TUESDAY PANDEMIC IN CRITICAL PHASE 904 India Mexico Brazil France Source: WHO JHANDEWALAN MANDIR CLOSED Turkey Brazil VIRUS IMPACT US India twitter.com/TheMornStandard Peru 384 929 US 2,616 HIGHEST DAILY DEATHS 2,192 34,895 facebook.com/TheMorningStandard 50,678 epaper.morningstandard.in HIGHEST NEW CASE LOADS 71,832 1,68,912 APRIL, 2021 80,631 Figures reported in the last 24 hours 13 HIGH COURTS STEP IN Authorities say temple will remain shut for indefinite period, despite Navratri A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 4 HARIDWAR, UTTARAKHAND NEW DELHI DHUPGURI, WEST BENGAL J8.00 PAGES 12 JALPAIGURI, WEST BENGAL Maharashtra: Full daily production capacity of 1,200 metric tonnes of oxygen channeled for medical use. Bombay High Court asks Maharashtra government to consider setting up an oxygen production unit in Nagpur Gujarat: Logs 5,469 new cases, its biggest single-day rise since the beginning of the pandemic. HC pulls up state, saying the reality is contrary to what the government claims TIRUPATI, ANDHRA PRADESH At a time when the nation is devoting its full attention towards somehow managing the second wave of the pandemic that has completely gone out of control, Covid-appropriate behaviour like wearing mask and observing physical distancing is the gold standard to stay safe. Not just experts but political and religious leaders of all shades concur and propagate the message. But going by the surge of crowds at (from left) Haridwar’s Kumbh Mela and political rallies at West Bengal’s Dhupguri and Jalpaiguri and Andhra Pradesh’s Tirupati, it’s not being observed on the ground | PTI & MADHAV K @TIRUPATI Sputnik V in India’s vaccine basket INDIA BECOMES SECOND WORST-HIT COUNTRY New Delhi: India on Monday went past Brazil to become the country with the second highest number of Covid-19 cases. After registering 1,68,912 new infections on Monday, India’s tally reached at 1,35,27,717. According to Johns Hopkins University, Brazil is now at the third spot with 1,34,82,023 cases. The US has the highest number of cases at 3,11,98,055 Expert panel gives Emergency Use Authorization; has over 90% efficacy; to be imported from Russia for now; at least five pharma majors have licence to produce it in the country S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi AMID an apparent shortage of Covid shots and the new monstor wave of fresh infections threatening to create a tsunami of sorts, an expert panel of the apex drug regulator on Monday recommended adding Russia’s Sputnik V to the country’s vaccine basket. Sputnik V based on human , adenoviral vectors, is one of the only three vaccines in the world — the others are by Pfizer and Moderna — with over 90% efficacy The two-dose vac. cine, which has to be administered 21 days apart, costs about $10 or `750 per dose on the international market. It is the Central Drug Standards Control Organisation’s 37,63,858 FALTERING GROWTH Industrial production slips, retail inflation soars to four-month high A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi IT looks like the second Covid wave could inflict more pain on the economy than feared. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) contracted by 3.6% in February, while retail inflation rose to a four-month high of 5.52% in March, government data released on Monday showed. This, according to experts, signals that the prospects of a revival are bleak in the immediate future. They say it all depends on how the Covid situation plays out in the next few months. “We’re far from witnessing a sustained recovery Growth pat. tern of primary and intermediate goods is pointing to a lacklustre industrial performance in short-to medium-run,” said Devendra Pant, chief economist, India Ratings. According to Barclays, if ex- isting restrictions on economic activities stay for two months, it could hit nominal GDP by 0.34 percentage points and real GDP by 0.20 percentage points. “India’s ability to continue the current run rate may be at risk, given incremental news flow of supply shortages and vaccine bottlenecks,” it added. Rising Covid cases in industrial hubs such as Maharashtra and Gujarat and reports of vaccine shortage triggered panic on the Dalal Street, too. The BSE Sensex fell 1,707.94 points to close at 47,883.38 on Monday . “The second wave may end up delaying the broadening of the economic recovery,” Edelweiss said, adding the June quarter will be challenging. Meanwhile, the rupee depreciated for the sixth consecutive day on Monday, breaching the 75-per-dollar mark. subject expert committee on Covid-19 (SEC) that met on Monday and vetted the Sputnik V application for Emergency Use Authorization. The vaccine developed by Russia’s Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, has shown 91.6% efficacy against the infection and 100% efficacy against severe disease. It can be stored at a comfortable 2-8 degree Celsius and is also being produced in the lyophilized (dry) form, which makes it easier for distribution. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, along with at least four other companies, have already tied up with Russian Direct Investment Fund, the co-developer of Sputnik V for its production in , vaccine doses given till 8 pm on Day 2 of Tika Utsav India. Last Friday, the expert panel had sought additional data from Dr Reddy’s Laboratories on its Sputnik V trial, in its second such request after an initial evaluation in February . Top sources said the Drug Controller General of India will now consider the SEC recommendation before it final approval as the third vaccine for administration in India. 10,82,92,423 doses administered across the country so far The first two are Serum Institute of India’s locally-made AstraZeneca-Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s indigenously produced Covaxin. Sputnik V is likely to be imported from Russia initially for emergency use in the country, government sources said. Sputnik V’s approval comes amidst growing clamour to approve other proven Covid-19 vaccines in India irrespective of their bridging trial status in the country . Authorities concede that while bridging trial data is required to authorise the use of any vaccines in the country under the existing norms, it may be exempted under the present clinical trial norms. 71,000 jab centres operational on Monday, as compared to an average of 45,000 till now DELHI COVID WATCH April 11 Positive cases April 12 10,774 11,491 Recovery 5,158 7,665 Active cases 34,341 38,095 Deaths 48 72 Containment zones 5,705 6,175 Tests 1,14,288 92,397 Positivity rate 9.43% 12.44% S I D D H A N TA M I S H R A @ New Delhi CHIEF Minister Arvind Kejriwal held an emergency meeting on Monday and directed officials to rapidly increase the number of reserved beds for Covid patients, whose number is rising exponentially . As many as 11,491 fresh Covid cases — the highest singleday surge till date for Delhi— were reported since Sunday, according to the government. Officials informed the CM that hospital beds were being occupied by corona patients. It then decided to identify and convert private and government hospitals into full Covid19 facilities. The government also decided to increase the number of beds the way it was done in November last year. Now, Deshmukh summoned by CBI S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I @ Mumbai THE Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday summoned former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh for questioning on April 14 in corruption allegations against him made by the former Mumbai Police Commissioner, Param Bir Singh. The development came a day after the CBI had summoned Deshmukh’s personal assistants Sanjeev Palande and Kundan Shinde and questioned them in connection with the preliminary inquiry registered by the agency on the directives of the Bombay High Court. The high court had asked the CBI to submit its preliminary report in 15 days. In a letter, Singh had alleged that Palande was present when Deshmukh allegedly asked suspended cop Sachin Waze to allegedly extort over `100 crore a month from bars and restaurants of Mumbai. On Friday the probe agency , had recorded the statement of Mahesh Shetty, a bar owner who is close to suspended Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze, in the same matter. The Supreme Court, on Thursday, had dismissed petitions filed by Deshmukh challenging the Bombay High Court order. Deshmukh tendered his resignation to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on April 5 after the order. The court also directed the agency to register an FIR if any cognisable offence is found against anybody . Meanwhile, NCP chief Sharad Pawar expressed disappointment that his colleague didn’t defend Deshmukh. With no cinema halls in Valley, govt to come up with film policy AMID continued closure of cinemas and theatres in Kashmir since 1990 after the outbreak of militancy, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Monday said his administration would unveil J&K’s new film policy within 10 days to bring Kashmir’s golden era back on the silver screen. “The J&K administration will come up with a new film policy in the next 10 days to bring Kashmir’s golden era back on the silver screen,” Sinha said while virtually addressing a two-day conference on ‘Tapping the tourism potential of Kashmir – another day in paradise’ organized by the Union Ministry of Tourism. He said people have been reading and hearing that Kashmir was once a favorite Bollywood destination in the 1960s, 70s and 80s and “we as a team will work to restore that culture”. Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths APRIL 11 APRIL 12 1,52,879 90,584 839 1,68,912 91,719 904 AVIATION SECTOR ON-BOARD MEALS WON’T BE PROVIDED IN FLIGHTS WITH DURATION UNDER 2 HRS; ORDER EFFECTIVE FROM THURSDAY Running out of hospital beds as numbers climb N A M I TA B A J PA I , H A R P R E E T BAJWA, EJAZ KAISER @ Lucknow/Chandigarh/Raipur IT’S a scary picture. Twenty of the 28 districts in Chhattisgarh, 12 districts out of 36 in Maharashatra, 13 districts out of 52 in Madhya Pradesh and eight districts out of 22 in Punjab have run out of beds owing to the rising number of Covid-19 cases. Jharkhand is not doing well either, with capital Ranchi reporting a shortage of beds. Some of these districts also have a shortage of Remdesivir and oxygen to treat the severely ill patients. Lucknow and Raipur have witnessed such a surge in deaths that the municipal authorities in these cities are setting up temporary crematoriums, as the existing ones cannot take the load. There are reports of bodies be- ing burnt in open spaces in parts of Gujarat, due to a surge in deaths. Even though the fatality rate in Uttar Pradesh is not high at 0.4%, authorities are struggling to cremate bodies. Seeing the rush and long queues, Lucknow Municipal Corporation has decided to set up more electric crematoriums. In Raipur in Chhattisgarh, 35 temporary crematoriums have been created. The state government has approved six more is other districts. In Maharashtra, there are no beds in 12 districts. Authorities have decided to set up ‘jumbo’ Covid-19 care centres in every city Other than that, they have . also advised patients with mild symptoms to be treated at home, so that the load on hospitals does not increase. CONTINUED ON P7 Kejriwal orders bed availability as capital sees record high SILVER LINING F AYA Z W A N I @ New Delhi NATIONWIDE The film policy, he said, has been framed after consultations with various stakeholders within J&K and outside. On April 7, Sinha had chaired a meeting to review the proposed J&K film policy-2021. He said the film policy will be among the best in the country and all the stakeholders would be taken onboard while finalizing it. Sinha has directed officials to streamline the single window clearance & facilitation system and bring renowned filmmakers for exploring the scenic locales available in abundance in J&K. All the halls functioning in the Valley were closed after militancy erupted in 1990. An effort by the J&K government in 1999 to open some cinema halls in Srinagar failed after a grenade attack at Regal Cinema in Lal Chowk and elsewhere. However, many hit Bollywood movies have been shot in picturesque Kashmir in the last decade and filmmakers have shown willingness to return to the valley . “We must ensure our bed availability in hospitals should be at par with November last year. Delhi’s COVID situation is very serious as the fourth peak is more dangerous than ever. There should be no shortage of beds,” said Kejriwal. Officials said the reason for saturation point on the bed capacity was that people with very mild or no symptoms were occupying the beds. Kejriwal directed that the beds should be available only for those in a serious condition. He also told officials to ensure adequate supply of oxygen cylinders, ICU facilities, and availability of normal beds. The CM told officials to convert private and government hospitals into fully Covid-dediP4 cated hospitals. 24-HOUR CAMPAIGN BAN ON MAMATA FOR CODE VIOLATION EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi/Kolkata THE Election Commission of India on Monday banned West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from campaigning for 24 hours for violating the Model Code of Conduct by inciting voters to gherao Central forces and seeking votes on communal lines. The ban, effective from Monday 8 pm, comes two days after four persons were killed in CISF firing at a polling booth in Cooch Behar. Already upset with the EC over the 72-hour bar on political leaders from entering Cooch Behar, Mamata branded Monday’s order as undemocratic and unconstitutional and announced a protest from Tuesday noon. TMC’s national spokesperson Derek O’Brien described the EC’s restrictions as a black day in the country’s democracy “The Com. mission wants to conduct the poll in a Hitler-like manner,” he said. The ban was imposed after the Election Commission refused to accept Mamata’s explanations on two notices it had served on her. Stating that her handwritten missives betrayed selective amnesia, the EC said she had made “highly insinuating and provocative remark laden with serious potential of breakdown of law and order and thereby adversely affecting the election process”. The EC had sought explanation from Mamata last week for allegedly urging minorities to not divide their votes and inciting women to gherao security personnel. Dismissing her replies, the poll panel said: “It is self-evident from the perusal of all reports that allegations mentioned in your handwritten note are factually incorrect, without any empirical evidence whatsoever and devoid of substance.”
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