DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TUESDAY, MAY 11, 2021, LUCKNOW, LATE CITY, 12 PAGES RAISES QUESTIONS OF VACCINE EQUITY, LOCKDOWN EFFECTIVENESS Curbs tighten but vaccination slackens in country’s most vulnerable districts 67% of 306 dists with 20% positivity show dip in vaccination May 1-7 compared to previous week KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, MAY 10 AS MANY as two-thirds of all districts reporting a positivity rate of more than 20 per cent — an index of the pandemic’s current severity and its potential spread — have reported an alarming dip in vaccination after the Centre’s new norms kicked in May 1, an analysis of districtwise data obtained by The Indian Express reveals. Not only does this raise doubts over the immediate course of the national vaccination programme, it also puts a questionmarkonvaccineequity. For, a scrutiny of the worst-hit districts shows these include several rural areas where the curve is rising and where there areglaringgapsinmedicalinfrastructure. BetweenMay2andMay8,as many as 306 districts — just under half of the country — were reporting a positivity rate of 306 PART-4 Districts saw above 50% dip in vaccinations * 23 LIZ MATHEW, HARIKISHAN SHARMA & MAULSHREE SETH Dists with 50%-40% dip 41 NEW DELHI, LUCKNOW, MAY 10 Dists with 40%-30% dip AS UTTAR Pradesh continues to battle the second wave of Covid19, there are growing voices of unease within the state BJP, with a number of MLAs and MPs raising questions about the state government’s handling of the situation — from shortage of hospital beds to alleged lack of cooperation from authorities to deal with the hundreds of SOS calls from their constituencies. Over the last few weeks, many of them have written to the Chief Minister with these complaints, prompting Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who has himself only recently recov- 41 Dists with 30%-20% dip 62 Dists below 20% dip * Figures for May 1-7; dip over previous week more than 20 per cent. The Centre’s strategy for these CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 2000K 1000K 0K 16Jan 30Jan 13Feb 27Feb 13Mar 27Mar 10Apr 24Apr -22Jan -5Feb -19Feb -5Mar -19Mar -2Apr -16Apr -30Apr Source:Co-WIN dashboard 1May-7May Vaccine inequity gets worse: rural India, smaller hospitals hit LIFELINE GURGAON, MAY 10 THEHARYANApolicehaveregistered an FIR against six people for the alleged gangrape of a 26year-old woman who was participating in the farmers’ protest at Tikri border, and who died of Covid on April 30. According to police, the womanhailedfromWestBengal and had come to the border in April with six people from the WORLD KisanSocialArmy,includingtwo women,whomshehadmetduring a public meeting in Bengal. Days after arriving at the border, shebegantoexhibitCovidsymptoms and as her condition worsened, was admitted to hospital on April 26, police said. Her father said at a press conference on Monday evening that she came to know of the alleged rape after he reached Jhajjar on April 29 and met her at the hospital. “She told me she had been PAGE 1 ANCHOR NEW DELHI, MAY 10 PAGE 10 MEERUTADDSMOSTCOVIDCASESINADAY, PAGE3 ered from Covid-19, to start visitinghotspotdistrictsinthestate and review arrangements. WhileUnionMinisterof State for Labour and Employment Santosh Gangwar’s May 6 letter toAdityanathcomplainingabout poor Covid care in his Lok Sabha constituency,Bareilly,sawtheCM takingstockofthesituationinthe district, earlier, Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister and Lucknow MLABrijeshPathak;BJP’sBareilly MLAKesarSinghwhoultimately diedofCovid;MohanlalganjMLA Rs 700-Rs 1,500: Amid lack of clarity, what pvt hospitals are charging PRABHA RAGHAVAN & AASHISH ARYAN NEW DELHI, MAY 10 THEGOVERNMENT’Sliberalised Covid-19 vaccine policy has led to wide differences in the prices that private hospitals are charging for the shots, not just intercity but intra-city as well. For instance, as per the Co- harassed and raped after she left for Tikri. In the train, one of the accused grabbed her hand and forcefully kissed her. After she came to Tikri, she was staying in thetentof theKisanSocialArmy, where two of the men who had accompanied her raped her. She told me that they had been blackmailing her,” he said. Policehaveidentifiedthetwo men as Anil Malik and Anup Singh. “We have registered an FIR under various IPC sections, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WIN portal on Monday, H N Reliance Hospital in Mumbai is charging Rs 700 per dose for Covishield — Rs 100 more than the price at which the Serum Institute of India (SII) sold the vaccine to private hospitals. However, Nanavati Hospital in the city has set a price of Rs 900 for one shot, as per the portal. Other hospitals like Dr B L Kapur CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY E ● Disparity towiden THE DIFFERENT rates