BHUBANESWAR l thursday l june 10, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l JEYPORE EDITION Vax data sensitive, don’t share it: Centre to states We own all vaccine data: health ministry In a strange order, the Union health ministry on Wednesday asked states not to share vaccine availability status on public forums States are supposed to update the Centre on stock and transactions of all vaccines. The health ministry claimed it owns all vaccine-related data and that it cannot be shared with any third party, including the media. The letter evoked sharp reactions on social media with people wondering how data on stock and storage of Covid vaccine doses could be sensitive ■ eVIN Curious timing raises eyebrows ■ The letter, written by Pradeep Haldar, Advisor, Reproductive and Child Health, did not specify why the information is deemed sensitive or how sharing it will undermine the jab programme Curiously, the directive comes amid rising criticism against the Centre for its inability to support states with ample doses | P9 Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network tracks VAX stock status 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 CJI initiative Telangana HC judge strength to jump by 75% E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Aiming to reduce case pendency across the country, especially in high courts, Chief Justice of India N V Ramana is now pushing to increase their sanctioned strength of judges. To begin with, he has given his final approval to raise the sanctioned strength of judges from 24 to 42 at the Telangana High Court — a jump of 75% — where 2,37,000 cases are pending as on date. This is one of the biggest booster shots in the higher judiciary in a very long time. Of the 42 judges, 32 will be permanent while the rest will be additional judges for now. The proposal to increase the strength of the Telangana High Court had been pending with the Centre since 2019. After assuming office, CJI Ramana gave it fresh impetus by urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ministry of law and justice to expedite it. After receiving their green light, the CJI is learnt to have to have spoken to the HC chief justice and taken stock of the available infrastructure before giving his final approval. To fill up the vacancies, 28 will be elevated from the bar while 14 will be appointed from judicial services. A formal notification is expected soon. In a recent meeting with chief justices of all high courts, the CJI had shared his vision of creating a National Ju d i c i a l I n f r a s t r u c t u re Corporation. 2nd wave shock limited to Q1, recovery tied to vax, says FinMin E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e DISTRESSED SECTORS SEND SOS messages THE second Covid wave has somewhat dented the economy but its impact will be confined to the first quarter of this financial year, claimed the monthly economic report released by the Union finance ministry on Wednesday However, this prognosis will . hold true only if the vaccination drive becomes aggressive and all Budget announcements are implemented efficiently the report , added. In other words, if the inoculation programme drags, it will drastically impact future economic recovery . “The onset of the second wave of Covid-19 since mid-February 2021 and localised or state-wide restrictions adopted to combat its spread, have posed a probable downside risk to the momentum in India’s economic recovery in the first quarter of 2021-22,” it noted. The report added that with state-level lockdown restrictions, manufacturing and construction activities could experience a softer economic shock in Q1. “To avoid or lower the ferocity of subsequent waves, an accelerated vaccination drive is imperative. Vaccinating to achieve herd immunity (75-80% of population) will boost consumer and producer confidence and reinvigorate the engines of economic growth. For this purpose, challenges pertaining to vaccine supply vaccine hesitancy opera, , tional aspects to achieve high daily throughput, and widespread reach must be anticipated,” it said. The finance ministry has made a strong pitch to vaccinate 70 crore people with at least a single dose by September to Airport, hospitality firms say they can’t survive without govt help @ New Delhi AIRPORT OPERATORS SEEK SUPPORT Drop in air traffic hit revenues Struggling to sustain operations and meet debt obligations Unable to raise funds due to poor cash flows and credit ratings 80-95 million Expected domestic air passengers this year vis-a-vis 140 million in 2019 HOSPITALITY SECTOR WANTS STIMULUS It has sought a sector-specific stimulus package that includes: Full waiver of interest on loans Extension on moratorium on the principal amount for all loans DBT of basic pay to employees `1.82 lakh crore Hospitality sector’s revenue in FY20. 75% got wiped off in FY21 | P12 boost confidence among people and regain the momentum of economic recovery . “With around 120 days to 31st September 2021, around 93 lakh vaccinations are required per day to achieve the herd immunity The peak daily vaccination . rate attained till date is 42.65 lakh. This peak was achieved using one shift of 8-9 hours of vaccination. So, doubling the shifts and possibly vaccinating 24x7 for a couple of months – particularly in August and September when supply is expected to increase significantly – can enable the ambitious, but possible, throughput of 1 crore shots a day,” the report recommended, adding that this is ambitious, but possible. Congress erosion on as BJP snaps up Jitin Prasada induction of Jyotiraditya Scindia. A similar exercise in RajasThe BJP set off alarm than is a work in bells within the Congress progress. on Wednesday by engiUnion minister for neering the crossover of railways Piyush Goyal another young leader, did the honours for inducting Prasada. Givformer Union minister Jiing a perspective to the tin Prasada. With this, the latest acquisition, BJP’s party appears to have Jitin Prasada media in-charge Anil made it intentions clear of mopping up the remaining Baluni recalled that Jitin’s fayoung talent within the Con- ther Jitendra Prasada had once gress, a ploy that began with the contested against Sonia Gandhi M A N IS H A N A N D @ New Delhi for the Congress’ chief post, suggesting the door was open for leaders of substance who were otherwise rotting in opposition parties. While Prasada lost a couple of Lok Sabha elections ever since the rise of the BJP in UP , he had served as a minister during the UPA tenure. He was a signatory to the letter by 23 Congress leaders who had demanded a full-time Congress president earlier. Continued on: P10 Wait gets longer for Covaxin phase 3 