MANGALURU SUNDAY APRIL 25, 2021 `12.00 PAGES 24 CITY EDITION 8 DEAD, 31 MISSING IN U’KHAND AVALANCHE; RESCUE OPS ON Disaster struck Border Roads Organisation’s Sumna-Rimkhim road site in Chamoli near India-China border on Friday night 384 RESCUED AFTER GLACIER COLLAPSES The avalanche occurred after a part of a glacier collapsed, trapping around 430 road construction workers. Search operations were mounted by the Indian Army and ITBP, resulting in the rescue of 384 people. Seven injured persons were flown to the Army hospital in Joshimath in helicopters. Both the Army and the ITBP’s forward camps in the area were unaffected | P8 18 inches SECOND MAJOR DISASTER SINCE FEBRUARY ■ The site is located near the confluence of the Girthigad and the Kiogad, two streams that originate from the Dhauli Ganga river, which witnessed a calamitous avalanche in February, killing 80 ■ The road is crucial to gain access to locations like the disputed Barahoti area, where Chinese transgressions have been reported ICE LOST PER YEAR IN GLACIERS SINCE 2000 DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI ANNOUNCEMENT Dear reader, India is going through its worst phase of the Covid pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of people are struggling, many in vain, to exercise their right to live, as a ramshackle universal healthcare system proves that it has no answers to the challenges posed by a creepy bug. The health ministry’s daily bulletin of fresh positive cases and fatalities has hit the stratosphere, so have SOS messages from individuals and hospitals seeking oxygen refill and lifesaving medicines. Hospitals refuse fresh admissions for want of Covid beds. The rush at crematoriums is heart-breaking. Most of us already have friends or relatives who have succumbed to Covid-19 or are battling for life. In such a tragic time, we find it incongruous that the festival of cricket is on in India, with layers of bio bubbles creating protection. This is commercialism gone crass. The problem is not with the game but its timing. Cricket, too, must accept that we are passing through an unprecedented crisis. In the circumstances, The New Indian Express has decided to suspend IPL coverage in the newspaper with immediate effect till a semblance of normalcy is restored. This is a small gesture towards keeping the nation’s attention focused on life and death issues. We are sure that our readers will see the point. These are times when we must stand as one nation with one resolve. — Editor SOS MESSAGES FLOOD TWITTER @Tarunvijay My elder cousin brother, 91, no plasma available, no oxygen cylinder. Hospiral docsxsaidghar le jaiye. #Faridabad. Where are we heading t ? Those without any connection, those who do not know any influential person, those who are just commoners,,,, @malini_aisola @JaiveerShergill An Undertaking that loved ones are being asked to sign at @SarojHospital, Delhi hospital that says it is not the responsibility of the hospital if the patient dies due to scarcity of oxygen Need hospital bed for a 8month pregnant lady -oxygen level has dipped to 84 and situation not looking good at all. She is right now in Dwarka -Any leads please let me know!! @AdityaRajKaul #SOS DELHI Baby needs ventilator. In Critical State. Ad-Nehru vihar Mustafabad Delhi Age 2.2year Please help, Delhi!! @sumeetbhasin Requirement of Plasma Donor on urgent basis of “A or AB” blood group. Age - 53 Years/ Female Admitted in Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh thaman S @MusicThaman FIGHTING FOR LIFE A VERY GOOD MUSICIAN O+VE PLASMA VERY URGENT LOCATION DIYA HOSPITAL RAMANA TAKES CHARGE AS CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA P8 Delhi HC asks Centre when 480 MT of oxygen per day allocated for Delhi would see light of the day, raps Delhi govt for being inefficient; says people who could be saved are also dying HC fumes as govts pass the oxygen buck TWEETS CRITICAL OF GOVT TAKEN DOWN K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi THE Delhi High Court on Saturday pulled up both the Centre and the Delhi government for passing the buck in the midst of a pandemic and directed them to ensure smooth supply of oxygen to various hospitals in the national capital. In an urgent hearing on Saturday a bench of justices Vipin , Sanghi and Rekha Palli warned it will hang any person who tries to obstruct oxygen supplies to hospitals here. The court said those who have low immunity may eventually die but the problem comes when people who could be saved are also dying. “We are calling it a wave, it is actually a tsunami,” the court said. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, said there might be a rapid rise in the number of cases in May and June and the country needs to be ready for the worst. He explained how the government is working round the clock to import oxygen and are exploring the remotest possibility of generating oxygen from wherever it is possible. The court was hearing sub- Twitter took down dozens of tweets in India, some of which were critical of the Centre’s handling of the pandemic, to comply with an emergency order from the government. The order had directed it to censor over 50 tweets, including some from prominent users NATIONWIDE APRIL 23 Covid patients getting free oxygen, arranged by a Sikh organisation at Indirapuram Gurdwara, in Ghaziabad on Saturday | PTI Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths missions by the counsel for Maharaja Ag rasen Hospital, Jaipur Golden Hospital, Batra Hospital and Saroj Super Speciality Hospital here over shortage of oxygen for treating seriously-ill Covid patients. “States are arranging from tankers to everything. We are just assisting them. But in Delhi, everything is put on us,” the Centre said. “Let’s try and not be a cry baby Solicitor General Tushar ,” Mehta said in response to Delhi government lawyer’s complaint that the Centre was not comply- to what endeavour they have made to secure tankers to get the supply of oxygen allocated to it by the Centre. The court observed that while the tankers had reached the plant in Durgapur and were ready to be transported through railway for Rourkela and Kalinga Nagar, the Delhi government did not arrange tanker. “We know how people react (when they lose their loved ones). Let’s not have a law and order situation,” the HC said. The matter would be heard P7 next on April 26. Air Force, Navy ferry oxygen tanks, medical staff for Covid fight B A L A C H A U H A N @ Bengaluru THE Union Government is deploying every available resource to tide over the oxygen emergency in the country Giv. en the urgency, the Railways, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy have been pressed into massive Covid-19 relief efforts. “One C-17 aircraft of the IAF left for Changi International Airport, Singapore, from the Hindon Air Base at 2 am on April 24. It is on its way to offload four empty cryogenic oxygen containers at Panagarh in West Bengal,” said IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Ashish Moghe. “Another C-17 left Hindon Air Base for the Lohegaon Air Base in Pune for loading two empty cryogenic oxygen container trucks which were then flown to Jamnagar Air Base. The same -C17 aircraft is currently on its second shuttle from Pune to Jamnagar, with a load of two more empty containers,” he added. One C-17 aircraft transported two empty containers from Jodhpur to Jamnagar early on Saturday One IAF Chinook hel. icopter and one AN-32 transport aircraft took Covid testing equipment from Jammu to Leh and from Jammu to Kargil, respectively. “The equipment consisted of bio -safety cabinets, centrifuges and stabilis- An oxygen container truck being loaded onto an IAF C-17 Globemaster heavylift transport aircraft | PTI ers. These machines have been made by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and now given to the Union Territory of Ladakh to enhance testing,” he added. Meanwhile, taking into account the rise in Covid-19 cases in the Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands, the Southern Naval Command Headquarters at Kochi has deputed its Naval Ship INS Sharda as ‘Oxygen Express’ to ferry oxygen cylinders to the islands and also to bring back empty cylinders to the mainland for refilling them,” said Defence chief spokesperson Commander Mehul Karnik. He added that a medical team comprising of two doctors, two nursing assistants, along with essential medical supplies, have also been provided through naval resources to augment medical support to P7 the islands. ing with the guidelines for oxygen allocation. It also asked the Centre when the 480 MT of oxygen per day allocated for Delhi would see the light of the day . “You had assured us that 480 MT per day will reach Delhi. Tell us when will it come?,” the court questioned Centre after the Delhi government said it was getting only 380 MT oxygen per day over the past few days and it received only around 300 MT on Friday . The court also questioned Delhi government officials as 3,46,786 2,19,838 2,624 LOW ON O2, 20 DIE IN DELHI HOSP NEW DELHI: Amid the tremendous shortage of medical oxygen in the national capital, catastrophe struck at a private hospital, taking 20 lives on Saturday. At least 20 Covid patients were left without oxygen at Jaipur Golden Hospital, which caused their death in the wee hours. Totally dependent on high-flow medical oxygen, these patients were undergoing treatment at the hospital, which has moved court demanding oxygen. “The loss of lives happened because