MONDAY NEARLY 12 CRORE DOSES WILL BE AVAILABLE IN JUNE: GOVT 31 Of the total, 6.09 crore doses would be allocated to states for free, while 5.86 crore could be directly procured by them MAY, 2021 RAMPING UP VACCINE PRODUCTION epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard BENGAL POLITICS BJP UNIT QUIET ON BABU’S TRANSFER High command passed the diktat for shielding state unit from controversy, say sources A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 8 NEW DELHI ON COVID, NOTHING ASPIRATIONAL ABOUT DISTS CLASSIFIED AS SUCH M A N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi WITH greater focus on health, nutrition and education among others, 117 districts labeled aspirational in 2018 were supposed to set the benchmark for other districts “by competing with and learning from others”. Conventional wisdom dictated that these aspirational districts would have weathered the Covid-19 storm better than others, but a data analysis shows they have performed as poorly, if not worse, than any other in the country during the pandemic. Take for instance Virudhunagar and Ramanathpuram in Tamil Nadu, ranked first and second by Niti Aayog, the institution that is driving the programme. Virudhunagar accounted for 388 deaths whereas 18 other districts in the state saw fewer deaths. YSR Kadappa, with health UDDHAV ‘Covid still at first wave peak, curbs to stay’ E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Mumbai THE second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is not over yet, and active cases are still close to the first wave’s peak, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Sunday announcing the current lockdown-like restrictions in the state would be extended by 15 days with some relaxations. Maharashtra reported 18,600 new cases on Sunday its lowest , one-day count since mid-March this year, even as its active cases stood at 2,71,801. Lapses during the first wave of the pandemic last year and a hurried decision of reopening everything cost us the lives of the many people during the second wave, Thackeray said. “Every life is important. Therefore, people threatening to protest if the restrictions are not eased out should understand the gravity of the situation. It is true that the lockdown is not the solution and businesses should operate, but they cannot afford to do this at this moment,” the CM said. DIVIDE RAJE’S ENTRY LEADS TO FACTIONALISM The Rajasthan ex-chief minister’s show of strength during Corona has no signs of her party, the BJP | P8 rank seven, reported 542 deaths in Andhra Pradesh. Nandurbar in Maharashtra was ranked 95 among the aspirational districts. It reported 818 Covid deaths. Osmanabad, also in Maharashtra, saw 1,320 deaths. The district is ranked 20th. Their poor show is perhaps why on the seventh anniversary of the NDA at the Centre, two of the big slogans, aspirational districts and New India, are missing from the celebrations’ lexicon. Launched by Modi in January 2018, the drive was in line with the “New India vision by NATIONWIDE MAY 29 MAY 30 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 1,73,790 1,65,553 2,84,601 2,76,309 3,617 3,460 May 29 28,09,436 doses May 30 30,35,749 doses TOTAL DOSES: 21,20,66,614 JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT 2022.” Health was listed as the first in a number of priority areas for the programme. “Health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development, and basic infrastructure are this programme’s core area of focus,” says Niti Aayog in its website. Mandarins in the government and the think-tank had made such tall claims about these districts that there was a clamour among MPs for inclusion of their constituencies in the list. The largest concentration of aspirational districts is in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh as the Centre had included a number of “left wing extremism” affected districts to showcase developmental approach against the Maoist violence. Gaya, an LWE-affected district in Bihar, reported 185 Covid deaths whereas there were 20 districts in the state J8.00 PAGES 12 H O W T H E Y FA R E Health Total Recovered Dead rank cases Virudhunagar (Tamil Nadu) 1 36,400 27,825 388 Ramnathpuram (Tamil Nadu) 2 16,179 12,681 211 YSR Kadappa (Andhra Pradesh) 7 93,709 88,112 542 Raichur (Karnataka) 11 37,521 31,943 264 Kanker (Chhattisgarh) 13 22,652 21,470 205 Banka (Bihar) 77 7,277 7,079 84 Begusarai (Bihar) 48 26,454 24609 125 Gaya (Bihar) 80 33,539 32,699 185 Bahraich (Uttar Pradesh) 89 11,267 10,644 170 Balrampur (Uttar Pradesh) 87 7,349 6,925 129 Siddharthnagar (Uttar Pradesh) 88 9,100 8,534 93 Osmanabad (Maharashtra) 20 57,060 51,712 1,320 Nandurbar (Maharashtra) 95 38,721 36,991 818 Rajgarh (Madhya Pradesh) 15 8,495 7,958 114 Damoh (Madhya Pradesh) 19 7,956 6,970 155 Ranchi (Jharkhand) 32 84,374 79,948 1,539 East Singhbhum (Jharkhand) 27 49,149 47,422 997 (Data as on May 29, 2021, taken from www.covid19india.org) Aspirational districts with fewer casualties. Among the non-LWE aspirational district in Bihar, Begusarai reported 125 deaths due to pand e m i c. T h e a s p i r a t i o n a l district tale is no different in UP, where Bahraich, Balrampur and Siddharnthnagar are reporting high deaths. In Jharkhand, with 19 aspirational districts, the pro- gramme made no difference in mitigating the hardships of the people as Ranchi and East Singhbhum are reporting huge Covid death figures. Ironically, the Aayog gives 30% weightage to health and nutrition while ranking the aspirational districts. It also