DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2021, KOLKATA, LATE CITY, 12 PAGES SINCE 1932 `5.00/EX-KOLKATA `6.00 (`12 IN NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM ROLLOUT TOMORROW FOR 18-45 Stocks unsure, many states say can’t open vaccination on May 1 MP to Maharashtra, Delhi to Gujarat: Will wait for Covishield, Covaxin stocks EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, NEW DELHI, CHANDIGARH, KOCHI, BHOPAL, APRIL 29 A woman breaks down after her father, lying in the ambulance, was denied admission first at Shehnai Banquet Hall and then at LNJP Hospital in New Delhi on Thursday. Abhinav Saha WITH JUST A day to go for opening up the vaccination drive for those in the 18-45 age bracket, onestateafteranotheriscoming out to announce it won’t be able to start. The reason: inability to procure vaccine stocks, and imperative to give the second dose to those over 45 before extending it to the 18-45 group. Late evening, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of BJPruled Madhya Pradesh, said his statewouldnotstartthevaccinationfor18-45agegrouponMay1 but continue with vaccinating people over 45 years. In a video messagepostedlatenight,hesaid, “On contacting the manufacturersofCovishieldandCovaxinvaccines,welearnttheyareunableto give us doses for those above 18 yearsofageonMay1.Sothedrive Keep patience: Chouhan; priority to 45-plus: Vijayan covering the young people won’t start on May 1.” On April 28, the Centre had opened up registration to those over18forthethirdphaseof vaccinationonitsCo-WINplatform. By Wednesday midnight, there was as many as 1.33 crore new sign-ins. Earlier this month, the Centre had announced opening up vaccination for the entire adult population, and allowed Serum Institute of India (Covishield) and Bharat Biotech (Covaxin) to sell 50 per cent of theirnewstockdirectlytostates, privatehospitalsandcorporates. Chouhan said Madhya Pradeshhopedtogetthevaccine doses around May 3. “After that wewillgivethefinalshapetothe drive for the young people. Keep patience and there is no need to panic,” the Chief Minister said. The state has already placed orders with Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Thursday said the state will give priority to those who are eligible for the second dose. “There is no need to rushtovaccination centresfor this. The second dose of Covishield vaccine should be taken within 6-8 weeks and Covaxinwithin4-6weeks…The slot for the first dose will be allowedforonlinebookingonlyafter giving preference to those taking the second dose,” he said. Delhi, Punjab, Maharashtra and Gujarat, too, indicated they wouldnotbeabletostartthevaccinationdriveforyouthonMay1. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Judge to Secy: In city of CENTRE VS DELHI OVER OXYGEN power, almost powerless Bias in oxygen supply, says Delhi; HC tells Centre can’t duck this in the face of scarcity KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, APRIL 29 IN THIS city of power, scarcity is hardly a headache for some — strings are pulled or a contact is calledtocutinlineordoafavour. But the relentless second Covid wave and the crippling shortage of oxygen and beds have turned many a power equation upside down. Of course, the well-heeled VIPs are still better off —they tap intotheirsocialcirclesandsocial media networks and celebrities amplify their SOS — but so acute is the shortage that there’s a growing number of cases where even that doesn’t help. The Indian Express has confirmed cases involving the head of a Constitutional authority, membersof the higher judiciary and top bureaucrats, who have struggled to get hospital beds or medicine either for themselves or for their family as Covid ravages the city. In most of these cases, help reached them but only after networks were mobilised, levers were moved. As the Covid curve keeps climbing up, that’s an increasing challenge. Names are being withheld to protect identities unless those involved have gone public. One of the heads of a Constitutionalauthority needed CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Centre says 90% of time goes firefighting for Delhi, it’s not a ‘good call’ to cut from one state for another SOFI AHSAN NEW DELHI,APRIL 29 TO DRIVE home its demand for oxygen, the Delhi government on Thursday submitted data before the Delhi High Court, and suggested that while oxygen provided to the national capital by the Centre was well short of target, some states were getting more than what they had asked for. Even as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta repeatedly insisted that Delhi’s submissions abouttheallegeddiscrimination Scarred once, migrants in Goa crowd trains to rush back home MAYURA JANWALKAR VASCO, APRIL 29 ON THURSDAY afternoon, daily wage worker Mohammed Gulzar had his first meal 19 hours after he boarded the Vasco-Patna Express from Vasco-Da-Gama Railway station in South Goa. The train had then reached Bhusawal in