BHUBANESWAR l thursday l may 13, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l JEYPORE EDITION Fear of full-scale war as Israel-Hamas clash kills 56 Tension gripped West Asia as Israel on Wednesday stepped up air strikes on Gaza while Hamas continued its rocket attacks More attacks likely before a ceasefire 1,050 Women, children among those killed Israeli airstrikes have levelled at least two apartment towers in Gaza. Warning shots have allowed civilians to evacuate the buildings, but the material losses will be immense. Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz vowed more attacks on Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups in Gaza to bring “total, long-term quiet” before considering a ceasefire ■ ■ ■ Worryingly, there is no sign either side is willing to back down Since Monday, 48 people were reportedly killed in Gaza, including 14 children, three Palestinians in the West Bank, and five Israelis A 31-year-old Keralite woman working as a nurse in Israel was among those killed in the Hamas rocket strike on Tuesday Rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, according to ISRAELI ARMY 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 No recovery Second wave peaked on Apr 21; in sight as IIP India lockdown not needed contracts by 8.6% in FY21 Daily change in new cases 7-9-2020 to 22-9-2020 1,500 1,000 E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for March, released on Wednesday showed , that factory output registered a 22.5% growth for the month. However, experts say there is nothing to rejoice as this ‘growth’ was due to low base effect and that industrial activity in FY21 actually shrank by a whopping 8.6% compared with 0.8% contraction in the previous financial year. Besides, the March 2021 numbers don’t reflect the impact of localised lockdowns and night curfews across the country . According to data released by the National Statistics Office (NSO), the manufacturing sector output contracted by 9.8%, mining sector output contracted 7.8% while electricity shrank by 0.5%. “The pace of the IIP’s expansion in March 2021 was in the middle of our forecast range (17.5-25%). Given the low base of the lockdown, we believe it’s more meaningful to compare the industrial performance in March 2021 with March 2019, which reveals a mild albeit sobering contraction of 0.5%,” said Aditi Nayar, Chief Economist at ICRA. “We expect the IIP to expand by a transient but relatively meaningless about 150% in April 2021 on the low base of the nationwide lockdown that was in effect in April 2020,” she added. Experts say that with the second wave of the pandemic holding down, chances of an economic recovery are bleak — at least for the first half of the current financial year. Retail inflation cools to 4.29% in April Retail inflation slipped to a three-month low of 4.29% in April, on account of easing of prices of kitchen items such as vegetables and cereals, according to the data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on Wednesday | P10 e x p r e ss r e ad Odisha demands 25 lakh doses of Covishield from Centre Bhubaneswar/Jharsuguda: The State government on Wednesday requested the Centre to provide 25 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine and adequate numbers of oxygen cylinders for effective management of the raging pandemic in Odisha. The demands were placed by Health and Family Welfare Minister Naba Kishore Das during a virtual meeting on Covid situation in Odisha with Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan | P2 Special vax session for people sans id proof Bhubaneswar: In a bid to ensure vaccination of all age-appropriate people, the State government has decided to conduct a special to inoculate vulnerable citizens, who do not possess any approved identity proof but are at risk of getting infected. The move came after the Centre advised the states to make special provisions for vulnerable groups who do not have the prescribed identity proof required for registration. Separate vaccination sessions will be planned for the people who do not possess any one of the seven approved identify proofs | P2 500 0 15000 10000 Based on 7 day rolling average 22 Sep 2020 9 Sep 2020 Daily change in new cases 13-3-2021 to 11-5-2021 Based on 7 day rolling average 2000 5000 7 Sep 2020 20000 21 Apr 2021 -500 -1,000 -1,500 first wave -2000 0 13 Mar 2020 Acceleration peak on Sep 9 -5000 3 Apr 2020 Acceleration peak on April 21 second wave 8 May 2020 NATIONWIDE M S Se s h a d r i an d T Ja c o b J o h n I ndia’s second Covid wave has rapidly decelerated, the peak is just over, there is no need for a nationwide lockdown now. We used an innovative method to analyse daily numbers of new cases, by studying the acceleration and deceleration of both the first and the second waves of the coronavirus epidemic. The result of first wave showed that the numerical peak was a few days after the beginning of deceleration. Deceleration of the second wave started on April 21 and the numerical peak (4,14,433 cases) occurred on May 6, followed by a declining average in daily numbers. This indicates that a nationwide lockdown is not necessary now. Its usefulness was