FRIDAY ‘Judiciary working under great stress due to Covid’ 14 MAY, 2021 Chief Justice of India N V Ramana said on Thursday that the coronavirus has impacted SC judges and Registry officials epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard 100 JUDGES, 2,700 JUDICIAL OFFICERS INFECTED twitter.com/TheMornStandard At least 100 HC judges and over 2,700 judicial officers have tested positives, the CJI said, adding that three HC judges and 34 judicial officers have lost their lives. In the SC, around 800 Registry staff, six Registrars and 10 Additional Registrars were infected at different points of times. FRICTION DIDI LASHES OUT AT GOVERNOR PLAN TO LIVE-TELECAST SC PROCEEDINGS Mamata writes to Dhankhar criticising his visit to places hit by post-poll violence A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 8 Vaccine factsheet Lab quality big hurdle for Covaxin mass production S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi AMID growing chorus for technology transfer to allow other vaccine makers in India mass produce Covaxin, the Centre on Thursday said the sticking point was the lack of sophisticated technological platforms to manufacture the jab. This vaccine, which is an inactivated version of Covid-19 virus and requires live virus to be cultured, can only be processed in laboratories categorised as biosafety level 3 (BSL 3), stressed V K Paul, member, health, Niti Aayog, who also heads the national Covid-19 task force. Covaxin was developed by Bharat Biotech with support from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which shares its intellectual property rights. The government health research body had invested about `35 crore in its pre-clinical and clinical trials. At present, only Bharat Biotech is a BSL 3 lab in India. “This suggestion (of technology transfer) has been welcomed by Bharat Biotech but it needs to be understood that Covaxin has been developed from inactivated SARS-CoV 2 and can only be developed at laboratories with BSL 3 standards, which none of the other companies in India has as of now,” said Paul. He, however, added that the government will support any firm that is interested in going for this major technical upgradation to scale up the production of Covaxin. Many experts, however, said that more than anything, it is the political will that would be required for an ambitious venture like this. CONTINUED ON: P8 Primer on biosafety level A biosafety level indicates a set of biocontainment precautions required to isolate disease causing pathogens in an enclosed lab. The levels of containment range from the lowest biosafety level 1 (BSL1) to level 4 (BSL-4). BSL 3 is appropriate for work involving microbes that can cause serious and potentially lethal disease via inhalation and requires certain features like special constructions and ventilation systems GENDER SKEW 13,88,15,914 people had taken 17,78,82,695 jabs at the time of the study 7,30,07,844 Of them are male 6,57,88,899 Of them are female 19,171 others too took the jabs 72,18,945 More males than females took the shot | P7 QUANTITY 6.6 crore PM-CARES (Covishield 5.6 cr FUND & Covaxin 1 cr) GAVI COVAX 1 crore facility (Covishield) STATUS Covishield Covaxin Bio E Sub unit Zydus CadilaDNA SII -Novavax BB Nasal GennovamRNA Sputnik V TOTAL Utilised in full Utilised in full 86% 12 crore Procured (Covishield 10 cr received, rest for phase II expected by & Covaxin 2 cr) May-end Supply 16 crore beginning Procured for phase III (Covishield 11 cr in May and & Covaxin 5 cr) ending in July 35.6 crore TOTAL (Covishield 27.6 cr & Covaxin 8 cr) 35.6 Cr NEW DELHI BY YEAR-END DUE TO RAMPED UP PRODUCTION Production / Vaccines availability Aug-Dec DOSES RECEIVED/ PROCURED BY THE CENTRE SOURCE 75.0 Cr 55.0 Cr 30.0 Cr 05.0 Cr 20.0 Cr 10.0 Cr 06.0 Cr 15.6 Cr 216.6 Cr DOSES DELIVERED/ TO BE DELIVERED TO THE STATES IN MAY Free doses supplied by Centre to states/UTs: 1.65 cr Free doses to be supplied by Centre to States/UTs: 2.35 cr Doses directly procured by states/UTs: 1.23 cr Doses directly procured by states/UTs & in pipeline: 1.27 cr Doses directly procured by private hospitals: 0.80 cr 51.6 crore Add 16 crore doses that are in the vaccine doses pipeline under direct procured procurement by states so far & private hospitals and the total is 51.6 crore doses Total: 7.30 cr Now, Covishield second dose only after 3-4 months EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Centre on Thursday accepted a proposal by an expert panel to raise the gap between two doses of Covishield to 12-16 weeks, deviating from the European Union and the UK’s suggestions for a 12-week interval between the two shots. Till now, a gap of 6-8 weeks was recommended between two doses of this vaccine in India. Spain alone prescribes a gap of 12-16 weeks between two shots, though it administers the AstraZeneca vaccine only to the 60+ age group amid concerns that in rare cases, it triggers blood clots in younger people. The Centre’s announcement immediately triggered speculation of it being tied to vaccine shortage, but Dr V K Paul, who heads the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19, said the decision