WEDNESDAY DAILY COVID CASES GO BELOW 2 LAKH, LOWEST IN A MONTH 26 Single-day rise fell to the lowest level in 41 days on Tuesday, says Centre | P7 MAY, 2021 50,00,000 40,00,000 facebook.com/TheMorningStandard (1 March 2021 - 24 May 2021) INDIA’S DAILY CASES epaper.morningstandard.in twitter.com/TheMornStandard 30,00,000 NEW IT RULES FACEBOOK SEEKS MORE TIME 20,00,000 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 8 Date May 16 May 17 May 18 May 19 May 20 May 21 May 22 May 23 May 24 May 25 Covid cases 6,456 4,524 4,482 3,846 3,231 3,009 2,260 1,649 1,550 1,568 Positivity rate 1.40% 8.42% 6.89% 5.78% 5.50% 4.76% 3.58% 2.42% 2.52% 2.14% Deaths 262 340 265 235 233 252 182 189 207 156 Patients in home isolation 39,211 35,141 31,197 27, 112 23,851 20,673 18,060 15,844 13, 806 11,915 NOTE: On April 7, the number of people in home quarantine breached the 10K mark for the first time this pandemic. Above 50K in April end and May initial weeks. 70% dip in isolation cases in last 10 days E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THERE is a nearly 70 per cent drop in the number of people under home isolation in the last 10 days in Delhi where positivity rate and daily cases of Covid are also falling. According to the health bulletin released on Tuesday, 11, 915 people are recuperating in home quarantine. The tally is somewhat close to the number of home isolation patients (10,048) registered 50 days ago on April 7. Nine days back on May 16, over 39,000 people were in home quarantine. Like the fresh cases and the toll began to shoot up the first week of April, the number of home isolation patients also started to rise. The count spiked swiftly especially during the second and third week of April. This is the time when a severe oxygen crisis left relatives and friends of patients scurrying for the life-saving gas. On April 30, Delhi had a record number of patients –51, 616—getting treatment at home. The toll and positivity rate also remained on the higher side. The daily Covid count at 27,047 was also the highest this day and the positivity rate was 32.69 per cent. When the positivity rate peaked at 36.24 per cent on April 22, the number of fresh cases was 26,169 with 306 fatalities and 46, 585 under isolation. On May 3, 448 people succumbed to Covid, the highest since the pandemic broke out in March last year. While the positivity rate was 29.56 percent, 18, 043 fresh cases were reported and over 50,000 people were in home quarantine. For some weeks after April 30, the home isolation number kept hovering around 50,000mark and turnaround started on May 11. Since then, the numbers of such patients are falling gradually in the city . NEW DELHI J8.00 S E S A S E N @ New Delhi WITH the pandemic still raging and no end in sight for the common man’s economic distress, banks are bracing for an era of retail loan defaults. Retail loans, which dominated the Covid restructuring of most private banks in 2020-21, are likely to see higher delinquencies as borrowers are busy fighting the impact of the second wave of infec- For the first time in tions, Sashidhar Jagdishan, CEO and MD so many years, we of HDFC Bank, said on Tuesday . probably may not Borrowers who had to avail cover un- have a grip on what der regulatory dispensations like mora- is going to happen. torium and restructuring after the first We should see asset quality come back Covid wave are more likely to default, the to what we saw in CEO said, implying that the lender will the March quarter be “cautious” in these extraordinary in a couple of times. HDFC Bank already saw an uptick quarters’ time in cheque bounce rates in April. Sashidhar Jagdishan, Talking to investors in a call hosted by Macquarie Research, Jagdishan said that CEO & MD, HDFC Bank the second Covid wave hitting the rural areas will have an impact on both business momentum and recovery . As on March 31, the bank restructured total loans worth `6,508.37 crore comprising 3.36 lakh accounts under the Reserve Bank’s one-time scheme. Of this, 2.87 lakh accounts were for retail loans amounting to `5,456 crore or 92.5 per cent. Corporate borrowers have largely stayed away from restructuring their dues. The trend is similar for other private banks, too. Total restructuring by Axis Bank amounted to `844.6 crore, of which retail loans accounted for `503.71 crore as on March 31. Similarly Kotak Mahindra Bank restructured loans worth `121.5 , crore, of which `82.38 crore consisted of retail loans. ICICI Bank and Yes Bank were outliers that saw more corporate loan recast. INDIANS have salted away a neat `1 lakh crore in bank deposits in just three fortnights of the current fiscal (FY22). Interest rates are literally nailed to the floorboards, so the big money flowing into banks, experts caution, could be a sign of rising household stress. It’s an unusual increase for the months of April and May and with lockdowns in , force, some believe it’s a sign of precautionary savings, compounded by the need to hold disposable cash to counter health and economic uncertainties. Typically, bank deposits and credit offtake