NEW DELHI 28 FEBRUARY 2021 SUNDAY `9 PAGES 24 facebook/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard Present Tense, Future Hazy https://epaper.morningstandard.in PLUS: 12 PAGES TJS George Prabhu Chawla Shankkar Aiyar Ravi Shankar Significant left ventricular systolic dysfunction MODERATE OF SEVERE VALVULAR HEART DISEASE Coronary artery disease with past CABG/ PTCA/MI and hypertension/ diabetes on treatment Angina and hypertension/ diabetes on treatment CT/MRI documented stroke and hypertension/ diabetes on treatment PULMONARY ARTERY HYPERTENSION AND HYPERTENSION/DIABETES ON TREATMENT Diabetes (>10 years or with complications) and hypertension on treatment Kidney/liver/ hematopoietic stem cell transplant: On wait list End stage kidney disease on haemodialysis/CAPD Current prolonged use of oral corticosteroids/ immunosuppressant medications Decompensated cirrhosis Severe respiratory disease with hospitalisation in last two years Lymphoma/ leukaemia/myeloma Diagnosis of any solid cancer or or after July 1, 2020 or currently on cancer therapy Sickle cell disease/bone marrow failure/aplastic anemia/thalassemia major Primary immunodeficiency diseases/HIV infection Persons with disabilities due to intellectual disabilities/muscular dystrophy/acid attack with involvement of respiratory system/persons with disabilities having high support needs/multiple disabilities including deaf-blindedness Diabetes with hypertension, cancer and host of heart diseases in list of comorbidities THE union ministry of health and family welfare on Saturday fixed the cost of Covid-19 vaccines, set to be offered to those above 60 years and people over 45 years with specified comorbidities, at `250 per shot in private hospitals and also finalised a list of 20 underlying conditions, or comorbidities. Top sources in the ministry also said that in the beginning, only Covishield, developed by Oxford University-AstraZeneca, will be made available in the about 20,000 private hospitals where the expanded vaccination drive is set to begin. The list of comobidities includes those having diabetes for over 10 years or with complications and hypertension on treatment. Those with diabetes or hypertension will not qualify to get the shot. Also, people diagnosed with solid cancer since July last year, lymphoma, blood cancer or myeloma, those with HIV and acid attack survivors with involvement of the respiratory system will also be eligible to receive the shots. Apart from this, a host of heart diseases, transplant patients and people with severe disabilities have also been included in the list of comorbidities. As per the agreement between the manufacturers, representatives of private hospitals and the government, the vaccine makers will get `150 per jab while hospitals will earn `100 per shot for every dose of the vaccine administered. “States have been explained that the private hospitals functioning as Covid vaccination centres can be subject to a ceiling of `250 per person per dose along with the electronic and financial management mechanism in this regard,” the ministry said in a statement. Around 10,000 private hospi- tals empanelled under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, nearly 687 hospitals empanelled under the Central Government Health Scheme and other private hospitals empanelled under state health insurance schemes can participate in the vaccination drive, it added. The price was fixed after several rounds of meetings between government officials, led by V K Paul, who heads the National Expert Group on Covid19 Vaccine Administration, and representatives of Bharat Biotech and SII. The price for each dose of the vaccine for individuals will be less than the price at which the government had procured the vaccines in the first and second phases of the vaccination drive for healthcare and frontline workers. The Centre had paid `200 per dose for Covishield by SII and `295 per dose for Covaxin by Bharat Biotech, excluding taxes, when it had procured 110 Aimed at the Academy HERO IPS OFFICER IN NAGALAND MAKES A DIFFERENCE For Vishal Chauhan and his team, what started as a small awareness drive on policing has turned into a successful motivational programme for the youth PAGE 5 EXPRESS READ Nodeep says she was tortured by police Chandigarh: Dalit labour activist Nodeep Kaur has claimed Haryana Police tortured her when she was in jail. She was released on bail on Friday night and joined the farmer protest site at Singhu border on Saturday. She said there was no female police personnel when she was arrested. Policemen beat her up and she could not even walk. EC stops transfer of IAS & poilce officers in Assam New Delhi: The Election Commission has stopped transfers of 12 IAS and six Assam Police Service (APS) officers, as the orders came after the announcement of dates for the March-April state elections. “With this announcement, provisions of Model Code of Conduct has come into force, which includes a ban on transfers/postings of officers connected with elections,” it said. NEARLY 70 per cent of expenditure on health has to be borne by the patients and this pushes about 60 million Indians into poverty each year, the Finance Commission has said. In its report, the top panel has made strong remarks on the poor healthcare system, saying even 73 years after independence the quality healthcare has remained elusive for many The report said the Cov. id-19 pandemic had exposed various fault lines in the