was based on science. Real life data following mass vaccinations in the UK, said Paul, has shown that the larger gap between two doses of AstraZeneca vaccine raises its efficacy The decision came after . a recommendation by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC), which in turn relied on the scientific input by the Covid working g roup chaired by N K Arora. The NEGVAC also suggested that those who have recovered from their Covid infection, should get the vaccine against the coronavirus six months after the recovery The ministry . is yet to formally accept the second recommendation. The gap of 12-16 weeks for Covishield, originally developed by AstraZeneca-Oxford University and being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India locally has not been tested in clinical trials, experts pointed out. The NEGVAC endorsing a six month gap for Covid-19 vaccination following recovery from the infection is also being met THE BENEFICIARIES Healthcare workers 1st dose 1st dose 1st dose 1st dose 1st dose preme Court and the Centre,” he said. On Thursday Delhi recorded , 10,489 new cases, the lowest since April 10’s 7,897 cases, and 308 fatalities while the positivity rate was 14.24 per cent, the lowest in a month. Positivity rate was 17 per cent on Wednesday with 13,287 cases. The E JA Z K A I S E R @ Raipur AMID Opposition pressure on the Centre to suspend the `20,000-crore Central Vista project till the pandemic is brought under control, the Chhattisgarh government appears to have done the right thing by nixing plans to build the new Assembly building at a cost of `245 crore. On Thursday the Congress, governed Chhattisgarh government cancelled tenders for the new Assembly building and halted construction works of all ongoing major projects. The state has also adopted stringent austerity measures, a gover nment spokesperson said. Consequently, the ongoing construction works for the new Raj Bhawan, Assembly House, Chief Minister’s House, bungalows for ministers and senior officials, and the New Circuit House at the Nava Raipur capital city stand suspended. The foundation laying ceremony of these works were performed on November 25, 2019. The Chhattisgarh government’s decision comes a day after 12 Opposition leaders had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to halt the Central Vista project and use the money to the fund the fight against coronavirus. Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court is hearing a petition seeking an interim stay on the project saying the construction workers are exposed to the deadly coronavirus on a daily basis during the peak phase of the pandemic. DELHI COVID WATCH MAY 12 13,287 14,071 82,725 300 56,852 78,035 17.03% Positive cases Recovery Active cases Deaths Containment zones Tests Positivity rate JAB-O-METER MAY 13 10,489 15,189 77,717 308 57,550 73,675 14.24% May 12 17,72,261 doses TAKE YOUR May 13 SHOT 19,75,176 doses TOTAL: 17,91,77,029 NATIONWIDE MAY 12 MAY 13 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 3,62,727 3,52,181 4,120 3,48,421 3,55,338 4,205 5,42,32,598 1,72,86,501 Over 60 yrs TOTAL 17,91,77,029 with some skepticism. Just a few days ago, ICMR director general Balram Bhargava said those who have battled Covid-19 successfully, can get the vaccine six weeks following their recovery. “So far, I have not come across any scientific evidence which suggests that people who have had infection before should wait for six months for their shots against Covid-19,” said immunologist Seyed Hasnain. E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi BJP leaders wanted re-verification Local BJP leaders have demanded re-verification ever since the lists were published. Himanta Biswa Sarma had said many Indians who came from Bangladesh prior to 1971 did not find place in NRC der the provision of Clause 4(3) of the Schedule of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules 2003, where major irregularities have been highlighted in the body of the instant application. “Pass appropriate directions During the peak period, we were getting regular SOS calls from the hospitals. Now, we receive 1-2 SOS calls daily which are attended to without any delay — Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister CH’GARH SUSPENDS WORK ON NEW ASSEMBLY, FOCUS ON CENTRAL VISTA ISRAEL PUMMELS GAZA AS ITS TROOPS STAND BY The hostilities between Hamas and Israel are escalating relentlessly even as mediators try to step in. Hamas sent a heavy barrage of rockets deep into Israel on Thursday as Israel pounded Gaza with more airstrikes and called up 9,000 more reservists, with the country’s military talking of a possible ground attack. Meanwhile, Jews and Arabs are fighting in the country’s streets. In the picture on the left, Israeli airstrikes hit a building in Gaza city. Above, an Israeli artillery P9 unit at the border fires toward targets in the Gaza Strip Major irregularities in NRC updation: Assam to SC HIGHLIGHTING “major irregularities” in the updation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) of 1951 in Assam, the NRC has moved the Supreme Court seeking a comprehensive and time-bound