NEW DELHI 20 JUNE 2021 SUNDAY `12 PAGES 24 facebook/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard https://epaper.morningstandard.in PLUS: 12 PAGES MAGAZINE The Muralist of Antiquity Gujarat TOTAL NUMBER OF VENTILATORS Karnataka AFTER months of speculation over his likely induction in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet, PM Narendra Modi’s trusted aide AK Sharma was on Saturday appointed vice-president of the BJP’s Uttar Pradesh unit. The move comes eight months ahead of the Assembly elections amid hectic parleys among the top BJP leadership to set the house in order to face the electoral challenge. After he took voluntary retirement, the former official in the Prime Minister’s Office 3,819 3,391 428 98 298 Madhya Pradesh Himachal Pradesh A Solution for Depression 9/11 and the Mahatma Unused 1,611 1,313 461 749 1,210 Jharkhand Installed SADHGURU SPEAKS West Bengal Central institutions 60,659 46,511 45,191 39,640 Ordered by Centre Allocated Delivered Installed TALKS RESUME OVER 5,500 VENTILATORS LYING Invite for meet sparks UNUSED IN DIFFERENT STATES We don’t seem to have learnt from what happened between the first and the second waves. Crowds are building... people are gathering... We need to ensure strict surveillance •An 85-year-old senior doctor JK , Mishra, at Swarup Rani Nehru Hospital in Prayagraj (UP) lost his life on April 26 after he was unable to find a ventilator bed at the hospital where he had served for 50 years. Dr Randeep Guleria, AIIMS chief Apart from Covid-appropriate behaviour, we need to ensure strict surveillance… We know the virus will continue to mutate. Aggressive surveillance in hotspots is required,” said the AIIMS chief, adding that the focus should be on ‘testing, tracking, and treating’. He said the country will require mini-lockdowns in areas that witness a spike in cases and positivity rate beyond 5 per cent. Dr Guleria emphasised that people would be vulnerable unless vaccinated. With the main challenge being immunisation, increasing the gap between Covishield doses “may not be bad”, he said. Asked if there was a need to rethink the decision, he said: “Nothing is written in stone. We will have to look at new strategies.” joined BJP in Lucknow with much fanfare in January and was soon elected to the legislative council. While the BJP brass reportedly wanted Sharma in the state cabinet, sources said the CM was dead against the move due to the possibility of emergence of dual power centres. Yogi had held meetings with PM Modi, Amit Shah and J P Nadda in Delhi recently . While the BJP VP’s post is generally decorative, Sharma is likely to execute the instructions of the party’s national J&K statehood buzz K U M A R V I K R A M @ New Delhi •In Palanpur town of Banaskantha district of Gujarat, Dr Naresh Shah, 79, died on April 22 as his family members could not find a ventilator bed. •Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Pt Rajan Mishra died of Covid-19 complications at a hospital in Delhi on April 26. His son claimed that the family had been desperately hunting for a ventilator “but nobody supported us” and by the time the PMO reached out, “he had left us”. Short supply of ventilators during the peak of the second wave of Covid-19 cost numerous lives. Modi’s trusted aide Sharma named BJP vice-president in Uttar Pradesh @ Lucknow/New Delhi 909 2,913 2,004 Uttar Pradesh Mumbai to Paris via Milan UNUTILISED MACHINES 609 1,106 E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Heart of Darkness As it is the country’s hospitals are short on ventilator beds. On top of that, many of these are lying unused despite being commissioned... Delivered Dr Guleria of the opinion disregard for norms makes another spell of Covid-19 inevitable E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E Anand Neelakantan Anuja Chandramouli Satya Mohanty Sheila Kumar 1,245 1,147 5,116 4,010 5,600 4,991 Once Upon a Time... for Adults Third wave likely in 6 to 8 weeks, warns AIIMS chief WITH unlocking and utter disregard for Covid-appropriate behaviour among people, a third wave of the pandemic is ‘inevitable’ and is likely to hit the country in the next six to eight weeks, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) chief Dr Randeep Guleria warned on Saturday . There is a need to factor in human behaviour while unlocking, he reiterated. It should be done in a graded manner, he told a news channel. While health experts have been warning of a third wave in the wake of widespread violation of Covid norms, especially after lifting or easing of lockdown restrictions by various states, the AIIMS chief has given a specific time for the cases to start surging again. “We don’t seem to have learnt from what happened between the first and the second waves. Crowds are building... people are gathering. It will take some time for the number of cases to start rising at the national level. Third wave is inevitable and it could hit the country within the next six to eight weeks... may be a little longer,” Dr Guleria said. “It all depends on how we go ahead in terms of Covid-appropriate behaviour and preventing crowds. “A new wave can usually take up to three months but it can also take much lesser time, depending on various factors. Prabhu Chawla T J S George Shankkar Aiyar Ravi Shankar 750 495 255 At Home with Covid The Mother of All Dishes EXCLUSIVE VOICES leadership in UP in the run-up to the polls. Importantly his ap, pointment followed state BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh’s meeting with party brass, including national president JP Nadda and general secretary (organisation) B L Santosh, in Delhi. A Gujarat cadre IAS officer, Sharma has been close to Modi since the latter became Gujarat CM in 2001. Before joining PMO as joint-secretary after Modi became PM in 2014, Sharma served as secretary to him while he was Gujarat CM. E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Srinagar/New Delhi Ventilator support system at the ICU of a children’s Covid care centre in Ranchi | PTI But even as patients suffered due to lack of critical life-saving medical equipment, hundreds of machines delivered to various states were lying