NEW DELHI 30 MAY 2021 SUNDAY `12 PAGES 24 facebook/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard https://epaper.morningstandard.in The Mind Master on Call Showing the Gates PLUS: 12 PAGES MAGAZINE Prabhu Chawla T J S George Shankkar Aiyar Ravi Shankar Parting Shovt Not a Flash in the Pan EXCLUSIVE VOICES A Man for All Seasons Sheila Kumar Rajat Chaudhuri Kiran Nadar Anuja Chandramouli Your Home is Your Sanctuary AMMA SPEAKS Destination Tollywood Attain the Maturity of Mind Poll defeat hurting, PM playing dirty: Didi ICMR rolls out Bengal CM says she is ready touch PM Modi’s feet if told to do so for the sake of state’s growth and development E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Kolkata THE Prime Minister should not play a ‘dirty game’ and instead withdraw the letter directing to Bengal’s top bureaucrat to report to Delhi, West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee asserted on Saturday . Not one to cower under attack, the CM added that the BJP failed to digest its defeat in the recent elections and the saffron camp is now pursuing ‘vendetta politics’. Mamata claimed that PM Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah were trying to create problems for her government at every step ever since her party came to power for the straight third term. Chief secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay was served the transfer notice after Mamata, whom he had accompanied, skipped a review meeting with the PM to assess Cyclone Yaas’ damages. “You (Modi and Shah) are not only disturbing me, but also my secretariat. You issued the letter without consulting the state government. Earlier, I wrote seeking Bandopadhyay’s three-month extension as he is assigned to oversee the fight against Covid and the gover nment’s relief operation for cyclone victims. He was scheduled to retire on May 31 and the request was approved. Now you are asking him to report to the DoPT on the same day Why? Is it because he is a Bengali bu. reaucrat?’’ asked Mamata. Many saw her statement as an extension of her poll ploy of appealing to the Bengali sentiment of the masses. Continuing the same narrative, Mamata said she was ready touch Modi’s feet if told to do for the sake of Bengal’s growth and development. “You are doing all these because you cannot digest BJP’s defeat in Bengal. What is the fault of the chief secretary? … Recalling him reflects how the Centre is indulging in political vendetta.’’ Responding to the BJP’s attack for not attending the review meeting, Mamata said, “I decided to attend the meet as I thought it would be between us. But later, I got to know about the revised event in which BJP leaders was invited. Then I decided to skip it.’’ You are doing these because you cannot digest BJP’s defeat in Bengal… Recalling the chief secretary reflects how the Centre is indulging in political vendetta. I would like to request the Prime Minister to withdraw the letter S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi You (Narendra Modi and Amit Shah) are not only disturbing me, but also my secretariat. You issued the letter without consulting the state government MAMATA BANERJEE, West Bengal Chief Minister West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee takes stock of damages due to cyclone Yaas in Digha | PTI AMPHAN LESSONS LEARNT: BENGAL TO PLUG CYCLONE RELIEF LEAKAGE Compensation amount A compensation of `20,000 per household will be paid to those whose house was completely destroyed in the cyclone. For partial damage, `5,000 will be paid per household. For crop loss, it has been fixed from `1,000 to 2,500, but can be increased depending on the extent of the damage P R A N A B M O N DA L @ Kolkata STUNG by criticism over alleged corruption in cyclone Amphan relief distribution last year, the West Bengal government has decided to distribute compensation for cyclone Yaas victims bypassing the leaders of civic bodies. CM Mamata Banerjee has made it clear that separate task forces, set up at the state, district, sub-divisional and block levels, will work under the direct supervision of the chief secretary and for managing cyclone Yaas relief operations. “The government’s own machinery will be engaged to en- Less than 1,000 fresh Covid-19 cases in Delhi after more than two months CM Arvind Kejriwal visits a drive-through vaccination centre at Chhatrasal Stadium on Saturday | SHEKHAR YADAV DELHI COVID WATCH MAY 28 MAY 29 Positive cases 1,141 956 Recovery 2,799 2,380 Active cases 14,581 13,035 Deaths 139 122 Containment zones 22,701 20,805 Tests 71,853 80,473 Positivity rate 1.59% 1.19% N E W D E L H I : With the city about to be unlocked in a day, the tally of daily Covid cases fell below the 1,000-mark on Saturday for the first time during , the second wave which began around nine weeks ago. The city recorded 956 fresh Covid cases and the positivity rate stood at 1.19 per cent. However, the number of deaths is still a matter of concern as 122 people succumbed to the viral infection in the last 24 hours. This is the fourth consecutive day when the daily cases count fell below 1,500-mark. While 7,111 patients were recuperating in home isolation on Friday, the number came down to 6,303 on Saturday . On March 23, the daily number of Covid cases had breached 1,000-mark after a long gap. Delhi witnessed 1,101 cases on that day, which was the highest since December 24 last year. Thereafter, the tally and positivity rate began to rise gradually and the city witnessed spurt in cases in the second week of April and the situation deteriorated further. CM Arvind Kejriwal had imposed a strict lockdown on April 19. On April 30, as many as 27, 047 new cases were registered which was the highest daily tally since the pandemic broke out in March last year. The positivity rate of 36.24 per cent was highest when 26, 169 cases were logged on April 22. The hospitalisation rate has also decreased. At 8 pm on Saturday a total of 23,027 beds re, served for Covid patients in hospitals were vacant including 19, 230 beds with oxygen facility . ENS sure compensation for those who deserve. No party worker or local leaders