re-verification of the register. NRC’s Assam coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma had filed an interlocutory application on May 8. It was accepted on May 11. The NRC was updated under the direct monitoring of the Supreme Court. He prayed that the SC passes appropriate directions for a complete, comprehensive and time-bound re-verification of the draft NRC as well as the supplementary list of NRC un- At the peak of Covid cases, Delhi hospitals and other facilities needed a cumulative 700 MT of medical oxygen daily | FILE 85,14,552 2nd dose THE daily requirement of medical oxygen in Delhi was down by almost 17 per cent from 700 MT to 582 MT with Covid cases in need of hospitalisation decreasing in last one week, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said on Thursday . The number of SOS calls from hospitals seeking immediate supply of oxygen also dwindled significantly he said, , adding that the Delhi government urged the Centre to divert the surplus amount to other states. “As the positivity rate and hospitalised cases have reduced in Delhi, the oxygen requirement has also fallen from 700 MT to 582 MT per day The . Centre should provide the surplus oxygen to other states, which need additional supply . Despite the city was given 700 MT only once, the Delhi government is grateful to the Su- highest positivity rate was 36.2 per cent on April 22, “Daily more than 80,000 tests , were being done of which around 27,000 testing positive. Positivity rate had risen to 32 per cent during that period. But now it has reduced to around 14 per cent, and 10,400 new cases recorded in last 24 hours,” said Sisodia. Conveying his gratitude towards the Supreme Court and the Centre for timely intervention, he said that the city had got sufficient oxygen, which saved many precious lives. “During the peak period, we were getting regular SOS calls from the hospitals. Now, we receive 1-2 SOS calls daily which are fulfilled without any delay Sisodia said. ,” “The Delhi government is a responsible gover nment; hence it is requesting Central government to reduce the daily oxygen allocation of Delhi to 582 MT, “ he added. 5,65,82,401 2nd dose EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi 39,14,688 Age group 45-59 yrs Oxygen demand falls by 17% in a week, hospitalisation down, says Sisodia 81,12,476 Age group 18-44 yrs PAGES 12 1,43,14,563 2nd dose 66,02,553 Frontline workers J8.00 96,16,697 2nd dose Ramana said he was actively considering the proposal to live-telecast the SC proceedings. However, the CJI added that the programme will be rolled out only if there is a general consensus among his colleagues in SC. that the re-verification is done under the supervision of a monitoring committee in the respective districts and such committee may be preferably represented by the respective District Judge, District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police. Pass such other or further directions as may deem fit and proper in the facts...,” he prayed. Citing anomalies, Sarma, in his application, wrote that on June 28, 2019, the Kamrup DMhad submitted a report stating that 1,43,522 people applied for NRC from the Chamaria Circle. Out of them, 64,247 were marked as Original Inhabitants (OIs). Their names were entered in the draft NRC. However, after some random verification, it emerged that 14,183 did not fall under the category of Original Inhabitants. The NRC process started in 2013 based on a petition filed by Assam Public Works. More than 19.06 lakh people were left out of the final draft, published in August 2019. With inputs from Guwahati NOBLE CAUSE IIT comes up with green tech to reduce firewood for cremating the dead HARPREET BAJWA @ Chandigarh IIT-Ropar has developed a technology that involves smokeless cremation of the body. At a time when corpses are piling up at crematoriums across the country this innovation might , come in handy, as this ecofriendly traditional method requires less wood. This concept is based on a wick stove, in which the wick glows yellow when lighted and is converted into smokeless blue flame through an air combustion system. The cart has wheels and can be transported without a lot of effort. There are stainless steel trays on both sides for easy ash removal. After extensive use, it has a cooling-off period that takes 12 hours, while in normal machines this takes 48 hours. The technology could be helpful as crematoriums across the country struggle due to a surge in Covid fatalities. Harpreet Singh, Dean ICSR & II, IIT Ropar, said: “Usually wood costs about `2,500 for disposing one body Also, a formal . Hindu cremation needs more than 400 kg of wood. This is reduced at least by half with the help of eco-friendly cart.” IIT Ropar collaborated with Cheema Boilers Limited to develop this. Harjinder Singh Cheema, MD of Cheema Boilers Limited, said: “We are providing the simplest and cheapest way of cremation, which can be performed with half the wood required today It can . reduce carbon footprint by half. This can also be used on LPG but changing mindset is an uphill task.”
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