wednesDAY Healing hands for India from across the globe 28 Aid from various countries like France, Germany, the US, the UK, the EU, and Australia is arriving despite no official request of help from India april, 2021 ALLIES STAND BY IN TIME OF NEED epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard safety advice mask at home necessary? Experts say yes, if there is an infected person in the house. Otherwise, may be not Page 7 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS l New Delhi l J8.00 l PAGES 12 Many world leaders have expressed solidarity with India and assured of all help sources said it is a result of vaccine diplomacy by New Delhi The European Commission president said she was alarmed with the epidemiological situation in India The French President tweeted in Hindi that France and India are united in the fight The Irish envoy said oxygen concentrators were on the way to Dublin airport Bhutan also has agreed to supply 40 metric tonnes of oxygen to Assam | p7 Vax supply huge challenge as drive heads for expansion from May 1 s u m i s u k a n ya d u t ta @ New Delhi Covid-19 vaccination for all. Despite this announcement by the government on a liberaliaed and decentraliaed vaccination policy this may not get off to a , smooth start from May 1, as India stares at a major availability crisis of the crucial supply . Starting next month, all above 18 qualify for a shot. The Centre will pay for those above 45 at select facilities. Persons in the 18-44 age group will have to depend on the policy of their states for free doses at govern- Express read Over 14.77 cr have taken the vaccine New Delhi: Total vaccination In India has crossed the 14.77crore mark with over 24 lakh doses being given till 8 pm on Tuesday, the Union health ministry said. The cumulative number of vaccine doses administered in the country stands at 14,77,27,054. These include 61,05,159 healthcare workers and and 65,23,520 frontline workers who have taken the second dose. rise ‘production of oxygen going up’ In high-level meeting, officials assure PM Modi that daily capacity is increasing, there is no reason to be worried Page 7 AI gets concentrators on New York flight New Delhi: Air India brought 328 oxygen concentrators to India on its New York-Delhi flight on Monday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. Hospitals across the country are grappling with shortage of medical oxygen even after receiving emergency supplies. “All efforts to strengthen India’s fight against the pandemic are on,” tweeted Puri. ment hospitals. They can pay and get it in private set-ups. This expansion drive comes at a time when stocks of the two currently available vaccines are limited, forcing the first prioritised groups to wait long for their turn despite their willingness to take the jabs. There may not be any foreign supplies available for weeks. So far, over 14.5 crore shots have been administered in India, but the rate is not such that nearly 35 crore people, 45 and above, can be covered by JulyAugust as planned earlier. The Centre has not made public details of vaccine procurement and states have long been complaining about vaccine shortage. Evidence suggests that people above 45, current beneficiaries of the vaccination project, are struggling to secure slots for their first or even second doses. Union health ministry officials, however, said the Centre has procured over 17 crore doses so far and is looking at 58 crore more by September — sufficient for 34 crore in priority groups. States and private Another wave in winter? There is a fear that a third wave may hit India in the winters. “India has potential to rewrite the success story if we increase pace and widen coverage in quickest possible time,” said epidemiologist Giridhara R Babu. Bench says authorities unaware of Covid-19 ground realities, orders oxygen & drugs audit Gurugram and Faridabad account for more than 48% of total active cases in Haryana and are in a critical category for having a positivity rate of over 6%. The two districts in the NCR region border Delhi. Besides these two, the other six districts in the critical category are Panipat, Sonepat, Rewari, Karnal, Amabala and Panchkula. Sources said as per the analy- India recently. It has tied up with Indian companies for distribution and production, but it is unlikely before May-end. There is no sign of any other vaccine arriving in India soon, though Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson have shown interest. Experts are worried about the situation after May 1. “It will be better to phase it out in a way that supply and demand can be matched. It’s also important for the platform and back-end server to work with increased demand,” said health policy specialist Anant Bhan. k a n u sa r da @ New Delhi Angered by the Delhi government’s mismanagement in handling the Covid-19 pandemic, the Delhi High Court said it would ask the Centre to take over ‘if you cannot manage it’. In a stinging criticism of the government of Aam Admi Party the bench said it’s time some, thing was done. “Set your house