friDAY Daily covid test capacity to reach 25L by month-end 21 May, 2021 Thursday’s announcement came after a home-based rapid antigen testing (RAT) kit by a Pune firm was given the nod epaper.morningstandard.in home test kits to be available in 3-4 days facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard Stating that the kits would be on the market in 3-4 days, ICMR director general Balram Bhargava said three more firms would soon get the approval. India has reached 16-20 lakh daily test capacity as on Thursday. It would be ramped up to 20 lakh by the month-end and scaled up to 45 lakh by July. A record 20.55 lakh tests were conducted in the past 24 hours p lan and act PM calls for innovation Urges district officials to devise dynamic strategy to counter mutating virus A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS Page 7 l New Delhi l l J8.00 Reserve Bank data show people are increasingly turning to gold and personal loans to meet basic expenditure and medical emergencies Break-up of loans across categories advance against fixed deposits CM Mamata Banerjee said none of the chief ministers were allowed to speak at the event | Bibhash lodh Mamata rages over PM’s meet with DMs, BJP gives it back E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kolkata/New Delhi launching a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for first time since she came to power for the straight third term, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described his online meeting with district magistrates (DMs) on the Covid situation on Thursday as a ‘super flop’ event that ‘humiliated’ the participant CMs as none of them was allowed to speak. The BJP swiftly gave it back, saying her behaviour was not appropriate and against team spirit. Mamata allegedly interrupted when the turn of 24 Parganas DM came during the event. The district has been reporting a high Covid caseload. “The kind of behaviour shown by her wasn’t desirable,” Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. The sharp rift surfaced at a time when the CBI has arrested three TMC MLAs, including two ministers. “None of the CMs was allowed to speak for a second. Armed with documents, we were prepared to place our demands. All the CMs were sitting like puppet. We are not bonded labourers. We, the CMs, felt humiliated and insulted. It was a casual and super flop meeting,” Mamata raged. “This was not a one-way communication. It was oneway humiliation. Is the PM so insecure that he didn’t want to listen to the CM?” she said. 24,637 This is an attempt to bulldoze the federal structure of the country. PM Modi is so insecure that he did not listen to us —Mamata Banerjee, Bengal Chief Minister 5,685 6,282 ICU with ventilators 515 Beds in care centre Beds in health centre *All figures till 9 pm (Thursday) As virus caseload falls, beds in city hospitals become available again Pa r v e z s u lta n @ New Delhi Positivity rate and daily count of Covid-19 cases in the national capital continues to decline. On Thursday, there were 3,231 fresh cases. Positivity rate dipped to 5.5 per cent. According to the Delhi government’s daily health bulletin, 233 deaths took place in the last 24 hours. This takes the city’s Covid-19 death toll to 22,579. On Wednesday, Delhi had recorded 3,846 cases and 235 fatalities. The daily tally started witnessing an alarming surge from the last week of March, which continued till the beginning of this month. Numbers spiked particularly sharply in the third week of April.With numbers dipping over the last few days, the hospitalisation rate has also decreased. As per Thursday’s bulletin, 56 per cent of beds were vacant in hospitals across the city. There were 5,685 beds in Covid care centres and 515 in Covid health centres. At 9 pm on Thursday, there were 352 ICU beds with ventilators and 1,638 without ventilators. The number of oxygen beds available in the city was 12,824. About 10 days ago, there was severe shortage of oxygen in city hospitals. As the pressure mounted on the medical infrastructure in Delhi, several patients died in Delhi Covid watch MAY 19 MAY 20 Positive cases 19,832 17,364 Recovery 19,085 20,160 Active cases 91,035 87,907 Deaths 341 332 Containment zones 50,785 51,338 Tests 79,593 74,384 Positivity rate 24.92% 23.34% the absence of medical care and oxygen.But with the situation showing signs of consistent improvement, the gap between the number of hospitalisation cases and discharge from the hospitals is also widening. On Wednesday, 731 patients were hospitalised, while 1,090 were discharged. New admissions and patients being discharged were roughly equal in the first week of April. However, the number of hospitalisations started shooting up in the second week, which led to a severe crisis of nonavailability of beds. On May 2, just two ICU beds were vacant. At one time in April, discharge rate was merely 25% of admissions.On May 14, 1,256 patients were admitted while 1,331 were discharged. The next day, new admissions reduced further to 1,052 and 1,379 patients were allowed to leave after recovery. On Sunday the number of new , admissions dipped further to 952 and the number of discharged patients was 1,079. -10.0% 5,334 Cr 4,570 Cr -14.3% 1,08,097 Cr 1,16,537 Cr 7.8% 65,744 Cr 63,805 Cr -3.0% 2,20,610 Cr 2,41,657 Cr 9.5% Loan against gold jewellery 33,303 Cr 60,464 Cr 81.6% Other Personal Loans 6,93,870 Cr 7,88,564 Cr 13.6% Total Personal Loans WITH businesses shut, jobs lost and salaries slashed, many people are emptying their household gold savings to borrow money to meet their essential expenditure as well as emerge medical requirements, show official data from the Reserve Bank of India. According to the latest RBI data, loans against gold have jumped a whopping 82% since March 2020. At the same time, consumer durables and education loans are down by 21.4% and 3%, respectively, showing how people affected by the economic stress induced by the coronavirus pandemic are prioritising their spending. The outstanding loans against gold went up from `33,303 crore in March 2020 to `60,464 crore in March this year, pushing the overall per- 25,53,649 Cr 28,13,513 Cr 10.2% Advances to Individuals against share & bonds Credit Card Outstanding Education loans Vehicle Loans Mar 2020 Mar 2021 Growth 2021 (%) voices In open letter, Prime Minister urged to provide free vaccine to urban and rural India, stop spending on Central Vista Redevelopment | P7 ex-civil servants write to pm modi Patna girl builds Medi-Robo to act as a bridge between docs & Covid patients BLACK FUNGUS NEW CONCERN, CENTRE ASKS STATES TO ACT 606 352 2,579 V acant 91 ICU beds Occ u panc y 579 Oxygen beds 2,227 1,638 6,872 T o ta l 5,234 12,824 11,813 Hospital occupancy A N URADHA SHU K LA @ New Delhi 13,37,899 Cr 14,59,066 Cr 9.1% 79,494 Cr 71,544 Cr The Centre asks states to notify mucormycosis or black fungus under the epidemic Act Black fungus has already killed 90 in Maharashtra, where 1,500 such cases have been detected; 850 are under treatment in hospitals Maharashtra tells PM it needs 1.50-2 lakh vials of Amphotericin B to treat the fungus, but has received only 16,000 from the Centre so far Six Indian firms are manufacturing Amphotericin B. Five more companies have approval to produce it Some companies have so far placed orders to import 5-6 lakh vials of the shot “You have to get the medicine from wherever in the world. You have to take steps right now,” Delhi HC tells Centre For home testing, one must buy a kit from a chemist’s, download a mobile app, register and conduct the test as per the manual. After the test, click a photo of the report, upload it to the app and get the result on your phone. This will ensure confidentiality.The results will be stored on a server linked with ICMR database | P7 Gold pledging on the rise as stress hits households Borrowing trends housing loans PAGES 12 results delivered to your phone staff in examining patients safely. She is an undergraduate student of electronics engineering from BIT Durg in Chhattisgarh. “I am deeply moved by the deaths of so many doctors while treating Covid patients. Medi-Robo has been built to act as a bridge between doctors and Covid and other patients of infectious diseases,” she said, adding the equipment cost an investment of ` 1 lakh. She put up a demonstration before Union IT and Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. She says she has applied for the patent, but wants both the state and the Central governments to allow health workers to use Medi-Robo, which enables doctors to examine the basic parameters of the patients from a safe distance along with real-time data. Medi-Robo was tested at Patna’s three private hospitals, where it showed satisfactory results. It has been equipped with basic features for facilitating transportation of medicines, food, water, oxygen and other equipment. It also has a 360-degree high-resolution night vision surveillance camera. Its special digital features include enabling a doctor and paramedic staff to measure the oxygen level, BP, body temperature, sugar level, and the condition of heart & lungs among others. R a j e s h K u m a r T h a k u r @ Patna A 22-year-old Patna-born girl, Akanksha Kumari, has built a unique medical robot to help healthcare professionals and paramedic staff in treating Covid patients and others while stationed at a safe distance. Akanksha was helped by her father Yogesh, a hockey player, in developing and designing ‘Medi-Robo’. “My father arranged the hardware while I worked on the software and other features,” she says. The two started working on the contraption during last year’s lockdown. Akanksha says Medi-Robo can help both, the healthcare professionals providing treatment to patients of highly infectious disease such as Covid-19 as well as the paramedic Akanksha says the equipment cost an investment of ` 1 lakh | Express sonal loan portfolio of financial institutions up by 10.02%. One of the main reasons for the spike in gold loan is the increase in emergency spending due to the second Covid wave, loss of income, and reluctance of banks to give insecure personal loans, forcing people to use their household gold to get money . According to bankers, the trend is likely to continue. “The surge in gold loans is likely to go up further. While demand for gold loan was already high even last year, we saw fresh demand from April onwards. One out of every three loan queries is about gold loan. In fact, low income and lack of collateral have directed many people to opt for that,” said