TUESDAY NEPAL PRIME MINISTER OLI LOSES VOTE OF CONFIDENCE 11 Needing 136 votes to win the motion in a 275-member House of Representatives, KPS Oli could muster support of only 93 MAY, 2021 CULMINATION OF LONG-DRAWN POWER TUSSLE epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard The result means Oli’s premiership ends with immediate effect. Monday’s voting was the culmination of a tussle between Prachanda and Oli for NCP’s control. Matters came to a head in December last when Oli dissolved the House, claiming Prachanda was attempting to run a parallel government. On May 6, Prachanda walked out, leaving Oli at the helm of a minority govt twitter.com/TheMornStandard M A M ATA’S WA R N I N G ‘NO NEGATIVE COVID NEWS’ Bengal reminds scribes that there are legal routes against those spreading panic PAGE 8 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI MAY 9 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 10 4,03,738 3,66,161 3,86,444 3,53,818 4,092 3,754 JAB-O-METER May 9 6,71,646 doses TAKE YOUR May 10 SHOT 24,30,017 doses TOTAL: 17,26,33,761 DELHI COVID WATCH Positive cases Recovery Active cases Deaths Containment zones Tests Positivity rate MAY 9 13,336 14,738 86,232 273 53,127 61,552 21.67% MAY 10 12,651 13,306 85,258 319 54,256 66,234 19.10% PAGES 12 COWIN PLATFORM HELPS TRACKING CM Arvind Kejriwal, Health Minister SatyendarJain inspect a health facility | PTI Covaxin doses to last a day, Covishield 3-4 days in Delhi, says Jain EXPRESS N E WS S E RVI CE @ New Delhi VACCINE supply became another flashpoint between the Centre-AAP government with Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain on Monday claiming that the city has stock left just for three-four days. “Delhi is facing an acute shortage of vaccines. We have limited stock of two vaccines. Covaxin is available just for one day and Covishield will last three-four day. We want the Centre to facilitate sufficient stock of vaccines at the earliest so that the government can inoculate the entire city,” said Satyendar Jain. According to the Delhi government, nearly 38.53 lakh doses were administered so far which include people belonging to the age group of 1844 years. The city had received 43,20,490 doses of Covaxin and Covishield. As per the information, the government had 4.67 lakh shots, including 2.23 lakh Covaxin doses, available as on Monday morning out of which 2. 74 lakh shots were for the age group of the 18-44 years. Delhi has so far received 5.5 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccines for the age group. This development comes just days after CM Arvind Kejriwal urged the Centre to provide 2.6 crore Covid vaccines to the Delhi government. Citing short supply for Covid vaccines, the government including Kerjiwal has been seeking intervention of the Centre to ramp up supply for the last couple of days. On Saturday, Kejriwal had said that the city needs 80-85 l a k h d o s e s eve r y month for the next three months to inoculate all adults. Meanwhile, the positivity rate dipped to 19.10 per cent on Monday, which was 35.02 percent on April 26. It was 26.12 percent on April 19 when lockdown was clamped in the city . “Not only is the positivity rate decreasing, there is a downfall in the number of cases as well,” Jain said. He, however, cautioned that there is no room for any leniency and urged everyone to keep their P4 guard up. Centre justifies online registration on the CoWIN platform, saying it allows govt to track those who have received one dose and send them reminders for their second dose. Also, the database would strengthen the Centre’s ability to undertake macro-health planning in future Door-to-door vaccination was impossible due to logistical requirements. For example, the 30-minute observation window during at-home vaccination would needlessly tie up the healthcare worker Three-tier health infra to manage cases - Covid care centres for mild cases, Covid health centres for moderate cases and Covid hospitals for severe cases. For admission to a Covid health facility, positive RT-PCR or rapid antigen test report is not required EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Centre put up a stout defence of its Covid-19 vaccine policy before the Supreme Court and asked it not to interfere, claiming the ‘wisdom of the Executive should be trusted’ in times of grave crisis. In its 218-page affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on Sunday night, the Centre addressed the bench’s queries on handling the crisis in great detail. “In the context of a global pandemic, where response and strategy of the nation is completely driven by expert medical and scientific opinion, there is little room for judicial interference. Any overzealous, though well-meaning, judicial intervention may lead to unforeseen and unintended consequences, in absence of any expert advice or administrative experience, leaving doctors, scientists, experts and executive very little room to find innovative solutions on the go,” the Centre said. However, a three-judge bench RAJESH KUMAR THAKUR & A N U R A A G S I N G H @ Patna/Bhopal DELHI POSITIVITY RATE DIPS BELOW 20%, At 19.10%, the positivity rate is the lowest since April 16, when it stood at 19.7%.The positivity rate has remained above the 20% mark since April 17 PAGE 4 DOZENS of bodies of suspected Covid-19 victims were spotted in the Ganges at Chausa block of Bihar’s Buxar district on Monday morning, sparking a scare. While the locals said such sights were frequent ever since officials started dumping bodies into the river after running