country’s health sector. “We find about 70 per cent of expenditure on health is out of pocket, one of the highest globally. High out of pocket expenditure poses the largest risk to the population living below, and at the margins of, the poverty line,” it said. The report talked about low investment, sharp inter-state variations in the availability of health infrastructure and in health outcomes, supply side problems of doctors, paramedics, hospitals and inadequate number of healthcare centres like PHCs, sub centres and CHCs are some of the structural challenges that exist. The commission pointed out million and 55 million doses of the two vaccines respectively last month. Officials said there were two reasons why only Covishield would be available in private hospitals in the beginning. Firstly, Bharat Biotech’s Covixin has supply issues and secondly people by and large have , greater faith in Covishield. “This is largely because Covishield is available in larger quantities and also we don’t want a situation where private hospitals refuse Covaxin citing lack of efficacy data from the Phase 3 trial,” a source said. Meanwhile, a body of private hospitals wrote to the government demanding that accredited hospitals also be involved in the vaccination drive. There are about 800 hospitals accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers and nearly 600 hospitals accredited by the National Board of Examination. Gehlot, Pilot share dais & chopper in unity show R A J E S H A S N A N I @ Jaipur CHIEF Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot came out together to present a united face of the Congress at two ‘Kisan Mahapanchayats’ in Bikaner and Chittorg arh districts on Saturday . Gehlot and Pilot not only spoke from the same platfor m but also shared the same helicopter along with Rajasthan in charge Ajay Maken and PCC chief Govind Singh Dotasara. Ever since Pilot rebelled against Gehlot’s leadership last July, their differences have kept the Congress a fragmented house. Even recently during Rahul Gandhi’s trip to Rajasthan, Pilot was made to come down from the dais at one rally which left his camp fuming. Saturday’s gesture was seen as a damage control exercise to project a united face keeping in view the byelections in Sujangarh, Rajsamand, Sahada and Vallabhgarh. At Dungargarh, Gehlot urged people to vote for the Congress and claimed that huge injustice was being done to farmers. “We all know what is happening in the country. Democracy is being destroyed and farmers are being made to sleep outdoors in biting cold. Far mers want the new laws to be repealed, but the government is not ready to listen to them.” S i m i l a rl y, P i l o t stressed how the Congress had opposed the three farm laws from the very beginning. He asserted, “when farmers are so upset, it’s difficult to understand, as Rahul Gandhi ji has asked, as to why the PM can’t repeal the laws. Since farmers are the backbone of the country why can’t the PM , talk to them.” HEALTH EXPENDITURE AS % OF GDP 1.01 0.96 0.99 0.91 1992-93 2003-04 2015-16 Role of Intensity & Relaxation ‘CONGRESS WEAK, AZAD SERVICES NOT UTILISED’ FAYA Z WA N I @ Srinagar IN a show of strength, Congress dissenters called the G-23 said the party had weakened in the past decade and vowed to work for strengthening and uniting the party . “Today is an opportunity to tell the truth and the truth is that we see that the Congress party has weakened. We have assembled here and had also gathered earlier and we will unitedly strengthen the party ,” s e n i o r C o n g re s s leader Kapil Sibal said while addressing the Shanti Sammelan in Jammu on Saturday . Besides Sibal, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Raj Babbar, Manish Tewari and Vivek Tankha addressed the sammelan, the first coming together of the dissident Cong ress leaders at a single platform. Not happy with the party for not accommodating Azad in some capacity in the party Sibal said, “When we felt , that they were freeing Azad from parliament, we felt very bad. We felt he should not been freed from parliament. He is a very senior leader and I don’t understand why Congress is not utilizing services of Azad,” Sibal said. Azad said with Gandhi’s ideology, they would fight the new struggle. “We will carry forward his ideology and self service of Gandhi will remain with us.” “I follow the path of truth and non violence and my politics was never based on religion or cast. When I became the CM of J&K, I told people that politics of religion should not be involved in the governance,” he said. Sharma said all of them have reached the present position due to their hardwork and have not been parachuted. “I have not given the right to anybody to tell me whether we are Congressman or not. We can tell what the Congress is and we will strengthen the party .” Tewari said they came to Jammu to welcome Azad. “When the country is facing problems and changes are being made, we need Azad and his guidance to again take the boat to the bank.” Today is an opportunity to tell the truth and the truth is that we see that the Congress has weakened. We have assembled here to strengthen the party — KAPIL SIBAL, Congress leader 70% expenditure on health is out of pocket: Panel K U M A R V I K R A M @ New Delhi SADHGURU SPEAKS UNEASE WITHIN Vaccine in pvt hospitals to cost `250 S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi Of Old Tribes’ Tales Anand Neelakantan Anuja Chandramouli S