DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA ● REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 12, 2021, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 OVER 37 LAKH ACTIVE CASES Massive Covid spread: 533 districts reporting over 10% positivity ` 84 per kilo ` 112 per kilo ` 137 per kilo ` 65 per Dozen Centre relaxes RT-PCR norms, tells states to set up 24x7 antigen test booths ED registers money laundering case against Deshmukh MUMBAI, MAY 11 THE ENFORCEMENTDirectorate (ED)hasregisteredacaseagainst former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for allegedly obtaining illegal gratification, ED officials said. However, the agency has not specified the amount of illegal gratification in its enforcement case information report (ECIR). The ECIR filed by the ED is based on the corruption case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) against Deshmukh last month. Deshmukh The CBI said that Deshmukh used his official position to obtain undue advantage and had alsoinfluencedthe transfersand postings in the Mumbai Police, as alleged by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh. It has charged Deshmukh under section 7 of the amended Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) 2018, along with section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). ED sources said the agency will look into financial transactions of Deshmukh as the CBI is probing the allegation of Rs 100 crore being illegally collected each month from bars and restaurantsinMumbaiontheinstructions of Deshmukh. The agency is likely to summon Deshmukh for questioning in the case. Both the NCP and Congress on Tuesday said the move by the ED to register a case against Deshmukh under the antimoney laundering law is politically motivated and aimed CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, MAY 11 A DAUGHTER MOURNS, ON BAIL Pinjara Tod activist Natasha Narwal at the cremation of her father in Rohtak on Tuesday. A day after her father Mahavir Narwal died of Covid, the Delhi High Court on Monday released Natasha on interim bail. Manoj Dhaka BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Tope: Covaxin stock for 18-44 group to be diverted for 45+ EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, MAY 11 MAHARASHTRA MUMBAI COP WAZE DISMISSEDFROM SERVICE PAGE 4 THE MAHARASHTRA government will utilise the Covaxin stock it had purchased for the 18-44 age group to inoculate people in the 45-and-above age group who are waiting to get their second shot, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope announced on Tuesday. The state has thus as good as suspended phase 3 vaccinations for the 1844 years age group. “Inoculation of 45+ group comes under the National Vaccination Drive. But there is a shortage of Covaxin as the Rajesh Tope Centre has not supplied us with adequate stock. Five lakh people are awaiting their second dose. The state government had recently purchased vaccine for 18 to 44 years group. Now, we will use this stock to overcome the shortage and help complete the vaccination process of 45and-above age group,” Tope, who held discussions with Chief Minister Uddhav 26 deaths in Goa hospital, Health Minister says CM ‘misguided’ MAYURA JANWALKAR PANAJI, MAY 11 ON A day that Goa reported 75 Covid deaths, its highest singleday coronavirus fatalities, the Health Minister and Chief Minister of the BJP government appearedtodifferover thecause of deathof 26patientsovernight atthestate’slargestCovidfacility andwhetheritwasduetoshortage of oxygen. Health Minister Vishwajit Rane called for a High Court probe into the deaths at Goa Medical College and Hospital Goa CM visiting GMC Hospital on Tuesday. Express (GMCH), between 2 am and 6 am on the night of MondayTuesday, saying these could be dueto oxygen shortage, and that CM Pramod Sawant might be “misguided”. Sawant, who visited Covid19 wards at GMCH in a PPE kit Tuesday morning, held a meeting in the evening with hospital officials,afterwhichhesaidadelay in oxygen supply may have led to a drop in pressure in the central supply at the hospital, adding that it could not be said if the deaths were due to it. Asked about the deaths CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In UP district now reporting highest cases, families cart their own folding cots to ward AMIL BHATNAGAR MEERUT, MAY 11 A FOLDING cot that a family claimstohavegotitself,fansthat don’t work, a roof that is leaking at several places, and a ward overpowered by the stench of a toilet. As Meerut district climbs tothetopof CovidchartsinUttar Pradesh, with 1,368 new cases taking its total active number to COVID IN THE COUNTRYSIDE UTTAR PRADESH AN EXPRESS SERIES PART-5 MEERUT Lucknow ACTIVE CASES 3,745 13,941 APRIL17 MAY11 13,941, its largest government coronavirus facility, Lala Lajpat Rai MemorialMedicalCollege,is struggling to keep up. Vashisht Sharma, a Delhi University student, says the cot on which his father is lying, in a corridor between two rooms in the Emergency Ward, was brought by them. “We were lucky we got our own bed. Things are so bad here, patients CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Thackeray, said. Presently,Topesaid,thestate has 35,000 doses of Covaxin allotted for 45-plus group, reflecting a huge gap between stock and requirement. Maharashtra has vaccinated 1.85 crore people so far. As per norms, the vaccination of 45plus group is done free-of-cost under a national drive. “The state has purchased 2.75 lakh doses of Covaxin for people aged between 18 and 