MONDAY 26 APRIL, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard The dedicated pressure swing adsorption (PSA) plants aim to arrest the acute shortage of oxygen gas across the country EXPORT BAN EXECUTION COST BORNE BY PM-CARES FUND HECTIC PARLEYS WITH THE US Officials in talk with Biden administration to lift ban on export of jab raw materials A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 7 NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 Chips will be down for another week Delhi government extends lockdown with minor relaxations until May 3, CM Kejriwal says slight dip noticed in positivity rate but rules out treating that as sign of Covid second wave subsiding E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi We have launched a portal where those involved in the supply of oxygen, from the manufacturer to the supplier and hospitals, have to give updates every two hours on their position Arvind Kejriwal,CM Appeal to CMs for surplus oxygen The Delhi government is trying to get help from everywhere for oxygen supply, said CM Arvind Kejriwal. “I have written letters to all chief ministers and asked for aid. If their state or companies have surplus, we have requested them to divert it to Delhi. I will update once we secure any additional oxygen.” WORRYING STATS Active cases Daily deaths 7,00,000 6,00,000 5,00,000 5,46,635 5,22,438 6,32,923 5,98,919 5,70,035 6,53,656 6,15,518 5,83,675 5,56,253 5,33,842 5,12,521 4,00,000 3,00,000 2,00,000 1,00,000 0 71,827 79,616 30 57 1,80,542 1,49,624 1,24,894 1,62,171 1,03,178 1,37,813 87,724 97,897 1,14,833 43 60 97 92 70 68 124 149 77 Apr 15 Apr 16 Apr 17 Apr 18 Apr 19 Apr 20 Apr 21 Apr 22 Apr 23 Apr 24 Apr 25 Bengaluru overtakes Delhi and Mumbai in active caseload NIRAD MUDUR & BOSKY KHANNA @ Bengaluru BENGALURU has emerged as the city with the highest active Covid-19 caseload in the country with 1,80,542 , patients currently under treatment in hospitals and in home isolation. Experts are rattled by the explosion in cases, on which they are basing their desperate appeal for strict measures — even a complete lockdown — to stem the massive spread. Bengaluru recorded a whopping 151.35% increase in the volume of patients under treatment since April 15, when the figure was 71,827. With this jump, Bengaluru is far ahead of Delhi (93,080 active caseload) and Mumbai (75,498), the cities ranked second and third, respectively . Bengaluru’s active caseload has increased so dramatically in the past 551 O2 GENERATION PLANTS TO BE SET UP IN GHS ACROSS INDIA @ New Delhi Bengaluru Urban has logged a whopping 151.35% jump in active cases in the last 11 days, making it a major Covid hotspot Total cases 8,00,000 The plants, funded by PM-CARES, Earlier, the Centre had 150 would soon come up at claimed that 33 of the 162 tonnes: identified hospitals in district approved PSA plants were liquid oxygen headquarters to ensure they functional. But ground have a captive oxygen carried so far by the reports did not suggest railways’ oxygen generation facility. Along with that many. The 551 are in express the ‘top-up’ liquid medical addition to 162. Hospitals oxygen, these facilities seek to appear more comfortable at ensure that government hospitals do present with the oxygen refill not face sudden disruption in supply system already in place than PSAs EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE IT was on the cards. The announcement came on Sunday Considering the continuous surge in Covid-19 cas. es in the national capital, the Delhi Government has extended the lockdown for another week, until 5 am, May 3. Although there has been a marginal dip, authorities do not want to take chances. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said: “Covid continues to wreak havoc in the city and public opinion is to extend the lockdown. Thus, the lockdown will be extended by one week, until 3 May Monday 5.00 am.” , The government has provided a relief to courier services and self-employed persons like plumbers, electricians, water purifier repairers. Outlets selling children’s books and electric fan shops can function. People involved in these activities require e-passes. Positivity rate during the first phase of the lockdown was 36 to 37 per cent, said the chief minister. He added there has been a slight dip, with the rate falling to below 30 per cent on Sunday “This is not to say the dis. ease is ebbing, though that is the hope. It may increase or decrease, but our efforts will always be directed towards controlling the spread of the virus.” Kejriwal added that despite increasing Delhi’s oxygen quota again from 480 to 490 metric tonnes, problems of access remain. “Delhi’s requirement is 700 metric tonnes and what’s reaching us is 330-335 only .” To keep a tab on supply and consumption of oxygen, the Delhi government has started a portal. It will record the status of oxygen supply with manufacturers and hospitals every two hours. “Efficient management can save lives. We have launched a portal where those involved in the supply of oxygen, from the manufacturer to the supplier and hospitals, have to give regular updates on their position. The manufacturers will give updates on the status of the cylinders produced, the supplier on where the trucks have reached, and hospitals