BHUBANESWAR l tuesday l june 15, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l JEYPORE EDITION Another vax candidate in the U.S. shows huge promise US-based Novavax said its vaccine had an efficacy of 90% against infection and 100% against moderate/severe disease novavax’s HIGH strike rate against alpha The firm, releasing its phase 3 clinical trial report, said the efficacy rates of its recombinant nanoparticle protein-based vaccine were based on trials on nearly 30,000 volunteers between January-April in the US and Mexico. The high efficacy rates were achieved predominantly against the infectious Alpha variant of the virus that was first detected in the UK ■ 21-day Serum institute’s BRiDGING Trial ■ After regulatory nod, Novavax plans to ramp up manufacturing capacity to 15 crore doses per month by December-end The results are significant for us, too, as the Serum Institute of India is a manufacturing partner. It is currently undertaking a bridging trial on 1,600 people before launching the Indian version Gap between the two doses of the vaccine during the phase 3 trials 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 Food, fuel prices buoy wholesale, retail inflation glaring skew in Fatality Data There is a complete mismatch between death certificates issued across various dists and the official Covid count Death certificates issued by GHMC May consumer price index-based inflation at 6-month high, wholesale prices break record E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ New Delhi RISING fuel and food prices pushed retail inflation to a sixmonth high of 6.3% in May, breaching Reserve Bank of India’s targets, government data released on Monday showed. This is way above the projected levels, implying that the impact of the localised Covid-19 restrictions was more severe than expected. “The month-onmonth uptick in the CPI in May 2021, which saw widening statelevel restrictions, is nearly as high as the hardening seen in April 2020 during the nationwide lockdown, testing the assumption that supply disruptions have been limited in the second wave,” said Aditi Nayar, chief economist, ICRA Ltd. According to data by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, food inflation shot up to 5.01% in May from 1.96% in April. While vegetable prices softened, fruit price zoomed 12% and the cost of pulses and products rose 9.4%. Even the prices of nonalcoholic beverages rose 15%. In non-food items, the rise was steep in fuel and light, registering an inflation of 11.6%, and transport and communication at 12.4%. With wholesale NATIONWIDE june 13 june 14 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 80,834 1,32,062 3,303 70,421 1,19,501 3,921 FEELING THE PINCH Item Infation rate Oil & fats 30.84% Egg 15.16% Transport & communication 12.38% Fruits 11.98% Fuel & light 11.58% Pulses & products 9.39% Meat & fish 9.03% Personal care & effects 7.99% Spices 6.86% Household goods & services 3.89% Milk & products 0.64% Figures are year-on-year provisional inflation rates for May 2021 price index (WPI)-based inflation also touching a whopping 12.94% – the highest since 2013 – experts warn that inflation will worsen in the coming months. WPI-based inflation in May was pushed by fuel and power basket, which shot up to 37.6% in the month against 20.94% in April due to hardening global commodity prices. “If wholesale prices are rising, eventually it will start finding its reflection in retail inflation as well,” said Sunil Kumar Sinha, principal economist with India Ratings and Research. He warned that this trend will make things worse for the RBI. Apr 2019-Mar 2020 2019-2021+4% rise* Apr 2020-Mar 2021 *The bar indicates the assumption of a 4% normal rise in year-on-year fatality to 67,620 65,019 67,620 70,758 Covid 3,496 GHMC issued 9,235 additional death certificates for 2020-21, but only 3,496 deaths have been recorded as Covid in Telangana so far. Subtracting the 4% normal increase (2601), this leaves 3,138 deaths not recorded as Covid Note: 998 certificates are being processed E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e While the Centre recently bristled at an international news magazine pegging India’s ‘excess deaths’ due to the pandemic at 5-7 times the count put out officially , the fact that there is gross underreporting cannot be brushed under the carpet. Under pressure for an honest admission on the scale of the pandemic, Maharashtra and Bihar raised their fatality figures last week through data reconciliation after audit/validation by around 14,000 and 4,000. But allegations that not all deaths in private hospitals or of patients on their way to hospitals in rural areas were recorded under the Covid category refuse to go away , prompting the Patna High Court to direct the Bihar government to confirm whether its data revision was full and final. Hyderabad: Data discrepancy, to put it mildly, is visible across the country and under all political dispensations. Take Hyderabad. There