DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 2021, LUCKNOW, LATE CITY, 12 PAGES `5.00 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 DON'T LOSE HEART, WE SHALL WIN THIS FIGHT: MODI Need to do our best to avert lockdown, states should use it only as last resort: PM to nation Covaxin capacity to be boosted to 700 mn annual doses; J&J applies for bridging trial ‘Crisis in HCs’, SC sets timeline for Govt to clear judges’ names HARIKISHAN SHARMA & KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, APRIL 20 CALLING THE second Covid wave a “toofan” (storm) that has swept the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an address to the nation Tuesday evening, called on citizens not to lose heart in this adversity and underlined that all steps need to be taken to avoid a lockdown. In his seventh such address since the first Covid outbreak early last year, and the first after the second wave that has escalated to unprecedented levels both in daily case and death counts, Modi said that the "right decisions in the right direction" would help secure victory against the virus. Saying that the situation today was different from the first time around -- there are vaccines, more medical insight into the virus and better infrastructure -- the Prime Minister said that along with saving lives, the Government's effort is to save economic activity and ensure that there is only a minimum impact on the livelihood of people. The Government is working with “speed and sensitivity” to meet the increasing demand of oxygen in various parts of the country, he said. He prefaced his 19-minute address saying he felt the pain of those who had lost their loved onesandwasgratefultothedoctors, nurses, frontline Corona CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Before ramp-up, vaccine Don’t wash hands of vaccine, what planning on the fly with about the poor: Opp states to Centre only 2 options in basket MANOJ C G & PRABHA RAGHAVAN NEW DELHI, APRIL 20 A DAY after the Centre opened upCovidvaccinationtoallabove 18 from May 1, Opposition Chief Ministers and some experts raised questions on stocks and pricing given that 50% has been earmarked for the “open market.”Arguingthatnoothercountry had done this so far, they said this places a financial burden on the states. While BJP state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Assam both announced free vaccines for all, other states said the Centre was washing its hands of the responsibility. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reminded the Prime Minister that she had, in a letter to him in February, requestedhisinterventiontoallow West Bengal to purchase vac- EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE STORM AFTER THE CALM TACKLING THE SECOND COVID WAVE AN EXPRESS SERIES PART THREE Migrants crowd buses at a Ludhiana station. Gurmeet Singh cines directly with state resourcesandgivefreevaccination to people of the state. “No response was received from your end. Now when the number of cases in the second wave is spiralling like anything, the Centre has chosen to tactically indulge in empty rhetoric and shy away from its responsibility for making available CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 AVANEESH MISHRA & ABHISHEK SAHA NEW DELHI, APRIL 20 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, APRIL 20 BENGAL, KERALA CMs WRITE TO PM INSIDE OVERCROWDED BUS WITH MIGRANTS TURNS OVER IN MP, THREE KILLED MORE STATES ANNOUNCE CURBS PAGES 4 & 6 SC stays HC lockdown UP govt announces free call as UP says infringes vaccination to all above domain, will trigger fear 18, Assam follows suit THESUPREMECourtonTuesday put on hold the Allahabad High Court order imposing “almost complete lockdown/curfew in five major cities of Uttar Pradesh”.Issuingnoticeonanurgent plea by the state, a Bench headedbyChief JusticeSABobde said that “until further orders, there shall be an ad interim stay of theimpugnedorderpassedby the High Court”. On Monday, saying that the rising Covid cases had “virtually incapacitated”themedicalinfrastructure in Uttar Pradesh, the ANANTHAKRISHNAN G (Left) Prime Minister Modi addressing the nation; (above) a queue for vaccination at a hospital in Thane on Tuesday. PTI/Deepak Joshi LUCKNOW, GUWAHATI, APRIL 20 A line to fill oxygen cylinders in Prayagraj. Ritesh Shukla U.P. GOVT ORDERS WEEKEND CURFEW IN DISTRICTS WITH OVER 2,000 ACTIVE CASES, PAGE 3 SHORTLY AFTER Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation spoke of the world's largest vaccination drive underwayinIndia,twoBJP-ruledstates — Uttar Pradesh and Assam — announcedthattheywouldprovide free Covid vaccination to those aged above 18 from May 1. “We have decided to vaccinate all above 18 years free of cost. The state government will take forward the vaccination programme with its own resources,” Uttar Pradesh Chief