a senior official with State Bank of India. Getting personal loans has also become tough with banks becoming more cautious about unsecured loans. So, people who have lost job and still have monthly instalment to pay are , using gold jewellery as the last resort to get further loan. “The rejection rate is going high for personal loan criteria. We have been asked to go for additional KYCs including salary slips, and asking for collaterals including stocks and other assets. The management is very careful, considering the fear of high NPA,” an executive with ICICI Bank said. The central bank had already warned that the direct fallout of the Covid will be on public spending. Data from the RBI reveals that loan for consumer durables was down 21.4% as loan outstanding was `7,307 crore in March 2021 against `9,299 crore in March 2020. Education loan outstanding was also down by `65,744 crore to `63,805 crore. CHAR DHAM YATRA ‘Why do we repeatedly cause embarassment?’ V i nee t U pa d h yay @ Dehradun Uttarakhand is causing embarrassment to its own people, an irked High Court said on Thursday questioning why the state cannot learn from its mistakes especially after the Kumbh event. “First, we make the mistake of Kumbh Mela, then there is Char Dham Yatra. Why do we repeatedly cause embarrassment to ourselves?” the bench comprising Chief Justice RS Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma remarked. The Yatra is suspended but rituals are being held without pilgrims at the shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. The chief justice said he was receiving videos of sanctum sanctorum of the shrines crowded with people. “At least, I feel embarrassed when my colleagues start calling me up and say what is happening. I have no explanation because I am not a decision maker. But I am surprised those of you who are decision maker are leaving it so carelessly as if it doesn’t bother anyone’s conscience anymore.” “Anyone is supervising (the Char Dham Yatra), or is it left to the priests? What happens if Coronavirus spreads among the priests? Even when deity is being worshiped, you can’t permit 20 priests in a small size of space such as sanctum sanctorum.” When tourism secretary Dilip Jawalkar informed that there are guidelines in place for each place of worship, the court said, “No one is following your guidelines. Please take a chopper to the Char Dham. You will find what the reality is. Please take next chopper to Kedarnath and see for yourself.” NATIONWIDE MAY 19 Vaccine status Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 20 2,67,334 2,76,110 3,89,851 3,69,077 4,529 3,874 21,07,31,130 vaccine doses provided to states/UTs so far. Of this, the total consumption, including wastages is 19,09,60,575 doses Will add 20 cr Covaxin doses annually: Firm Bharat Biotech announced its plan to rope in wholly-owned subsidiary Chiron Behring to ramp up the production of Covaxin by an additional 20 crore doses per year. This will effectively take the volumes of Covaxin to nearly 1 billion doses per annum, produced at the company’s own established campuses specialised for manufacturing inactivated viral vaccines under the highest levels of biosafety, claimed the firm. As of now, Bharat Biotech is manufacturing about 1.5 crore doses of Covaxin per month that is likely to touch 4-5 crore doses by July | P7 GRIT & DETERMINATION 83-year-old Chennai man with comorbidities beats Covid S V KRISHNA CHAITANYA @ Chennai WHEN 83-year-old T D Nandagopal, a resident Chennai suburb Kattupakkam, contracted coronavirus in February, his family was deeply worried. For, infected patients in his age group had little chance of survival. To boot, the octogenarian had comorbidities such as hypertension and diabetes. He had also undergone a heart surgery a few years ago, making him a high-risk patient. However, Nandagopal battled it out and returned to his normal lifestyle. “I had all the typical Covid symptoms. I lost appetite and had severe cough, tiredness, and body pain. I immediately got tested and found to be Covid positive. I did not panic. I was lucky to get a bed at King’s Institute, the best in class for Covid treatment in Chennai,” he told TNIE. Nandagopal recovered fully after 10 days of hospitalisation. A former employee of Food Corporation of India, he says more than the virus, it’s the panic that is claiming lives. The hospitalisation days were not easy, though. “I could see patients in my adjacent beds panicking and even succumbing to the disease. One patient from Andhra, with whom I used to regularly interact, died. But I still did not lose Think +ve Nandagopal was given 8-10 injections a day. “The doctors and nurses were supportive and advised me to think positive. I did basic exercises like walking and meditated a bit to keep myself calm,” he said hope,” he said. He took medication and food properly and was discharged within days. The steady support of his family also helped him. “My sons, daughters and grandchildren made video calls daily, which helped beat the feeling of loneliness,” he added. Averring that coronavirus can be beaten, Nandagopal said, “I keep telling my family and friends to take adequate precaution and not to panic, if infected.”
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.