DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES SINCE 1932 CM ON PROTEST DHARNA TODAY IN KOLKATA 200 MILLION DOSES EXPECTED ECslaps24-hrcampaign banonMamata;TMCcalls itbiased,undemocratic Panel clears Sputnik, could soon be India’s 3rd shot against surge NEW DELHI, APRIL 12 AN EXPERT panel on Monday recommended emergency licensure for Sputnik V, the Russian-made vaccine against thenovelcoronavirus,TheIndian Express has learnt. This is a major development for India, which is struggling to increase supply of vaccines in its immunisation programme amidst a powerful second surge of Covid-19 infections. Once green-lighted by the country’stopdrugregulator,India can expect at least 200 million dosesof theSputnikVvaccine,as per an agreement between the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL). SputnikVwillbethethirdCovid19vaccineinIndia'sbattleagainst the virus that has infected more than 1.3 crore and killed over 1.7 lakh of its citizens. Someexpertsfeeltheapproval CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY E E X P L A I NE D PRABHA RAGHAVAN ● Dose at right time MOST COVID-19 vaccines strive to keep people from developing severe symptoms, but the companies making Covishield and Covaxin are struggling to ramp up supply. A third vaccine would be a beneficial addition, especially at a time when cases are surging and hospitals are overburdened. THE EDITORIAL PAGE LOWERING THEMASK Massive poll rallies, letting lakhs gather for a dip undermine public-health messaging in second surge PAGE 10 Panel calls out targeting of Central forces, her remarks to minorities Relatives of people who died due to Covid-19 outside the mortuary at the Maulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi on Monday. Prem Nath Pandey HC on Markaz: Can’t limit entries, no such norm at other religious places SOFI AHSAN NEW DELHI, APRIL 12 OBSERVING THAT there cannot be a fixed list of the faithful allowed to enter the Nizamuddin Markaz when no other religious place has such norms, the Delhi High Court Monday asked the Centre and Delhi Police to open Masjid Bangley Wali for prayers during Ramzan in accordance withDelhiDisasterManagement Authority (DDMA) guidelines. Justice Mukta Gupta rejected the Centre and Delhi Police’s submission that only 20 people, from a police-verified list of 200 people, be allowed to enter the premises at a time for prayers. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 At Kumbh, Covid guard slips: No thermal screening, few masks, 102 test positive LALMANI VERMA HARIDWAR, APRIL 12 TWELVE DAYS into the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar amid a Covid surge across the country, the Uttarakhand government is struggling to keep in place basic preventive measures such as effective thermal screening and `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM wearing of masks. By Monday evening, over 28 lakh devotees turned up for the second shahi snan (royal bath) in the Ganga. And according to medical department officials, over18,169devoteesweretested between 11.30 pm Sunday and 5 pm Monday — 102 were found positive. Over the last 48 hours, The Indian Express walked through an area of over 10 km — from the railway station in Haridwar, the iconic Harki Pauri and theghats. There were no arrangements for thermal screening anywhere, and no action against those not wearing masks despite a new AI-enabledCCTVsysteminplace to track them. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 14 top private hospitals in Delhi made Covid-only EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, APRIL 12 ASTHA SAXENA NEW DELHI, APRIL 12 ON A day the capital recorded a new high of 14,491 infections — and 72 deaths — the Delhi government issued an order to convert 14 top private hospitals in thecityintoCovid-onlyfacilities. A total 3,202 beds in wards and 1,135 ICU beds in these hospitals will now be dedicated entirely to the treatment of Covid19patients.Theordercomesinto effect immediately. The 14 hospitals include Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Sarita Vihar, and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, which have 553 and 527 ward beds and 165 and 148 ICU beds respectively; and Holy Family Hospital, Okhla; Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh; Fortis CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MORE REPORTS PAGE 4 Meanwhile, BJP leader: Not four, (Central forces) should have killed 8 Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on his last day in office, in New Delhi on Monday. Praveen Khanna been curtailed by a day. On April 10, following the violence in NEW DELHI, APRIL 12 Sitalkuchi in Cooch Beharwhere four personswere killedin firing THEELECTIONCommission(EC) byCISFpersonnel,theEChadexMonday imposed a 24-hour tended the ‘silent period’ from campaigning ban on 48 hours to 72 hours for West Bengal Chief the fifth round. Minister and TMCleader Reacting to the EC MamataBanerjeeforher banorder,Banerjee,who “highly insinuating” and was scheduled to ad“provocative remarks” DECISION dressfourralliesTuesday, which the poll body said said she will now stage a 2021 had “serious potential” sit-in to protest the poll WEST BENGAL toleadtoalawandorder panel decision. breakdown in the state. It In a Twitter post, cited her repeated remarks Banerjeesaid:“Toprotestagainst against Central forces deployed the undemocratic and unconstiin the state on election duty. tutional decision of the Election Campaigning for the fifth Commission of India, I will sit on phase of the elections in West dharna tomorrow at Gandhi Bengal on April 17 has already CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE A DAY after West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh described as“badboys”thefourmenkilled in CISF firing outside a polling booth in Cooch Behar, prompting a furious backlash from the ruling TMC, another senior state leader of the party, Rahul Sinha, went a step further and said the security forces should have killed eight people instead. “Not four, eight people should have been shot dead in Sitalkuchi. The Central forces should be issued a showcause notice asking why they killed only four and not eight...Goons are trying to deprive people of their democratic rights. Central forces responded appropriately. If it happens again, they will answer again,” Sinha said. Blaming the TMC for a fifth death that occurred that day in a separateincidentof pollviolence, hesaid:“An18-year-oldboywas shot dead in public at a polling station for supporting BJP and theirleaderisMamataBanerjee.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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