in order. If you cannot manage it, we will ask the Central government to take over,” the bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said. The court observed that government authorities appear completely unaware of ground realities and are just issuing ‘unreasonable orders’. The court’s remark came after the Maharaja Agrasen Hospital said it was impossible to follow the government’s order to provide oxygen and medicines to patients within minutes of admission in emergency ward. The court also noted that rampant black-marketing of Covid-related medicines was on amid and directed the government to conduct an audit. “We direct the Delhi government to take record from all pharmacies on supply of Remdesivir, Dexamethasone and Fabiflu and other drugs and conduct random audit to find out if there has been any black marketing,” the court said. “It is clear that the Delhi government has to pull up its socks with respect to distribution of not only liquid oxygen but also oxygen cylinders. In case the refiller does not provide the data to the GNCTD portal, strict action would be taken against them by the GNCTD and us,” the court added. In its order, the court asked the Delhi government to file a report detailing deaths caused by shortage of oxygen in the national capital. The court also asked Arvind Kejriwal’s government to get information from all hospitals, nursing homes and submit the data, complete with patient details, including time and reason of death. “We have to compensate these persons. It is the responsibility of the state,” the court said. The court took note of nonsupply of oxygen cylinders by one supplier named Seth Air Products and noted that the submissions made by its representative were also completely and blatantly false. It, therefore, asked the Delhi government to take over this unit and let it be run by one of its officers. Additionally, the court asserted that the government should also maintain a record of oxygen in cylinders used by various smaller hospitals, apart from individuals. Fadnavis accuses govt of death data manipulation Mumbai: Senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis has alleged that the Maharashtra is hiding the actual number of COVID fatalities in the name of data reconciliation. In a letter to the CM, he alleged delay by the government in adding the actual number of deaths. Kerala HC issues notice to Centre on vax policy The first Oxygen Express for Delhi carrying around 70 tonnes reaches Delhi Cantt station in the early hours of Tuesday | PTI Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Centre on two pleas, challenging its “discriminatory vaccination policy”. It was claimed that liberalised pricing and accelerated vaccination violate Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution. Supervising everything: Centre to Supreme Court e x p r e ss n e ws s e r v i c e @ New Delhi The Centre on Tuesday submitted its national plan for Covid-19 preparedness before the Supreme Court and explained how actively the government is supervising everything. It said that it is on a war footing to fight the pandemic. The submission lists the Central government’s plans for distribution of essential supplies and services. The Centre further stated that it is making efforts to procure oxygen from all available sources within India and also importing oxygen from other countries. “The national plan, however, does not include microscopic details as to the day-to-day management of the issues arising out of different disasters,” the Centre said. It further stated that the production of Remdesivir and other Covid-19 drugs has been upped in light of their growing demand. In its 106-page affidavit, the Centre told the court that the national plan designedly keeps the said aspects of executive decision making open in order to enable the government’s statutory functionaries and all stakehold- ers take appropriate measures in dynamic and fast-developing situations. Taking suo moto cognizance of issues arising out of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to submit a national plan for production and distribution of oxygen, essential drugs, healthcare infrastructure and vaccines. In its affidavit, the Centre said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were constantly working to scale up the production and distribution of oxygen in the country . “Steps such as giving industrial oxygen production plants license to produce medicalgrade liquid oxygen are being taken. The availability of oxygen tankers is also being increased,” the Centre said, adding that oxygen requirements in several states increased much faster than expected. “The sheer magnitude of this unprecedented surge itself brings with it certain inbuilt limitations in terms of available resources which need to be professionally augmented and utilised,” the affidavit submitted by the Centre said. Oxygen plants from France for Kejriwal’s government e x p r e ss n e ws s e r v i c e @ New Delhi leading from front General MM Naravane in Siachen and Eastern Ladakh to review operational preparedness