Vaidhyasubramaniam Sheila Kumar COMORBIDITIES FOR DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY Post cardiac transplant/ left ventricular assist device Split Wide Open EXCLUSIVE VOICES The Good Ol’ Oil Heart failure with hospital admission in past one year The Burger Decoder MAGAZINE Artfelt Tributes to Odisha 2018-19 the high dependence of the common people on the private sector for their healthcare needs. “Irrespective of the abil- ity to pay, people increasingly seek private health care even for minor illnesses like cold, fever and diarrhoea.” “Private health care is not only expensive but may also lack trained and skilled manpower. People in rural areas face an additional handicap of location because health care facilities have a significant urban bias,” the report said. “An estimated 60 million Indians are pushed into poverty each year due to out-of-pocket payments for health. This is a major shortcoming, as ensuring financial protection is one of the key pillars of universal health coverage.” The report pointed towards low health spending and said the public expenditure (union and state combined) on health as a percentage of GDP in India has been around 1 per cent. In 2018-19, this expenditure was only 0.96 per cent of the GDP Seventy per cent of public . expenditure on health is by the states and only 30 per cent is by the Centre. The Commission recommended that public health expenditure of the union and the states together should be increased in a progressive manner to reach 2.5 per cent of the GDP by 2025. Bajaj to hold additional charge of finance secy E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi TARUN Bajaj, secretary eco, nomic affairs, was given additional charge of the department of revenue. As per an order from the appointments committee of the cabinet on Saturday, the development came as finance secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey will retire on February 28. “The competent authority has approved the assignment of additional charge of the post of secretary department , of revenue to Tarun Bajaj, secretary, department of economic affairs upon superannuation of Pandey,” an order issued by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet said. This committee is headed by the Prime Minister. Bajaj will hold the additional charge “till the appointment of a regular incumbent or until further orders,” the statement added. A 1988-batch IAS officer, Bajaj was appointed as the economic affairs secretary on May 1, 2020. He was serving as an additional secretary in Prime Minister’s Office. Before joining the PMO in 2015, Bajaj was joint secretary in economic affairs department looking after multilateral funding agencies division. He worked as joint secretary and director in the department of financial services also. As a Joint secretary in the department of financial services for four years, he was looking after the insurance division. Pandey a Maharashtra cad, re officer, was formerly the CEO of the UIDAI, the nodal agency responsible for implementing Aadhaar. He also held the additional charge of chairman of GSTN, Goods and Services Tax Network. HAPPY TIDINGS Rajnath the surprise guest at wedding of Dalit boy he adopted and helped become a doctor N A M I TA BA J PA I @ Lucknow HOW often does a high-profile Union Minister attend what appears to be an ordinary wedding? Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was there to see Brijendra Kumar tying the knot in Ghazipur on Saturday He put a . ‘tilak’ on the groom’s forehead and blessed the couple. To know the story one has to , go 21 years back. Rajnath was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and Brijendra a bright student from an impoverished family. After finding out that the Dalit boy who topped the Class VIII board exam in the state had lost his father and struggling to make ends meet, Rajnath decided to do something. He adopted Brijendra in 2000. Repaying the minister’s faith, Brijendra went on to become a doctor. At present he is posted at Gosainganj CHC in Ayodhya. “Just because of him Rajnath Singh at the wedding of Brijendra in Ghazipur on Saturday | EXPRESS (Rajnath), my son has been able to achieve whatever he has,” said Sushila Devi, Brijendra’s mother. With Brijendra getting married, how could Rajnath stay away? Keeping his visit to the wedding site in Madaripur a se- cret, he gave the newly-weds and their families a big surprise. “What a pleasant surprise! Possibly the biggest of my life. I am very happy It was . unexpected because he is so busy said Brijendra. Although ,” he had invited the minister, Br- ijendra did not expect him to make it. “He had promised, but I kept my fingers crossed.” In 2000, Rajnath had called him up to congratulate him. When he asked him about his family, he came to know that the child was a Dalit who had lost his father at a tender age. Brijendra’s mother Sushila had two more sons — Vipin and Manjesh — to look after. “I took responsibility of his education when I was the Chief Minister. I’m happy he has become a doctor,” Rajnath told scribes in Ghazipur. Brijendra’s brothers are also trying to make their mark. Vipin is preparing for civil services and Manjesh is pursuing B Ed. Brijendra’s wife Kritika is a post graduate in English. She has also done B Ed from Kolkata University. Incidentally, Brijendra’s in-laws were not aware of his connection with the minister.
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