eye MCS/204/2020-22RNINO.MAHENG2002/21899 THE SUNDAY EXPRESS MAGAZINE YOUNG AND ANXIOUS MUMBAI,LATECITY MAY2,2021 In the middle of a pandemic, the milestones that mark the life of a young adult have gone missing PAGES 11, 12, 13 14PAGES,`5.00 DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA ` 50 per kilo ` 78 per kilo ` 93 per kilo ` 60 per Dozen 18-44AGE GROUP: OVER900PEOPLE VACCINATED PAGE 3 Receiving threats... can’t comment on Kumbh or polls: Adar to UK daily EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE PUNE, MAY 1 IN AN interview to a London newspaper, Adar Poonawalla, head of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII), has complainedof receivingthreatsfrom politicians and “powerful men” demandingquick delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine that his firm has been producing. Poonawalla also complained of being “vilified and blamed”, andhinted atstartinganewvaccine production unit in the United Kingdom. “‘Threats’ is an understatement” to describe what he faced frompeopledemanding“instant supplies” of the vaccine, Poonawalla told The Times in an ‘Got calls from some of the most powerful men’ interview. He said he had received calls from “some of the most powerful men in India”, including “Chief Ministers..., heads of businessconglomeratesandothers”. “The level of expectation and aggression is really unprecedented. It’s overwhelming. Everyone feels they should get the vaccine. They can’t understand why anyone else should get it before them,” Poonawalla told The Times. “They are saying if you don’t CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 16 patients, 2 nurses die as fire breaks out in ICU of Bharuch Covid facility EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE SURAT, MAY 1 SIXTEEN COVID patients and two nurses were killed as a major fire broke out in the ICU of a hospitalinGujarat'sBharuchdistrict in the early hours of Saturday. Sources said there were 24 patients in the ICU ward when the fire broke out at the Covid wing of the Welfare Hospital in Bharuch. Charmy Gohil, a nurse who was on duty in ICU-1 ward, and who sustained burns on her left leg, told The Sunday Express on the phone, “We saw a spark in the ventilator of bed no 5 in ICU1 ward, and suddenly, there was a fire. Two of my colleagues and I were in the ward. While they were trying to figure out what happened, their PPE kit caught fire and suddenly, the entire room was on fire. I managed to comeoutof thewardbutmyPPE kit too caught fire." Gohil is under treatment at the same hospital. Bharuch district police said the hospital had 57 patients, of whom 12 were in ICU-1 ward and 12 in ICU-2 ward, with the remaining in the general Covid ward. There were nine women among the 16 who died. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 New marking scheme for CBSE Class 10, results out on June 20 RITIKA CHOPRA NEW DELHI, MAY 1 WITH THEClass10 Board exams cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Central Boardof SchoolEducation(CBSE) onSaturdayannouncedaspecial markingschemeforClass10students in its affiliated schools. The results — to be announced on June 20 — will be tabulatedbasedontheperformanceof students inunittests,the half-yearlyexamination,andthe pre-Board examination conducted by schools, the Board announced Saturday. While the unit test will account for 10 marks, the midterm examination will be accorded 30 marks, and the pre-Board examination will be for40marks,addingupto atotal of 80 marks. The remaining 20 marks, as perCBSE'sexistingpolicy,willbe for internal assessment carried out by schools. The Board said the three categories — of unit test, mid-term exam and pre-Board exams — are common to most CBSE-affiliated schools and hence have been used to define the special marking scheme. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Need pause to break transmission, Govt’s task force ‘pushes hard’ for national lockdown 18-44 AGE GROUP Anger building up among doctors, alarm bells in rural areas: experts KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, MAY 1 SOME MEMBERS of the Covid19 task force, a technical expert body that advises the Central Government,are“pushinghard” for a national lockdown, The Sunday Express has learnt. The fierce surge in cases, triggeredbyaninfectious— and,possibly,morelethal—variant,these expertsargued,threatenstooverwhelm the already creaking he- althinfrastructure.IndiaSaturday reported an unprecedented 4.01 lakh Covid-19 cases and 3,523 deaths in the last 24 hours. The task force includes experts from premier health institutions, including