lists big corporate names as partners for the programme. No challenge too big, India will win: Modi EXPRESS N E WS S E RVI CE @ New Delhi WITH his monthly Mann ki baat coinciding with the seventh anniversary of his party’s ule at the Centre, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted India will always emerge the winner. He said it in the context of the pandemic and natural disasters, including cyclones Tauktae and Yaas. “However big the challenge be, India’s victory resolve, her vijay sankalp, has always been equal in magnitude. Her collective strength and our spirit of service has always rescued the country from the midst of every storm,” he said. Modi said in the last seven years, the country has followed the mantra of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, adding there were many moments of national pride during his government’s tenure. Claiming that in seven decades after Independence, only OPPOSITION IS UNDER QUARANTINE: NADDA New Delhi: BJP president J P Nadda said on Sunday his party workers were standing with the people during the pandemic unlike the Opposition, which has gone into “quarantine” and working to lower the morale of the country. Nadda made the comment on the seventh anniversary of Modi government. Slum dwellers at an event marking seven years of Modi government in Bhopal | PTI 3.5 crore rural homes had water connections, he said 4.5 crore houses have been given clean water connections in the last 21 months alone. And 15 of the 21 months were during the Corona phase. Referring to the Covid challenge during the ongoing second wave, Modi said oxygen production has been ramped up in a big way “In the normal . course, we were producing 900 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen in a day Today the . , production has gone up to 9,500 metric tonnes a day he said. ,” Modi praised people of the coastal states affected by the two cyclones that recently hit India, saying they showed courage, patience and discipline. “In the past 10 days, the country faced two major cyclones — Cyclone Taukte on the west coast and cyclone Yaas on the east coast. Both these cyclones affected a number of States. Under these trying and extraordinary calamitous circumstances, people of all these cyclone affected States have displayed courage.” The PM highlighted the efforts of the frontline workers including armed forces in making sure supplies reached the far corners. “This fight is so big that our country is working through all three routes — water, land, sky — (Navy, Army and Air Force).” Bharat Biotech, too, is ramping up production of Covaxin. Its tie-up with the Gujarat Covid Vaccine Consortium will raise its capacity to 10 crore doses by September from one crore in April. Of the nearly 21 crore doses administered so far, around 18.5 crore were Covishield, while Covaxin’s share has been around 3 crore STATES TO GET FREE VAX SUPPLY SCHEDULE The Centre said it would share the delivery schedule for the free doses in advance to ensure cohesion and better planning. The announcement came on a day when the Serum Institute wrote to the home ministry, assuring to supply 9-10 crore doses in June, a steep rise considering the company had in May said it would reach the 10-crore mark only by August/September Window of credit guarantee opens for hospitals & aviation sector EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi IN what could be termed as the unveiling of a fresh round of its economic relief package, the government on Sunday expanded the scope of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) to more sectors disrupted by the second wave of the pandemic. It will now cover medical colleges, hospitals, nursing homes and the aviation sector. The ministry of finance also extended the validity of the scheme from June 30 to September 30, or till guarantees for an amount of `3 lakh crore has been issued. Disbursement under the scheme is permitted up to December 31, 2021. The scheme announced in May 2020 aimed at giving up to `3 lakh crore unsecured loans to MSME and other sectors severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The government provides guarantee against loans disbursed under the scheme. Earlier, the scheme covered MSMEs, hospitality, travel and tourism, leisure and sporting sectors, and 26 stressed sectors identified by the K V Kamath Committee. The government has now allowed hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and medical colleges to avail loan up to `2 crore for setting up of on-site oxygen plants under ECLGS 4.0. The loan would be 100% guaranteed by the government. The interest rate on such loans has been capped at 7.5%. The tenure of working capital loans provided to MSMEs under ECLGS 1.0 has been extended from four years to five years. Earlier, a moratorium of one year was given on principal repayment. Now it has been extended by a year. So MSMEs, Three-fold jump in Covid cases in Assam’s tea gardens, toll up as well E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Kolkata THE second wave of coronavirus pandemic is spreading like a wildfire in the tea gardens of Assam after a whopping 300 per cent surge in cases was reportedamong workers in a span of 10 days. As many as 370 tea estates in the north-eastern state have recorded a total of 6,146 cases as on May 28 while the figure was just 1,851 in 220 estates till May 19. The death toll, too, has spiked from 14 as on May 19 to 43 on May 28. Meanwhile, poor vaccination coverage among workers in the more than 800 tea gardens is posing