was a 14.2% jump in deaths within the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits in the pandemic year of 2020-21, as compared to the same period in the previous year. A Right to Information que- ry by this newspaper on the death certificates it issued revealed that the corporation handed out 9,235 more certificates between 2020 March and 2021 April (see box). Besides, 998 other death certificates are under process. Also, data was available only for 18 erstwhile circles of GHMC, which have now been reorganised into 30 circles within the same area. Yet, the cumulative count of Covid deaths recorded in the entire Telangana as on June 14 is just 3,496, though there were humungous crowds at the state’s burial and cremation grounds when the second wave was at its peak. A municipal officer in Hyderabad said an year-on-year increase of 3-4% in death certificates is normal because of continued migration and rising awareness of the need for death certificates. However, a 14.2% increase in a year when for three months the city was under lockdown was concerning, he said. “During lockdown there were hardly any road traffic deaths, which is one of the major contributors to daily toll,” he added. Mysuru: Sa Ra Mahesh, a legislator from Mysuru, disputes the district administration’s Covid-19 death figures. Continued on: P8 Biden Jab-o-meter rallies NATO against ‘new challenges’ from Russia, China odisha US President Joe Biden on Monday warned that NATO must adapt to new challenges posed by China and Russia as he met fellow leaders to renew Washington’s “sacred” bond with its allies | P9 June 13 Take 34,84,239 doses your June 14 shot 22,15,947 doses Total doses: 25,87,13,321 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths june 13 june 14 4,469 7,733 45 4,339 8,182 44 Even as Ayurvedic drugs worth over `15 crore are gathering dust at different dispensaries and district stores, the Directorate of AYUSH has moved the State government to procure Covid drugs worth around `2 crore for treatment of mild and moderate cases | P2 express read CM orders CB probe into fake Covid drug trade Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday ordered a Crime Branch probe into the alleged spurious Covid-19 drug trade in the State. Official sources said that the Chief Minister issued the direction after the Health and Family Welfare department confirmed that Favipiravir tablets recovered from two wholesale medicine stores in Cuttack were fake. The fake medicines were seized before the stock was released in the open market in Odisha, State Drug Controller AS Das had earlier said | P2 @ Bhubaneswar Mystery veils death of journo who feared for his life in UP A day after writing to the Uttar Pradesh additional DGP for security cover, a 42-year-old TV channel journalist died under mysterious circumstances in Pratapgarh district on Sunday late night. While preliminary probe indicated Sulabh Srivastava died in what appeared to be an accident, his family alleged foul play, claiming Sulabh was killed by the liquor mafia for running a news story against them. Sulabh, who worked for a leading television news channel in Pratapgarh, was found injured near Katra Crossing and was taken to a hospital, where he was declared ‘dead on arrival’. On Saturday Sula, bh had written to ADGP-Prayagraj Zone, expressing fears that IN what appears to be a carefully planned move, five of the six MPs of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) on Monday united against LJP founder late Ram Vilas Paswan’s son Chirag Paswan and elected Pashupati Kumar Paras as their leader. Paras is the youngest brother of the late leader. Chirag’s unceremonious removal comes after months of disgruntlement among other party leaders who felt the young politician’s functioning was autocratic. According to sources, the five MPs held a secret meeting on Saturday evening to give finishing touches to their plan. Later, they submitted a letter to Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla demanding recognition for the new LJP faction with Paras as its national president. “I have not executed a spilt in the party Rather, I have saved the party so . that it doesn’t deviate from the path Chirag Paswan shown by late Ram Vilas Paswan,” Paras told reporters. He added that 99% LJP leaders and workers wanted to contest the last Bihar Assembly election as an NDA ally but Chirag decided to go in the opposite direction. “As a result, the LJP suffered a lot politically virtually reducing the party base , in Bihar to zero. Now, we will be with the NDA in Bihar and the Centre,” Paras said. Expressing the new line of the party Paras also lauded , Bihar CM Nitish Kumar as ‘vikas purush’. Earlier in the day, Chirag tried to meet his uncle but was made to wait at the gate for over 15 minutes before he was let in. He spent nearly two hours there but could not meet Paras as he was not at home. A group of children celebrates the first day of Raja festival by riding a