our oxygen was late by seven hours. We needed good pressure which could not be maintained. This worsened the situation,” DK Baluja, MD of Jaipur Golden Hospital, told TNIE. Centre says `150/dose, SII says `400 E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE confusion over the price of SII’s vaccine continued on Sunday with the Cen, tre saying it would keep procuring Covishield and Covaxin at `150 per dose. The statement came on a day when SII said it would sell its Covishield for `400 a dose to states and `600 for private hospital. The Union health ministry’s clarification was in response to Congress leader Jairam Ramesh’s tweet, saying the Centre would be paying more than what other countries had paid. However, Ramesh said the Sunday’s statement did not address the issue of the price differential. “1. SII said `400 is the new price for ALL new govt procurements - States & Centre. What’s the truth? 2. States have to buy from SII at `400 -Highest in the World- for Made in India vaccine. Why?” he tweeted. Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech, issued its rate card, saying its Covaxin would be sold at `600 a dose to states and at `1,200 to private hospitals. Sharp vegetable price crash singes farmers’ hopes K S H I V A K U M A R @ Mysuru A woman farmer destroys the tomato harvest in her field over the steep crash in vegetable prices, in Chamarajanagara district on Saturday | UDAYSHANKAR S 3,32,730 1,93,279 2,263 APRIL 24 JUST when they were hoping for a bumper yield, after suffering huge losses last year during the first wave of Covid-19, farmers are finding themselves in dire straits again. The government has imposed strict curbs to control the spread of the highly infectious SARS-CoV2 virus. The cap on number of attendees at weddings, ban on social gatherings, fairs and festivals have also badly affected the prospects of farmers. Adding to their worries, there has been a noticeable dip in the movement of vehicles transporting vegetables and fruits to neighbouring Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Vegetables, that were being sold for a minimum of `20 per kg have now dropped shar ply to under `10 per kg. Farmers, who had invested heavily on crops like tomato, watermelon, beans, cabbage, ladies finger, cucumber, banana, etc., anticipating good returns, are shattered as they are forced to sell at throwaway prices. CONTINUED ON: P5 Major hospitals hang on to every ounce of O2 BOSKY KHANNA & P E A R L M A R I A D ’ S U Z A @ Bengaluru WITH Kar nataka touching newer highs every day as the Covid-19 situation spins out of control, major hospitals are walking on thin ice as regards their stocks and supply of oxygen cylinders is limited. Many are managing on a day-to-day basis while some are battling with just hours of oxygen stocks left. On Saturday the state record, ed 29,438 fresh cases, with Bengaluru Urban district alone accounting for 17, 342 cases. The managements of hospitals are keeping their fingers crossed that they do not run out of stock in the dead of the night or when a patient suddenly needs it. A doctor from Apollo Hospitals said, “It is literally a handto-mouth situtation. The demand has shot up five times compared to normal times. We have to keep a 24-hour reserve so that there is no shortage for patients. Earlier, if we needed Strong Steps to Stop Spread With Bengaluru recording 1.5 lakh active cases, the Karnataka Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 has come out with a set of recommendations State Government must impose lockdown for 14 days to break the chain of infections Should increase beds by taking as much as possible from private medical colleges, nursing homes and hospitals Third Wave expected in OctoberNovember; Hence, vulnerable age groups must be vaccinated by then STATEWIDE Fresh cases Active cases Deaths Recoveries Fresh cases in B’luru Urban APRIL 23 APRIL 24 26,962 2,14,311 190 8,697 16,662 29,438 2,34,483 208 9,058 17,342 500 cubic metres of oxygen per day, the demand has now increased to 1,250 cubic metres. At present, we have 103 cubic metres stock in some of our P4 hospitals.” ‘Stricter curbs would have helped’ R A M U PAT I L @ Bengaluru FACED with criticism for not being adequately prepared for the second wave, Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Saturday pointed out that the double-mutant strain was responsible for the second wave, as it is more contagious. While agreeing that stricter measures, as suggested by the TAC, could have been taken three weeks ago, he reasoned that the government was faced with the task of saving livelihoods at the same time. FULL INTERVIEW | P4 W I T H THE COVID GENERATION T H I S I S S U E PLUS 12 PAGES
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