vijayawada l monday l MAY 24, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l late city EDITION B.1.617 variant: Experts urge govt to rethink vax policy The two major vaccines available in India may have less efficacy against the B.1.617 strain, say experts citing a recent UK study Pfizer JAB OFFERS BETTER PROTECTION: STUDY ‘Need fresh modelling, serosurveys’ According to a recent study by Public Health England, the two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine offer just 60% efficacy, while the protection after a single dose is much lower. The jab, however, has 66% efficacy after two doses against the B.1.1.7 strain, first detected in the UK. The study showed the Pfizer vaccine was 88% effective against B1617 and 93% against B.1.1.7 ■ ■ According to virologist Gagandeep Kang, fresh modelling and serosurveys are urgently needed to optimise strategy for India It is better to reduce infection risk in a large number of people by offering one dose, rather than protecting a smaller group with the two-dose regimen, said virologist Sudhanshu Vrati | P7 GOVT CLAIMS BOTH cOVISHIELD AND cOVAXIN PROTECT AGAINST MOST cOVID STRAINS 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 India on Sunday evening became the third nation after U.S. & Brazil to cross 3 lakh cumulative fatalities How to apply for e-pass People going to Telangana need to attach TS e-pass while applying for an e-pass at Andhra Pradesh portal for hassle-free travel Log on to https://policeportal. tspolice.gov.in for TS e-pass Declarations needed Vaccine a distant reality in rural India, shows app Abysmally low rates of vaccination in rural districts across India Applicant is not residing in a containment zone Applicant is not going to visit a person in a containment zone He does not have Covid-19 symptoms Applicant has to submit the district A number of vehicles lined up at the inter-state checkpost at Ramapuram on Sunday due to curbs on their entry into TS | Express Telangana e-pass rule leaves vehicles lined up at checkposts for hours E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada/Kurnool With the Telangana state government implementing the lockdown strictly restricting the inter-state movement of vehicles even during the relaxation period of 6 to 10 am, hundreds of vehicles were stranded at the inter-state borders in Krishna, Guntur and Kurnool districts on Sunday . Till Saturday the Telangana , government allowed entry of vehicles into the state during the curfew relaxation period, but it made e-pass mandatory for vehicles to enter the state from Sunday . Though Andhra Pradesh police are allowing the inter-state movement of vehicles during the partial curfew relaxation period of 6 am to 12 noon, Telangana police are insisting on e-pass to allow vehicles into the neighbouring state. Only e-pass holders, ambulances and vehicles of essential services are Vehicles allowed for 1 hr The Telangana State police finally allowed vehicles from 9 to 10 am without any restriction as several commuters entered into heated arguments with checkpost cops being allowed into the state. As a result, hundreds of vehicles lined up at Ramapuram village near Kodad in Suryapet district as the TS police stopped them for not having e-passes. Tension prevailed for some time at the AP-Telangana border checkpost with several commuters entering into argument with the TS police for not allowing their vehicles into the state during the lockdown relaxation period without giving prior information about the new restriction. According to Krishna district police, those who do not have an e-pass, were asked to apply for it urgently . “With the TS police stopping vehicles from crossing the border checkpost, hundreds of vehicles were stranded at Ramapuram,’’ Nandigama DSP G Nageswara Reddy said, urging people going to TS from Andhra Pradesh to apply for an epass and avoid a bitter experiP4 ence at the border. where he is proceeding and the route in which he/she travels Photos of travellers Aadhaar card copy Registration number of vehicle Purpose of visit Log on to www.serviceonline. gov.in for AP e-pass andhra pradesh may 22 May 23 Fresh cases 19,981 18,767 Recoveries 18,336 20,109 Deaths 118 104 Samples tested 90,609 91,629 covid tracker 2,09,237 active caseload 15,80,827 10,126 13,61,464 Total caseload Total deaths Total cured Vaccine allocation for AP 14,15,420 11,65,365 2,50,060 Total doses No. of doses No. of doses for May received pending 7,68,010 Doses allocated for June 1 to 15 10,18,000 Total doses to be received by June 15 11,64,120 Doses procured by State in May Risk groups to get 1st dose from today E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The stage is set to administer the first dose of Covishield vaccine to high-risk categories in the age group of above 45 years in the next three days from Monday The decision has been . taken in view of the limited stock of vaccine available with the State now. Employees of APSRTC, Railways, banks and media personnel will be given priority in vaccination. “These people are in regular contact with the public. Hence, they are at high risk. So, they are being given priority in vaccination,” Principal Secretary (Health) Anil Kumar Singhal told the media on Sunday . The Centre has supplied 76,49,960 doses of Covid vaccine to AP so far. The State has procured 11,64,120 doses of vaccine on its own in May “We have adminis. tered 78,78,604 doses of vaccine Techie who survived attack seeks aid for her treatment P h a n i n d r a Pa pa s a n i @ Vijayawada DO you remember