THURSDAY 25% OF GLOBAL COVID DEATHS LAST WEEK WERE FROM INDIA 06 MAY, 2021 WHO Epidemiological Update said that of the 93,000 global deaths between April 26 & May 2, India accounted for 23,000 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard 46% GLOBAL CASES IN THE SUBCONTINENT OXYGEN DEMAND Continuing the trend of spike, the global case count touched 57 lakh in the past one week, of which 26 lakh were from India. In South-East Asia, case and death counts were high, with India accounting for over 90% in both categories. LESSON FOR DELHI FROM MUMBAI 29,70,476 24,33,551 21,14,639 AVERAGE WEEKLY VACCINATIONS 7,17,100 10-16 17-23 24-30 May 1-7 VACCINE TYPE (Total doses) Covaxin 1,50,18,420 Covishield 14,39,30,764 VACCINATION BY AGE SO FAR 18-30 yrs 30-45 yrs 51,63,526 1,07,34,840 45-60 yrs 60 plus Tamil Nadu: Shops selling essential commodities can function till 12 noon Karnataka: Corona Curfew extended till May 12 West Bengal: Shops to open from 7 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 7 pm Jharkhand: Lockdown since April 22 Madhya Pradesh: Staggered Janta Curfew in various districts Uttar Pradesh: Corona Curfew till May 10 morning Bihar: 11-day lockdown starting Wednesday Punjab: Non-essential shops shut till May 15 Haryana: Lockdown from May 3-10 Rajasthan: Virtual lockdown from April 19 to May 3 Chhattisgarh: Lockdown extended till May 15 J&K: Corona curfew in 14 districts till Thursday morning; four districts under curfew till May 10 Northeast: Almost all states have clamped night curfew; complete lockdown in Meghalaya's East Khasi Hills district 5,95,46,821 53,75,143 S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi THE speed of India’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign is decreasing rapidly, owing to an acute shortage of doses, and the slowdown has triggered concerns that it could impede taming of the massive surge in cases across the country . The average daily doses administered has come down by nearly 80% over the last one month from its peak, when on average 3.5 million vaccinations had been done per day . According to the Centre’s own projection, the average daily vaccination between May 1- and 6 is only 7,17,100 — about 79% less than the average daily vaccinations done in the first week of April. The Centre has supplied states with 17.02 crore doses while 16.05 crore doses have been administered so far. States are struggling to procure vaccines independently under the new policy. The reduced supply from the Centre also means many people from priority age groups who have taken their first jabs are being forced to delay their second. The Centre said 36 lakh doses are set to reach states in 3 days. The health ministry plans to procure 11 crore doses of Covishield and 5 crore doses of Covaxin between May-July which will be supplied to states, but it may be available mainly for those over 45, and that too may not be adequate. Experts say India needs to vaccinate at least 6-7 million a day to cover the most vulnerable population within the next few months. “It is clear that the government did not plan well... And even now I see no sense of urgency said a WHO official. ,” K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed a contempt notice slapped on the Centre by the Delhi High Court but gave the government time till 11 am on Thursday to share its comprehensive action plan on ramping up medical oxygen supply to Delhi’s hospitals to 700 MT. “The plan shall indicate the sources of supply, provisions for transportation, and all other logistical arrangements necessary to ensure the fulfillment of the requirement of NCT of Delhi,” its order later said. A bench comprising justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah said exercising powers under contempt will not solve the problem faced by Delhi. “When country is facing a humanitarian crisis court must aim at problem solving,” their order read. “The Centre’s effort now has to be to comply. Putting officers in jail or hauling them up for contempt is not going to get oxygen to Delhi.” During the hearing, Solicitor SILVER LINING AS DELHI POSITIVITY RATE DOWN 9% DR ASHOK NAG, Assistant Professor of Botany at SKM University, has been helping the elderly Covid patients having oxygen deficiency by getting their cylinders refilled. He takes empty cylinders from them and brings the refilled ones free of cost. Nag says he realised the gravity of the situation when a friend called him from Bangaluru, requesting him to arrange medical oxygen for his father. Nag did it promptly but , the incident left him thinking Nag says his students want to volunteer but he stops them due to risks involved MAY 5 3,57,229 3,82,315 Recoveries 3,20,289 3,38,439 3,449 3,780 Deaths DELHI COVID WATCH MAY 4 MAY 5 Positive cases 19,953 20,960 Recovery 18,788 19,209 Active cases 90,419 91,859 Deaths 338 311 Containment zones 46,173 47,704 Tests 74,654 79,491 Positivity rate 26.73% 26.37% JAB-O-METER 35.02 31.76 32.72 31.61 18,90,346 PANDEMIC MOVING EASTWARD: GOVT 29.56 28.33 26.37 SOME RESPITE FOR GASPING CAPITAL 26.73 380 381 368 395 375 412 407 448 338 POSITIVITY RATE(%) rate was 32.7 per cent which further dipped to 31.8 the next day. However, it slightly increased on April 29 at 32.8 per cent and went down by just 0.1 per cent the next day On May . 