Maharashtra and his home in Inside the Vasco-Patna Express Wednesday. Express Jharkhand’s Godda district was still a couple of days away. Having boarded the train on Wednesday in an unreserved compartmentalongwith35others from his village, ‘social distancing’ was too distant even for one’s imagination, said 24-year old Gulzar. “There is hardly any place to stand in the train. There arejusttoomany peopleandthe crowd has not let up since the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 OXYGEN STATUS in metric tonnes (MT) STATE DEMAND UP 800 Punjab 126 Tamil Nadu 200 Kerala 89 Chhattisgarh 215 Rajasthan 205 Gujarat 1,000 MP 445 Haryana 180 Maharashtra 1,500 Delhi 700 GOT 753 136 220 99 227 205 975 543 162 1,661 490 Apr20data,DelhigovttoHC not be recorded, the court turneddownhispleasandsaidit was for the Centre to resolve this crisis. “You can’t duck it,” the court said. On his claim that sufficient supply was reaching Delhi, the Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said to Mehta: “That may notbecorrectatall.Thatwecannot accept. We are very clear on that. We are living here. It is people close to us who are not getting beds and oxygen. You are aware about it. We have heard about Haryana people dying, we have heard people in Meerut TOTAL 292 / 294 WEST BENGAL TMC BJP LeftCongress India Today Axis My India 130-156 134-160 0-2 ABP C Voter 152-164 7-12 180 104 4 Republic TV-CNX 128-138 138-148 11-21 Times Now C Voter TO AVOID panic and uncertainty, states, BJP and non-BJP, have started communicating to people that the vaccination for the 18-45 age group will not begin May 1. None of the states has been able to procure fresh dosages from vaccine makers, and given their existing stock, they would rather vaccinate people over 45 who have had their first shot and are waiting for the second. 14-25 173-192 News 24-Today’s Chanakya Secondshot apriority 109-121 India TV People’s Pulse 64-88 158 115 19 India Ahead ETG Research 164-176 105-115 10-15 EXIT POLL PREDICTIONS FOR TN, KERALA, ASSAM ON PAGE 2 Exit polls show dead heat in Bengal, LDF in Kerala, DMK sweep in TN BJP predicted to return in Assam despite spirited fight by Congress EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, APRIL 29 WORLD WILL HAVE STRONG MILITARY PRESENCE IN INDO-PACIFIC, SAYS BIDEN RUSSIA, CHINA SOW DISINFORMATION TO DAMAGE VACCINE TRUST: EU PAGE 10 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY EXITPOLLS broadcast byvarious television networks Thursday showed a deadheatracein West Bengal with many pollsters giving the ruling Trinamool Congress an edge, and some giving the BJP an advantage. In Kerala, almost all polls predicted the ruling CPI(M)-led Left front to buck the four decade political trend of the incumbent being voted out of power. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 All fingers crossed in Bihar as second wave goes rural, scales last year’s peak SANTOSH SINGH PATNA, APRIL 29 AMIDST A sharp rise in Bihar's Covid numbers, officials and health experts have flagged an increasing trend of cases being reported from rural areas. Official figures show that in many predominantly rural districts, thenumberof active cases is almost 9-10 times of what it was in the first wave's peak in September last year. As of now, Bihar has over 1 lakh active cases. Patna tops the chart with over 17,000 active cases during the current wave. But five other districts with a large rural population have recorded an increase of over 4,000 active cases this month: CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 These Covid warriors make the toughest of all calls — to inform the families of those who died PAGE 1 ANCHOR TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA Dr Shubhangi Daore (seated) in the command room of the Covid Jumbo Centre in Dahisar, Mumbai. MUMBAI, APRIL 29 THE SAVIOURS FIGHTING THE SECOND COVID WAVE AN EXPRESS SERIES “MA’AM, I beg you to arrange for an ambulance. We have been waiting since morning to take thebody,”amantellsher.It’slate intoher8am-3pmshift,andshe responds: “Give me 10 minutes, an ambulance is returning from the crematorium.” Then, as she walks away from the scene, her eyes filling up, she confides: “These deaths come to me in my Tabassum Barnagarwala dreams.” When Dr Shubhangi Daore completed her degree in dental surgerytwoyearsago,sheimagined a happy, relaxed, and comfortable life. But for the last eight months, the 25-year-old has beenhandlingthejobthateveryone shies away from: making that dreaded call to the families of Covidpatientswhohavedied. It’s not just that. Insideamakeshiftcommand room of the Covid Jumbo Centre in Mumbai’s Dahisar, she arranges video calls for patients through tabs distributed in wards, and organises referrals in other facilities. She consoles family members who come for the final glimpse and arranges CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Kolkata
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