THURSDAY FEAR OF FULL-SCALE WAR AS ISRAEL-HAMAS CLASH KILLS 56 13 Tension gripped West Asia as Israel stepped up airstrikes on Gaza while Hamas continued its rocket attacks MAY, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard 1,050 IN THE NEWS Rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, according to army T O D AY MORE ATTACKS LIKELY BEFORE A CEASEFIRE INDIA ‘India made error’ India made the “incorrect assumption” that it was finished with Covid and opened up prematurely that has left it in such “dire straits”, America’s top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci has told senators. He added that a global response is the need of the hour to tackle the pandemic. “One has to pay attention to the responsibility that we have, not only for our own country, but to join with other countries to make sure that we have the access to interventions, particularly vaccines throughout the world,” he said. NCSC to visit Bengal The NCSC informed the West Bengal government its plan to visit the state on May 13 and 14 for inquiring into the cases of atrocities in East Burdwan and 24 Paraganas districts. The NCSC also sought a meeting with the chief secretary and the DGP. “In view of complaints regarding atrocities being committed on Dalits, NCSC chairman Vijay Sampla will be visiting Bengal on May 13 and 14, the body said. This is despite the West Bengal government asking NCSC to cancel its two-day visit citing the pandemic restrictions and protocol. Villages in focus Taking note of the recent increase in Covid in rural areas, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar directed all the deputy commissioners to set up village-level isolation centres in 50 or more villages (if there are hotspots) in each district over the next two days. Haryana reported 165 deaths, taking the death toll to 6,075, while 12,490 fresh cases pushed the tally to 6,52,742. Khattar also asked them to subsequently submit the action taken report to the office of DG, Development and Panchayats. INTERNATIONAL Deuba meets oppn The Nepali Congress has decided to stake a claim for the prime minister’s post and is engaged in hectic parleys to conclude a deal ahead of Thursday’s deadline to form a new government as the one headed by KP Sharma Oli lost a crucial trust vote. The decision to form a new government was taken after the office bearers of the Nepali Congress met on Tuesday under the leadership of party president Sher Bahadur Deuba. Deuba held a meeting with the opposition leaders and discussed ways to form a new government. A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 SECOND WAVE PEAKED ON APR 21; INDIA LOCKDOWN NOT NEEDED 2000 1,500 1,000 9 Sep 2020 DAILY CHANGE IN NEW CASES 7-9-2020 to 22-9-2020 Based on 7 day rolling average 0 10000 I 21 Apr 2021 -500 -1,000 -1,500 FIRST WAVE -2000 0 13 Mar 2020 Acceleration peak on Sep 9 -5000 3 Apr 2020 Acceleration peak on April 21 SECOND WAVE NATIONWIDE NDIA’S second Covid wave has rapidly decelerated, the peak is just over, there is no need for a nationwide lockdown now. We used an innovative method to analyse daily numbers of new cases, by studying the acceleration and deceleration of both the first and the second waves of the coronavirus epidemic. The result of first wave showed that the numerical peak was a few days after the beginning of deceleration. Deceleration of the second wave started on April 21 and the numerical peak (4,14,433 cases) occurred on May 6, followed by a declining average in daily numbers. This indicates that a nationwide lockdown is not necessary now. Its usefulness was when the second wave was rapidly rising, during March or early April. Individual states can study their numbers of new cases using this technique and decide on the need for, and timing of regional lockdowns. 5000 7 Sep 2020 PAGES 12 M S SESHADRI AND T JACOB JOHN Based on 7 day rolling average 22 Sep 2020 500 15000 DAILY CHANGE IN NEW CASES 13-3-2021 to 11-5-2021 20000 8 May 2020 FULL ARTICLE ON: newindianexpress.com AS many as 12 heads of Opposition parties on Wednesday wrote a joint letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding free mass vaccination, allotting funds and foodgrains for the poor, expediting vaccine production and putting the Central Vi s t a project on hold. The letter comes following fiercely fo u g h t A s s e m bly elections in West Bengal and Kerala where the Trinamool Congress and the Congress and the Left Front were pitted against each other, showing the rising index of Opposition unity . The signatories were Sonia Gandhi (Cong), H D Deve Gowda (JD(S)), Sharad Pawar (NCP), Uddhav Thackeray (Shiv Sena), Mamata Banerjee (Trinamool Congress), M K Stalin (DMK), Hemant Soren (JMM), Farooq Abdullah (Na- tional Conference), Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Tejashwi Yadav (RLD), D Raja (CPI) and Sitaram Yechury (CPM). Five of them are chief ministers. Prominent among the slew of suggestions they made were: “Procure vaccines centrally from all available sources — global and domestic. Immediately begin a free, universal mass vaccination campaign across the country Invoke com. pulsory licensing to expand domestic vaccine production. “Spend budgetary allocation of `35,000 crores for the vaccines. Stop Central Vista construction. Use the allocated money for procuring oxygen and vaccines, instead. Release all money held in the unaccounted private trust fund, PMCares to buy more vaccines, oxygen and medical equipment required,” the opposition leaders wrote in their suggestion to the Prime Minister. Free grains to poor, L6,000 to jobless The joint letter urged Modi to give all jobless people at least J6,000 per month, provide free foodgrains to the needy and repeal the controversial farm sector reform laws OUT OF BOUNDS The CPWD has prohibited photography and video recording at the construction site near India Gate. The Central Vista project is drawing flak from many quarters who contend the government should rather focus on containing the pandemic | PTI GAYAT H R I M A N I @ New Delhi DELHI Police on Wednesday visited the National Students’ Union of India office on a complaint filed by NSUI national general secretary Nagesh Kariyappa that ‘Union Home Minister Amit Shah is missing. The student leader on Wednesday filed the report at Parliament Street police station alleging that the minister has “disappeared amid the pandemic and the citizens are in a crisis”. Kariyappa said that politicians were supposed to serve the nation and not run away from a crisis situation. “When the country is suffering from a deadly pandemic and the citizens are in a crisis, it is the duty of the politicians to be accountable for the whole country said the complaint. ,” Party’s national secretary and in-charge of media and communications Lokesh Chugh said: “Until 2013, politicians were responsible towards the c i t i z e n s, bu t t h i n g s changed completely after the BJP came to power in 2014. Now, the second most powerful and responsible person in command is missing amid the pandemic.” Govt to procure 1.5 L units of DRDO’s oxygen system The government approved the procurement of 1,50,000 units of the “Oxycare” system at a cost of J322.5 crore using the PM-Cares Fund for Covid patients. The system was developed by the DRDO. ESI Hospital dean M Raveendran kneels down to thank the nurses in Coimbatore for taking good care of him when he was a patient | SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT GRATITUDE Why this C’garh doc chose Mysuru for Covid duty WHEN words come up short to express gratitude to health workers who are busy saving lives, actions speak. A young doctor, who flew down from Chandigarh, has now volunteered to work for free at the Mysuru district Covid-19 hospital where his mother, who was in a very critical state, was saved. Dr Harsha, who hails from a family of agriculturists in Mandya district, is pursuing his MD in Radiodiagnosis at 23,85,092 doses TAKE YOUR May 12 SHOT 17,72,261 doses TOTAL: 17,70,85,371 DELHI Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 11 MAY 12 12,481 13,583 347 13,287 14,071 300 Not only does India sits at the bottom of the chart on healthcare spending among top 10 economies, it also has the lowest number of beds available at public hospitals PAGE 8 NSUI files missing plaint against Shah Expressing displeasure with politicians for not following lockdown curbs imposed in Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court said no leader or minister should conduct physical ceremonies or functions. PGIMER, Chandigarh. The gesture has come in for much praise at a time when most hospitals are grappling with an acute shortage of staff and repeated recruitment drives have yielded no results. It all started after Dr Harsha’s mother’s vitals started fluctuating when she was under treatment for Covid at a hospital in Maddur, Mandya district, and was in urgent need of an ICU bed. While May 11 IN URBAN INDIA ‘No politician should hold physical functions’ A J I T H M S @ Mysuru JAB-O-METER SURVEY HEALTH INFRA MORE The Delhi High Court directed the police to immediately seize the cache of medicines after it was informed by a law student that a huge cache of medicines, having stamps which show they were meant for Delhi government hospitals, was dumped on Mehrauli-Gurgaon road. ‘WHO delayed alarm’ 3,29,942 3,48,421 3,56,082 3,55,338 3,876 4,205 Covid patients dying due to lack of oxygen is a gross infringement of right to life, Bombay High Court notes with regard to the recent deaths in a Goa hospital HC orders confiscation of dumped medicines China accused the Quad of being an “exclusive clique” against Beijing as it defended its Bangladesh Ambassador’s warning to Dhaka against joining the US-led alliance. “China opposes certain countries’ efforts to form an exclusive clique,” it said. China’s Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jiming China had warned