another chal- lenge to the state government. Assam has over six lakh tea garden workers. While 44,000 of them have received the first dose of, only around 3,000 have got their second dose. Dhiraj Goala, president of the Assam Tea Tribe Students Association, said the livelihood of around 25 lakh people are directly or indirectly connected with the agro-industry. “Complete vaccination of tea garden community can possibly check the spread of infection and the government needs to prioritise this,” he said. The state government has formed Covid management committees in every tea garden to monitor the situation closely. The lodging facilities of infected workers have been designated as containment zone and the patients are being treated at Covid care centres set up in the estates. However, only 271 tea gardens have such facilities, according to the records with the state health department. “The tea tribe community with their poor daily wages, lack of education and poor sanitary conditions are extremely vulnerable to the infection,’’ said an official of the state health department. Tea industry is integral to Assam as the state as it provides employment a large chunk of the population. which have availed loans under the scheme can now pay only the interest amount in the first two years and the rest of the interest and principal in the next three years. Those MSMEs covered under ECLGS 1.0 can now avail additional loan up to 10% of the outstanding amount as on February 29, 2020. Earlier, they could avail loan up to 20% of their debt outstanding as on February 29, 2020. The existing limit of `500 crore debt outstanding under ECLGS 3.0, which is for businesses from hospitality, travel and tourism, leisure and sporting sectors, has been removed. Social security net for next of kin of workers succumbing to Covid New Delhi: All dependent family members of insured persons under the ESIC who succumb to Covid, will be entitled to receive the same level of benefits as is given for death due to employment injury, the labour ministry said | P7 However, the additional loan that can be availed has been limited to 40% (of debt outstanding) or `200 crore, whichever is lower. Aviation has been included in the list of eligible sectors under ECLGS 3.0. Under ECLGS 2.0, 26 distressed sectors were eligible for a maximum of 20% of the debt outstanding as on February 29, 2020. Meanwhile, Indian Banking Association Chief Executive Officer Sunil Mehta said so far `2.55 lakh crore has been sanctioned under the ECLGS scheme, of which `2.4 lakh crore has been disbursed. DELHI COVID WATCH MAY 29 MAY 30 Positive cases 956 946 Recovery 2,380 1,803 Active cases 13,035 12,100 Deaths 122 78 Containment zones 20,805 20,241 Tests 80,473 75,440 Positivity rate 1.19% 1.25% EXPRESS READ Two men dump Covid patient’s body in UP river NOT COWED DOWN Pinjra Tody activist Natasha Narwal reaches Tihar Jail on Sunday after the end of her three-week bail granted after her father’s death | PIC COURTESY: PINJRA TOD Lucknow: After disturbing visuals of unidentified bodies floating in the Ganga river, a video went viral in which two men are seen dumping the body of a Covid patient into the Rapti river in Uttar Pradesh’s Balrampur district. The 26-second clip, which appears to be filmed from a vehicle, shows the two men, one of them wearing PPE suit | P7 HELPING HAND Young animal lover in Ranchi ensures it’s not a dog’s life M U K E S H R A N J A N @ Ranchi Archie’s compassion for stray dogs goes beyong feeding them | EXPRESS ARCHIE Sen is like a godsend to the stray dogs in Ranchi’s Morhabadi Ground. At a time when the focus is on pandemichit people, Archie is among the few who take care of the lesser mortals out on the roads. What started as a hobby with only two-three dogs of her locality it gradually grew daily to , a point where she is now feeding more than 200 street dogs every day The civil service as. pirant ensures that the mongrels not only remain well-fed but also arranges vaccination and deworming for them. Archie is helped by her father Sanjeet Kumar Sen, a retired mechanical engineer, who supports her whole heartedly .. The 25-year-old animal lover has also put more than 50 water pots at different locations and put reflective collar belts on more than 150 dogs to ensure their safety. “As most of the street dogs depend on leftovers of street food vendors in markets, I started wondering on how they would be managing during the lockdown. Then, I went to Morhabadi Ground with four packets of biscuits which got finished within minutes. The next day I went with , more biscuits which also got finished as their number grew.” Dog-food was tried but its costs made her think of reaching out to the people for help, she says A social media page ‘Street Dogs of Ranchi’ soon followed. “Animal lovers came forward to help and this enables us to feed more than 200 street dogs every As everyone talks against animal care and cruelty, but a very few actually do something, I appeal everyone to come forward and feed at least one community animal everyday — Archie Sen, animal lover day,” says Archie. Help comes in many forms like dog-food, vaccines, multi-vitamins, collar belts among others. Each of the strays are given food as per their requirement. “I also carry special diet separately for the elderly pregnant, , lactating and ailing dogs which require special treatment with medicines,” says Archie. Vaccination and sterilisation are done with the help of Ranchi Municipal Corporation.
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