COIMBATORE FRIDAY MAY 14, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 12 LATE CITY EDITION ‘JUDICIARY WORKING UNDER GREAT STRESS DUE TO COVID’ 100 JUDGES, 2,700 JUDICIAL OFFICERS INFECTED Chief Justice of India N V Ramana said on Thursday that the coronavirus has impacted SC judges and Registry officials At least 100 high court judges and over 2,700 judicial officers have tested positive for the virus, the CJI said, adding that three HC judges and 34 judicial officers have lost their lives. In the SC, around 800 Registry staff, six Registrars and 10 Additional Registrars were infected at different points of times. On Wednesday, Justice D Y Chandrachud had tested +ve ■ 37 PLAN TO LIVE-TELECAST SC PROCEEDINGS ■ ■ Ramana said he was actively considering the proposal to live-telecast the proceedings of the Supreme Court However, the CJI added that the programme will be rolled out only if there is a general consensus among his colleagues in SC The Gujarat High Court is already live-streaming its proceedings THREE HC JUDGES AND 34 JUDICIAL OFFICERS SUCCUMBED TO THE VIRUS 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 Vaccine factsheet Lab quality big hurdle for Covaxin mass production BY YEAR-END Vaccines DOSES RECEIVED/ PROCURED BY THE CENTRE SOURCE QUANTITY 6.6 crore (Covishield 5.6 cr & Covaxin 1 cr) GAVI COVAX 1 crore facility (Covishield) PM-CARES FUND S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi AMID growing chorus for technology transfer to allow other vaccine makers in India mass produce Covaxin, the Centre on Thursday said the sticking point was the lack of sophisticated technological platforms to manufacture the jab. This vaccine, which is an inactivated version of Covid-19 virus and requires live virus to be cultured, can only be processed in laboratories categorised as biosafety level 3 (BSL 3), stressed V K Paul, member, health, Niti Aayog, who also heads the national Covid-19 task force. Covaxin was developed by Bharat Biotech with support from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which shares its intellectual property rights. The government health research body had invested about `35 crore in its pre-clinical and clinical trials. At present, only Bharat Biotech is a BSL 3 lab in India. “This suggestion (of technology transfer) has been welcomed by Bharat Biotech but it needs to be understood that Covaxin has been developed from inactivated SARS-CoV 2 and can only be developed at laboratories with BSL 3 standards, which none of the other companies in India have as of now,” said Paul. He, however, added that the government will support any firm that is interested in going for this major technical upgradation to scale up the production of Covaxin. Many experts, however, said that more than anything, it is the political will that would be required for an ambitious venture like this. CONTINUED ON: P8 Primer on biosafety level A biosafety level indicates a set of biocontainment precautions required to isolate disease causing pathogens in an enclosed lab. The levels of containment range from the lowest biosafety level 1 (BSL-1) to level 4 (BSL-4). BSL 3 is appropriate for work involving microbes that can cause serious and potentially lethal disease via inhalation and requires certain features like special constructions and ventilation systems GENDER SKEW 13,88,15,914 people took the jabs till recently 7,30,07,844 Of them are male 6,57,88,899 Of them are female 19,171 others too took the jabs 72,18,945 More males than females took the shot | P7 Covishield Covaxin Bio E Sub unit Zydus CadilaDNA SII -Novavax BB Nasal GennovamRNA Sputnik V Total STATUS Utilised in full Utilised in full 86% 12 crore Procured for (Covishield 10 cr received, rest phase II expected by & Covaxin 2 cr) May-end Supply 16 crore beginning Procured for (Covishield 11 cr in May and phase III & Covaxin 5 cr) ending in July 35.6 crore TOTAL (Covishield 27.6 cr & Covaxin 8 cr) 35.6 Cr Production / availability Aug-Dec 75.0 Cr 55.0 Cr 30.0 Cr 05.0 Cr 20.0 Cr 10.0 Cr 06.0 Cr 15.6 Cr 216. 0 Cr DOSES DELIVERED/ TO BE DELIVERED TO THE STATES IN MAY Free doses supplied by Centre to states/UTs: 1.65 cr Free doses to be supplied by Centre to States/UTs: 2.35 cr Doses directly procured by states/UTs: 1.23 cr Doses directly procured by states/UTs & in pipeline: 1.27 cr Doses directly procured by private hospitals: 0.80 cr 51.6 crore Add 16 crore doses that are in the vaccine doses pipeline under direct procured procurement by states so far & private hospitals and the total is 51.6 crore doses Total of 7.30 cr Now, Covishield second dose only after 3-4 months EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Centre on Thursday accepted a proposal by an expert panel to raise the gap between two doses of Covishield to 12-16 weeks, deviating from the European Union and the UK’s suggestions for a 12-week interval between the two shots. Till now, a gap of 6-8 weeks was recommended between two doses of this vaccine in India. Spain alone prescribes a gap of 12-16 weeks between two shots, though it administers the AstraZeneca vaccine only to the 60+ age group amid concerns that in rare cases, it triggers blood clots in younger people. The Centre’s announcement immediately triggered speculation of it being tied to vaccine shortage, but Dr V K Paul, who heads the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19, said the decision was based on science. Real life data following mass vaccinations in the UK, said