44. Apart from this, there is a stock of 35,000 Covaxin for 45-plus group. Together, it works to 3.45 lakh shots. Now, we have decided to utilise this entire stock CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Allahabad HC: EC, higher courts, govt failed to see risks from holding polls ASAD REHMAN LUCKNOW, MAY 11 THEALLAHABADHighCourthas observed that “the Election Commission, the Higher Courts and the Government failed to fathom the disastrous consequences of permitting the elections in few States and the Panchayat elections in the State of Uttar Pradesh”. While the Covid-19 infection “hadnotreachedthevillagepopulationinitsfirstwave...lastyear, [it] has now spread to the villages”, the court said. According to the court, the state government “is having tough time in controlling the spreadofnovelcoronavirusinurban areas”, and it would be very difficult to carry out tests, detect infections, and treat the population in the villages. “The State lacks preparation and resources for the same at present,” a single judge Bench of Justice Siddharth said in an order allowing an application for anticipatory bail on Monday. The court observed that on account of the recent panchayat electionsinUttarPradesh,alarge CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Marine Drive police station to make way for apartment block for senior IAS, IPS officers PAGE 1 ANCHOR YOGESH NAIK MUMBAI, MAY 11 THEMARINEDrivepolicestation will soon make way for the construction of a swank apartment block for senior IAS and IPS officers in the state. The apartment block will also take up land originally meant for a multi-level public parking lot. The police station, presently housed in barracks that will be demolished, is all set to move into a nearly ready new building in the same plot. Rivalling Yashodhan, the most sought-after senior officers'accommodationatpresent, the 28 apartments in the planned seven-storey block will measure 180 sq m (1926 sq feet) with three bedrooms-hallkitchen and attached quarters for domestic staff, officials said. Aseniorofficerof thegeneral administration department said The police station, presently housed in barracks, will move to a new building in the same plot. Ganesh Shirsekar the flats will be allotted to officers above the rank of principal secretary in the IAS and above rank of inspector general of police in the IPS. The location is right behind Yashodhan, a 60-year-old building located opposite the Cricket Club of India and a stone's throw fromMantralaya.Yashodhanhas a long waiting list, which the new block is expected to ease. The PWD has changed the reservation on the plot. Earlier, it hadbeenreservedforresidential CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 AS MANYas533of the country’s 700-plus districts are now reporting a test positivity rate of more than 10 per cent, the governmentsaidonTuesday,underlining the massive spread of the coronavirus infection in rural India in the second wave. A total 13 states have more than 1 lakh active cases; six states have 50,000 to 1 lakh active cases; and 17 states have fewer than 50,000 active cases, the Centre said. The total active case count across the country is now more than 37 lakh. “Since the second wave is raging”, it is time to dilute the Health Ministry’s earlier recommendationthatnomorethan30 per cent of all Covid-19 tests should be Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT), Dr Balram Bhargava, director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 A Covid facility with 500 ICU beds is set to open Wednesday at Ramlila Maidan, opposite Delhi’s GTB Hospital. Prem Nath Pandey Virus spread in rural areas may hit recovery further AANCHAL MAGAZINE NEW DELHI, MAY 11 THE DEEPENING of fear in the countrysidewiththerapidspread of Covid-19 in rural areas is likely to further delay the recovery of theservicessectors.Someeconomists hence worry that the impact of the unfolding second wave, with stringent lockdowns in several states, will likely be higherthanthelasttimearound. The fear is expected to impact the rural economy in two CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 E E X P L A I NE D EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE KAUNAIN SHERIFF M Second wave ● versusfirst WHAT DISTINGUISHES the second Covid-19 wave from the first is its rapid rural spread. This is likely to disrupt supply chains at the village level. MGNREGA may not be as effective since high case load may prompt a pause in work orders. US eyes joint production of J&J vaccine in India, in touch with SII EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, MAY 11 THE US is looking at joint production of Johnson and Johnson’s Covid vaccine in India and ways to help manufacturers like Serum Institute of India (SII) to boost production, Daniel B Smith, Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy, said Tuesday. Smith also said that the efficacy of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, manufactured at a production facility in Baltimore, is not clear and the US Food and Drug Administration has not yet certified those doses. Lastmonth,theWhiteHouse saidtheUSplanstoshare60million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine globally as soon as they CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 TRIALS ON CHILDREN AdayafterUSauthorised Pfizervaccinefor12-15yearolds,BharatBiotech’s Covaxinwasrecommendedbyanexpertpanel forphaseII/IIIclinicaltrials on2-18-year-olds,official sourcestoldPTI. PAGE7
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