on where their stock stands,” Kejriwal explained. “With this, the government will where there will be shortage and can able to divert resources in that direction before time,”he said, adding, “Since our oxygen supply is limited, managing what we have is of utmost importance.” few days that the number at present is 27.62% of the city’s total number of people who tested positive since March 2020, which on Sunday stood at 6,53,656. It has thrown the city’s health system out of gear, causing oxygen shortages and nonavailability of beds even for critically sick. Professor at Indian Institute of Public Health Giridhara R Babu, senior epidemiologist and member of the state government’s Technical Advisory Committee, told this daily: “There is a need to impose a lockdown, and this time should be utilised by the government to shore up facilities like oxygen beds in hospitals, medical colleges, nursing institutes, covid care centres, hostels, ayurvedic and homeopathic hospitals and colleges. In the second wave, the intensity and efforts need to be scaled up to five times.” Covid-19 patients at a banquet hall which has been converted into an isolation centre, in Delhi on Sunday | PTI Ignore rumuors, Modi warns before mass vax E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi The programme of free vaccines going on now will continue... I appeal to the states too to extend the benefit of this free vaccine campaign of the government of India to the maximum number of the people Narendra Modi, PM Cong smells foul play New Delhi: Terming the new COVID -19 vaccine policy “discriminatory and insensitive”, the Congress on Sunday accused the Central government of allowing vaccine manufacturers to profiteer to the massive tune of `1.11 lakh crore. PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said citizens should ignore rumours about the Covid-19 vaccine. He also appealed to the states that it be given free of cost to all those becoming eligible from May 1. “I urge people not to fall prey to any rumour. You know that people above 45 get a free vaccine. Now from May 1 onwards, the vaccine is going to be made available for every person above 18 years. The programme of free vaccines by the government of India that is going on now will continue. I appeal to the states too to extend the benefit of this free vaccine campaign of the government of India to the maximum number of the people,” Modi said while addressing his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Saying that the second wave of the pandemic was testing the nation’s patience and limits of endurance, the prime minister said that many near and dear ones have left in an untimely way “After successfully . confronting the first wave of corona, the country was full of enthusiasm, full of self-confidence, but this storm has shaken the country he added. ,” The Prime Minister, during the address, interacted with two nursing staff and doctors and an ambulance driver. He urged people not to go after Remdesivir. “It has a limited role and should be taken strictly as per the doctor’s advice. I urge you to seek information only through authentic sources. You may consult your family doctors. Many doctors are sharing information through social media, consulting through phone and WhatsApp. There are several hospitals who have put information on their website,” he added. Modi’s address comes amid a drastic surge in cases of coronavirus throughout the country and the health network in the country grappling to deal with the shortage of oxygen. 162 SANCTIONED EARLIER, MOST NOT OPERATIONAL THE Centre on Sunday announced that 551 medical oxygen generation plants will be installed in government hospitals across the country under the PM Cares Fund, amid a massive shortage of the crucial supply that has kept hospitals treating Covid-19 patients on tenterhooks for the last several days. These plants will boost oxygen availability at the district level, assured the government even as an agg re s s ive s e c o n d wave of the pandemic has led to overwhelming of the healthcare system with a large number of patients requiring oxygen support. An in-principle approval was given for the Pressure Swing Adsorption Oxygen Generation Plants under the fund, said the Union government and added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed that these plants should be made functional as soon as possible. It was, however, not disclosed how much amount has been allocated for the purpose. These dedicated plants are to be established in identified government hospitals in district headquarters in various states and the procurement will be done through the Union ministry of health and family welfare. The PM Cares Fund had earlier this year allocated `201.58 crore for installation of additional 162 oxygen plants in government hospitals but the ministry recently said that so far only 33 such plants have been installed. The basic aim behind establishing such plants in government hospitals in the district headquarters is to further strengthen the public health system and ensure that each of these hospitals has a captive oxygen generation facility . “Such a system will go a long way in ensuring that government hospitals in the districts do not face sudden disruption of oxygen supplies and have