braveheart Lavanya Reddy Janga from Telaprolu village in Krishna district, who survived an attack by a robber in Chennai on February 12, 2018? Despite several surgeries and medication for the past two years, she is far from returning to normal. With three more surgeries to go, the software engineer who was honoured with the title Thanga Tharagai (Golden Woman) by Tamil media house, is now looking desperately for financial help. She has made an appeal seeking financial support from the government and generous people to meet the cost of her medical treatment. On that fateful day Lavanya, , an employee of Newt Global Technology, went for a client meeting at Olympia Tech Park in Chennai, finished the meeting around 11:30 pm and started returning to her flat at Siruseri on a vehicle. When she slowed down at a curve on Thalambur -Perumbakkam Road, a miscreWITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST Lavanya Reddy Janga, who survived an attack in Chennai in 2018 | EXPRESS ant suddenly attacked her with a sharp object and took away her gold chain, mobile phone and vehicle. She suffered severe injuries on the face and hand fracture in the attack. Lavanya, mother of a twoyear-old girl, said she spent more than six months in hospital and underwent eight surgeries which exhausted their family savings. She lost her job due to Covid-19. Having lear nt about Milaap, she made an appeal for crowdfunding for her medical treatment. “I appealed to the people to fund my treatment,” she told TNIE. Link for donation: https:// milaap.org/fundraisers/support-lavanya-31 YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) to people so far. In all, 23,38,719 people have been administered two doses and 32,01,022 have taken the first dose. By the end of May we have to ad, minister the second dose of Covaxin to 1,18,129 people,” he said. For the entire May, the State has been allocated 14,15,420 doses of vaccine. Of the total allocation, 11,65,365 doses of vaccine has been sent and 2,50,060 doses are pending. For the first fort- night of June, the Centre has allocated 7,68,010 doses to the State. AP has to get 10,18,000 doses of vaccine from the Centre by June 15. With the vaccine stock of 3,29,000 doses with the State, a total of 13.5 lakh doses from the Centre will be available till mid June,” he said. For June, the Centre has allowed the State to procure 11,45,540 doses of Covishield and 3,40,680 doses of Covaxin, the Principal Health Secretary P5 said. Abusive Chhattisgarh collector shunted out E JA Z K AIS E R @ Raipur Following widespread outrage on social media over Surajpur collector Ranbir Sharma slapping a youth and smashing his mobile phone for allegedly flouting lockdown norms, the Chhattisgarh government on Sunday Video grab of Ranbir transferred the IAS officer to the state Sharma slapping a youth secretariat. “I am upset with this incident. I apologise to the young man and his family said Chief ,” Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who also issued directions to compensate the youth with a new mobile handset. Sharma, too, apologised for slapping the youth, identified as Aman Mittal. “I am satisfied with the government action. Today I received a new mobile phone from the collector,” said Mittal. P r a n a b M o n d a l , H a r p r eet B a j w a , Su d h i r Su r ya w a n s h i & R a je s h A s n a n i @ Kolkata/Chandigarh/Mumbai/Jaipur “Vaccine suna hai magar hum logo ko na mila. Kaise milega na jante hain (I have heard about the vaccine but not got it. I don’t know how to get it either),” said Raghunandan Paswan, 50, a daily wage labourer in Vaishali district of Bihar. Paswan’s lament sums up the progress of the vaccination in the rural areas. An analysis of data available on the CoWin app shows that vaccination in the rural belts of most states is lagging behind urban centres. Given that the Covid-19 pandemic is now raging in the villages, it has set off alarm bells in health circles. It’s a major concern, considering that medical facilities and awareness levels are below urban standards. Take the case of West Bengal, where Covid cases are out control following the recent elections. Till May 20, 30% of Kolkata and the adjoining urban pockets spread over four districts had been vaccinated. This is in sharp contrast to the 14 rural districts in the state, where seven districts have a vaccination percentage of less than 10. In north Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district, only 5.8% of the population had been vaccinated. This is followed by Birbhum with only 8.74%. Among the better performing rural districts is South Dinajpur, with 15.3%. No other rural district crosses 12%. Even in these places, the gap is big between municipal centres and gram panchayats. Around 15,488 doses were administered in the Jhargram municipality area. In the rural Gopiballavpur block in the same district, with a population three times that of the pocket in Jhargram, the figure is 8,250 only . The rural-urban divide is stark in Continued on P8 Punjab also. skewed priority Bihar About 60% of urban Bihar vaccinated. Just 5% of rural population has got the shots. 