NEW DELHI 06 JUNE 2021 SUNDAY `12 PAGES 24 facebook/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard https://epaper.morningstandard.in PLUS: 12 PAGES The Evil Empire MAGAZINE Cooking Up Father EXCLUSIVE VOICES Canvas of Empathy Prabhu Chawla T J S George Shankkar Aiyar Ravi Shankar Immunity’s Tribal Affinity Anand Neelakantan Shinie Antony J Prabhash Amar Bhushan The Past Master Ray Reimagined as Raiment ‘We Live in a World of Illusions’ SADHGURU SPEAKS A Good Planet, a Good Life MARKETS, MALLS TO OPEN IN UNLOCK II Third wave fears To be allowed to open between 10 am-8 pm on odd-even basis, Metro to operate with 50% capacity from Monday Ensure appropriate behaviour: DDMA Central market at Lajpat Nagar wears a deserted look during lockdown. CM Arvind Kejriwal said the capital’s Covid positivity rate was recorded at 0.5% on Satuday | PTI The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) order stipulated implementation of Covidappropriate behaviour at all government and private offices, malls, markets, market complexes, standalone (single) and neighbourhood shops. The offices and shops will be liable to be closed if norms of Covid-appropriate behaviour are not maintained, it said. Market associations, district magistrates, DCPs and labour commissioners will be responsible to ensure the compliance of its order, it added. MOST OF AYUSHMAN BHARAT SPEND GOES TO PRIVATE HEALTHCARE, REVEALS RTI K U M A R V I K R A M @ New Delhi Uttar Pradesh Haryana Private hospital admissions I11611 crore Amount incurred for private hospitals Andhra Pradesh Jharkhand 62.96 lakh Public hospital admissions 15500 Average Expenditure per admission 9,59,041 15,95,396 3,22,080 1,08,172 7,03,952 Maharashtra 74.91 lakh 8,43,984 PUBLIC HOSPITAL 89,026 PRIVATE 3,14,419 UNDERLINING the poor public health infrastructure particularly in small towns and rural areas, a majority of the beneficiaries covered under the government’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat scheme availed of hospitalisation benefits in private hospitals rather than in government facilities. Till March 24 this year, the total number of admissions under the scheme in private hospitals was 74.91 lakh while it was only 62.96 lakh in public hospitals, according to a reply received this newspaper under Right to Information Act. The RTI reply also revealed that of the total `17,934 crore spent by the government till March 24 this year towards coverage of the beneficiaries, `11,611 crore worth of hospital admissions were in private hospitals and `6,323 crore in the government sector. The average expenditure per admission in a private hospital was `15,500 while in a public hospital it was `10,042. The RTI reply said 14.66 crore health cards were issued till March 24 and a total 172.48 lakh hospital admissions were authorised. STATES HAVING MORE NUMBER OF ADMISSIONS IN PRIVATE HOSPITALS THAN PUBLIC HOSPITALS 44,215 N E W D E L H I : The Centre on Saturday sent a notice to Twitter saying it was giving the microblogging site the “final chance” to comply with the newly notified IT Rules. This came on a day when Twitter removed the blue tick verification from the personal handle of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu only to restore it later. Twitter also temporarily removed the blue tick verification badges from accounts of several RSS leaders including its chief Mohan Bhagawat. The Centre said that Twitter was being given ‘one last notice’ to immediately comply with the Rules as a ‘gesture of goodwill’. “Though with effect from 26th May 2021, in view of Twitter Inc’s non-compliance with the Rules as noted above, consequences follow. However, as gesture of goodwill, Twitter Inc. is hereby given one last notice to immediately comply with the Rules, failing which the exemption from liability available under section 79 of the IT Act, 2000 shall stand withd r aw n a n d Twitter shall be liable for consequences as per the IT Act and other penal laws of India,” read the notice from the government. Twitter declined to comment when this paper reached out to for a response. On the blue tick being temporarily removed from Naidu’s handle, Twitter said the account was inactive since July last year. According to Twitter verification policy Twitter may , remove the blue verified badge and verified status if the account becomes inactive. Apart from Bhagwat, Twitter had removed the verification badges of other RSS functionaries, inclduding Suresh Soni, Arun Kumar, Suresh Joshi and Krishna Gopal. The verifications were restored later. There has been a tussle between the Centre and Twitter over the new IT Rules. Following the notification of the rules in February, social media intermediaries were given a period of three months to comply with it. ENS PRAVEEN KHANDELWAL, CAIT 2,00,159 Twitter gets last notice to comply with IT Rules This formula will add confusion, especially for the consumers, who will come for shopping without knowing whether a shop will be open 1,50,282 ASSERTING that the coronavirus