THURSDAY 4 million 18 PEOPLE HAVE DOWNLOADED KOO SO FAR. 1 MILLION OF THEM ARE ACTIVE USERS MARCH, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in twitter.com/TheMornStandard PA R L I A M E N T WATC H NRC NOT AT THE MOMENT Govt tells Rajya Sabha no decision has been taken on initiating the process A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 7 NEW DELHI Himachal Pradesh Uttarakhand Tripura Tamil Nadu Bihar West Bengal Gujarat Ladakh Assam Rajasthan Jammu & Kashmir Karnataka Uttar Pradesh 17.6 11.6 9.4 6.9 6.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.3 4.8 4.0 3.7 2.2 1.6 1.4 Andhra Pradesh J8.00 PAGES 12 MODI FLAGS VAX WASTAGE, Police chief of Mumbai SEEKS CORRECTIVE STEPS shunted to limit damage EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Telangana INDIA AVERAGE 6.5% (Vaccine wastage in %) Claims of short supply baseless Officials dismissed claims by some states of vaccines being in short supply. “Since the beginning of the drive, 7.54 crore doses have been sent to the states. Just half of it has been administered so far, so the charges are baseless,” said Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan @ New Delhi The issue of humongous Covid-19 vaccine wastage by a few states figured prominently in a meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with chief ministers on Wednesday . While 6.5% of vaccine doses are getting wasted in the country on an average, peak wastage is at Telangana. Modi advised the states to immediately introduce correctives in planning and governance at the local level. “It should be reviewed in states as to why is the vaccine wastage happening. Monitoring must be done every evening and people should be contacted proactively (for correctives) so that there’s no wastage,” he stressed. Later in the day, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan shared data on states where vaccine wastage is more than the national average (see graphic). They are J&K (6.6%), Karnataka (6.9%), UP (9.4%), Andhra Pradesh (11.6%) and Telangana (17.6%). On the flip side, Himachal Pradesh, at 1.4%, is the best performing state. “In the current scenario, Covid-19 vaccine doses are like elixir and should be used very judiciously,” said V K Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog in the briefing. Talking to this newspaper, sources in the health ministry explained that the wastage is happening more in Covaxin, as compared to Covishield. “There are two reasons. One, Covaxin has more doses (20) per vial than Covishield (10). As all doses have to be administered within four hours of a vial being opened, it naturally means that doses that are not used within the time frame get wasted,” said an official. “Second, before the efficacy data for Covaxin was announced, fewer people turned up at centres for this vaccine, resulting in wastage,” the official pointed out. The coronavirus spurt is likely to be in smaller towns this time; PM urges states to take proactive measures IT’S OFFICIAL, SECOND PEAK COMING INDIA is headed for a second peak of coronavirus, the gover nment confir med on Wednesday. The difference this time is that it will not be the metros but tier-2 and tier-3 cities closer to the rural areas that will be the worst hit. “We are seeing an emerging second peak,” said Dr V K Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog, who also heads the na33,000 tional task force on Covid-19. Over the past two weeks, small towns across 70 districts have seen a steep rise of over 150% in new cases, with Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh) recording a shocking 500% spike. Fifty-five districts in 17 states have seen a 100-150% spike in the same time period. The alarming statistics also came up during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with chief ministers on Wednesday The PM urged the . WORRISOME UPTICK IN DAILY CASES CMs to stop the ‘emerging second peak’ with decisive steps including strict enforcement of Covid protocols. “Wherever necessary micro-containment , zones should be declared without hesitation,” he said, adding, “If we don’t stop Covid right now, there could be a nationwide outbreak.” According to the details shared by the Union health ministry, India now has over 2.34 lakh active Covid-19 cases. Over the past two weeks, there DAILY NEW CASES has been a 43% week-on-week increase in cases and 37% rise in deaths. Data show that Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu continue to report a high number of daily new cases. Together, these states accounted for 71.10% of the 28,903 new cases reported on Tuesday. Overall, there are eight states where the pandemic graph is on a rising trajectory . 