when the second wave was rapidly rising, during March or early April. Individual states can study their numbers of new cases using this technique and decide on the need for, and timing of regional lockdowns. Full article on: newindianexpress.com Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 11 MAY 12 3,29,942 3,48,421 3,56,082 3,55,338 3,876 4,205 Jab-o-meter May 11 23,85,092 doses Take your May 12 shot 17,72,261 doses Total: 17,70,85,371 ODISHA Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 11 MAY 12 9,793 7,564 18 10,982 8,547 17 Sanjay new BMC chief, Prem shown the door Though govt did not elaborate why Chaudhary was shifted during the crisis, it is said to be a result of incompetent handling of situation by him E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar The State gover nment on Wednesday appointed Sanjay Kumar Singh as Municipal Commissioner of Bhubaneswar after shunting out the incumbent Prem Chandra Chaudhary The . move coming as a surprise in the middle of the unwavering Covid second wave in the Capital city has led to a lot of speculations. Though the State government did not elaborate why Chaudhary was shifted, it is said to be a result of incompetent handling of the Covid-19 situation by the officer. The administrative circles have been abuzz that gross mismanagement of the Covid situation in Bhubaneswar, specifically the vaccination drive which has been in a mess, may have prompted Chaudhary’s ouster. His handling of the first wave of Covid last year had also come in for criticism and the raging second wave only exposed the poor state of affairs in city . Besides that BMC has been found struggling, sources also point out that there could be a more compelling reason for the State government to carry out the reshuffle. No senior official of the General Administration, however, was available for comment. Sources maintained that two more officers would be posted in the BMC to manage the situation which is why an officer of Singh’s seniority has been posted. A 1997 batch IAS officer, Singh will also hold additional charge as Vice-Chairman of Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA). He was serving as Secretary, I and PR Department, Skill Development and Technical Education apart from CMD of Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation. Chaudhary, a 2010 batch officer, has been posted as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in General Administration and Public Grievance department. The government also effected a minor senior-level bureaucratic reshuffle with three officers assigned additional charges. As per a notification issued by the General Administration department, 1995 batch officer Bishnupada Sethi, Principal Secretary of Revenue and Disaster Management with additional charge of Principal Secretary, Odia Language, Literature and Culture department will remain in additional charge of Principal Secretary, I&PR in addition to his own duties. The 2002 batch IAS officer Krishan Kumar, Commissionercum-Secretary, Works department with additional charge of Chief Administrator, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), Puri and Chairman, Puri Konark Development Authority (PKDA) will be in additional charge of CMD, IDCO. Similarly, Hemant Sharma, Secretary in Industries department with additional charge of Chairman, IPICOL will have additional charge of Skill Development and Technical Education department. Thanksgiving ESI Hospital dean M Raveendran kneels down to offer his tribute to Florence Nightingale, whose birth anniversary was observed as International Nurses Day, in Coimbatore on Wednesday. Visibly emotional, he thanked the nurses for taking good care of him when he was a patient in the hospital earlier | special arrangement Form Covid management panels: Pradhan urges Naveen Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday requested Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to set up Covid-19 crisis management | P3 Odisha proposes 40 medical oxygen plants E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar In view of rising caseload and demand for medical oxygen, Odisha government on Wednesday proposed the Centre for installation of 40 oxygen plants in the State. The plants would be set up in all medical college and hospitals, district headquarters hospitals (DHHs), Capital Hospital, Rourkela Government Hospital and Acharya Harihar Post Graduate Institute of Cancer (AHPGIC) at Cuttack. The Centre has sought proposals from the State government based on the requirement of medical oxygen plants. Sources said the pressure swing adsorption (PSA) plants will be set up by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Wel- fare in collaboration with several agencies, including the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL). Additional Chief Secretary of Health PK Mohapatra said the list of hospitals with bed strength has been sent to the Ministry. “The State govern- ment will make provision and construct the medical gas pipeline system in the hospitals where the plants will be set up,” he said. Apart from this, Mohapatra said the government is also setting up 16 liquid medical oxygen