources said the man was in home isolation. He developed swelling in eyes and blackish discharge from nose on May 8. He was admitted to SUM Ultimate Medicare and his condition is stable. The patient is suspected to have contracted the infection from an old air cooler during home isolation. Preliminary findings indicated that the cooler was not used for quite some time and water was not changed - which could be behind contracting the fungus. A team of health officials led by Director of Medical Education and Training Prof CBK Mohanty visited the hospital and inquired about the condition of the patient and history of treatment. The team has submitted a report to the government. CONTINUED ON: P5 MAY 9 MAY 10 Fresh cases 4,03,738 3,66,161 Recoveries 3,86,444 3,53,818 Deaths 4,092 3,754 @ Bhubaneswar Following states like Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, Odisha is also set to float a global tender to procure vaccines from manufacturers internationally. In a bid to ramp up vaccine availability in the face of acute scarcity of domestic supplies, the State Cabinet on Monday approved the proposal to float the tender to procure the jabs from manufacturers across the world. The Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik stated that the government will make all out efforts to procure vaccines and ensure supplies at the earliest. A technical committee will be constituted soon to work out the details. “Procurement of more vaccines will cover the vulnerable population, save lives and restore livelihoods. Vaccines have been found to be effective in saving lives and restoring livelihoods of people. Quick vaccination is the need of the hour,” the Cabinet resolution emphasised. The State government so far has placed orders for 10.34 lakh Covaxin and 220 lakh Covishield doses, but has received only 1.5 lakh and 1 lakh respectively. The Cabinet pointed at the success of countries like IsJab-o-meter rael where a majority of people have been vaccinated. “Israel is now retur ning to nor malcy,” the resolution said and added, “vaccination of more people and adhering to Covid guidelines will lead to quick return to normal situation in Odisha.” A resolution was also passed urging the Centre to exempt vaccines from all tax liabilities so that the burden City pvt hospitals to wait more for vax drive Bhubaneswar: With the BMC lacking adequate vaccine stock, private hospitals in the city have to wait more to start the inoculation drive for people in 18-44 age group. The State government in its attempt to maximise vaccination base had decided to rope in private hospitals to inoculate people in the age group of 18 to 44 years | P2 on the State finances will be reduced and facilitate the drive towards universal vaccination. The Chief Minister had earlier written to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman requesting to exempt GST on vaccines to create a level-playing field for the CONTINUED ON: P5 states. May 9 ODISHA Take your May 10 shot 24,30,017 doses Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 6,71,646 doses Total: 17,26,33,761 MAY 9 10,635 8,541 19 MAY 10 10,031 9,706 17 Dozens of decaying bodies floating on Ganga add to Bihar, UP worries Ra j e s h K uma r T h aku r & A nu r aa g S i n g h @ Patna/Lucknow No lessons learnt People violate social distancing norms while buying vegetables at Unit-I market in Bhubaneswar on Monday | Express express read Indian mutant classified as ‘variant of concern’ Geneva: The World Health Organization on Monday said it was reclassifying the highly contagious triple-mutant Covid variant spreading in India as a “variant of concern” at the global level. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for Covid-19, said the agency will provide more details in its Situation Report on Tuesday but added the variant, known as B.1.617, has been found in preliminary studies to spread easier than the original virus and that there is evidence it may able to evade vaccines. “Even though there is increased transmissibility, we need more information. So we need targeted sequencing to be done,” she said | P12 Sputnik V ready for rollout, will be available in pvt and govt facilities @ New Delhi E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e NATIONWIDE A nu r ad h a S h uk l a @ New Delhi S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA State reports Odisha to float first case of global tender for ‘black fungus’ Covid vaccines 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. Cases surged from 16 to 1,216 in one month 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 reported. However, there was no clear word on the origin of the bodies. After the bodies were retrieved, Buxar DM Aman Samir ordered an inquest. As per official estimates, Buxar has registered a huge uptick in the number of Covid patients during the second wave. The number of positive cases was 16 on March 31 and it jumped to 1,216 on May 8. It registered 26 deaths in the period While the locals claimed that 40-45 bodies were spotted, the DM pegged the number at 30-35. “These bodies are not of the people from Buxar. It has come from upstream Ganges,” Samir told 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.” How- ever, Singh’s claim was contested in Gahmar, a village adjoining 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 half-burnt, bloated bodies had become common. “Everyday bodies of Covid patients, either halfburnt or wrapped in plastic, are dumped into the river as there is a shortage of firewood,” a local said. Continued on: P7 HC strikes down own rule on Sr advocate designation E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Cuttack The controversy over designation of five lawyers as senior advocates took a new legal turn on Monday with the Orissa High Court striking down its own rule in the connection. The division bench of Justice CR Dash and Justice Pramath Patnaik declared the sub-rule (9) of Rule-6 of High Court of Orissa (Designation of Senior Advocates) Rules, 2019 as ultra vires. “The sub-rule (9) of Rule6 of the High Court of Orissa (Designation of Senior Advocate) Rules, 2019 is declared as ultra vires of the guidelines/ norms framed by the Supreme Court,” the bench ruled. The ruling assumes significance as the Full Court of the High Court had unanimously resolved to designate five applicants as senior advocates in exercise of the power under subrule (9) of Rule-6 of 2019 Rules. On August 19, 2019, necessary notification was issued designating the five lawyers as senior advocates. Sub-rule (9) of Rule 6 says, “Notwithstanding the above noted procedure for designation of an advocate as senior advocate, a Full Court on its own can designate a senior advocate even without any proposal from Hon’ble Judges or application from the advocate if it is of the opinion that by virtue of his/her ability or standing at the Bar the said advocate deserves such designation”. Controversy had sparked off with two advocates challenging the August 19, 2019 notification as it was issued after receiving 48 responses to a notification inviting applications for designation of senior advocates. While not striking down the August 19, 2019 notification, the bench said, “The notification shall have effect till a fresh decision is taken by the Full Court regarding designation of senior advocate on consideration of all 48 applications including that of the five advocates designated as senior advocates”. The bench set July-end as deadline for completion of the process of designating senior advocates. On September 4, 2019, the High Court had issued another notification calling fresh applications from the eligible lawyers to be designated as senior advocates after issuing the August 19, 2019 notification. CONTINUED ON: P5
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.