WEDNESDAY INDIA-UK TRADE TIES TO FLOURISH FURTHER 05 MAY, 2021 Over 20 businesses said they would invest a cumulative J10,000 crore in the United Kingdom under the India-UK Enhanced Trade Partnership. epaper.morningstandard.in SII will invest H2,400 crore in the UK to expand its vaccine business and set up a new sales office. Biotech firm Global Gene Corp announced an investment of GBP 59 million over the next 5 years facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard The partnership signed commits both sides to addressing immediate market access barriers as well as continuing to seek further opportunities on the road to a Free Trade Agreement. TROUBLING POSTS TWITTER BANS KANGANA Actor remains unfazed as she mantains there are other platforms to voice opinions PAGE 8 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 SNVA Ventures, Skillmine, CtrlS Data Centers, Que Processing Services, Cron Systems, TVS MotorsNorton, Prime Focus Technologies, Route Mobile, and Goila Butter Chicken also announced significant investment in the UK | P10 PAGES 12 India Inc largely in favour of complete national shutdown but health experts are divided, as they feel it should have been done during the onset of the wave CHORUS FOR LOCKDOWN GROWS LOUDER Not an ostrich: Angry HC notice to Centre EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE that businesses and jobs can be revived but the same cannot be said for human lives. “The CenA day after CII president Uday tral government should take Kotak called for a national stringent steps and push peolockdown to break the chain of ple to stay at home. This will transmission of coronavirus, also bring some relief to the many corporate leaders came healthcare system and allow forward to support the idea them to treat people in dire saying it is alright to take an need,” he said. economic hit to save lives. HowAmerica’s top public health ever, health experts are divided expert and White House Chief over the effectiveness of such a Medical Adviser Dr Anthony move at this stage. Fauci, too, feels India must im“Saving lives is more impor- pose a nationwide lockdown tant than producing steel. Pro- for a few weeks. “It is quite obduction can suffer as long as vious to everyone that the situthe country is in need of any ation in India is extremely seriresource available with the ous,” he said in a recent company,” said Sajjan Jindal, interview to a news agency, managing director of adding India must foJSW Group, which Maha cases cus on mass vaccinasupplies liquid oxygen tion and setting up a coming to hospitals. large number of down Another corporate makeshift hospitals India’s worst leader, who did not on a war footing. Covid-hit state wish to be named, said However, healthcare Maharashtra India’s healthcare sysexperts in India are tem is stretched to its reported 51,880 not convinced of the limits. “At this point cases on Tuesday. need for lockdown The state has in time, saving lives is when the infection is been able to more important than already rampant and economic activities. bring down fresh considering the fact cases to a Suspending non-esthat the new variant manageable sential business activof coronavirus is airrange after it ities and a complete borne, making it more l o ck d ow n fo r t wo imposed a state- transmissible than wide lockdown weeks is the only way the earlier one. last month out,” he said. Dr Oommen John Calling for a balof the George Instianced approach, real estate ty- tute for Global Health India coon Niranjan Hiranandani pointed out that it will be difsaid, “A complete economic ficult to ensure that people stay lockdown will cast a dark shad- within their homes in densely ow on economy and lead to populated urban contexts. more fatalities due to increased “At the current stage of the unemployment.” pandemic, unrestricted access Rohit Poddar, MD, Poddar to diagnostic tests is critical,” Housing and Development Ltd, he said. too feels a lockdown will have Having faced widespread a drastic impact on the econo- criticism last year for imposmy “The need of the hour is to ing a nationwide lockdown . strike a balance between a full without warning, the Centre lockdown and allowing busi- this time is not in favour of ness operations to prevent a shutting down the economy On . downward trajectory of the April 8, Prime Minister Nareneconomy,” he said. dra Modi told states to manage Ashish Mishra, CEO of advi- the Covid situation without imP7 sory firm, Unnault, explained posing a lockdown. @ New Delhi K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi People waiting to refill oxygen at Babbar Gas Plant in Kanpur, UP on Tuesday | PTI NATIONWIDE MAY 3 MAY 4 Fresh cases 3,68,147 3,57,229 Recoveries 3,00,732 3,20,289 3,417 3,449 Deaths @ New Delhi CHIEF Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced free rations for all ration card holders for two months to tide over the difficulties posed by the ongoing restrictions following a tsunami of Covid cases in Delhi. Auto rickshaw and taxi drivers would be given a one-time financial aid of `5,000 each in this difficult period, Kejriwal said in a press conference on Tuesday . “Free