final data S u m i S u k an ya D u t ta @ New Delhi The wait for published data on the final phase 3 clinical trials of Covaxin is getting longer despite a growing clamour to release it, amid new information that compared to Covishield, it may be triggering lower antibody response to Covid-19. On Wednesday, Bharat Biotech, which has developed Covaxin, with support from ICMR, said the final analysis of its efficacy trials between November-January will be made pub, lic only in July, after it is submitted to the drug regulator and peer reviewed journals with a timeline of about three months for publication. While announcing the second interim analysis of its phase 3 trial on April 20, the company had said that “safety and efficacy results from the Despite its professed aim of eradicating language barrier in virtual learning through the national online education platform Swayam, the Union Ministry of Education (MoE) has kept Odia out of its scheme of things. Amid a surge in demand for online education materials following lockdown last year, Union Education Minister Ramesh Nishankh Pokhriyal had announced that courses in science, engineering and pharmacy at both UG and PG level offered on Swayam platform will be translated into 10 major regional languages including Odia. The other languages were Bengali, Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Punjabi. However, when it came to pre- june 8 5,896 8,836 45 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths june 9 6,019 8,032 43 June 8 25,58,652 doses June 9 31,31,759 doses Total doses: 24,24,79,167 Jab-o-meter Cabinet restructures OAS cadre, creates 220 new posts E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar The State Cabinet on Wednesday restructured the Odisha Administrative Service (OAS) cadre by increasing the mid and senior-level posts in view of the diverse and key role played by the officials during any exigencies including pandemic and disaster management. Though their achievements do not come to the forefront, OAS officers played a crucial role in the Covid-19 pandemic management during the last two years. As per the restructuring proposal, the cadre strength has been increased by 220 from the existing 1,903 to 2,133. However, there will be no increase in the base-level posts of OAS Group A (JB), which is 1,188. While the OAS Group A (SB) posts have been increased from 330 to 385, the OAS supertime posts will go up from 235 to 270. Similarly, OAS (Superior Administrative Grade) and OAS (Special Secretary) posts have been increased from 125 to 215 and from 25 to 65 respectively . Chief Secretary SC Mahapatra said the officers of OAS cadre serve the State in all fields of administration including implementation of government schemes and programmes with citizen centric approach. As the government schemes and welfare activities have increased manifold during the recent period and utmost importance is being attached to transparency and efficiency, there is a need to increase posts at different levels according to the need of the departments, he added. Besides, due to increase in posts at the base-level, there is a need for enhancement of posts at the middle and senior-level to augment promotional avenues, he added. paring and translating the study materials this year, Odia and Punjabi were dropped by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Currently , the translation of courses is underway and completed for some subjects too. AICTE sources said translating the courses into more than the selected eight languages does not seem feasible at the june 9 86,498 92,596 1,82,282 1,62,664 2,123 2,219 odisha Centre drops Odia from Swayam edu-platform D i ana Sah u @ Bhubaneswar june 8 NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths moment. Swayam, which was launched in 2017 by MoE, offers 1,900 courses from Class IX to post-graduation through massive open online course (MOOCs) format free of cost. Courses offered in science, engineering and technology, humanities and social sciences, law and management, are prepared by faculty members of IITs, central universities and scientists of CONTINUED ON: P7 IISc. Take your shot final analysis will be available in June, and the final report will be submitted to a peer-reviewed publication.” In the April statement, the company had claimed that the vaccine has shown a 78% efficacy against preventing infection while efficacy against severe Covid-19 disease was 100%, with an impact on reduction in hospitalisations — after accruing 127 symptomatic cases. This efficacy was lower by 3% from the one claimed in another statement to the press, issued in early March, based on 87 symptomatic cases. But a delay in sharing the final data is bothering many, since phase 3 trial data of all other approved Covid vaccines, including the Russian Sputnik V, were published within 4-6 weeks of interim analysis. Also, Covaxin had been ap- proved by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation for public use in “clinical trial mode” while still under efficacy trials on 25,800 people. “It is unusual to have such a delay, particularly when the second analysis was so close to the sample size of 130 symptomatic cases,” said a top virologist who did not wish to be named. Health systems and vaccine policy expert Chandrakant Lahariya said that while publication in a journal may take time, the company should at least release the findings on a preprint server for medical science. A recent comparative evaluation of immunogenicity responses to spike protein after the first and second doses of C ova x i n a n d C ov i s h i e l d showed that the former may have lower immunogenicity . Continued on: P10 express read Cabinet nod for construction of Biju Expressway Bhubaneswar: The Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal for construction and widening of Biju Expressway at an estimated cost of `448.02 crore for enhanced connectivity in Western Odisha districts. The Cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik cleared the proposal for construction of 174.5 km of the Expressway by engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) mode as a four lane carriage way. This will include construction of eight major and 17 minor bridges | P3 Twitter to appoint chief compliance officer soon New Delhi: Social media giant Twitter is learnt to have written to the government that it is in advanced stages of finalising a chief compliance officer as per the recently notified IT rules and that additional details will be submitted to the government within a week. Sources said the letter was sent to the Ministry of Electronics and IT on June 7
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