access to adequate uninterrupted supply to manage the patients,” noted a statement by the health ministry . ARE YOU 18+ Here is how you can register on CO-WIN Portal and get the vaccine... Go to the Co-WIN portal- cowin. gov.in Register yourself from 28th April onwards Schedule vaccination appointment DELHI COVID WATCH APRIL 24 APRIL 25 Positive cases Recovery Active cases Deaths Containment zones Tests Positivity rate 24,103 22,695 93,080 357 24,802 74,702 32.27% 22,933 21,071 94,592 350 27,366 75,912 30.21% Vaccination facility for 18-45 years old available only in private vaccination centres Check the confirmation of appointment on registered mobile number Carry the appointment slip and photo ID card used for registration Kejriwal writes to leading industrialists for O2 support E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Relatives of critically ill Covid-19 patients wait to refill oxygen cylinders in Delhi on Sunday | PARVEEN NEGI DELHI Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday reached out to prominent industrialists to tide over the oxygen crisis in the national capital. Seeking their help in combating the ferocious second wave in the country, Kejriwal has sought oxygen along with cryogenic tankers to ferry the gas to Delhi hospitals. In his letter addressed to a group of industrialists using or producing oxygen, Kejriwal said he would be grateful if they could help with transporting oxygen in cryogenic tankers and come to Delhi’s assistance in its hour of need. Stating that the central government’s help is not sufficient to tackle the situation, Kejriwal said due to an unprecedented rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi, supply of oxygen has become woefully short of requirement and his request be treated as an SOS. “Delhi does not produce any oxygen and its daily supplies are woefully short of our requirements. The central government is also helping us in this regard. However, the intensity of the spread is so severe that it remains inadequate,” his letter said. “I understand that your organisation either uses, produces or can come in possession of oxygen. I would be grateful if you could provide us any stocks of oxygen, along with cryogenic tankers for its movement. We would also welcome any help in import of cryogenic oxygen tankers. Kindly treat this as an SOS. I would be personally grateful for your support,” said the chief minister. Cong-ruled quartet says Centre ‘hijacking’ vaccine ...Health minister denies allegation E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi ACCUSING the Centre of meting out step-motherly treatment, states ruled by Congress and allies on Sunday accused claimed the Centre was ‘hijacking’ vaccine stocks from manufacturers and doubted if they would be able to vaccinate 18-45 years of age from May 1. At a joint press conference, the health ministers of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Jharkhand (ruled by Congress-JMM alliance) said the Centre has already taken away the stocks and shots are not available to them. “How do we vaccinate adults of 18-45 years as Serum has said they will not provide vaccine till May 15. We have the capacity , but not the vaccine. The government should provide vaccine as per requirements,” Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma said. Chhattisgarh Health Minister T S Singh Deo alleged politics is played on vaccination. “There is no way shots can be administered if the vac- cine is not available. The country is being misguided. The Centre has made a joke of this,” he said. Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said this is the Centre’s responsibility. “The Centre should allot the vaccine and provide it to us,” Sidhu said. Jharkhand Health Minister Banna Gupta alleged the PM is trying to derive political advantage during the pandemic. “A government that talks of one constitution, one tax, is trying to derive benefits from a pandemic .” E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Blame game on Centre and states spar over vaccine procurement policy FACING criticism over its new Covid-19 vaccination policy the , Centre on Sunday said that it liberalised the coronavirus vaccination strategy following requests from nearly all states. It said that the new policy is aimed to accelerate phase 3 of the inoculation drive and offers flexibility to states, which had been asking for the same. Explaining the Centre’s stand, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that with Covid-19 spreading like a tsunami, it was critical to ease the controls. “Hence, under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we decided to ease the vaccination policy norms,” he wrote in a two-page open letter posted on Twitter. Complaining about the “misinformation” being spread, Vardhan said that the Centre will continue to give vaccine doses from its 50 per cent quota to the states for free. The Union health minister added that allowing states to acquire the “balance 50 per cent quota” grants flexibility to them. “Many states had requested that the vaccination process be opened up for them. Now, this ‘balance 50 per cent quota’ shall give them the freedom to vaccinate groups that they deem as a priority he said. ,”
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