unused. Till the end of May over 5,500 , ventilators were gathering dust in storerooms in various states, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has informed in its reply to a query filed by this newspaper under the Right of Information (RTI) Act. The reply revealed a substantial gap be- tween the number of ventilators ordered, delivered and installed in hospitals across the country . As per the reply the ministry , ordered 60,559 ventilators from different manufacturers, of which 46,511 were allocated to states. Rest were for Central government hospitals. According to the ministry, 45,191 ventilators were delivered, of which 39,640 were installed by states till May 25, leaving 5,551 unused. CONTINUED ON PAGE 7 PRIME Minister Narendra Modi will chair an all-party meeting with at least 14 politicians of Jammu and Kashmir, including former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah, in Delhi on June 24, officials said on Saturday . Union Home Minister Amit Shah is also likely to attend the meeting, the first such exercise since the Centre announced abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and its bifurcation into UTs in August 2019. The meeting comes amid reports that the Centre may discuss the restoration of statehood and other important issues concerning J&K. While it remains to be seen whether the Kashmir politicians would raise the Article 370 revocation issue, a senior BJP leader said no talks can be held on it as the J&K’s special status was “scrapped forever”. As a goodwill gesture, the government on Saturday released PDP leader and Mehbooba Mufti’s maternal uncle Sartaj Madni, six months after he was detained on December 21, a day before the counting of votes for the DDC polls. Officials said Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla reached invited the leaders to the meeting at the PM’s residence to discuss future course of action for the UT. CM Thackeray critical of Cong for ‘solo’ talks ON SONG HANDICRAFT TRADE BRAVES COVID With restrictions lifted in Europe and the US, export of decorative & ornamental products record encouraging figures S U D H I R S U RYAWA N S H I @ Mumbai PAGE 8 DELHI COVID WATCH JUNE 18 Positive cases Recovery Active cases Deaths Containment zones Tests Positivity rate JUNE 19 165 260 2,445 14 5,452 76,480 0.22% 135 201 2,372 07 5,261 75,687 0.18% TEST OF STEEL Cheteshwar Pujara is hit on his helmet by New Zealand’s Neil Wagner during Day 2 of the World Test Championship final in Southampton on Saturday | AFP LEGENDS DON’T DIE Milkha sir will inspire generations of sportspersons for many more years I Relatives at the residence of Milkha Singh in Chandigarh on Saturday. The legendary athlete passed away following post-Covid complications on Friday night | PTI knew the legendary Milkha Singh personally because of my father, Major Dhyan Chand. Every time we met, he would enquire about his health. We had a practice camp in Chandigarh before the 1975 World Cup, which we won. Being an official of the Punjab Sports Department, Milkha sir would often visit us. He was a man of few words, but always ensured we got the best of facilities. In return, his only expectation was we should win the trophy . One day he invited a few senior players for lunch. I was one of them. Given his keen eye on dining table etiquettes, we all had to use forks and knives. Most of us were not habituated GUEST COLUMN ASHOK KUMAR Former India hockey captain and World Cup winner to this, especially me. I somehow managed, without getting noticed. He also accompanied us to a couple of felicitation functions after we won the World Cup. If I remember correctly he was with the team in , Mumbai when we were feted. Age difference and his seniori- CONTINUED ON PAGE 7 ty meant we interacted formally on most occasions. Most of our conversations centred on my father, who used to address him as ‘Milkhe’. I lost my eldest brother Brijmohan Singh a couple of months ago. The demise of Milkha sir saddens me again. He and Balbir Singh Senior were the pillars of Indian sports after Independence. Unfortunately, we lost both in a short span of time. It’s time we gave them the recognition they deserve. We should name national sports awards after them. These legends inspired generations of athletes in the country and we must pay them back. Tributes pour in after legends die, but we should honour them during their lifetime. I am not complaining, but this will improve the sports culture in our country. If athletes start getting recognition, more will start pursuing sports as a career. It was in Hyderabad where I met him the last time. I was there as a member of an ad-hoc committee formed after the dissolution of Indian Hockey Federation. He was in the lounge of a hotel. I spotted him and went up to greet him. He was gracious as always, enquiring about me and my family I can . only say he will keep inspiring Indian athletes for many years to come. (As told to Firoz Mirza) MAHARASHTRA chief minister Uddhav Thackeray indirectly criticised Congress, while addressing his party workers on the 55th anniversary of Shiv Sena, saying that this is not the time to do politics, but help the state overcome the Covid-19 crisis. This comes a day after Congress said that although it will support the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, of which it is a part, the party will not form poll pacts with Sena and NCP, the other two parties in the coalition government. “If we talk of contesting elections s o l o n ow, people ridicule us. Which party does not want to win as many seats as possible fight elections on its own? But this is not the time for such announcements,” Thackeray said. Maharashtra Cong ress president Nana Patole has been talking about contesting elections on its own. NCP and Sena have said they will fight togehter. Thackeray said every party should take pride in its work, but that should not hurt the self-esteem of others. “Every party has to expand, but we cannot do politics all the time,” Thackeray said. The Shiv Sena president also said Sena has self-respect and will not bow in front of anyone for power.
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