plants at a cost of `75 lakh to `1 crore each at strategic locations alongside the medical institutions. While work on one plant at Berhampur has been completed, the rest are under process, he added. Meanwhile, of the 40 proposed sites, the DRDO has been allotted seven districts. Based on the on-board oxygen generation technology developed by Defence Bioengineering and Elec- The State government will make provision and construct the medical gas pipeline system in the hospitals where the plants will be set up PK Mohapatra, Additional Chief Secretary tromedical Laboratory for light combat aircraft Tejas, the plants will be set up at Cuttack, Boudh, Bhadrak, Gajapati, Jharsuguda, Koraput and Nayagarh. While NHAI has been tasked for construction of the shed and electrification, DRDO will install the plants funded by PM Cares. Construction work for the plants at AHPGIC and Boudh DHH has already commenced. NHAI Chief General Manager Ram Prasad Panda said, “We have received approval for two plants in the first phase and five in the second. The sheds at the two places will be ready within the next 15-20 days and thereafter the DRDO will set up the plant.” The oxygen plant is designed for a capacity of 1,000 litre per minute to cater to around 200 patients while charging 195 cylinders per day . 12 Opposition parties press modi for free mass vaccination E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e Free grains to poor, `6,000 to jobless As many as 12 heads of Opposition parties on Wednesday wrote a joint letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding free mass vaccination, allotting funds and foodgrains for the poor, expediting vaccine production and putting the Central Vista project on hold. The letter comes following fiercely fought Assembly elections in West Bengal and Kerala where the Trinamool Congress and the Congress and the Left Front were pitted against each other, showing the rising index of Opposition unity . The signatories were Sonia Gandhi (Cong), H D Deve Gowda (JD(S)), Sharad Pawar (NCP), Uddhav Thackeray (Shiv Sena), Mamata Banerjee (Trinamool Congress), M K Stalin (DMK), Hemant Soren (JMM), Farooq Abdullah (National Conference), Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Tejashwi Yadav (RLD), D Raja (CPI) and Sitaram Yechury The joint letter urged Modi to give all jobless people at least `6,000 per month, provide free foodgrains to the needy and repeal the controversial farm sector reform laws @ New Delhi Gratitude Why this C’garh doc chose Mysuru for Covid duty A j i t h M S @ Mysuru When words come up short to express gratitude to health workers who are busy saving lives, actions speak. A young doctor, who flew down from Chandigarh, has now volunteered to work for free at the Mysuru district Covid-19 hospital where his mother, who was in a very critical state, was saved. Dr Harsha, who hails from a family of agriculturists in Mandya district, is pursuing his MD in Radiodiagnosis at PGIMER, Chandigarh. The gesture has come in for much praise at a time when most hospitals are grappling with an acute shortage of staff and repeated recruitment drives have yielded no results. It all started after Dr Harsha’s mother’s vitals started fluctuating when she was un- der treatment for Covid at a hospital in Maddur, Mandya district, and was in urgent need of an ICU bed. While many hospitals denied 48-year-old Rajalakshmi a bed saying she was too critical to be saved, the Covid-19 hospital in Mysur u agreed to take her. “Many had written off her case, but it was the Mysuru district hospital and Dr Rajeshwari H R, the District Surgeon, who gave us with hope and shifted her to the ICU. After 10 days of care, she is now finally out of the ICU and recuperating well,” said a relieved Dr Harsha. Inspired by the efforts of the staff in saving his mother, Dr Harsha has been volunDr Harsha tarily treating patients at the hospital ever since. “The hospital has sufficient infrastructure and facilities. But since the ICU beds are full, and with a shortage of manpower, it is challenging for the existing staff since the patients are in critical condition and each one of them needs constant attention,” he said. Harsha has now extended his leave to continue his work at the Mysuru hospital. (CPM). Five of them are chief ministers. Prominent among the slew of suggestions they made were: “Procure vaccines centrally from all available sources — global and domestic. Immediately begin a free, universal mass va c c i n at i o n c a m p a i g n across the country. Invoke compulsory licensing to expand domestic vaccine production. Spend budgetary allocation of `35,000 crores for the vaccines. Stop Central Vista construction. Use the allocated money for procuring oxygen and vaccines, instead. Release all money held in the unaccounted private trust fund, PM-Cares to buy more vaccines, oxygen and medical equipment required.” black fungus Govt to ramp up drug production Alarmed by the rise in the deadly mucormycosis in Covid-recovered patients, the Centre has asked drug makers to boost production of Amphotericin B injection, which treats the condition | P7
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