DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 ALL-CAUSE DEATHS IN APRIL-MAY 2021 COMPARED TO Markets hit new peak, Nifty crosses 16,000 for first time A-CUBE IAS ALL-CAUSE DEATHS IN SAME PERIOD IN PRE-PANDEMIC 2019 | Attempt | Accomplish N E W D I M E N S I O N TO I A S A S P I R A T I O N S www.acubeias.com +91-93190 57600, 93190 57800 78, Bada Bazar Marg, Old Rajendra Nagar, N.Delhi-60 Rahul takes the lead to rally Opp, Cong hails ‘historic day’, ‘2024 trailer’ 1.12 times in Kerala to 2.86 times in MP: April-May death surge looms over Covid death count The Indian Express obtained latest registered death data from 8 states that point to a spike but limited to April & May and varying sharply across states COUNT & DISCOUNT: THE TRAGEDY, IN NUMBERS DEATHS REGISTERED FROM APRIL 1 TO MAY 31 2021 All Cause CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 OPP INSULTING HOUSE, MAINTAIN RESTRAINT: PM TO BJP MPs PAGE 5 2019 All Cause ** The Multiplier ■ Kerala 51,348 4,194 41,838 1.12x 25,490 3,878 17,819 1.21x ■ Karnataka NEW DELHI, AUGUST 3 CONGRESS LEADER Rahul Gandhi Tuesday took his attemptstorallytheOppositiontogether one step further by chairing a breakfast meeting with leaders and MPs of like-minded parties. In his first such interactionwiththeOppositionwithout CongresspresidentSoniaGandhi present, Rahul again underlined anewfoundreadinesstoassume the lead in taking on the government as well as reaching out to other parties — two shortcomings he is often accused of. On Tuesday, the carefully planned interaction over breakfast with around a hundred Opposition MPs from 15 parties including the Congress, at Rahul’s invitation, was followed by a surprise cycle rally to Parliament.Earlier,Rahulhadattended two meetings of the Opposition where the parties agreed to coordinate their protests in Parliament over Pegasus and the farm laws. In the evening, the Congress declared Tuesday as “a historic day”, saying “this is the trailer for 2024”.Rahulputoutavideoofhis engagementwiththeOpposition leaders prepared by his team. At the meeting, he said, “We represent 60% of the voice of this country... and we are treated as if we represent nobody. When the government shuts us up in Parliament, humiliates us... not just humiliating us as Members of Parliament... they are humiliating and shutting up the voice of the people of India and the majority of the voice of India.” Official Covid-19 ■ Jharkhand* MANOJ C G 1.37x 119,558 16,504 74,816 ■ Delhi ^ 39,473 13,210 18,713 1.4x ■ Punjab Centre has to inform SC about compensation by August 14 62,275 7,682 31,506 1.73x 101,480 3,587 48,177 2.03x 74,384 5,148 28,288 2.44x ■ Madhya Pradesh 204,137 4,081 69,842 2.86x 58,284 330,999 1.87x ■ Bihar AMITABH SINHA PUNE, AUGUST 3 HOW MANY people died of Covid during the brutal second wave in April and May? That question is key to not only understanding the scale of the unprecedented health tragedybutalsotoframingapolicyprescriptionforanyfutureresurge. There’sapracticalimperative too — by August 14, the Centre needstogetbacktotheSupreme Court on how it plans to pay compensation to the next of kin of those who lost their lives to Covid-19. Onereadyansweris1.69lakh — the official Covid-19 death count for the two months reported by state governments to the Centre. REPORTED BY Abhishek Angad in Ranchi, Iram Siddiqui in Bhopal, Johnson T A in Bengaluru, P Vaidyanathan Iyer & Abhinav Rajput in New Delhi, Santosh Singh in Patna, Navjeevan Gopal in Chandigarh, Shaju Philip in Thiruvananthapuram and Varinder Bhatia in Chandigarh TOMORROW: HOW TO COUNT THE UNCOUNTED COUNTING THE ■ Haryana AN EXPRESS SERIES PART ONE Source: Obtained by The Indian Express from State governments and Municipal Corporations of Delhi UNCOUNTED An investigation by The Indian Express team of reporters suggests that there is an undercount. But exactly how much may never be known — it can only be estimated and, that too, in at least a year given the way Indiacountsitsdead(seeadjoining report). As part of the investigation, the newspaper approached severalstategovernmentsof whom eight — these account for almost a