ration will be provided to about 72 lakh ration cardholders of Delhi for the next two months. Having said that, one should not assume that the lockdown will continue for the next two months” said Kejriwal. “It is just being done to help the poor go through financial issues in these tough pandemic times.” “Just as last year, when the lockdown was imposed, all of Delhi’s auto and taxi drivers were given `5,000 each by the government. We are extending the financial assistance to all the auto drivers and taxi drivers to help them during this financial adversity .” Kejriwal also appealed to all the political parties to rise above affiliations and help the May 3 TAKE YOUR SHOT May 4 16.5 lakh doses 11,49,009 doses TOTAL: 16,04,18,105 TOTAL LOCKDOWN IN BIHAR FOR 11 DAYS E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Patna THE government of Bihar on Tuesday announced a complete lockdown in the state from May 5-15. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced this in a tweet. State government and private offices will remain closed. Exemptions have been given to district administration, po- Free rations for 72 lakh poor families; `5,000 for auto, taxi drivers: Kejriwal E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E JAB-O-METER THE Delhi High Court on Tuesday put the Centre on notice over hauling it up for contempt of court for failing to comply with its May 1 order to provide Delhi 490 MT oxygen immediately for Covid patients and a subsequent Supreme Court order to bridge the city’s deficit. In sharp comments, a bench comprising justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli told the Centre, “You can bury your head in the sand like ostrich, we won’t.” Criticising the Centre for poor execution, the bench sug g ested: “You should hand over the distribution of oxygen tankers to an IIT or an IIM. They will do a much better job... The point is Supreme Court has said Delhi must get 700 MT, so it must get it. It’s your responsibility .” While the Centre raised its supply to 433 MT on Monday night, the Delhi government said it is not enough. “Even with 420 MT people are dying,” the Delhi government represented by senior advocate Rahul Mehra said. But when the Centre tried to dismiss it as rhetoric, the bench shot back: “How can you be so insensitive? Is this merely rhetoric? How can you say this? It’s highly unfortunate.” The Centre also informed the court that 12 oxygen tankers are on their way to Delhi, adding it will file a compliance affidavit in the SC. But the bench retorted, “We fail to understand what good a compliance affidavit will do when the required oxygen is not being brought to Delhi.” The bench also sought to know about the Centre’s plans to deploy the Army to deal with the acute Covid-19 crisis. “Nobody is doubting that you are doing everything. But sometimes you need to act on ideas that are being presented. If you’re not agreeable to deploying the Army, then please spell out the reasons,” the court told the Centre. people in distress. “We are going through a very difficult period. The second wave has been extremely potent. All of us are witnessing bad times…. It is my earnest request that this is the time to help each other.” “Imposition of the lockdown was necessary to curb the spread of the virus. But a lockdown can create great financial difficulties for the underprivileged, especially daily wagers.” However, Leader of Opposition Ramvir Bidhuri accused Kejriwal of misleading the people. “The chief minister needs to clarify that this free ration is a Centrally sponsored scheme which was announced by the Narendra Modi government last week. It has become a habit of the CM to claim credit of various central schemes.” lice, civil defence, health, telecommunications and postal departments. People travelling by long-distance trains will be allowed to use public transport to reach the station or get back home. Schools and other educational will be closed. No examinations will be held in this period. Restaurants will remain closed but home deliv- ery services will be allowed from 9 am to 9 pm. Religious places will be closed and so will cinema halls and shopping malls. Weddings can be held, but not with more than 50 persons. The government of Bihar on Tuesday announced a complete lockdown in the state from May 5-15. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced this in a tweet. State government and private offices will remain closed. Exemptions have been given to district administration, police, civil defence, health, telecommunications and postal departments. People travelling by longdistance trains will be allowed to use public transport to reach the station or get back home. IPL suspended after Covid-19 cases in bubble E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai THE inevitable has happened. The Indian cricket board (BCCI) postponed the Indian Premier League indefinitely. Just over a week ago this newspaper had suspended its coverage of the IPL due to the pandemic and the devastation it has been causing in the country. It had said, the timing of the tournament was not right. And over the past week, ever since the teams moved from