will be engaged in the process of identifying cyclone victims,’’ Banerjee said. In the run-up to the Assembly elections earlier this year, the BJP had accused several TMC functionaries of forcing cyclone Amphan victims to pay “cut-money” and siphoning off money sent by the Centre for cyclone Amphan relief. “The CM had expressed her displeasure over the issue of post-Amphan ‘corruption’, which surfaced during an inquiry In many cases, members . of gram panchayats or panchayat samities or their relatives were found siphoning off compensation money,’’ an official in the state secretariat said. The government has now engaged six nodal departments — agriculture, disaster management, animal resources development, horticulture, fisheries and MSME — to identify beneficiaries of cyclone Yaas. It has also decided to set up camps from June 3 to 18 under ‘Duare Tran’. “The camps will be held in the affected areas and victims can apply for compensation. The applications will be verified between June 19 and 30, and compensation credited to bank accounts from July 1 to 8,’’ said the official. RACE AGAINST CHALLENGES Despite losing an arm and leg, a exarmy man is carving out a space for himself in field of car rallies and creating world records | P5 EXPRESS READ PM-Cares for Children to take care of Covid orphans The Centre on Saturday decided that children who have lost both parents or surviving parent or legal guardian/ adoptive parents due to Covid-19 will be supported under “PM-Cares for Children” scheme, which will take care of their educational needs, including higher education. ‘PM Cares’ will contribute through a specially designed plan to create a corpus of `10 lakh for each child when he or she reaches 18 years of age. | P7 SHARING HIS DREAM Indian Army widow quits cushy job, dons olive green V I N E E T U PA D H YAY @ Dehradun “I love you Vibhu!” said Lieutenant Nitika Kaul, wife of martyr Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhaundiyal, after a ceremony at the Officers Training Academy in Chennai. Chief of the Army’s Northern Command Lt Gen YK Joshi placed stars on Kaul’s shoulders Saturday . “He will always be a part of my life. I feel he is around looking at me, wishing me luck for having made it to the Army,” says Lt Kaul. The couple was married in April 2018 and Maj Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal was due to return home in April 2019 to celebrate his first marriage anniversary On Feb. ruary 14, 2019, Major Dhoundiyal was among four soldiers who laid their life fighting terrorists in Pulwama. He was awarded Shaurya Chakra (posthumously) for his sacrifice for the nation. Lt Kaul has worked as a business analyst for nearly three years but left the job to join the Indian Army. She cleared the Services Selection Board in February 2020 and received her letter in March 2020. “The day I stepped inside the academy, I imagined he too must have traversed the same path,” said study to check vax effectiveness Kaul. “My journey has just started… I would like to thank everyone who has kept their faith in me -- my mother-in-law, my mother, family and others.” Tears rolled down the face of Saroj Dhuandiyal, mother of Major Dhaundiyal, as her daughter-in-law told her about the ceremony Vaishnavi, Niti. ka’s sister-in-law, said, “Nitika picked herself quickly and decided to follow in Vibhuti’s footsteps. We are more than happy today”. The families of the officers were not allowed to attend the ceremony due to the Covid pandemic. ‘Don’t give up’ To women who aspire to achieve their goals in life, Kaul said: “Keep faith in yourself. There is absolutely nothing that can stop you from achieving what you have aimed at... Don’t give up. Stand up again.” Lieutenant Nitika Kaul after passing out from the OTA in Chennai on Saturday | EXPRESS THE Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has started a crucial project to measure the real-world effectiveness of Covishield and Covaxin, authorities told this newspaper. The exercise, which started earlier this week, assumes significance amid concerns that the vaccines may not be offering complete protection from hospitalisations, severe disease, and deaths, contrary to the results claimed in the clinical trials. Many people with both doses of Covishield and Covaxin have landed up in hospitals after contracting the virus, and few have even died as per anecdotal reports but there is no concrete official data on such people so far. There have also been concerns that these vaccines may be less effective against the 1.6.17 variant of SARS-CoV-2, the strain that has been driving the second wave of the pandemic in India. The exercise led by the Chennai-based National Institute of Epidemiology (NIE), under the ICMR, is using a case-control protocol of tracking about 4,000 people at 11 sites across 10 cities in India. Tarun Bhatnagar, a scientist with the NIE and also the principal investigator for the study , said while clinical trials give the efficacy data on whether vaccines will work, effective- ness study will gauge whether vaccines are working in realworld settings in preventing serious Covid. “This study is also crucial to deter mine whether the effect of vaccines is influenced by other factors such as age, prior Covid, number of doses and variants among others,” he said. The sites where the study will be carried out include AIIMS in Delhi, Jodhpur, Rishikesh and Bhubaneswar, Hamdard in Delhi, SMIMER in Surat, Government Medical College in Nagpur, JSS Medical College in Mysore, JIPMER in Puducherry and SRM Medical College in Chennai. Besides the study the vacci, nation status of nearly 1,300 severe Covid patients admitted in hospitals will be compared with that of around 2,600 persons who are found Covid negative in tests. “If the vaccines are effective, the proportion of the unvaccinated should be much higher among the 1,300 than among the 2,600,” said an ICMR official. The study is expected to yield an actual number for effectiveness in percentage terms and the results are expected within the next 2-3 months —ICMR official
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