1, it was 31.6 per cent and then fell in the next 24 hours to 28.3 per cent. The positivity rate was 29.6 per cent on May 3. A government official said May 5 11,49,009 TOTAL: 16,24,30,828 DOSES 32.69 32.82 May 4 TAKE YOUR SHOT 311 DEATHS the drop in the positivity rate was going down by one per cent each day approximately . “The government has not only ramped up testing, but also worked relentlessly in increasing the number of beds. We are aggressively pushing vaccinations, which will further help bring down P4 &5 the positivity rate.” A rise in the number of daily Covid-19 cases and mortality has been observed in Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand, indicating the “pandemic is moving eastward”, the health ministry said in a statement on Wednesday MARATHA QUOTA STRUCK DOWN BY SC The SC refused to revisit its 29-year-old Mandal verdict putting cap on quotas at 50% as it quashed a Maharashtra law granting reservations to Marathas in admissions and government jobs | P8 RBI admits economic projections can go awry S E S A S E N @ New Delhi WITH the second wave of Covid infections peaking in many parts of the country and experts warning of a third wave, the Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday admitted that India’s economic outlook looks “highly uncertain” and that all projections can go awry . On Wednesday RBI governor , Shaktikanta Das said the unexpected spike in Covid cases and localised lockdowns could stymie economic recovery . To cushion the blow to the economy Das unloaded various , monetary tools for banks and relief measures for small businesses and individuals. RBI announced a special `50,000 crore term liquidity facility with three-year tenor for banks to support entities such as vaccine manufacturers. Das also announced a one-time loan restructuring for individuals as well as cash-starved sectors. Banks will create a ‘Covid loan Prof brings oxygen and lots of hope for Ranchi’s elderly about how the elderly especial, ly those who don’t have their loved ones at home, have been coping with such problems. “I started posting on social media that anyone facing problems in the oxygen refill could call me or drop a message on my mobile to get free service. I asked them to inbox me their address, along with their Covid report and Aadhaar number to avoid fake calls,” said Dr Nag. He is grateful to his childhood friend Sandeep Sen who helped him in realizing the problems of the elderly people put under home isolation due MAY 4 Fresh cases @New Delhi EVEN as the daily count of Covid cases is still hovering around the 20,000-mark, there is a silver lining for the Delhi government as positivity rate is down by about nine per cent within 10 days. On April 26, the positivity rate was 35.02 per cent — when 57, 690 tests were conducted — which plummeted to 26.37 per cent on Wednesday According to the Wednes. day health bulletin, 79, 491 tests were done in the last 24 hours of which 20,960 tested Covid positive. Delhi recorded 19,953 cases on Tuesday while the positivity rate was 26.73 per cent with the number of tests at around 74,654. The toll was 338, which was down to 311 on Wednesday. CM Arvind Kejriwal on April 19 announced a six-day lockdown to break the chain of infections. The restrictions were extended for a week and subsequently till May 19. A look at the daily health bulletins of the last 10 days shows that the positivity rate is declining after April 22. The city recorded a 36.2 percent positivity rate, which was the highest ever number since the pandemic broke out last year. Total 72,208 tests were undertaken on that day . On April 27, the positivity requirement.” Delhi received 585 MT on Wednesday . Justice Chandrachud said, “We will give you some time to calculate how much you can go up to tonight midnight and how are you going to achieve the 700 MT target. We can’t accept 585 MT for today or tomorrow. We have to inch as close to 700 MT as possible.” “Between today and Monday you (the Centre) need to tell us what modalities you are going to follow to reach the figure of 700 MT for Delhi,” the bench added. NATIONWIDE EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE HELPING THE INFIRM M U K E S H R A N J A N @ Ranchi General Tushar Mehta said, “If Delhi gets 500 MT of oxygen, they will be able to manage.” However, Justice Chandrachud said, “As an institution, we can’t accept that. We ourselves have ordered you to supply 700 MT. We can’t go back.” Mehta said, “It is my assumption that a particular quantity is enough. It is the case of the Delhi government that they need 700 and after some days 900. Let there be an audit by an independent body on the real MAY 5 Telangana: Only night curfew so far Case incidence in Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Africa & the Americas slumped, while Western Pacific was stable. Toll down in Europe, Africa & Western Pacific No contempt but SC puts Centre on leash MAY 4 Kerala: Mini-lockdown till May 9, night curfew PAGES 12 MAY 3 Andhra Pradesh: Two-week noon-to-6 am curfew starting May 5 India’s vaccine drive loses steam, 2nd doses delayed 35,35,250 Apr 3-9 Odisha: Two-week lockdown since May 5 MAY 2 quired, will be taken.” Meanwhile, data shared during the briefing marked the THE Centre on Wednesday B.1.617 variant – also known as came up with a grim warning double mutant – as a “variant that a third Covid-19 wave in of concern” for the first time. India was inevitable and admit- Samples collected from at least ted for the first time that 18 states, which underwent geB.1.617, an Indian mutant of nomic surveillance, showed the the virus, could be fuelling the presence of the variant. This massive surge in the country . variant, along with E484Q and “A phase three is inevitable, L452R