out of firewood at the crematoriums, authorities claimed they had flowed into the state from upstream Uttar Pradesh, where similar sightings at a border village in Ghazipur district were reported. However, there was no clear word on the origin BJP states seek free jabs, govt to assess fiscal viability A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi AS the chorus for free Covid vaccine doses for states grows louder with even BJP-governed states raising the demand, the finance ministry is looking at whether such a move is fiscally feasible. According to highly placed sources, apart from oppositio party-ruled Odisha, West Bengal and Kerala, NDA-ruled Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, too, have urged the Prime Minister’s Office to tweak the vaccination policy to make the j ab s ava i l abl e t o s t at e s for free. L35,000 cr vax spend Provisioning I35,000 crore expenditure for vaccines in the FY22 Budget under the title ‘Transfers to States’ does not inhibit the Centre from using the funds to buy Covid-19 shots, the finance ministry said A senior official in the finance ministry told TNIE that states have questioned the logic behind the Centre forcing them to arrange for vaccines on their own or import them at a higher rate. “Many states have informed the PMO that despite placing orders, the process is slower than expected. Also, there is a lot of pressure for a rethink over the “transfer of grant” and differential pricing of Covid vaccines. The finance ministry is going to reassess the fiscal viability and will hold a meeting in a day or two after consultation with the health ministry, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Niti Aayog,” said the senior official cited above. Not just states, even economists are questioning the differential pricing policy which they say creates supply side bottlenecks. They say India could have used its `35,000 crore vaccine fund created during Budget for FiY22 to vaccinate all. However, the amount of `35,000 crore has been repackaged under the Demand for Grants to states in the Union Budget. Meanwhile, the finance ministry has refuted criticism from a section of economists that there is no provision for expenditure on Covid-19 by the Central government. “The amount of `35,000 crore has been shown under the Demand for Grants No. 40, titled ‘Transfers to States’,” it said. Ludhaina businessman gets 4,600 concentrators from US LUDHIANA businessman Ayush Jain is going to get 4,600 oxygen concentrators from the US which he will be sending to home isolation Covid patients through oxygen banks and donating them to hospitals and Covid care centres in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, UP and Uttarakhand. Jain, 36, says he will receive the first lot of 262 concentrators by Tuesday. Another 162 will land in the next five days and the rest by May 18. “We are getting 100 of them in association with Punjab Kings XI and the rest through Tri Valley Indian Medical Association and India Community Centre led by President Dr Shubha Jain, Malibu.” Jain belongs to the Girnar family and runs his own education consultancy business. “When I saw so many people dying due to oxygen shortage, I thought why not step in to help save a few lives.” Jain and his father have extended an open offer to the district authorities that they can procure as many temporary beds as they’d like from them. “Initially I bought 100 concentrators for around `60 lakh in association with Punjab Kings XI and Round Table India and initiated a project called ‘Saah.’ We are now rotating our infrastructure as these machines are given free to home isolation patients.’’ To augment the supply he de, cided to procure more concentrators. “My friends who are doctors in the US said they too wanted to serve the country so , they collected some 4,600 of these concentrators — all free of cost. Appreciating his team in Round Table India, he said he’ll be donating these machines to hospitals. Once the pandemic is over, he plans to donate these concentrators to old-age homes. comprising justices D Y Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat could not continue its hearing on the suo motu case because of technical glitches and the matter was put off till Thursday . Elaborating on the vaccine drive, the Centre said it is the biggest ever and completely different from the immunisation drives of the previous decades. Also, unlike the vaccination campaigns of the past, the Covid-19 immunisation drive did not have the luxury of time. “Earlier, there had been no requirement of an emergency vaccination drive like the sudden emerging situation since 2019 onwards. Secondly, scientists in the field of medicine and vaccination had enough time to develop the vaccine and thereafter, there was enough time to manufacture, distribute and administer the vaccines,” the affidavit read while assuring that there is equitable allocation of vaccines to states based on their population size. On pricing, the Centre said, “Citizens would not be affected by the pricing as all the state governments have already declared that they would administer the vaccines free of cost.” As for citizens who can afford to pay, the Centre said it encourages them to take their jabs at private hospitals, as this would reduce the operational stress on the government vaccination facilities. On the money it gave to vaccine producers Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, the Centre said it was not an investment but advance payment. The executive functioning of the government needs