DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA ` 114 per kilo ` 140 per kilo ` 72 per Dozen Vaccine & death: Govt rebuts claim, Facebook takes it down, then restores it AASHISH ARYAN NEW DELHI, JUNE 4 TRIGGERING ANOTHER showdown between the Centre and social media platforms, late last month, Facebook and Instagram took down a fact-check post by the Press Information Bureau (PIB), in which it had rebutted a false claim linking Covid vaccinations to death. The post was restored on both platforms following the government’s intervention. On May 25, the ‘PIB Fact Check’ handle shared a post on Facebook and Instagram, in which it had debunked a claim attributed to French Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier that people getting vaccinated against Covid-19 would die within two years. Attaching an image of the alleged claim, the post said, “An imageallegedlyquotingaFrench Nobel Laureate on #COVID19 vaccines is circulating on social media... The claim in the image is #FAKE... #COVID19 Vaccine is CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Maharashtra begins unlock under 5-level plan, few curbs in Mumbai EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, JUNE 4 MAHARASHTRALATEFridayannounced a five-level unlockdown plan for the state, to come into effect as soon as district authorities and municipal corporations issue orders, based on positivity rate and occupancy of oxygenated beds. Under the plan, districts and citiesfallingin“Level1”willhave theleastrestrictions,whilethose in “Level 5” will have near lockdown-like curbs in place. MumbaiwillfallinLevel 2of unlockdown. Malls, theatres and all shops canresumenormaloperationsin Level 1 districts. In Level 2 districts,mallsandtheatres can operate at 50 per capacity while in districtsfallinginlevels3,4and5, thesecanfunctionwithsomerestrictions. Similarly, restaurants, trains and many economic and recreational activities, including gymsandsalons,willbeallowed in Level 1 districts, as will trains and other public transport services.Marriage,funeralsandother social gatherings can be held withoutrestrictionsinLevel1areas. In other areas, these activitiescanbeheldwithrestrictions. Manufacturing and other industries canalso resumeinLevel 1 and 2 areas without restrictions,andwithsomerestrictions in the rest. Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar had said, "In Level 1,thereare18districtswhichwill witness unlockdown. While five CONTINUEDONPAGE2 BIG CHAINS AND BIG CITIES Hospital Apollo Hospitals Max Healthcare HN Reliance Medica Hospitals Fortis Hospitals Godrej Memorial Manipal Health Techno India Narayana Hrudayalaya Covishield 13.10 12.90 8.19 6.26 3.92 3.35 0.94 2.26 2.00 Covaxin 3.04 0.07 1.70 – 0.56 – 2.30 – 0.02 Total 16.14 12.97 9.89 6.26 4.48 3.35 3.24 2.26 2.02 All figures in lakh THEURBANSKEW SIX CITIES — NCT, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune — received 97 lakh or 80.30% of the 1.2 crore doses of vaccines supplied to private hospitals countrywide. HOMESTATEBENEFIT TELANGANA & MAHARASHTRA, where Bharat Biotech (Hyderabad) and Serum Institute of India (Pune) are based, got 31.79% of Covaxin and 28% of Covishield supply respectively. LAXMAN SINGH MUMBAI, JUNE 4 THE BRIHANMUMBAI MunicipalCorporation(BMC)on Fridayrejectedalltheninebidsit had received for procurement of one crore vaccine doses for the people of Mumbai. The bids were rejected after the bidders failed to submit relevant documents to prove authenticity and clearly show any link between them and vaccine manufacturers. The civic body has now initiated talks with Dr Reddy's Laboratories – Indian partner for the manufacture of Russia's NEW DELHI, JUNE 4 THE JET (right), left Dominica at 5.09 am IST Friday; arrived in Madrid at 12.58 pm. It departed at 2.29 pm; landed in Delhi at 10.57 pm. Flight path from Flightradar24; photo ANI NEW DELHI, JUNE 4 THE SUPREME Court Friday declinedtointerfere withtheDelhi High Court order granting anticipatory bail to journalist Varun Hiremath in a rape case, while raisingquestionsregarding“normal human conduct, behaviour and understanding”. It stressed that it was saying so only for the purpose of the bail application. Dismissingthecomplainant’s plea against bail to Hiremath, a Benchof JusticesNavinSinhaand Ajay Rastogi told her counsel, Senior Advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan, “Our question is purely for the purpose of bail only.Thequestionof normalhumanconduct,behaviourandunderstanding. If a man and woman are in a room, the man makesarequestandthewoman