PRABHA RAGHAVAN & ANIL SASI NEW DELHI, APRIL 20 THE BIG-BANG — and muchawaited — announcement Monday to expand vaccinations to those above 18 gives the already strained machinery, fighting the rising Covid wave, all of 10 days to gear up for the logistical challenge. Of course, the 600 million now eligible are expected to be staggered by states dependingon profileandstocks, but the short lead time is reflec- BY UNNY CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 IN SETTING a fixed timeline, the Supreme Court has essentially altered the Memorandum of Procedure through a judicial order. The ruling comes in the backdrop of the SC repeatedly underlining that several names are pending with the government. REPORT, PAGE 6 ceed to make the appointment immediatelyontheaforesaidconsideration and undoubtedly, if Governmenthasanyreservations onsuitabilityorinpublicinterest, within the same period of time it maybesentbacktotheSupreme CourtCollegiumwiththespecific reasonsforreservationrecorded.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Young kin gets vaccine, Fadnavis says ‘distant’ link, must follow rules Hero shuts plants amid surge, first such action by big company ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU FORMER MAHARASHTRA Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is caught at the centre of a controversy after a photograph of his nephew,TanmayFadnavis,inhis early 20s, taking his second Covid-19 vaccine shot, was widely circulated on social media on Monday. Fadnavis, in a statement, identified Tanmay as a “distant relative”. A close family source said Tanmay is the grandson of former MLA Shobhatai Fadnavis, who is the ex-chief minister's aunt. The photograph, which sur- AMID A spurt in Covid cases, the country’s leading two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp, on Tuesday announced a halt to its operations at all its manufacturing facilities for four days, in a staggered manner between April 22 and May 1, 2021. The company is the first major manufacturer to announce a temporary suspension of production as a precautionary measure, even as the government has maintained that there won’t be a nationwide lockdown. NAGPUR, APRIL 20 LUCKNOW WOMAN DIES, COVID +VE KIN SAY GOT NO HELP FRESH COVID CASES TOUCH NEW HIGH Minister Yogi Adityanath said in a statement after a Cabinet meeting Tuesday evening. Expressing gratitude to the central government for bringing down the age bar for vaccination to18,hesaiditwasa“greatrelief” asitwillprovideasafetyshieldto CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Change in MoP VIVEK DESHPANDE BUSINESS AS USUAL UTTAR PRADESH PAGE 3 tive of most milestones in the Centre’s vaccine policy. Beginning with January 11 this year, when it placed its first setof ordersforvaccines,justfive days before the campaign was rolled out. This is in sharp contrast to othercountrieswhichstockpiled their vaccines before launching the inoculation blitz. As early as May 2020, countries like the US began stockpiling through “at risk” investments in multiple manufacturers. Throughout last year, the UK ended up taking such at-risk options in all seven vaccines developed across the world. With an order for 400 million vaccine doses, it has evidently been “one of the world’s highest per-capita buyers” of vaccines. It is now on track to have more than 100 million surplus doses in due course. Israel followed another model: EMPHASISING THE need to “facilitate timely appointment” of judges to resolve the “crisis situation” in High Courts, the Supreme Court on Tuesday laid down a timeline for the Centre toclearnamesrecommendedby the High Court Collegiums. The Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, also said that if the Supreme Court Collegium reiterates a recommendation sent back by the government, the “appointment should be made within 3 to 4 weeks”. According to the timeline fixed by the Bench, which included Justices S K Kaul and Surya Kant: ■ “The Intelligence Bureau (IB) should submit its report/ inputs within 4 to 6 weeks from the date of recommendation of the High Court Collegium, to the Central Government.” ■“It would be desirable that the CentralGovernmentforwardthe file(s)/ recommendations to the Supreme Court within 8 to 12 weeksfromthedateof receiptof views from the State Government and the report/ input from the IB”. ■ “It would be for the Government to thereafter pro- Bench led by CJI wants 18-week limit for action on names WORLD PAKISTAN GOVT YIELDS TO PRESSURE, NOTICE IN HOUSE TO EXPEL FRENCH ENVOY PAGE 10 NEW DELHI, APRIL 20 A file photo of Devendra Fadnavis, Tanmay. Instagram faced on Monday, was shared by Tanmay on Instagram, and showed him getting vaccinated at the National Cancer Institute CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Lucknow
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.