Paul, has shown that the larger gap between two doses of AstraZeneca vaccine raises its efficacy The decision came after . a recommendation by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC), which in turn relied on the scientific input by the Covid working g roup chaired by N K Arora. The NEGVAC also suggested that those who have recovered from their Covid infection, should get the vaccine against the coronavirus six months after the recovery The ministry . is yet to formally accept the second recommendation. The gap of 12-16 weeks for Covishield, originally developed by AstraZeneca-Oxford University and being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India locally has not been tested in clinical trials, experts pointed out. The NEGVAC endorsing a six THE BENEFICIARIES Healthcare workers 1st dose 96,16,697 2nd dose 66,02,553 Frontline workers 1st dose 1,43,14,563 2nd dose 1st dose 1st dose 1st dose AMID Opposition pressure on the Centre to suspend the `20,000-crore Central Vista project till the pandemic is brought under control, the Chhattisgarh government appears to have done the right thing by nixing plans to build the new Assembly building at a cost of `245 crore. On Thursday, the Congressgoverned Chhattisgarh government cancelled tenders for the new Assembly building and halted construction works of all ongoing major projects. The state has also adopted stringent austerity measures, a government spokesperson said. Consequently, the ongoing construction works for the new Raj Bhawan, Assembly House, Chief Minister’s House, bungalows for ministers and senior officials, and the New Circuit House at the Nava Raipur capital city stand suspended. The foundation laying ceremony of these works were performed on November 25, 2019. SINDUJA JANE @ Chennai TWIN tragedies unfolded outside Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) on Wednesday when two Covid-19 patients died during their wait to get admission to the hospital. Commenting on the incident, Dr E Theranirajan, dean of the hospital, said one was a 74-year-old man and the other, 75-year-old woman, and both were critically-ill patients. They were referred from private hospitals to RGGGH in a terminal stage. Hospitals refer patients at terminal stage: Hosp dean One death happened at 8.30 pm and the other around 9 pm. There were over 20 ambulances waiting outside the hospital and a team of doctors was attending to the patients one after the other. Before the two septuagenarians could be checked, they passed away in the ambulance. “Private hospitals are referring COVID CASES HOVER OVER 30K The State reported 30,621 fresh Covid-19 cases and 297 deaths, taking the tally to 14,99,485 and toll to 16,768 on Thursday. Tamil Nadu’s test positivity rate (TPR) stood at 19 percent patients in the ter minal stage,” said Dr Theranirajan. After reports of deaths went around, Health Minister Ma Subramanian inspected the hospital on Thursday . Speaking to the press, he said many private hospitals are referring patients to government hospitals at the last minute and that it was the reason for the deaths. Subramanian said there are 1,618 beds at RGGGH and 1,200 among them are oxygen beds. Additional oxygen beds couldn’t be readied because of short-supply of oxygen, the minister said. The situation will get better once the State receives oxygen supply from Rourkela from Odisha. Oxygen Express to reach Chennai today The Oxygen Express train is expected to reach Chennai by Friday morning. The minister also said supply from the Sterlite plant should ease the oxygen situation in the State. Once the State receives these supplies, the 850-oxygen bed facility at Chennai Trade Centre in Nandambakkam will be opened up and patients from government hospitals can be shifted there. The minister also said steps will be taken for more production of Remdesivir after May 21. So that it can be distributed to other districts as well. Vaccination for those above 18 years of age would be started once the global tenders are floated and the vaccines procured. The work is being fast tracked, he said. VENDOR FAILS TO SUPPLY OXYGEN TO GH Chennai: Tense situation prevailed at Chromepet Government Hospital on Thursday after the vendor who regularly supplies medical oxygen to the hospital expressed his inability to delivery the gas due to short supply at the last minute. The issue was solved by intervention of collector | P4 FIRST BATCH OF O2 SENT FROM VEDANTA Thoothukudi: Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi dispatched its first load of medical grade oxygen weighing 4.82 KL to the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital on Thursday | P4 PVT HOSPS FORCING TO BUY REMDESIVIR? Chennai: Despite well-established guidelines and repeated warnings from the State government, private hospitals in Chennai continue to prescribe and force Covid-19 patients to procure Remdesivir for mild infections | P4 TAMIL NADU MAY 11 MAY 12 5,42,32,598 1,72,86,501 Over 60 yrs TOTAL Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 30,355 19,508 293 30,621 19,287 297 17,91,77,029 month gap for Covid-19 vaccination following recovery from the infection is also being met with some skepticism. Just a few days ago, ICMR director general Balram Bhargava said those who have battled Covid19 successfully can get the vac, cine six weeks following their recovery. “So far, I have not come across any scientific evidence which suggests that people who have had infection before should wait for six months for their shots against Covid19,” said immunologist Seyed Hasnain. Ch’garh suspends work on new Assembly, pressure on Centre to halt Central Vista E JA Z K A I S E R @ Raipur TWO DIE IN AMBULANCE WAITING OUTSIDE RGGGH affected. But, using these concessions as loopholes, some have been violating lockdown norms. As such, I request you to give your views on whether these concessions can be continued or some modifications could be made. Stalin also gave a detailed account on the steps being taken on a war footing to contain the spread of this infection. Representatives of the legislature parties, Minister for Water Resources Durai Murugan, and Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu spoke on the occasion while senior Ministers and officials from various departments were present. 