76% of new cases and deaths reported from villages madhya pradesh Vax in urban districts like Indore (27%), Bhopal (24%), Gwalior (24%). Rural districts like Agar Malwa (11%), Umaria (10%), Harda (11%), Alirajpur (8%) Maharashtra Mumbai (43.11%), Pune (47.31%), Nagpur (48.55%) as against rural districts Gadchiroli (18.65%), Palghar (18.1%), Hingoli (17.17%) Punjab Bathinda (9.79%), Ferozpur (4.51%), Fatehgarh Sahib (9.63%), Muktsar Sahib (9.62%), Mansa (7.9%), Moga (9.56%), Sangrur (7.9%) Bengal 30% of all doses administered in Kolkata and adjoining districts. In 14 rural districts, max vaccination in South Dinajpur (15.35%) Rajasthan Sawai Madhopur (19.9%), Dausa (16.36%), Pratapgarh (17.21%), Jalore (17.25%), Tonk (17.6%), Dungarpur (18%) Lockdown extended in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan Lockdown was extended on Sunday in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Puducherry till May-end or beyond. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the process of 'unlock' will start from May 31. Rajasthan extended the lockdown till June 8, while Haryana's lockdown will stay till May 31 Moderna shoos off Punjab, sets trend for others Su m i Suk a n ya Dutta @ New Delhi Refusal by Moderna, a US based Covid-19 vaccine maker, on Sunday to directly supply doses to the Punjab government came as a reminder that global bids by individual states to procure vaccines from the international market may not yield favourable results. Experts said the international tenders floated by several state governments like UP Ma, harashtra, Rajasthan and Kerala, apart from Punjab, pit them against one another, besides sending a wrong message that the Covid response in the country is uncoordinated. In a country already reeling under an acute shortage of vaccines, this development adds to the worries of the authorities as only around 14.4 crore people have received their first dose, while a meagre 4.14 crore have got the second one. The daily vaccination number, too, has come down to just 1-2 million a day after peaking to over , four million per day in early April. The Punjab gover nment, which had approached top vaccine makers, including Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, J&J and Sputnik V for direct supply, said Moderna got back claiming it would “only deal with Government of India”. CONTINUED ON P8 NATIONWIDE MAY 22 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 23 2,57,299 2,40,842 3,57,630 3,55,102 4,194 3,741 (Morn) Most states favour conducting Class 12 board exams, final decision on June 1 E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi A high-level meeting on Sunday discussed whether to conduct Class 12 board exams at designated centres for 19 major subjects or hold shorter exams at schools but no decision was taken due to lack of consensus. The meeting was chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and attended by Union ministers Ramesh Pokhriyal, Prakash Javadekar, Smriti Irani and Sanjay Dhotre, besides education ministers and secretaries of several states. According to sources, the CBSE proposed that exams be held between July 15 and August 26 and the result declared in September. Most states left it for the Centre to take the call, but Maharashtra said the examinations should be cancelled altogether, while Delhi and Kerala suggested that all students must be vaccinated before the tests. “Following detailed discussion with states, it was decided that more deliberation will be carried out,” said an official. The states were asked to send their suggestions by Tuesday . Meanwhile, sources said neither the CBSE nor the government is in favour of cancelling the examinations. “The option of holding CBSE board exams in 19 major subjects found support from many states. For other subjects, a different way such as internal assessments could be chalked out,” an official said. A decision is likely by June 1. Healing hand Bureaucrats, police officers who double up as doctors R a je s h A s n a n i , R a je s h K u m a r T h a ku r & Anu r a a g S i n g h @ Jaipur/Patna/Bhopal They are qualified doctors by training, but bureaucrats or police officers by profession. They had donned the white coat of medical practitioners before clearing the civil service examinations and becoming IAS or IPS officers. Now in this hour of crisis caused by the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, besides doing their jobs as a chief executive or a district magistrate, they take out time to visit hospitals and double up as doctors to treat Covid patients. Meet Manju Sheoran Jakhar, S M Thiyagrajan and Anil Kumar among others, the first two being IAS officers of the Rajasthan and Bihar cadre respectively, and the third an IPS officer in UP. All three had studied MBBS. They are now putting their medical training to good use, playing a Manju Sheoran Jakhar S M Thiyagrajan double role with ease. Jakhar, a 2016 batch IAS officer, is the chief executive officer of the Udaipur District Council and oversees rural development work under the MNREGA. She studied MBBS at the Lady Hardinge Medical College in New Delhi and also completed her MS in gynaecology before cracking the civil services exam. Given her medical background, she was assigned the work of ensuring oxygen supply to patients and to fill the gap in Covid testing facilities. During her almost daily rounds of hospitals to ensure this, she takes out time to see patients in the wards of the RNT Medical College Hospital in Udaipur, among others. Jakhar also gives phone consultation to patients. “A lot of treatment is done on the phone itself as every family has someone or other suffering from Covid. I check their reports, symptoms and track their treatment. This will continue as I am doctor,” she said. To manage medical oxygen, her team collected data from hospitals requiring oxygen and then raContinued on P7 tioned it.
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