decline in April and May. But, FY21 bucked the trend with deposits rising by a staggering `2.8 lakh crore in the first three fortnights. Now, FY22 is a torchbearer, with customers saving much more this fiscal, but whether this will have a sig- PAGE 8 E X P R ESS N E WS S E RV I C E @ New Delhi Two persons were electrocuted and around 80 houses partly damaged after a storm hit Hooghly, North 24 Parganas. The injured were taken to hospital. PHASE 3 clinical trials in nearly 2,400 people in India have begun to test the efficacy of experimental antiviral drug Molnupiravir against Covid-19, following regulatory approvals by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO). This drug, developed by Merck originally, is an oral broad spectrum antiviral agent that has shown promise in treating mild and moderate Covid cases in early-stage tri- FOR Chandana Bauri, BJP’s MLA in Saltora, West Bengal, defeating the TMC candidate in the recent Assembly elections was easier than bowing to her party’s decision to provide all BJP Bengal legislators with central force personnel security cover. Chandana, the wife of a daily wage earner, found it impossible to offer the four central groceries using their own money and giving it to the MLA for arranging meals for them and her family as well. Chandana bagged victory from Saltora defeating her contender, a TMC veteran in the area, by 4,145 votes. “My husband is a mason. Our daily average earning is `400. Because of lockdown, the source of income has dried up. My husband and I are MGNREGA card holders,” she said. (H crore) Credits (H crore) FY18 FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22 -1,75,73 -83,297 -56,379 2,82,876 1,03,334 -2,50,525 -1,04,780 -1,46,966 -1,19,028 -80,025 1st fortnight 2nd fortnight 3rd fortnight 1,01,357 -80,579 82,555 -60,333 -28,783 9,091 Source: RBI, SBI Research nificant salutary impact on consumption spending is unclear. As an OECD paper underscored last December, lockdowns in several countries strengthened motives for precautionary saving among households, discouraging investment and purchases of durable goods. CONTINUED ON: P10 1 May 24 May NARADA SCAM CBI withdraws appeal in SC on house arrest EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE CBI on Tuesday withdrew its appeal against a Calcutta High Court order allowing house arrest for four persons, including three Trinamool lawmakers, instead of judicial custody after their arrest in the Narada scam. A vacation bench comprising justices Vineet Saran and B R Gavai took sharp note of the unusual five-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court formed to hear the matter. “Special bench is assigned to protect liberty This is for the . first time that a special bench was assigned to take away the liberty Justice Gavai said. ,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, flagged the intimidation by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and other top Trinamool leaders after the CBI arrested the four politicians. “Chief Minister Banerjee had gone to CBI office with her supporters and sat on a dharna; and the state law minister went with his followers to the special CBI court complex,” he said. But the bench said those incidents have to be seen separately and cannot influence the grant of bail. It, however, permitted Mehta to take back the appeal and raise all the grievances in the high court. The judges also said, “We don’t consider our judiciary to be that weak to be influenced like this. We don’t want to demoralise our courts.” Two Cong leaders get police notice in toolkit case EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi IT was not just microblogging site Twitter that was issued notice by the Delhi Police Special Cell for tagging BJP leader Sambit Patra’s tweet as manipulated media in the alleged Congress toolkit case. The police also served notices on two Congress leaders — former Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Gowda and Congress social me- dia head Rohan Gupta, it has now emerged. Both were asked to join the probe, said a senior officer, adding, “These notices were issued a week ago following a Congress complaint.” Notices to them and Twitter were sent on the same day May 22. , Rohan Gupta said, “We had filed our police complaint on May 18 but they did not register any FIR. Then we filed a complaint in Chhattisgarh and joined a case as co-applicant. als in some countries. In India, five companies have entered into voluntary licensing agreements to produce generic versions. And MSN laboratories received permission to conduct the trials. Dr Suneetha Narreddy, senior consultant, infectious diseases, at Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad, which is one of the 40 sites in India where the phase 3 trials will be held, said that the drug is showing promise. “Data from early stage trials and preliminary analysis of phase 3 trials from abroad looks very promising but we should wait till the trials are concluded here to say something definitive,” she said, adding it is being given to non-hospitalised patients