and interact with the troops | PTI About half of Haryana cases in Gurugram, Faridabad h a r p r e e t ba j wa @ Chandigarh month and Bharat Biotech with 1 crore, are too stretched, even though efforts are on to raise production capacity . Speaking to this daily econo, mist R Ramakumar had said India needs nearly 1,880 million doses, considering its 94 crore adult population. That many is a humongous challenge even by December. The Centre did not have a prior agreement with foreign makers, even though it now says approvals to them will be fast-tracked. Sputnik V the vaccine devel, oped by Russia, got approval in HC warns Delhi govt of takeover for failure in duty Teleconsultation in UP, directs Adityanath Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday directed officials to make teleconsultation arrangements for COVID and non-COVID patients in every district of the state. In a statement, a UP government spokesperson said the CM held a virtual meeting with experts regarding the crisis and asked all concerned to coordinate with divisional commissioners, hospitals have to arrange on their own for the younger lot. But problems are too many. “Where is vaccine for the youth? It’s easy to make an announcement,” said public health expert Antony Kollanur. He suggested that owing to limited supply it may be practical , to open vaccination for the 1844 group after completion of second dose for health staff, frontline workers and first dose of all above 45 years. This skepticism is not far fetched. Serum, with a production capacity of 6 crore doses a sis of data by the state health department, around 15% of total cases need oxygen, about 20% hospitalisation and 3% ventilator support. All ICU beds are occupied in the state. Medical infrastructure in Gurugram is under severe pressure and won’t be able to cope with a significant addition of patients. Besides, there is shortage of paramedical staff in private hospitals and doctors are overworked, said sources. On April 1, there were 108 cases in Faridabad. On April 8 the figure went up to 378 and on April 15, there were 810 cases, which rose to 1,342 and 1,545 on April 26. As many as 1,330 cases were reported on April 27. Total number of Covid patients across the state was 67,348 between April 19-25 and 40,090 between April 12-18. Active cases were 79,466 on April 26 with 6.07% positivity rate. Number of cases reported on April 27 was 11,931. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said: “In the difficult situation, we don’t have to play with data. Our focus should be on recovery providing relief. Those who have died will not return by creating a furore. We will do everything to save lives. The question is whether we are able to set the system right. From our side, we are setting the systems in place.” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said his government will import 21 ready-to-use oxygen plants from France and 18 tankers from Bangkok to ensure steady supply in the city hospitals. Kejriwal said that last week there was chaos regarding supply of oxygen for serious Covid patients and many hospitals were sending SOS messages. But the situation is a bit better now. “The Delhi government has decided to import 18 tankers from Bangkok which will start reaching tomorrow. For this, we have requested the Centre to lend us Air Force planes. Additionally we are im, porting 21 ready-to-use oxygen plants from France. These will be installed in different hospitals in Delhi,” informed the Delhi chief minister. After facing flack for not having arrangements for its own medical oxygen production system, the Delhi government will also be installing 36 production plants in Delhi in a month. In its quest for a long-term solution to the oxygen situation within a month, the Delhi government will install 44 plants. Of these, eight plants will be Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visits LNJP hospital to check facilities on Tuesday | PTI installed by the Centre by the end of the month. The remaining 36 are being installed by Delhi government. The 21 from France are among these, rest from within the country . Expressing gratitude, the chief minister said that these arrangements are being made through the aid that his government is receiving from industrialists, NGOs and individuals, religious organisations, who have decided to remain anonymous. Last week, Kejriwal had written out to many CMs and industrialists in the country for aid. “I had reached out to many in the country We have received a . Delhi Covid watch April 26 April 27 Positive cases Recovery Active cases Deaths Containment zones Tests Positivity rate 20,201 22,055 92,358 380 29,104 57,690 35.02% 24,149 17,862 98,264 381 31,570 73,811 32.72% positive response from many of them. Most have only placed one condition, that they wish to remain anonymous. This is an example of their nobility” added Kejriwal. Last week, 20 critical Covid patients in Jaipur Golden Hospital died because high-flow oxygen supply could not be maintained.
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.