BENGALURU FRIDAY MAY 14, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 28 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 PLAN TO LIVE-TELECAST SC PROCEEDINGS 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 ■ ■ ■ CJI 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 37 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 Move on vax Vaccine factsheet gap raises questions on timing BY YEAR-END DUE TO RAMPED UP PRODUCTION Production / Vaccines availability Aug-Dec DOSES RECEIVED/ PROCURED BY THE CENTRE SOURCE C H E TA N A B E L AG E R E @ Bengaluru THE Union Government’s decision to extend the gap between two doses of the Covishield vaccine to 12-16 weeks from the existing 4-8 weeks, following the recommendation of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), has sparked off a debate amongst the medical fraternity , public health experts and also those who are closely following the vaccine availability and shortage in the country . Many of them felt that the decision, coming at a time when several states are battling a shortage of vaccines, may be viewed as the government inability to tide over the vaccine shortage and create further confusion among people who have already taken the first dose of vaccine and a re p l a n n i n g t o g e t t h e second dose after a gap of four weeks. “As a vaccinologist I know about vaccine responses. The first dose is a sensitising one and it can be boosted anytime within one year. But what I fail to understand is why this shortage? Didn’t the government order enough vaccines earlier? Are they depending on the manufacturers? There has definitely been a mismatch in the government’s planning of the vaccine administration,” said Dr John Jacob, renowned virologist and former professor at CMC Vellore. The experts, however, agree that there have been studies published in medical journals like The Lancet and real-life evidence, particularly from the UK, showing that the efficacy of the vaccine is higher when there is a gap of 90 days. A senior doctor said, “I agree that some countries like the UK and Canada have done this, but why is it that our government didn’t think of it earlier? Just a few days ago, they were speaking about the importance of taking the second dose.” CONTINUED ON: P5 JAB-O-METER 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 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 QUANTITY 6.6 crore PM-CARES (Covishield 5.6 cr FUND & Covaxin 1 cr) GAVI COVAX 1 crore facility (Covishield) STATUS Covishield Covaxin Bio E Sub unit Zydus CadilaDNA SII -Novavax BB Nasal GennovamRNA Sputnik V TOTAL Utilised in full Utilised in full 86% 12 crore Procured (Covishield 10 cr received, rest for phase II expected by & Covaxin 2 cr) May-end Supply 16 crore beginning Procured for phase III (Covishield511 cr in May and & Covaxin cr) ending in July 35.6 crore TOTAL (Covishield 27.6 cr & Covaxin 8 cr) 35.6 Cr 75.0 Cr 55.0 Cr 30.0 Cr 05.0 Cr 20.0 Cr 10.0 Cr 06.0 Cr 15.6 Cr 216.6 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: 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 BENEFICIARIES Healthcare workers 1st dose 96,16,697 2nd dose 66,02,553 Frontline workers 1st dose 1,43,14,563 2nd dose 81,12,476 Age group 18-44 yrs 1st dose 1st dose EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru AS if to make up for the apparent lack of preparedness in anticipating the severity of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Karnataka Government is forming teams and preparing strategies well ahead of a third wave. With experts suggesting that the third wave may hit the state between October and November, the government has constituted a task force that will be headed by eminent cardiologist and health entrepreneur Dr Devi Prasad Shetty. Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday announced that the task force will strategise the state’s prepared- ness. The announcement comes even as the state is grappling to manage the current situation. To give a fillip to its vaccination drive, that is moving at snail’s pace due to shortage of vaccines, the government has decided to appoint Prof Gagandeep Kang, a prominent microbiologist from Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, who is part of various think tanks and advisory committees for the World Health Organisation. She has worked on the development and use of vaccines for rotaviruses, cholera, and typhoid, conducting large studies to define burden, test vaccines, and measure their impact. “We are implementing robust strategies to fight this pandemic. Prof Gagandeep Kang will help the govt in formulating a vaccination strategy while the task force, headed by Dr Devi Shetty, will assist the gover nment to prepare for the mitigation of a possible third wave,” said Yediyurapppa. In a show of unity and attempt at being “transparent” in the measures taken to manage the pandemic, the CM, along with Deputy Chief Min- DVS: Should we hang ourselves if vaccines are not available? EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru TWO days after the Karnataka High Court directed the Union Government to take up the issue of vaccine supplies with the manufacturers, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, D V Sadananda Gowda on Thursday retorted saying, “Should we hang ourselves if we cannot vaccinate people as directed by the courts?’’ Addressing the media at Vidhana Soudha along with BJP National General Secretary CT Ravi, Gowda lashed out saying, “If hypothetically, the courts tell us tomorrow that we have to give so many vaccines and assuming that we are not able to do so, should we hang ourselves?’’ when asked about courts intervening in the vaccination issue. The usually smiling Sadananda Gowda’s ‘strong statement,’ was perhaps and indicator of the pressure on the government to ensure adequate supplies at a time when there is a visible shortage of vaccines in the country. Asked about the shortage of vaccines, Gowda said, “We are working with good intentions and it is our endeavour that everyone in the country should be vaccinated.” Regarding the numerous complaints about allround shortages and long queues to get vaccines, he said, “When we look at numbers, those getting vaccinated till April was very small,” the Union MinP5 ister said. FROM ACROSS THE STATE 5,93,078 TOTAL ACTIVE CASES 27.64% 1,27,668 Positivity Rate Samples tested on Thursday 1,09,76,189 TOTAL VACCINATIONS Nine villages in Khanapur taluk of Belagavi district have been sealed down amid rising Covid cases Davanagere district facing an acute shortage of oximeters and inhalers Fire and Emergency personnel sanitise entire villages in Koppal district, which have seen a surge in cases STATEWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 12 MAY 13 39,998 35,297 ister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, ministers R Ashoka, Dr K Sudhakar and Arvind Limbavali addressed an hour-long press conference. While the ministers reeled out numbers to suggest that there was no shortage of any resources - be it beds, Remdesivir, oxygen or ICU and ventilator beds - the attempt fell short of explaining the oxygen shortage which led to several deaths in the state. On two questions related to the Chamarajanagar incident, where 24 patients died within 24 hours, the CM said, “Since the matter is still being investigated, we will not make any comment until a fiP3 nal report is submitted.” EXPRESS READ NHRC notice to Centre over bodies in Ganga New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission has issued notices to the Union Jal Shakti Ministry, UP and Bihar, after receiving complaints about several bodies found floating in the Ganga in the two states. According to residents in Ballia district, UP, at least 52 bodies were seen floating at the Ujiyar, Kulhadia and Bharauli ghats. Similar reports of bodies floating in the river have come from Bihar. Assam NRC: Coordinator seeks re-veriﬁcation 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 WITH THIS ISSUE CITY’S BEST WEEKEND GUIDE 39,14,688 Age group 45-59 yrs Devi Shetty to head K’taka task force on third wave, Prof Kang to advise on jabs 5,65,82,401 Over 60 yrs 2nd dose 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF INDULGE (TABLOID) 5,42,32,598 2nd dose 34,057 344 85,14,552 1st dose 34,752 517 1,72,86,501 TOTAL 17,91,77,029 The NEGVAC endorsing a six 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 Covid-19 successfully, can get the vaccine 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 Covid-19,” said immunologist Seyed Hasnain. 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 Lab quality big hurdle for Covaxin mass production Chhattisgarh stops work on new Assembly, pressure on Centre to halt Central Vista 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 P8 now,” said Paul. 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 E JA Z K A I S E R @ Raipur 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 was performed on November 25, 2019. The Chhattisgarh government’s decision comes a day after 12 Opposition leaders wrote 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.
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