situation was improving in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced various relaxations on Saturday allow, ing shops in markets and malls to reopen on an odd-even basis and Metro trains to operate with 50 per cent capacity from June 7. “The Covid-19 situation in Delhi appears to be improving. Keeping that in mind, we began the unlock procedure last week. It is necessary to bring the economy back on track if the Covid-19 situation begins to get better,” the CM said. The Delhi government had imposed a lockdown on April 19 as a measure to control the spread of the virus during the unprecedented second wave. On Saturday, Kejriwal said, the national capital recorded about 400 fresh Covid-19 cases while the positivity rate was recorded at 0.5 per cent. Addressing an online media briefing, the CM said govern- ment and private offices in the city will be allowed to open with 50 per cent capacity. Efforts, Kejriwal said, should be made to ensure that more people worked from home. He also urged private offices to stagger timings. Malls, markets and market complexes (except weekly markets) will be allowed to open between 10 am and 8 pm on an odd-even basis, as per shop numbers. All standalone shops and those in residential complexes will be permitted to open on all days. Timings of shops dealing with nonessential goods or services, however, have been restricted between 10 am and 8 pm. Delhi Metro train services, which were halted on May 10, have also got the nod to resume operations from Monday with 50 per cent capacity . Establishments like cinemas, theatres, restaurants (except home delivery and take away), bars, gyms, spas, barbershops, salons and beauty parlours, however, will remain closed till further orders. 5,19,388 E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Tamil Nadu 10042 Amount per admission I6323 crore Amount incurred for public hospitals Govt is purchasing services from private sector in the short term. But, there doesn’t appear any desire to strengthen public sector facilities —CHANDRAKANT LAHARIYA, expert The Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana was launched on September 23, 2018. It provides health insurance of up to `5 lakh per family per year to poor households for secondary and tertiary healthcare hospitalisation. Those covered under the scheme are mainly manual scavenger families, primitive tribal groups, domestic workers, street vendors, cobblers and hawkers, among others. Hospital admissions in pri- S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi INDIA, which witnessed a devastating second Covid-19 wave, may still not be doing enough genome sequencing of SARSCoV-2 samples necessary to stay ahead of the virus and predict next waves in time, according to experts. So far, genome sequencing of only about 15,000 samples across India has been carried out, while the experts say that considering India’s population, the number should have been at least 1 lakh, if not more. It also grossly falls short of the target set up by the Centre in December-January to test 5 per cent of all positive samples in every state as part of its INSACOG initiative — a consortium of several institutions under the National Centre for Disease Control — to carry out extensive genomic surveillance of Covid in India. The exercise, experts say, is particularly necessary after it emerged that a new variant B.1.617, which is highly transmissible had been driving the second wave, apart from the B.1.17 variant. “Considering India’s size, we ought to be sequencing more, around 1 lakh,” former ICMR director general N K Ganguly told this newspaper. “Currently, we have sequenced 15,000 samples, which is very little. The more density of genome sequencing we can increase, the more information we can get, and we have to do this smartly He advised that India .” should make a repository in which samples from various parts of the country can be genome sequenced. Virander Singh Chauhan of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology said the country was able to identify new variants, including the B.1.167 and its sublineages and the spread of the UK variant, but will need extensive sequencing for better surveillance and mapping the spread of mutant. The experts who have put together a report ‘The Road Ahead for Smart Covid Testing and Tracing in India’, released by The Rockefeller Foundation, also say just identifying emerging variants may not be enough, unless there is a mechanism to translate data from sequencing into public health measures to effectively protect populations before it is too late. Manisha Bhinge, MD, programmes, health initiative at the Rockefeller Foundation, said an enabling culture of broad testing along with accelerated and methodical genomic sequencing and data integration will be essential to monitor variants of concern and assess the ef fectiveness of countermeasure technologies. “This will take us a step closer to having early warning systems to pre-empt potential outbreaks,” she said. Many scientists associated