Bangladesh against joining the four-nation group, saying that Dhaka’s participation would result in “substantial damage” to bilateral relations. MAY 12 VIOLATED’ Also call for a stop to the work on Central Vista project and a repeal of farm laws E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 11 IRKED ‘ARTICLE 21 IS 12 Oppn parties press Modi for free mass jabs China cries foul The catastrophic scale of the Covid pandemic could have been prevented, an independent global panel concluded Wednesday, but a “toxic cocktail” of dithering and poor coordination meant the warning signs went unheeded. The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR) said a series of bad decisions meant COVID-19 went on to kill at least 3.3 million people so far and devastate the global economy. Institutions “failed to protect people” and science-denying leaders eroded public trust in health interventions, the IPPPR said in its much awaited report on Wednesday. Israeli airstrikes have levelled at least two apartment towers in Gaza. Warning shots allow civilians to evacuate the buildings, but material losses will be immense. Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz vowed more attacks on Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups | P9 many hospitals denied 48-yearold Rajalakshmi a bed saying she was too critical to be saved, the Covid-19 hospital in Mysuru agreed to take her. “Many had written off her case, but it was the Mysuru district hospital and Dr Rajeshwari H R, the District Surgeon, who gave us with hope and shifted her to the ICU. After 10 days of care, she is now finally out of the ICU and recuperating well,” said a relieved Dr Harsha. Inspired by the efforts of the staff in saving his mother, Dr Harsha has been voluntarily treating patients at the hospital ever since. “The hospital has sufficient infrastructure and facilities. But since the ICU beds are full, and with a shortage of manpower, it is challenging for the existing staff since the patients are in critical condition and each one of them needs constant attention,” he said. Harsha has now extended his leave to continue his work at the Mysuru hospital. Meanwhile, Nagesh Kariyappa, asked: “Amit Shah is the home minister of the country or of only the BJP?” Kariyappa alleged the current government has failed and so, the NSUI filed a ‘missing complaint.’ We are waiting for govt to answer people: NSUI The current government has failed to contaain the pandemic and as a result the NSUI has filed a missing person complaint against the Home Minister, and is waiting for the government to answer to its people, Kariyappa told the media. “We are waiting for the government to present us with the answers,” he said. When asked about the police team’s visit, the NSUI said they came to enquire about Chugh and Kariyappa about the complaint. However, the Delhi Police said the NSUI leaders had themselves called the police. “They had called the Police Control Room that the minister is missing. The police then went to the NSUI office to look into the matter,” said a senior police officer. “This is a mischievous act and the police will not act on such a complaint,” said another officer. NO ECONOMIC RECOVERY IN SIGHT AS IIP CONTRACTS BY 8.6% IN FY21 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for March, released on Wednesday, showed that factory output registered a 22.5% growth for the month. However, experts say there is nothing to rejoice as this ‘growth’ was due to low base effect and that industrial activity in FY21 actually shrank by a whopping 8.6% compared with 0.8% contraction in the previous financial year. Besides, the March 2021 numbers don’t reflect the impact of localised lockdowns and night curfews across the country . According to data released by the National Statistics Office (NSO), the manufacturing sector output contracted by 9.8%, mining sector output contracted 7.8% while electricity shrank by 0.5%. “The pace of the IIP’s expansion in March 2021 was in the middle of our forecast range (17.5-25%). Given the low base of the lockdown, we believe it’s more mean- Retail inflation cools to 4.29% in April Retail inflation slipped to a three-month low of 4.29% in April, on account of easing of prices of kitchen items such as vegetables and cereals, according to the data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on Wednesday | P10 ingful to compare the industrial performance in March 2021 with March 2019, which reveals a mild albeit sobering contraction of 0.5%,” said Aditi Nayar, Chief Economist at ICRA. “We expect the IIP to expand by a transient but relatively meaningless about 150% in April 2021 on the low base of the nationwide lockdown that was in effect in April 2020,” she added. Experts say that with the second wave of the pandemic holding down, chances of an economic recovery are bleak — at least for the first half of the current financial year.
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