third of all Covid deaths as of last week — provided records of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Total 678,145 ■ Uttar Pradesh 16,824 11,686 7,281 0.7x ■ Chhattisgarh 20,080 8,878 10,135 1.1x ■ West Bengal 64,270 5,212 44,100 1.33x ■ Tamil Nadu 61,034 11,513 33,917 1.46x 112,788 42,145 44,944 1.57x 41,241 5,567 17,077 2.08x ■ Andhra Pradesh 88,075 3,713 39,392 2.14x ■ Gujarat 59,010 5,314 16,282 3.29x 463,322 94,028 213,128 1.73x ■ Maharashtra ■ Rajasthan Total Source: National Health Mission, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare * Data from an Intensive Public Health Survey conducted by the state government ^ Does not include death registrations in New Delhi Municipal Council # 2019 was a non-pandemic year, hence taken for comparison **Multiplier = (All-cause deaths in 2021 minus official Covid deaths) divided by (All-cause deaths in 2019) Identifying Covid deaths is the challenge but hard to hide large numbers: experts AMITABH SINHA & P VAIDYANATHAN IYER PUNE, NEW DELHI, AUGUST 3 THAT THERE is a surge in the number of all-cause deaths in the months of April and May is established. To find out how much of the surge — beyond the 1.69-lakh official count — is becauseof Covidisataskcutoutfor state governments and the Centre. “To go back and identify who amongst those who died during the pandemic period was due to Covid if not already tested or officiallycountedasCoviddeathby thestateis,inpracticalterms,impossible,”PronabSen,Chairman, StandingCommitteeon EconomicStatistics,and ex-Chief Statistician of India, told The Indian Express. “What we can, however, do is modellingbasedonpilotstudies, study of symptoms, and surveys of next of kin to get an estimate.” Thatwilltakesometime.For, PM hails Team India, says ‘confidence comes when right talent is encouraged’ PARIMAL DABHI GANDHINAGAR, AUGUST 3 Olympic bronze medallist P V Sindhu at New Delhi airport on her return from Tokyo on Tuesday. Abhinav Saha LAUDING THE performance of TeamIndiaattheTokyoOlympics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that they showcased “New India's” “new confidence”, and such “confidence comeswhensystemschangeand become transparent”. APTIreportsaidModiwillin- expertspointout,itwillbea“humongous and impractical task” inthemiddleof apandemictodo a national door-to-door survey assisted by medical experts to find the post-mortem cause of the deaths. But given how India counts its dead and, is getting better at it with ● each year, experts said, there is a consensus that the extra deaths will not go uncounted; although it may go unidentified as Covid. E EXPLAINED Aspire vite India’s Olympic contingent to the Red Fort as special guests on August 15. Quoting official sources, it said he will also invite them to his residence for an interaction. Addressing an event in Dahod, via video conference, to mark Chief Minister Vijay Rupani'sfiveyearsinoffice,Modi said: “This time, the highest number of Indian players have CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY JUDGE DEATH: HC SLAMS POLICE P6 Bronze medal in the bag, Lovlina chases boxing history at unique venue — home of sumo wrestling EXPRESSAT OLYMPICS MIHIR VASAVDA TOKYO, AUGUST 3 WHEN SHE strides out of the tunnel at the Kokugikan Arena Wednesday, Lovlina Borgohain willattempttogowherenoother Indian boxer has been before. Street-smart and brave, she has assured herself of a bronze medal by making it to the semi- finals in welterweight. But the 23-year-old has set her sights on gold.Andsheknowsthatagainst Turkey’sBusenazSurmeneli,her aggressive world champion opponent, it will require a sumosized performance— inanarena that is home to Japanese sumo wrestling. Driving through downtown Tokyo, past the bay area, crisscrossing some of the stadiums that resemble sci-fi movie sets, youreachtheoldcity’ssumo-obsessedneighborhoodofRyogoku. It is a world unto itself. The sprawlingsix-lanehighwayconverges into a narrow two-way Lovlina faces Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli on Wednesday lane dotted by restaurants, whichsell‘yokozunaburgers’,on one side and sumo stables, similar to akharas across Haryana, on the other. There’s graffiti of sumo wrestlers through the street,withmuseumsandshops that sell posters with touts looking to make a quick buck. Towards the end, a tiny gate opens up to the shrine-like Kokugikan Arena. “This is the home of Japanese sumo wrestling,” says Yoshitaka Tsuchiya, who works with the Nihon Sumo Kyokai, Japan’s sumo association. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU MUMBAI,NEWDELHI,AUGUST3 A vaccination queue in Noida on Tuesday. Gajendra Yadav CovidR-number risingineight statesandUTs, cautionsGovt Matter of concern that only 50% of vulnerable group vaccinated: V K Paul KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, AUGUST 3 SOUNDING A Covid-19 alarm all over again, the Centre said Tuesday the fact that the reproduction number, a key metric measuring how fast the pandemic is spreading, has risen beyond 1 in eight states and Union Territories, is “truly a cause of concern”, and indicatedthe possibility of a further rise in cases in the coming days. Dr V K Paul, head of the Covid-19 task force, said the rising reproduction number, or Rvalue, coupled with the dominant presence of the highly infectious Delta variant, meant that the pandemic is still “raging” in India, and is far from over. He made these remarks on the day the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said there are eight states and UTs in the country the R-value has risen above 1: Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir (1.4); Lakshadweep (1.3); Tamil Nadu, Mizoram,Karnataka(1.2);Kerala and Puducherry (1.1). R-value estimates the number of people that an infected person is transmitting the disease to, on an average. A value of 1 means every infected person, onanaverage,istransmittingthe disease to one more person. A value greater than 1, therefore, means the pandemic is in an ascendant phase, and that cases will rise. “We know that the Delta variant has spread in the country.Thisisaverydominantproblem. This varianthas causeda30 per cent increase in cases in the US.IntheWesternPacificregion, there has been a 25 per cent increase in cases. The pandemic is stillraginganditstillpersists.We are concerned that some states have a reproduction number in the wrong direction,” Paul said. “We have to remember that this number had come down to 0.6 and below. If it is rising in some states, then it is truly a cause for concern. It shows that the virus wishes to expand and we must curb it,” he said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RIDING ON the back of encouraging economic data that showed a recovery in the manufacturing sector index, higher GST collection and improved corporate earnings, India’s benchmark stock indices rallied to new peaks on Tuesday, with the Nifty index scaling the 16,000 level for the first time. With European markets making good gains and the vaccination drive gaining ground in the country, the benchmark Sensex jumped 873 points to a new high of 53,823.36 and the NSE Nifty Index soared 246 points to close at 16,130.75 on all-round buying support. The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)movedbackabovethecritical 50.0 threshold — up from 48.1 to 55.3 — in July, pointing to the strongest rate of growth in threemonths.Ontheotherhand, India'sgrossGSTrevenuesinJuly recovered sharply to Rs 1,16,393 crore,afterslippingbelowtheRs 1 lakh crore mark for the first time in eight months in June. “Progressive economic data indicates strong rebound from impact of the second wave. All major domestic data like PMI index, GST collection, corporate earnings, export data, etc favour CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 E E X P L A I NE D WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 20 PAGES Momentum may ● continue DERIVING COMFORT from good first quarter earnings, PMI growth and lowerthan-expected impact of the second Covid wave, the premier indices rose to close at new highs on Tuesday. If fundamentals of the economy remain strong, experts believe the market momentum is likely to sustain.
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