7-DAY MOVING AVERAGE OF DAILY NEW CASES NEW CASES 28,000 (As on March 17, 2021) Nearly 28,902 NEW DEATHS Nearly 43% 37% 18,000 week-on-week increase 18,855 week-on-week increase 17,407 10,050 (Source: Health ministry) 23,000 14,264 9,110 13,000 8,000 Jan 19 TRACTION AFTER GOVT-TWITTER TUSSLE Koo has so far raised Koo caught attention after around $4.1 million from Centre’s tussle with investors including 3one4 Twitter over removal of Capital, Kalaari Capital, inflammatory contents. It and Blume Ventures is available in 6 languages STERN STEP LOSING PRECIOUS DROPS @ New Delhi A bunch of Indians, including ex-cricketer Javagal Srinath, buy out Shunwei Capital’s stake in Koo START-UP A-LISTERS BUY OUT SHUNWEI STAKE Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, BookMyShow founder Ashish Hemrajani, Udaan co-founder Sujeet Kumar & Zerodha founder Nikhil Kamat were others who bought out Shunwei’s 9% stake in Bombinate Technologies Pvt Ltd, which runs Koo. The homegrown microblogging platform has not revealed financial details | P10 facebook.com/TheMorningStandard S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA Koo becomes 100% desi as Chinese investor exits Jan 29 Feb 9 Feb 21 Mar 4 Mar 16 FIRST TIME AFTER JAN 9, COVID CASES CROSS 500 IN DELHI For the first time since January 9, the national capital saw daily Covid-19 case figures cross the 500 mark. On Wednesday, the city registered 536 new positives, the highest in nearly two-and-a-half months, as per the daily health bulletin provided by the state government. On January 1, a total of 585 cases had been recorded. Over 500 cases were recorded on January 6 and 9 as well. The latest surge led to a rise in active cases also, from 2,488 a day ago to 2,702. The cumulative cases of the virus in Delhi now stand at 6,45,025, while the day’s positivity rate rose to 0.66 per cent. Three more patients succumbed to the virus in Delhi, taking the total fatality count to 10,948. A total of 80,856 tests, including 50,216 RT-PCR and 30,640 rapid antigen, were conducted on Tuesday, while the number of people under home isolation rose to 1,438 from 1,401 a day ago. brought back as a Mumbai CP ,” he added. MAHARASHTRA Chief Minis“Singh was NCP chief Sharter Uddhav Thackeray on ad Pawar’s choice as Mumbai Wednesday began a damage CP. But later Singh moved out limitation exercise, shunting of his orbit and refused to folout Mumbai Police Commis- low orders of home minister sioner Parambir Singh and re- Anil Deshmukh despite repeatplacing him with Heed calls in several casmant Nagrale in the es. He also stalled wake of the arrest of probes on politically controversial police ofsignificant cases citficer Sachin Waze. Till ing pressure from now, Nagrale was holdDelhi,” the source ing additional charge said requesting of the state Director anonymity . General of Police. Singh and Waze This newspaper was started acting on Hemant Nagrale the first to report that their own and even Singh’s job was on the allegedly set up an Hails from line. The transfers extortion racket. “PaChandrapur war is no-nonsense were part of a big poNagrale, a 1987 lice department shake politician. He lost inup. Rajnish Seth, direc- batch IPS officer, terest in Singh after hails from tor general at the Antithe latter started Chandrapur in Corruption Bureau, playing games,” said Vidarbha region has been given addia senior officer reof Maharashtra tional charge of direcquesting anonymity . tor general of the state With its tail up, the police. Singh is now director BJP demanded the resignation general of home guard. of Deshmukh and asked why Sources said Rajnish Seth was Waze reinstated despite was the frontrunner for Mum- him being suspended by the bai CP but most of the senior Bombay High Court in 2004. ministers in ruling Maha Vikas The National Investigation Aghadi insisted on naming a Agency that seized Waze’s lapMarathi instead. “So, Nagrale, top, will send it to the forensic who was otherwise senior in department to retrieve data, as rank to the Mumbai CP, was most of it was found deleted. S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I @ Mumbai REVIEW OF DEAD FARMER’S X-RAY Delhi HC tells health secy to form board, study report related to man killed during R-Day tractor rally in the capital | P5 CAPITAL UPROAR Bill proves BJP scared of AAP govt: Kejriwal THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS Mamata’s poll manifesto offers universal basic income P R A N A B M O N D A L @ Kolkata THE Trinamool Congress, which is bracing for a tough fight with the BJP in the Assembly polls, on Wednesday released its manifesto promising universal basic income, financial grant to women family heads, credit card for students pursuing higher education, home deliery of ration and five lakh new jobs every year. “This is not a political manifesto. It is a manifesto for de- velopment. We will fulfil all goals mentioned in the manifesto,” said TMC supremo and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee while releasing the 66page document on Wednesday . The manifesto promises a monthly income support of `500 for households in the general category and `1,000 for SC/ST. The amount would be directly deposited to the bank accounts of 1.6 crore female heads of the families. Sources said the budget out- EXPRESS READ IAF group captain killed in Mig-21 crash New Delhi: A Gupta, a group captain of the Indian Air Force, was killed in an accident involving a Mig-21 Bison aircraft in Gwalior on Wednesday, officials said. The accident took place at around 10:50 am, when the aircraft was taking off for a combat training mission. An inquiry has been ordered. Sidhu-Amarinder meet sparks speculation Chandigarh: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu met on