Chennai and Mumbai, there has been anxiety among the players and support staff. It even led to players’ pull-out and even Ravichandran Ashwin took a break to be with his family who had the infection. But after two players in Kolkata Knight Riders and two support staff in Chennai Super Kings tested positive, the BCCI was still looking at shifting the IPL to Mumbai. But after Wriddhiman Saha testing positive for Covid-19 at the Sunrisers Hyderabad’s camp the board was forced to suspend it indefinitely. “These are difficult times, especially in India and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times,” the IPL said in a statement. While England, South Africa and New Zealand players and support-staff will take charter flights soon, Australian contingent is left stranded because of stringent policy of their government for those who return from India. Some Indian players have left for home. 14 killed in turf fight after Bengal verdict P R A N A B M O N D A L @ Kolkata BJP chief JP Nadda with family members of a slain BJP worker in Kolkata | PTI BJP veteran lashes out at choice of candidates Former Tripura governor Tathagata Roy hit out at the BJP’s election management team for fielding ‘politically stupid’ actors. “All were soundly defeated. Kailash Vijayvargiya, Dilip Ghosh & Co must answer.’’ HOURS after trends showed Trinamool Congress’ landslide victory in West Bengal on Sunday, the state convulsed under post-poll violence wave — from Sitalkuchi in the north to Sonarpur in South 24 Parganas — that left at least 14 people dead, including two women. While the BJP claimed seven of the victims were its supporters, the Trinamool counted six of the diseased as its workers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and inquired about the situation. BJP president J P Nadda met the families of the victims to express solidarity . BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya alleged that houses over 4,000 houses were ransacked and at least 100 shops were looted. The party also alleged that two of its booth agents were gang-raped, but there was no confirmation from the police. Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said in most of the cases, the deaths were a result of the BJP’s factionalism. “In some places, the BJP’s provocation triggered public anger,” he claimed. A worker of the Indian Secular Force, a partner of the Left Front, was killed in Bhangar, South 24 Parganas. In Kolkata’s Kankurgachi, slain BJP worker Abhijit Sarkar’s mother alleged her son was beaten to death by Trinamool supporters. The Trinamool alleged two of its supporters were lynched by BJP supporters in East Burdwan. In Hooghly, a TMC worker was hacked to death. Another party man was killed P8 at Raina, East Burdwan. SELFLESS SERVICE Disability, Covid didn’t deter C’garh woman to serve patients E J A Z K A I S E R @ Raipur Girja refuses to take any remuneration despite working eight hours daily GIRJA Jhalchatri, 35, belongs to the Chhattisgarh capital and is nearly half disabled. She isn’t a frontline worker and, unlike them, had a choice to stay home. But she chose to be with Covid patients at a time when the state is among the worst affected by the pandemic. In early April, amid acute shortage of beds and a surge in new Covid cases, the state government turned a big indoor stadium into a dedicated Covid care centre with a 330-bed facility in the state capital. Unmindful of her disability, Girja joined the care centre from April 13 when as many 250 patients were admitted on the first day She was given the reg. istration work, which included handling of the influx of Covid patients daily . Covered in a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kit, she assists the patients to their allotted bed in the ward, checks their oxygen levels, the pulse rate and maintains their records. “I never felt my disability was a hurdle. Helping the people in need of urgent medical attention gives me a feeling of satisfaction. While recording information on individual patients I feel a sense of duty”, says Girja, who has studied up to Class XII. She says her experience of having worked with NGOs helps her in the current job. Her work is voluntary as she has refused to take any remuneration and works for eight hours a day . Her equally constructive role is counseling and extending emotional support to the patients who are often fear-stricken after testing positive. “Some parents accompanying the patients are panicky and tend to lose hope. I listen to them carefully and engage them in a conversation to raise their morale to reduce the im- mediate distress. Dealing with the elderly is a bit challenging,” says Girja. Is she not afraid of catching the infection? “If we strictly comply with the Covid protocol and remain devoted to our work, then there is nothing to worry”, she says. Manjeet Kaur, a social activist, is impressed by Girja’s work. “She is a hardworking woman who supports patients in the recovery process,” says Kaur. AID MORE EQUIPMENT ARRIVE IN INDIA Health ministry starts distributing medical supplies to hospitals in states PAGE 7
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