eye THE SUNDAY EXPRESS MAGAZINE YOUNG AND ANXIOUS LUCKNOW,LATECITY MAY2,2021 In the middle of a pandemic, the milestones that mark the life of a young adult have gone missing PAGES 9, 10, 11 12PAGES,`5.00 DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM NEW HIGH OF 4.01 LAKH CASES, 3,523 DEATHS IN LAST 24 HRS Need pause to break transmission, key members of Govt’s Covid-19 task force ‘push hard’ for national lockdown Vaccination for 18+ starts in 7 worst-hit UP districts; 2,704 shots in Lucknow 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 chairpersonof the taskforce,VKPaul, reports to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE LUCKNOW, MAY 1 At a vaccination centre in Lucknow. Vishal Srivastav THE THIRD phase of the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination programme for people above 18 years of age began in seven worst-hit districts of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. Several who hadpre-registeredontheCoWin portal complained that the slots were not available. Though the state had set a target of giving 20,000 doses to people between 18 and 44 years of age on the first day, the exact number of vaccinated people in this age group would be known on Monday, said Addition Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 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 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 INSIDE 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 ABHISHEK ANGAD PAGE 4 E 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 4 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE ‘Got calls from some of the most powerful men’ 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” demanding quick delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine that his firm has been producing. Poonawalla also complained of being “vilified and blamed”, andhinted atstartinga newvaccine 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 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 At Welfare Hospital in Bharuch. Bhupendra Rana 16 patients, 2 nurses die as fire breaks out in ICU of Bharuch Covid facility EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE SURAT, MAY 1 SIXTEENCOVIDpatientsandtwo nurseswerekilledasamajorfire broke out in the ICU of a hospital in Gujarat's Bharuch district 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,toldTheSundayExpressonthe phone, “We saw a spark in the ventilator of bed no 5 in ICU-1 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 fireandsuddenly,theentireroom was on fire. I managed to come outofthewardbutmyPPEkittoo 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 in unittests, 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 for 40 marks, addinguptoa total 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 No Covid checks for migrants, rural Jharkhand braces for worst PAGE 1 ANCHOR GOVT COMPLETELY MISSING IN ACTION... PM IS AT FAULT: RAHUL PAGE 4 WEEK AFTER STF SET UP TO PROBE GOVT STAFF, J&K SCHOOL TEACHER SACKED 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 X P L A I NE D 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 died wereunableto get 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 Receiving threats... can’t comment on Kumbh or polls: Adar to UK daily RANCHI, MAY 1 AS THE first set of migrant workers returned to Ranchi on special trains from across the country, a hoarding with an image of Chief Minister Hemant Soren welcomed them: “Johar! Jharkhand sarkaraapkagharaaneparswagat karti hai (Welcome! Jharkhand governmentwelcomesyouupon your arrival at home).” Then, with circles drawn up on the floor for social distancing, they were screened one by one and greeted with roses, food packets and water bottles. All of them were taken to their districts on transport arranged by the state. Once home, they underwentCovidtestsandmandatory 14-day quarantine in panchayat facilities. This was May last year. On Friday, almost 12 months later, The Sunday Express spent three hours from 3.30 pm at the Hatia station, one of the two in the state capital, and tracked the arrival of three trains, from Yeshwantpur (Bengaluru), Mumbai and Surat, all migrant SUNDAY STORY PAGE 5 Beyond the metros At the Hatia railway station in Ranchi, Friday. Abhishek Angad Beyond the metros, there are alarm bells ringing in smaller towns amid poor infrastructure and long lines for beds, vaccines hubs with new Covid curbs in place. What this newspaper saw told the story of the second Covidwavethathasbatteredthe country: no circles, no social distancing and hardly any sign of Covid-appropriate behaviour. Many of the returning workers and several police personnel manning the platform were not properly masked. The swab collectionfacilitywasdeserted,and all the passengers exited without any thermal screening. Outside,thehoardingwasblank. No wonder then, that the Chief Minister confided duringa meeting with representatives from various districts two days ago: “80 per cent of the populationresideinruralareasandIam worried about their safety as many people are returning.” On August 31 last year, Jharkhandsawthehighestnumberof positivecasesinadayduring the first wave: 3,331. On May 1 this year, 6,323 people tested positive. Jharkhand has 57,043 active cases. From the first outbreak last year till March 31 this year, 1,113 people died of Covid. But this April alone, 1,282 more deaths have been recorded. Outside the railway station, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Lucknow
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