are likely to lead to disparity in access to vaccines. Most of the supply is currently with select private hospitals with freedom to set own prices, while states are scrambling to access doses. While this has led to a lack of transparency in the system, prices may stabilise if the supply picks up. SINCE April, the daily count of new cases has increased five times, from about 80,000 to more than four lakh a day now. Duringthissametime,however, the number of deaths being reported every day has increased almost 10 times,fromabout400 a day to over 4,000 a day now. WhileMaharashtracontinues to report the maximum number ofdeathseveryday,theworrying sign is the rapid rise in deaths in other states, even relatively smaller ones like Jharkhand, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Punjab andnowUttarakhand.Attheend of March, Maharashtra was contributing roughly one-third of all the deaths in the country. Now, that share is just about one-fifth. States such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Punjab have seen a large number of coronavirus-related deaths in the last 40 days. Karnataka has now been routinely reporting more than 400 deaths a day, while the death toll in Delhi and THE EDITORIAL PAGE PLEASEDON’TDENY Governmentsshouldensuretruth isn’taCovidcasualty,howsoever terribleitmakesthemlook PAGE 6 After year in jail, father’s death, HC bail for activist: ‘Imperative’ SOFI AHSAN & ARANYA SHANKAR NEW DELHI, MAY 10 CONG PUTS OFF ITS PRESIDENT ELECTION OVER COVID PAGE 5 Uttar Pradesh has been around 300 each. There are a dozen states now thatarereportingmorethan100 deaths a day. These include relatively new entrants such as Uttarakhand,Haryana,Jharkhand and West Bengal. Uttarakhand,forexample,was reporting deaths in single digits untilthesecondweekof April.By Sunday, however, the daily death count from the state had risen to 180. Not all of these deaths happened on the same day — the death toll reported by states usually has a large number of uncountedonesfrompreviousdays. Still, over half of Uttarakhand’s 3,700deathshaveoccurredjustin the last one month. Thisproportionisthehighest CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 A DAY after Pinjra Tod activist Natasha Narwal’s father died of Covid-19, the Delhi High Court on Monday granted her interim bail for three weeks, saying her release is “imperative” in this hour of grief and personal loss. Narwal, who has been in custody since May last year, is facing charges in a UAPA case Pinjra Tod tweeted photo of Narwal on her release registered by the Delhi Police in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots of 2020. Her father Mahavir Narwal, a retired scientist from CCS Haryana Agricultural University, passed away on Sunday evening at Rohtak in Haryana. Narwal’s application for interim bail on grounds of her father’s failing health was filed on Friday. A Division Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Kaushal Kishore who lost his brother to Covid; Basti MP Haish Dwivedi;BhadohiMLADinanath BhaskarandKanpurMPSatyadev Pachauritoohadwrittensuchletters to the CM, pointing out the failure of the system and how they felt helpless as calls poured in with requests for hospital beds and medical supplies such as oxygen. The party has had to suffer personallosses,withatleastfour BJP MLAs dying of Covid since CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 11 patients die in AP hospital after oxygen tanker delayed EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE HYDERABAD, MAY 10 ELEVEN Covid-19 patients in the ICU of Sri Venkateswara Ramnarain Ruia Government General Hospital at Tirupati, the largest in the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh, died on Monday evening due to lack of oxygen after a tanker with the gas got late by minutes. District Collector M Hari Narayana said while the 11 peoplewhowereonoxygensupport died, they were able to save several others. Nearly 1,000 Covid patients are being treated at the hospital, from Tirupati, Chittoor, Nellore and Kadapa. Officials said the oxygen pressure started dropping after 8:30 pm and the patients died within a few minutes, before the supply could be restored. Angry relatives broke into the Covid ICU, damaged some equipment and overturned tables with injections and medicines. Officials said nurses and doctors fled the ICU fearing for their safety, returning only after police arrived and took control of the situation. Earlier on Monday, Chief MinisterYSJaganMohanReddy hadheldareviewmeetingonthe prevailing Covid situation in the state, including measures to increaseoxygensupply.Andhrareported14,986newpositivecases on Sunday and 84 Covid deaths. Monday also saw a spat between Andhra and Telangana overCovidpatientsfromAndhra reportedly being stopped from proceeding towards Hyderabad for treatment. PTI reported that Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das spoke to his Telangana counterpart Somesh Kumar to sort out the issue. As per the PTI report, authorities in Telangana started CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Delhi to UP, DU to AMU, teaching community battles loss SUKRITA BARUAH AL AQSA VIOLENCE: ROCKETS FIRED AT ISRAEL, 9 KILLED IN GAZA OLI LOSES TRUST VOTE IN NEPAL, HAS ROOM FOR NEW COALITION PUNE, MAY 10 An ‘Oxygen Express’ carrying 11 tankers of the gas arrives at Delhi on Monday. Amit Mehra FIR names six in ‘gangrape’ of 26-year-old at Tikri protest site SAKSHI DAYAL AMITABH SINHA E X P L A I NE D THE SLIDE in the number of vaccine doses administered in the week starting May 1, after the government “opened up” vaccination beyond priority groups, to its lowest level in eight weeks hides a further skew — indication that the inoculation process could be turning more inequitable than earlier. In a vaccine market that continues to see a demand-supply mismatch, the revised vaccine procurement process builds in a skew against smaller hospitals in cities and towns in comparison to their bigger counterparts in simply getting access to the CM inspects AIIMS, Gorakhpur, Covid facility, Monday. PTI As deaths go up 10 fold, worrying signs from smaller states 3000K NEW DELHI, MAY 10 COVID IN THE COUNTRYSIDE AN EXPRESS SERIES 37 TOTAL COVID19 VACCINATION DOSES PRANAV MUKUL & ANIL SASI Covid rumblings within: BJP leaders in UP complain as govt puts up a brave face UTTAR PRADESH DISTRICTS WITH MORE THAN 20% POSITIVITY shots, and a more disconcerting urban-rural divide in terms of where healthcare facilities are vis-à-visthealready-established supply-chain map. The skew is beginning to get reflected on two counts. First, the ability of hospitals to procure vaccines and arrange shipments,alongsidetheimpact that these factors may have on the landed cost of the shots for each facility, according to multiple players in the vaccine supply chain that The Indian Express spoke to. Then there is the issue of mandatory Co-WIN registration as part of the new decentralised distribution strategy, which potentially adds to an entry barrier thatcouldbetoughertonavigate CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 `5.00 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 FROM SENIOR professors to para-teachers in rural pockets, fromDelhitoUttarPradesh,both bearing the brunt of the raging pandemic, all sections of the teaching community are reeling under the loss of colleagues and friends. Among the institutions that have been hit hard is Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), which has lost close to 50 members in the current wave, includ- ing serving and retired teachers, teachers in its school, and nonteaching staff members, spokesperson Rahat Abrar said. At Delhi University (DU), teachersestimatethataround24 members of the teaching staff have lost their lives in this wave. Jamia Millia Islamia has lost four professors, and a total of 15 staff members to Covid, according to its Public Relations Officer. On Saturday, AMU lost Mohammad Shakeel Ahmed, the dean of its Faculty of Law who had taught there for 12 yearsand authoredtwo books— Mount Carmel School in Dwarka, Delhi, has a Covid centre now, with 100-odd churches pooling in resources. Amit Mehra one on the uniform civil code and another called Maintenance ofthe Muslim Divorcee.“Hewasa passionate and dedicated teacher, and a reputed academician. His vibrant presence left an indelible mark,” said vice-chancellor Tariq Mansoor. Some of the other senior professors in the university who lost their battles to Covid in the last few weeks are Sajid Ali Khan, chairman of the Department of Psychology; Shadab Ahmed Khan, chairman of the Department of Medicine; and, Khalid Bin Yusuf, former chairman of the Department of Sanskrit. Last week, the community wasstunnedbythelossof young English teacher Mohammad Yusuf Ansari. In his thirties, Ansari had a long association with AMU. He had topped his B.A and M.A there, did his Ph.D too, and started teaching in the English department in 2014. “As a student, he would quickly endear himself to teachers — punctual and polite with extremely neat handwriting. When he started teaching, I was worried that he won’t be up for it because he was gentle and quiet. But he was liked by his students and deeply involved in his work. He was working to get his Ph.D published on the works of Girish Karnad,” said Seemin Hasan, his colleague who had been his Ph.D supervisor. “Given that we have lost several heads of departments, the academic loss for students is great. But even more than that, we are a very closely knit community since it’s a residential university and there is a great sense of loss," said Abrar, the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Lucknow
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