85,14,552 2nd dose navirus spread. It was also decided that all parties should engage themselves in the relief works for the people. Further, it was decided to constitute a committee of representatives of legislature parties in the State Assembly to provide suggestions to the government on Covid-19 prevention and other issues. In his introductory remarks, Chief Minister MK Stalin said certain concessions have been announced during the complete lockdown only to ensure that the people are not 5,65,82,401 2nd dose REPRESENTATIVES of all legislature parties in the Assembly agreed on Thursday to intensify the ongoing complete lockdown as well as set up a committee of parties to give suggestions on Covid prevention measures. “Based on the views expressed by the representatives of all parties in the meeting, it has been decided to intensify the norms for complete lockdown further with a view to protect the lives of the people,” Health Minister Ma Subramanian told reporters after the 160-minute-long meeting held at the Secretariat. The Minister said five resolutions were adopted at the meeting. At the onset, all the parties unanimously resolved to extend full support to the measures that will be taken to contain the spread of the virus. Another resolution said all political parties have decided to completely stop organising public meetings as well as political events since the Corona infection is spreading fast. The parties have agreed to set an example for the people in adhering to the Covid-19 norms so that the people would follow suit to prevent the coro- 39,14,688 Age group 45-60 yrs EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennaii 81,12,476 Age group 18-44 yrs All parties concur on intensifying lockdown The Chhattisgarh government’s decision comes a day after 12 Opposition leaders had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to halt the Central Vista project and use the money to the fund the fight against coronavirus. Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court is hearing a petition seeking an interim stay on the project saying the construction workers are exposed to the deadly coronavirus on a daily basis during the peak phase of the pandemic. ISRAEL PUMMELS GAZA AS ITS TROOPS STAND BY The hostilities between Hamas and Israel are escalating relentlessly even as mediators try to step in. Hamas sent a heavy barrage of rockets deep into Israel on Thursday as Israel pounded Gaza with more airstrikes and called up 9,000 more reservists, with the country’s military talking of a possible ground attack. Meanwhile, Jews and Arabs are fighting in the country’s streets. In the picture on the left, Israeli airstrikes hit a building in Gaza city. Above, an Israeli artillery unit at the border fires toward targets in the Gaza Strip | P9 JAB-O-METER EXPRESS READ May 12 17,72,261 doses TAKE YOUR May 13 SHOT 19,75,176 doses TOTAL: 17,91,77,029 NATIONWIDE MAY 12 MAY 13 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 3,62,727 3,52,181 4,120 3,48,421 3,55,338 4,205 Two more popular faces quit Kamal’s MNM party Chennai: Former IAS officer Santhosh Babu, who was the general secretary of Kamal Haasan led Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) and activist D Padma Priya, who unsuccessfully contested from Maduravoyal quit the party on Thursday | P5 Assam NRC: Coordinator seeks reveriﬁcation You (Centre) have been playing that irritating message on the phone whenever one makes a call... You are not vaccinating people but still say vaccination lagavaiye. What’s the point of the message? - Delhi HC New Delhi: Assam State NRC Coordinator Hitesh Dev Sharma has moved the SC seeking a comprehensive re-verification of the draft and supplementary list of NRC to fix glaring errors | P8 Remdesivir to be sold at Nehru Stadium to curb crowds at KMC HARISH MURALI @ Chennai CONSIDERING the crowding at drug counters selling Remdesivir at Kilpauk Medical College (KMC), the State government on Thursday informed the Madras High Court that it is planning to shift the counters to Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Ve p e r y f o r p u b l i c convenience. Advocate General (A-G) R Shanmughasundaram made the submissions before the first Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy during a hearing of the suo motu petition on Covid-19 management in the State. “We are planning to shift the counters from Kilpauk to Nehru Indoor Stadium, where additional counters will be opened. We have proposed to sell at least 20,000 vials,” submitted the A-G. He also said that measures are taken to increase the number of P4 beds across the State.
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