discretion to formulate policy in larger interest —Centre’s affidavit Corpses floating in Bihar and UP BREATH OF LIFE H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh 28 MEMBERS OF OLI’s PARTY ABSTAINED DURING THE VOTING Says any overzealous intervention could squeeze room for innovative solutions on the go S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi NATIONWIDE J8.00 The Prachanda faction is likely to join hands with Nepali Congress and other parties to form a coalition government at the earliest. The alliance between Oli-led CPN (UML) and Prachanda’s CPN (Maoist Centre) had won a majority in the 2017 elections. After Vax strategy equitable, little room for judicial independence: Centre Sputnik V ready for rollout, will be available in pvt, govt centres Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V will be available at both government and private facilities within the next few days, TNIE has learnt. This could boost India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive, which has failed to gather pace due to an acute shortage of Covishield and Covaxin. Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Labs, which conducted Sputnik V’s clinical trials, has the rights to supply 12.5 crore doses of the vaccine. The firm received the first lot of 1.5 lakh doses on May 1. “The rollout of the consignment will be subject to the necessary clearances, which will be processed over the next few days,” Deepak Sapra, CEO (API and services) at Dr Reddy’s told TNIE. The clearances include testing at the Central Drugs Laboratory at Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh. Sapra said the initial quantity will be used as a pilot to test the robustness of the supply chain for the larger vaccination program rollout. “Subsequent consignments will arrive in the next few weeks,” he added. Asked whether the vaccine will be available to vaccinate the 18-44-year age group or only through the central government quota, Sapra said that the initial quantity will be used across different channels as a pilot to line up the supply chain for the larger vaccination program rollout. Three other companies in India have tied up with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Sputnik V’s sponsor. The Russian embassy said the target is 85 crore doses per year. PRACHANDA TO ALLY WITH OPPOSITION Oxygen concentrators lined up at an airport in the US for their delivery | EXPRESS of the bodies. After the bodies were retrieved, Buxar DM Aman Samir ordered an inquest. While the locals claimed that 40-45 bodies were spotted, the DM pegged the number at 30-35. “These bodies are not of the people from Buxar. It has come from upstream Ganges,” Samir said. Confirming a similar sighting on the UP side of the Ganges, Ghazipur DM M P Singh told TNIE: “Buxar officials are coordinating with us. We spotted one body in the river in Ghazipur’s Bara village.” However, Singh’s claim was contested in Gahmar, a village adjoining Bara, where locals claimed that not one, but several bodies were seen in the river. They concurred with Chausa villagers that the sudden shortage of firewood was responsible for the disposal of the bodies on the Ganges. The river separates Bihar from UP with Bara and , Gahmar in Ghazipur on one bank and Chausa on the other. Locals in Chausa said that spotting carrion birds and stray dogs eating corpses had become common. “Everyday bodies of Covid patients are dumped into the river as there is a shortage of firewood,” a local said. CONTINUED ON P7 CONG DEFERS PREZ ELECTION FOR THIRD TIME Addressing the Congress Working Commitee, Sonia FOR the third time after last said that to say that the leadyear and January, the Con- ership was deeply disapgress decided to “temporar- pointed is to make an underily” defer presidential elec- statement. “We need to tions as party chief Sonia candidly understand why in Gandhi said that the recent Kerala and Assam, we failed poll results clearly shows to dislodge the incumbent that the house needs governments, and to be in order. why in Bengal we Though the pardrew a complete ty’s Central Election blank. These will Authority had proyield uncomfortable posed on June 23 for lessons, but if we holding presidendo not face up to the tial elections, many reality if we do not , leaders, including look the facts in the many from the face, we will not We need to group of letter writd r aw t h e r i g h t candidly understand why ers, averred that folessons.” in Kerala and cus should be on During the meetsaving lives of the Assam, we failed ing, veterans Digvito dislodge the people. j aya S i n g h a n d Congress general incumbent govts, Ashok Gehlot called and why in Bengal secretary organisa, for Rahul Gandhi to we drew a tion, K C Venugopal take over the reins complete blank clarified that this of the party As per . Sonia Gandhi, temporary deferparty constitution, Congress chief ment cannot be the term of the Conopen ended and it is gress president will for 2-3 months. As the situa- finish after a tenure of five tion stabilizes, he said, elec- years in 2022. tion will be held. According to party sourcThe party’s debacle in the es, Gehlot was the first one recent elections also delayed to call for deferment of presthe entire process as sources idential elections and was said that a decent perform- seconded by Ghulam Nabi ance in Kerala and Assam Azad, who is seemingly the would have smoothened Ra- brain behind the letter writhul’s take over. ten to Sonia. R I C H A S H A R M A @New Delhi
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