mutants, was first identigiven the higher levels of the fied in February Its spread has . circulating virus, but it is not been exponential, overtaking clear on what time scale this several other local variants, inwill occur. We should cluding N440K and p r e p a r e f o r n e w Link between B.1.618, suggesting waves,” said K Vijay variant, surge that it was more transRaghavan, Principal missible. Data from Scientific Advisor to The director of the other countries sugNational Centre the Centre said on gest that while E484Q for Disease Wednesday . can escape antibody Control said that neutralisation, L452R Amid clamour for an exercise was stricter measures to increases infectivity . underway to contain the spread of According to the the fierce wave, Niti establish the link WHO, this Indian A a y o g m e m b e r between the rise strain has been de(health), V K Paul, of the variant and tected in at least 17 who also heads the na- the progression of countries, including tional Covid-19 task the disease in the t h e U K , U S a n d country force, did not rule out Singapore. the possibility of a naSources said that tional lockdown to break the following a request by the UK chain of the virus. government, India has agreed Listing the Centre’s guide- to send samples of B.1.617 for lines like night curfews and re- examining the efficacy of the strictions in districts with over available vaccines against it. 10% test positivity rate and Renu Swarup, secretary of more than 60% ICU bed occu- department of biotechnology, pancy Paul said: “In that direc- said initial data has shown that , tion there is a clear balanced vaccines in India effectively advisory. At the same time, if neutralised the variants in ciranything more is required, culation. More work is underthose options are always being way to fully establish the finddiscussed, and decisions, as re- ings, she added. @ New Delhi Maharashtra: Lockdownlike curbs imposed since April 5 J8.00 MAY 1 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE LOCKDOWN-LIKE SITUATION ALREADY IN MANY STATES APR 30 V K Paul says all options to break the chain on table, doesn’t rule out national lockdown NEW DELHI APR 29 Double mutant tied to surge, 3rd wave inevitable APR 28 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS Cases in India surged by 20%, the highest globally, followed by Brazil, which saw an increase of only 4%, the report added APR 27 PAGE 7 EUROPE & AFRICA RECORD LESSER DEATHS APR 26 SC praises Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for planning in advance to shortage of hospital beds. “The entire service, right from lifting and dropping of oxygen cylinders, is being provided free of cost. After receiving a call, I go there on my own, take the cylinder, get it refilled from the refilling station located in Ormanjhi and drop it to the doorstep of the patient concerned.” Nag started his volunteer service about a fortnight back and has already served more than 150 people. “On an average I receive nearly 50 distress calls every day, which also include other Covid-related queries such as availability of beds in hospitals or places where one can get oxygen cylinders,” Nag said. Most such people are the elderly who have been in home isolation and have no one to look after them,” he said. There are also those living far away while their parents are in Ranchi. Some of his students have come forward to volunteer, but “there are risks, so I politely ask them to take care of themselves,” he says. Nag takes all precautions such as doublemask protection, hand-gloves and a face shield. book’ and such loans will be considered as priority sector lending. Further, banks can park surplus liquidity equal to the size of such books with RBI for a rate 40 bps higher than reverse repo rate of 3.35%. While the announcement nudged banks to undertake fresh lending to the emergency health services, it may be noted that bank credit offtake was only 5.6% in FY21 despite a host of liquidity measures by the RBI in the last fiscal. The central bank has offered a special `10,000-crore longterm repo operation of three years tenor for small finance banks for on-ward lending. The RBI also brought in a resolution framework for individuals and vulnerable small businesses. Borrowers with exposure up to `25 crore, who didn’t avail earlier facilities and where loans are standard as on March 31, 2021 will be eligible for restructuring in the P10 second round, Das said. TWO IN JAISHANKAR’S G7 TEAM TEST POSITIVE P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi MINISTER of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Wednesday confirmed that members of his delegation who are in the UK to attend the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting had tested positive for the coronavirus and that the entire delegation is in self-isolation. “As a measure of abundant caution and also out of consideration for others, I decided to conduct my engagements in the virtual mode,” Jaishankar tweeted. He joined the G7 meeting virtually . Sources said that the delegation had tested negative before leaving for London. News of two delegation members testing positive came hours after Jaishankar met in-person with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UK Home Secretary Priti Patel. “There is concern that the minister may have been exposed to the virus. No one is unwell. We are trying to work out with UK health authorities about the level of exposure,” sources said.
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