AIIMS and ICMR, and has met many times during the recent surge. The deliberations of these experts are of significance since the chairperson of thetaskforce,V KPaul, reports to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Day 1: 11,492 people get jabs across Maharashtra TABASSUM BARNGARWALA MUMBAI, MAY 1 At BKC vaccination centre in Mumbai on Saturday. Pradip Das MAHARASHTRA ON Saturday began the third phase of the national vaccination campaign for the 18 to 44 age group by vaccinating 11,492 people with the three lakh doses it had procured from Serum Institute of India (SII) late Friday. On Saturday evening, several centresopenedfreshslotsonthe CoWin app for Sunday, which were booked within an hour. District officials plan to open more slots for Sunday. The state government plans to use the remaining 2.89 lakh doses over the next six days and will open up a few thousand slots every day in five centres in each district. Across CONTINUEDONPAGE2 SUPPLY RAN OUT BETWEEN 12.15 PM AND 1.35 PM Capital again: Senior doctor among 12 Covid patients dead as hospital runs out of oxygen Supply oxygen allotted to Delhi or face contempt, HC warns Centre Delhi requires 976 tonnes, but only 312 given, says CM Kejriwal ASTHA SAXENA NEW DELHI, MAY 1 IN THE second such incident in the national capital this month, 12 Covid patients, including a senior doctor, died in Batra Hospital in South Delhi on Saturday after the private facility ran out of oxygen supply between 12.15 pm and 1.35 pm, doctors and officials said. Most of the patients who diedwereunabletoget continuous high-flow oxygen supply, they said. Among those dead is the hospital's gastroenteritis head Dr R K Himthani (62). DrSudhanshuBankata,executive director of the hospital said:“Thenumberof peoplesuccumbing due to lack of oxygen supply at the hospital was recorded at 12 by the end of the day. I am just hoping and praying that this situation does not arise anymore with our hospital or any other hospital in the next few days or ever again.” The deaths come at a time when the Delhi High Court has been hearing the matter of oxygen shortage in the capital on a daily basis, and has repeatedly pulled up the central and Delhi CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SOFI AHSAN NEW DELHI, MAY 1 Mourning the death of a relative at Batra Hospital in New Delhi on Saturday. Gajendra Yadav Doctors send SOS, patients ask who do we blame? JIGNASA SINHA NEW DELHI, MAY 1 FROMAfamilythatstumbledon news of the oxygen shortage on Twitter to another that was rushing with a cylinder to the hospital, the relatives of those who died at Batra Hospital on Record GST mop-up in April: Rs 1.4 lakh crore AANCHAL MAGAZINE NEW DELHI, MAY 1 GROSS GOODS and Services Tax (GST) collections touched a record high of Rs 1.41 lakh crore in April, surpassing the previous high of Rs 1.23 lakh crore in March. The April collections, which account for sales in March, mark the seventh month where the monthly GST collectionshavecrossedtheRs1-lakhcrore mark. GST revenue had dipped to an all-time low of Rs 32,172 crore in April 2020. Being the last month of the financial year, March conventionally sees a pickup in tax collections. “Despite the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic affecting several parts of the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Saturday spent their last moments in panic as their loved ones gasped for breath. “I spoke to her in the morning around 8 am. She wanted to come back home,” said Harbhajan Singh about his wife Kawaljeet Kaur (64) who was one of the 12 patients who died in the hospital following the E E X P L A I NE D THE CITY WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM Why collections ● remain high HIGHER GST collections over the months is explained by one critical factor: pandemic has pushed small unorganised players out of the market, shifting their businesses to organised sector, which is largely under the tax net. shortage in supply. “She was admitted to the hospital on Thursday. She had a lung infection and tested positive for Covid,” he said as staff shifted his wife's body from the ICU to an ambulance. “Our daughter got married 20 days ago and everyone was happy. Now, I have lost my wife. I am all alone. She was shifted to theICUinthemorning.Wewere bringing oxygen cylinders but she died before anyone could help her,” said Harbhajan, sitting outside the hospital while his children and other relatives completed the paperwork. Kawaljeet's son-in-law, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ON A day 12 Covid-19 patients died after the capital's