with labs that are part of the INSACOG project however told this newspaper that fund crunch has been a major issue with the initiative. So far, genome sequencing of only 15,000 samples has been carried out in India, while experts say the number should have been at least 1 lakh, if not more | FILE HELP ACTIVELY WORKING FOR THE PEOPLE OF HILL STATE A young woman, after overcoming personal loss, is leading an organisation that is working to provide better health, education and basic facilities to people of Uttarakhand | P5 Mamata draws succession line, nephew Abhishek made TMC national gen secy GST collections in May drop to `1.02 lakh crore NEW DELHI: The gross goods and services tax (GST) collection for May slipped to `1,02,709 crore from `1.41 lakh crore in April, as Covid-induced lockdown restrictions suppressed business activity and e-way bills. The GST collection had peaked in April 2021 to a recordhigh of `1.41 lakh crore, since the implementation of GST rule. The record collection in April was partly because of year-end payments in March. The GST collected in April was for transactions that took place in March. On a year-on-year basis, the May GST collection is 65% higher than the GST revenues in May 2020 and it has stayed above `1 lakh crore. Of the collection in May, central GST is `17,592 crore, state GST `22,653, integrated GST `53,199 crore and cess `9,265 crore (including `868 crore collected on import of goods). The finance ministry said the actual revenues for May 2021 would be higher and would be known when all the extended dates expire. “Taxpayers with a turnover above `5 crore have to file their returns by June 4, which they would have otherwise filed by May 20, smaller taxpayers with turnover less than `5 crore still have time till first week of July to file the returns without any late fee and interest and the revenue from these taxpayers is deferred till then,” it said. ENS vate facilities as compared to public sector institutions are not uniform among the states. The RTI information reveals that in some states such as Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, admissions in private hospitals were 300400% more than in public healthcare facilities. In UP, there were 5,19,388 private hospital admissions but only 1,50,282 admissions were in public health facilities. Similarly in Maharashtra, there were 3,14,419 private hospital admissions in comparison with 89,026 public hospital admissions. In sharp contrast to these two states, in Kerala public healthcare facilities have played a dominant role in admissions under the scheme. The state recorded 5,75,872 admissions in private hospitals whereas there 14,14,712 admissions in public hospitals. Karnataka also showed a similar trend with 2,38,793 private hospital admissions and 10,78,237 public hospital admissions under the scheme. Many northeastern states, including Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya also showed a simCONTINUED ON P7 ilar trend. grow but genome sequencing lags P R A N A B M O N DA L @ Kolkata West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee with Abhishek Banerjee during TMC’s Core Committee meeting in Kolkata | PTI A month after the Trinamool Congress stormed back to power in West Bengal, the party elevated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee as its national general secretary on Saturday . The decision to appoint Abhishek, the MP from Diamond Harbour, was announced at an organisational meeting convened by Mamata, the first since the recent Assembly elections. While it was his rising influence in the party that has We also discussed our line of action to counter BJP’s vendetta politics... But no discussion was held on whether the turncoats would be allowed to come back —TMC leader been seen as one of the main reasons why several TMC leaders, including Mamata’s former trusted lieutenant Suvendu Adhikari, defected to the BJP, political analysts say Abhishek has been credited for playing a key role in the party’s thumping victory in the Assembly polls. He was also instrumental in hiring poll strate gist Prashant Kishor. Abhishek’s elevation is not only indicative of the TMC’s line of succession but also the party’s response to the BJP, which had relentlessly attacked him, branding him as “tolabaj bhaipo” (extortionist nephew), during the election campaigns. The BJP had also hit out at Mamata, accusing her of projecting her nephew as Bengal’s would be chief minister. The party also appointed actor-turned-politician Sayani Ghosh as president of the party’s youth wing, MP Kakali Ghosh Dastidar as president of its women wing and others. TMC leader Partha Chatterjee, meanwhile, said the committee has decided one person will be allowed to hold just one post in the party It was also de. cided that no minister will ride in vehicles with red beacons or hold organisational posts. The meeting was also focused on the party’s strategies for upcoming bypolls in six Assembly constituencies.
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