Wednesday, discussing the possible reinduction of the former cricketer in the state cabinet. The meeting comes amid speculation over the rehabilitation of Sidhu, who quit the state cabinet in 2019. Mamata releases TMC’s manifesto in Kolkata on Wednesday | BIBHASH LODH lay for the scheme would be `12,900 crore annually. “It’s a smart announcement to win the support of women voters who comprise 50% of the state’s electorates,” said a TMC leader. However, the income support will not be available to households that have a taxpaying member or own more than two hectares of land. Another notable promise is that the poor and underprivileged don’t have to go to ration shops if the TMC retains pow- er in Bengal. “Dedicated personnel will deliver food grains at the door-step of 1.5 crore households,” Mamata said. Eyeing young voters pursuing higher education, TMC offered student credit cards with low interest. “Students pursuing graduation and post-graduation shall be eligible for the credit card with a limit up to `10 lakh at a subsidised rate of 4% interest. It will benefit over 1.5 crore students in next five years,” Mamata announced. AIR-BORN Woman delivers midair aboard IndiGo flight R A J E S H A S N A N I @ Jaipur IT was a flight Lalitha would never forget. She went into labour aboard IndiGo’s flight 6E469 from Bengaluru to Jaipur. But thanks to Dr Subhana Nazir, posted at North Western Railway (NWR), and the cabin crew, she safely gave birth to a baby girl on Wednesday . “The flight staff announced for help if any doctor was travelling onboard. Nazir, a 2019 batch railway medical health service officer, came forward and assisted in delivery using medical aid available with the flight staff,” NWR spokesperson Gaurav Gaur said. The miraculous delivery led to impromptu celebrations among the passengers. Jaipur airport was immediately informed to arrange for a doctor and an ambulance. When the flight landed, the mother and the baby were admitted to a private hospital, where both are reported to be perfectly healthy . Dr Nazir was given a ‘thank you’ card by the airline and the passengers greeted the doctor. Sources said the aircraft flew at 5.45 am from Bengaluru and landed in Jaipur around 8.05 am. There have been several incidents of deliveries in ambulances and trains in the state. In a similar incidence, a woman delivered her baby in October last year aboard an IndiGo flight flying from Delhi to Bengaluru. Flight crew and the mother with her newborn at Jaipur airport | EXPRESS Doctor on board helps avoid tricky situation Thankfully for the woman who gave birth, there was a doctor in the plane. Dr Subhana Nazir is emplyed with North Western Railway. Her presence helped the crew handle the situation safely. “Government” in any law made by the Delhi Assembly will mean Lt-Governor The Delhi Assembly shall not make rules or form committees to conduct inquiries or on the matters of day-today administration Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders during the protest at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday | SHEKHAR YADAV E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi RATCHETING up the rhetoric against the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021, tabled in Parliament, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed it an attempt to “snatch” power from an elected government and sought withdrawal of the legislation. Alleging that the Bill had been brought in as the BJP felt threatened by the AAP and wanted to put roadblocks in his government’s efforts towards Delhi’s development, the chief minister said that he was ready to do anything in his power, even fall at the Modi government’s feet, so that the capital’s progress wasn’t impeded. “People of Delhi have given a clear message to the BJP that they do not want them, people want AAP government. The BJP is unable to digest this fact. They want to administer mischievously,” Kejriwal said, addressing party supporters at Jantar Mantar. “This Bill shows that BJP does not believe in the rule of the people, democracy and constitution. I will not let any development work stop, even if I have to touch their feet or beg them,” he said. Kejriwal claimed the BJP-led government at the Centre had brought this Bill as it was scared of the AAP expanding its footprints in several other states because of its governance model. “Their policy is ‘we will neither work P5 nor let you work’,” he alleged. Before taking any executive action, L-G’s opinion shall be taken L-G can reserve any Bill for consideration and a matter which is outside the purview of the Delhi Assembly AAP GOVT’S CONTENTIONS The Constitution bench of Supreme Court in its July 2018 judgment said the Centre has exclusive powers in only three matters — land, police and public order The same order said the L-G should work with the “aid and advice of the cabinet” The ruling further said files will not be sent to L-G; elected govt will take all decisions and send a copy of the decision to L-G Article 239AA of the Constitution states that the Legislative Assembly shall have power to make laws for the whole or any part of the National Capital Territory
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