Batra Hospital ran out of medical oxygen, Delhi High Court told the central government that “water has gone above the head”, and threatened to begin contempt proceedings if its directions on supplying 490 metric tonnes (MT) of oxygen to Delhi was not complied with. “Enough is enough. Now we mean business. Now you will arrange everything,” a division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli told the Centre during a special hearing on Saturday to monitor the Covid19 situation in Delhi. The Bench took note of the submission by Batra Hospital that lives had been lost on account of interruption in the oxygensupplyforaboutanhourand a half due to the delay in supply. It directed the Centre to ensure Delhi receives its allocated 490 MTs “positively today, by whatever means”, and ordered CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Kerala RS polls: After Govt nudge, EC broke 25-yr tradition until HC stepped in RITIKA CHOPRA NEW DELHI, MAY 1 JUST A day after the Union Law Ministry made its suggestion, the Election Commission reversed its own order and went against a 25-year tradition to suspend elections to three Rajya Sabha seats from Kerala. That controversial move was rejectedbytheKeralaHighCourt and the three members were elected unopposed on April 23. On March 17, the EC, then headed by Sunil Arora, announced electionsforApril12tothreeRajya SabhaseatsrepresentingKerala– theincumbentmemberswereto retireApril21.Assemblyelections in Kerala were announced February 26 and held on April 6. On March 23, a day before the Rajya Sabha elections were set to be notified, the Union Law Ministry wrote to the EC that since voting in Kerala would end April6,holdingRajyaSabhaelections on April 12 (before the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EC MOVES SC AGAINST MADRAS HC PAGE 6 Behind Mumbai’s reducing numbers, testing, triage and near lockdown PAGE 1 ANCHOR LAXMAN SINGH & SANJANA BHALERAO MUMBAI, MAY 1 THE BRIHANMUMBAI MunicipalCorporation(BMC)on Friday released figures that showed that Mumbai's daily positivityratehaddroppedfrom a high of 20.8 per cent in the beginning of April to 9.9 per cent by the end of the month. A declining positivity rate suggests that the number of infections in the city is decreasing. Since the second wave of Covid-19 began in February, Mumbai’s success in flattening the curve is being attributed to a timely lockdown, aggressive testing and effective triaging system. At 11,573, after touching the highest single day fresh cases on April 3, the city has been recording less than 4,000 daily cases in the last week. Experts believe that mobility restrictionsimposedonthepeople, coupled with BMC's ability to pull together all of its resources, has helped the city tide over the crisis. NOT SHUTTING DOWN FIELD COVID CENTRES BMC officials believe their decision to not dismantle Covid19 centres after the first wave ebbedlastyearwascrucialinbeing able to handle the second wave. Last December, when daily Covid-19 cases had declined to 300-400, Additional MunicipalCommissionerSuresh Kakani had decided to maintain the facilities till March 31, 2021. Forbettermanagementof facilities, BMC had categorised beds into active, buffer and reserve. While facilities kept in buffer could be activated within SUNDAY STORY PAGE 8 Beyond the metros Police personnel conduct a flag march in Mumbai on Saturday. PTI Beyond the metros, there are alarm bells ringing in smaller towns amid poor infrastructure and long lines for beds, vaccines two to three days, those in reservecouldbemadeoperational in a week. “In February and March, when the number of cases started to rise, we managed to re-start the facilities in the minimum possible time,” said Kakani. Officials said the number of beds was increased from 12,000 to 23,000 within four to six weeks. Also, the number of ICU beds went up from 1,500 to 2,800. DrShashankJoshi,amember of Maharashtra’s Covid Task Force, praised BMC's decision of not dismantling the Covid-19 centres. “Couple of things worked for Mumbai. BMC did not dismantle makeshift jumbo facilities like BKC. When the tsunami (second wave) hit us, it changed its geographical location. The first wave came from the slum population, now it is predominantly coming from high-risesand housingsocieties. Now, demand for treatment in private hospitals has increased,” he added. “Around the first week of April, we were facing a similar situation as Delhi is currently witnessing. But what BMC did was it rapidly ramped up the beds... it added 3,000 beds in a CONTINUEDONPAGE3
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