with mild and moderate disease. “Final analysis will depend on how many of the patients with or without this drug in the placebo and treatment arm go on to develop severe disease or needed hospitalisation.” Why this BJP MLA can’t afford protection of central forces force jawans, who were sent for her security, daily meals and make arrangements for accommodation for them. The homemaker-tur nedMLA’s husband, who is jobless because of the lockdown, and her two children reside in a dilapidated single-room hut with tiled-roof without running water or even a toilet. Touched by their protectee’s plight, the jawans have started buying vegetables from local Deposits India’s GDP is likely to grow at 1.3% in the fourth quarter of FY21 and may see a contraction of around 7.3% for the full financial year, according to SBI research report ‘Ecowrap’. The NSO will release the GDP estimates on May 3 SECURITY COVER P R O N A B M O N DA L @ Kolkata THE BIG CHANGE GDP TO GROW AT 1.3% IN MARCH: SBI REPORT Phase III clinical trial of antiviral drug begins in 40 sites across India The NDRF has earmarked its highest-ever number of teams for deployment in Odisha and Bengal to undertake relief and rescue operations. 1 Apr EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE The 1985-batch IPS officer of Maharashtra cadre is currently serving as the chief of CISF. His name was cleared by a panel comprising PM, CJI and Leader of the Opposition Over three lakh people have been evacuated from the low-lying and vulnerable areas in Odisha. CM Naveen Patnaik took stock of the cyclone situation 1 Mar HDFC Bank flags likely In the face of uncertainty, people are saving every defaults in retail loan penny for a rainy day repayment by individuals SUBODH KUMAR JAISWAL IS NEW DIRECTOR The axle of a train being chained at the Shalimar Station in Howrah to save them from cyclone Yaas, on Tuesday | BIBHASH LODH 0 PAGES 12 Sizing up economy stress CBI CHAINED TO TRACK Source: mygov.in 10,00,000 Twitter makes no statement even as the rules come into effect from May 26 BJP MLA Chandana Bauri along with the central forces sent for her security by the party, in front of her dilapidated hut in Saltora, West Bengal We have written to the Delhi Police seeking transfer of the case to Chhattisgarh.” The Congress on Tuesday pushed ahead further, demanded that Twitter add the manipulated media tag to tweets by 11 Union ministers like like Giriaj Singh, Piyush Goyal, Smriti Irani, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Dhar mendra Pradhan and Ramesh Nishank, for spreading malicious propaganda in the fake toolkit case. Facebook on compliance New Delhi: Amid speculation on the fate of social media firms for failing to align with India’s IT rules, Facebook said it needs more engagement with the Centre. Twitter declined comment BJP plays victim card New Delhi: After exploiting social media to spread its base, the BJP is now playing the victim card, blaming the platforms of bias | P7 KASHMIR VALLEY Biz community comes out to help daily wage earners was imposed and the lockdown was again imposed in March WITH the Kashmir Valley un- last year after the outbreak of der third consecutive lockdown pandemic. in as many years, the business “Locals including drivers, community has launched an conductors, shikarawalas, artiinitiative to reach out and help sans, weavers, daily wagers, lathe needy and vulnerable fami- bourers, footpath vendors, polies in times of distress. nywalas are affected by the “We at Kashmir Chamber lockdown. The lockdown has and Commerce felt hit their livelihood,” that individual efNasir said. forts were not enough Ration kits with esto meet the unprecesentials including edd e n t e d ch a l l e n g e ible oil, food items, Locals including posed by the pandem- drivers, conductors, rice, flour, spices, shikarawalas, ic. These are difficult pulses, soaps and artisans, weavers, times and demand masks will take care daily wagers, pooling of resources. of a month’s needs. labourers, footpath We joined hands and vendors, ponywalas “We launched the inilaunched the You Are tiative Monday and are affected by the Not Alone initiative prepared 500 food lockdown. The to help the vulnerable kits. Besides ration lockdown has hit their livelihood families. This initiakits, we will also be tive will give them a providing other esNasir Khan, message that they are sential items.” YANA chief coordinator not alone,” businessIn the second phase, man Nasir Hamid Nasir said, the plan is Khan, the chief coordinator of to provide clothes, books, stathe YANA, told this newspaper. tionery, toys and furniture to “We have to rise as a society to the beneficiaries. help those who have been hit by The YANA chief coordinator the lockdown.” urged people and traders across The Valley is under Covid the Valley to contribute to the lockdown for over a month. Af- cause. “Their contribution will ter scrapping of Article 370 in ensure that nobody sleeps hunAugust 2019, strict lockdown gry in the Valley .” F AYA Z W A N I @ Srinagar
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