swing in Bhubaneswar on Monday | irfana E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e liquor mafia @ Lucknow R a j e s h K u m a r T h a k u r @ Patna Odisha urges Centre to revise PVT hospitals’ vax quota from 25% to 5% State move to buy `2cr worth Covid drugs raises a stink E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Fun in full swing Chirag removed as LJP chief as party implodes his family and he could be targeted over his news report on illicit liquor dens of Pratapgarh. His report was telecast days after 22 people died in UP’s Aligarh district after consuming spurious liquor. Hours after claiming Sulabh had died in an accident, Pratapgarh East ASP Surendra Dwivedi on Monday said the police were looking into other angles as well. The police registered a case against unknown persons based on Sulabh’s wife Renuka’s complaint. Renuka said Sulabh was being threatened by the liquor mafia ever since his report was telecast. “Because of this, unknown mafia elements murdered my husband on Sunday night while he was returning from Lalganj after news coverage,” she said in her complaint. Odisha government on Monday urged the Centre to revise vaccine quota for private hospitals and allot more vaccines to the State so that people depending on the public hospitals would be benefited. In a letter to Union Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, Additional Chief Secretary of Health PK Mohapatra called for modification of the private vaccine allocation ratio of 75:25 to 95:5 keeping in mind the ground realities. Mohapatra said the presence of private hospitals in Odisha is very limited, account- ing for only about five per cent (pc) of the total healthcare sector in the State. “The allocation to private hospitals should be five pc and not 25 pc as mentioned in the revised guideline. Further, the share of the private sector may be handed over to the State government for subsequent mobilisation and allocation to private hospitals,” he wrote. The revised guidelines for implementation of Covid vaccination programme will come into effect from June 21 across the country As announced by Prime . Minister Narendra Modi, the Centre is bearing the cost of vaccines for the entire population of 18 years and above. Meanwhile, the Health department has also directed districts to expedite the second dose vaccination of people, aged above 45 years. The collectors, municipal commissioners and CDMOs have been handed over the list of beneficiaries to ensure that they receive their second dose as per schedule. As per the Co-WIN database, though 64,465 healthcare workers, 34,893 frontline workers and 93,191 beneficiaries in all 30 districts in the State are already due for second dose, they are yet to be CONTINUED ON: P5 vaccinated. Crocodile attacks claim 2 lives in three days Kendrapara: A 52-year-old man was reportedly killed by a crocodile while he was bathing in Brahmani river at Jagannathpur village near Bhitarkanika national park on Monday. This is the second such incident reported from Kendrapara’s riverside villages in the last three days. The incident occurred at around 11.30 am when Purushottam Dhal of Jagannathpur village within Pattamundai police limits was taking bath in Brahmani | P4 cruel fate After losing parents, 7-year-old tends to newborn brother E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Balasore LIFE could not have been more cruel to Krishna. She is just seven, has lost both her parents within a month and now must tend to her two-month old brother. Till early April, her life looked a lot different as she spent time with her parents and continued with her online studies in Cuttack. Little did she know it would turn upside down in no time. Krishna’s mother Smita Panda worked as a staff nurse at Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre in Cuttack, while father, Kamalesh Panda, was an employee at the E a s t C o a s t R a i lw ay s i n Bhubaneswar. On April 9, Smita, then nine month pregnant, tested positive for Covid-19 and was admitted to a private hospital in Cuttack where she delivered a baby boy seven days into her treatment. Though the newbor n tested ne gative, Smita succumbed to the virus seven days later, on May 2. A grieving Kamlesh returned to his native village Nimathpur in Balasore’s Bhograi block with his children after death of his wife but tested positive for Covid a week later. He was admitted to the Railway Covid Hospital in Bhubaneswar and later shifted to a private facility after his condition deteriorated. Kamlesh lost his battle 15 days into the treatment on June 9. After losing both her parents, Krishna and her newborn brother went into the care of her uncle Debasis. However, a daily wager, Debasis finds it difficult to manage his family and seeks help. “I appeal to the district administration to extend support for upbringing of the two children and give them a safe and secure future,” he said.
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