complies with it... do we need to sayanythingmoreatthisstage?” Ramakrishnanrepliedthatas CONTINUEDONPAGE2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY 9 private hospitals corner 50% doses, raise questions of vaccine equity and access NCR, MMR, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad pick up 80% of stock TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA MUMBAI, JUNE 4 IN WHAT both reflects and accentuates the problem of vaccine inequity, just nine corporate hospital groups in big cities have cornered 50 per cent of the Covid-19 vaccine stock meant for the private sector in the month of May. These nine corporate hospital groups cumulatively bought 60.57 lakh doses of the total 1.20 croredosesof vaccines procured by private hospitals in the first fullmonthsincetheCentralgov- ernment revised its vaccine policy and opened it to the market. The balance 50 per cent of the vaccine stock was procured by 300-odd hospitals, located mostly in the country’s urban centres, with hardly any of them serving regions beyond the Tier-2 cities. TheCentrehad allowedstate governmentsandprivateplayers tobuy50percentof totaloutput directly from vaccine manufacturers from May 1. It had confined itself to purchasing 50 per centof theoutputfromMay1,to be distributed to states to vaccinate the 45-plus age group. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BMC rejects all nine bids from facilitator firms PRANAV MUKUL EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 After week-long wait for Choksi in Dominica, jet back SC rejects plea against bail to Hiremath, talks of ‘normal conduct’ REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SATURDAY, JUNE 5, 2021, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 14 PAGES ` 86 per kilo ● FROM THE time he showed up bruised and battered in Dominica police custody, the story of fugitive jeweller Mehul Choksi, a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda who is wanted by India CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Sputnik V vaccine – which has assured to provide 50,000 doses onatrialbasisbytheendof June. So far, over 32 lakh people have been vaccinated in Mumbai. Civic officials, who were involved in the procurement of jabs by floating a global Expression of Interest (EOI) process,saidthatinthelastthree days, none of the nine bidders – all facilitator firms that had claimed tie-ups with manufacturers – managed to submit crucial documents like agreements and authorisation letters from vaccine manufacturers. "We have scrutinised the documents submitted by the CONTINUEDONPAGE2 FOCUS ON REVIVAL No change in rates, growth pared, sops for more: RBI Liquidity window of Rs 15,000 cr for hard-hit sectors like hotels, tourism KHUSHBOO NARAYAN & GEORGE MATHEW MUMBAI, JUNE 4 WITH FOCUS on reviving the country’s Covid-hit economy, the Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) Friday slashed its growth projection, kept main policy interest rates unchanged, and unleashed a host of measures to support businesses and ensure their access to liquidity. Unveiling the bi-monthly monetary policy, the RBI unveiled a Rs 15,000-crore liquiditywindowforcontact-intensive sectors like hotels and tourism, and announced securities purchases of Rs 40,000 crore in June and Rs 1.2 lakh crore in the September quarter. Italsoincreasedthecoverage of borrowers under the onetime debt resolution framework scheme by enhancing the maximum exposure limit from Rs 25 crore to Rs 50 crore for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), small businesses and business loans to individuals. The RBI also announced a fresh Rs 16,000-crore liquidity line to Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)foron-lendingtoMSMEs. Making it clear that it will Cautious but optimistic GIVEN THAT it has been conservative in paring growth, the RBI expects that economic activities are unlikely to be severely dented despite the severe second wave. The inflation outlook amidst the potentially good farm output, but rising global commodity prices, is more finely balanced. maintain an accommodative stance to revive growth, the central bank’s six-member panel pared India’s GDP growth forecastforthecurrentfinancialyear by 100 basis points to 9.5 per cent for the fiscal 2021-22 because of the uncertainties created by the second Covid wave. The RBI panel, after a threeday meeting, kept the key policy rate (Repo rate, or the RBI’s lending rate to banks) unchanged at CONTINUEDONPAGE2
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