MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 17 MAY 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR UK DEFENDS DELAY IN ADDING INDIA TO TRAVEL BAN RED LIST P10 P6 P6 Partly cloudy sky with a chance of thunderstorms. Maximum and minimum temperature most likely to be around 38 °C and 24 °C respectively. RAINFALL: NIL RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.70% Min. 22% TEMPERATURE Max: 39.6°C (-1) SUN RISES 05:29 hrs MOON RISES 08:10 hrs Advises 30-bedded CCC where home isolation not feasible Min: 21.7°C (-5) SUN SETS 19:06 hrs MOON SETS 22:10 hrs PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 16 MAY A THUMBNAILS Howrah bridge during the first day of a 15-day lockdown in Bengal on Sunday. BHASKAR MALLICK Active cases decline; positivity rate drops Farmers carrying freshly-picked strawberries from their farm during ongoing Covid-induced AGENCIES lockdown. In Srinagar on Sunday. Congress MP Rajeev Satav passes away: Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Satav died on Sunday, days after recovering from the coronavirus infection, hospital sources said. Satav (46) was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Pune after testing coronavirus positive last month and was on ventilator support. After recovering from Covid, he was diagnosed with Cytomegalovirus infection and his condition became critical. (P5) Israeli strikes kill 42, topple buildings in Gaza: Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City flattened three buildings and killed at least 42 people Sunday, medics said, making it the deadliest single attack since heavy fighting broke out between Israel and the territory's militant Hamas rulers nearly a week ago, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled the fighting would rage on despite international efforts to broker a cease-fire, He told the nation in a televised address that the attacks were con(P9) tinuing at full force and will take time. P12 Govt issues SOPs on Covid control in rural regions DESERTED LOOK WEATHER EXAM AND CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR BHAKER FRAUGHT TAKEOVER FUEL FLOWS SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 16 MAY 51L doses for states in next 3 days India’s Covid-19 active cases count has decreased to 36,18,458 with a net decline of 55,344 cases being recorded in the active caseload in a span of 24 hours, while the daily positivity rate dropped to 16.98 per cent, the Union health ministry said on Sunday. The total active caseload now comprises 14.66 per cent of the country’s total infections, it said. Ten states~ Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh,West Bengal, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh--cumulatively account for 74.69 per cent of the country’s total active cases, the ministry said. A declining trend in the positivity rate is also observed which has dropped NEW DELHI, 16 MAY More than 1.84 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses are still available with states and UTs, while nearly 51 lakh doses are in the pipeline and will be received by them within the next three days, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday. The Centre has so far provided more than 20 crore vaccine doses (20,28,09,250) to states and UTs free of cost, it said. Of this, the total consumption, calculated based on average up to 14 May, including wastages, is 18,43,67,772 doses. “States with negative balance are showing more consumption (including wastage) than supplied as they have not reconciled vaccines they have supplied to Armed Forces,” the PTI ministry said. to 16.98 per cent (16 May) from 24.47 per cent recorded on 3 May, it said. India’s cumulative recoveries have reached 2,07,95,335 with 3,62,437 patients recuperating in a span of 24 hours. Ten states account for 70.94 per cent of the new recoveries. Delhi cases: Delhi today recorded 6,456 fresh Covid infections and 262 fatalities while the positivity rate dropped to 10.40 per cent, the lowest in over a month, according to the Delhi government‘s latest health bulletin. With this, the total 2,46,84,077 36,18,458 3,11,170 3,62,437 2,70,284 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 16 MAY 2021 number of cases in the city has risen to 13,93,867 and the death toll to 21,506, the bulletin said. See P2 s rural areas see a rise in Covid-19 cases, the Centre on Sunday issued new guidelines for containment of the virus advising that peri-urban and rural areas plan a minimum 30-bedded Covid Care Centre for asymptomatic cases with comorbidities or mild cases where home isolation is not feasible. Provision of Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits should be made at all public health facilities including Subcentres or Health and Wellness Centres and Primary Health Centres, the Union Health Ministry said. Noting that besides urban areas reporting a large number of cases, a gradual ingress is now being seen in peri-urban, rural and tribal areas as well, the ministry released the ‘SOP on Covid-19 Containment and Management in Peri-urban, Rural & Tribal areas’ to enable communities strengthen primary level healthcare infrastructure at all levels to intensify Covid response. It said Covid Care Centres (CCC) can admit a suspect or confirmed case but should have separate areas for suspected and confirmed cases with preferably separate entry and exit for each. According to the SOP in , every village, active sur- Delhi govt extends lockdown despite downward trend Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced extension of the ongoing lockdown by one more week in the national capital, saying the gains made so far in combating Covid-19 cannot be lost due to any relaxations now. He said Delhi has recorded a “good level” of Covid-19 recoveries in the past few days and the number of cases is also reducing “very fast”. The lockdown imposed on 19 April has been extended for the fourth time till 24 May morning. It was scheduled to end at 5 a.m. on 17 May. SNS & PTI See P2 veillance should be done for influenza-like illness/ severe acute respiratory infections(ILI/SARI) periodically by ASHA with help of Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committee (VHSNC). Symptomatic cases can be triaged at village level by tele-consultation with Community Health Officer (CHO), and cases with comorbidity or low oxygen saturation should be sent to higher centres. Identified suspected Covid cases should link for testing to health facilities either through rapid antigen testing or by refer- Tauktae ploughs through coastal belt; 4 dead Congress leaders dare arrest after crackdown on PM critics SNS & PTI Tauktae which has taken the form of a “very severe cyclonic storm” is likely to intensify further during the next 24 hours and reach the Gujarat coast on Monday evening. Gale-force winds, heavy rainfall and high tidal waves swept the coastal belt of Kerala, Karnataka and Goa BENGALURU//AHMEDABAD/ PANAJI, 16 MAY Gale-force winds, heavy rainfall and high tidal waves swept the coastal belt of Kerala, Karnataka and Goa as Cyclone Tauktae hurtled northwards towards Gujarat, leaving four people dead, damaging hundreds of houses, uprooting electricity poles and trees and forcing evacuation. According to the India Meteorological Department, Tauktae which has taken the form of a “very severe cyclonic storm” is likely to intensify further during the next 24 hours and reach the Gujarat coast on Monday evening. An estimated 1.5 lakh people are being shifted from lowlying coastal areas in Gujarat while 54 teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Source: IMD Force (SDRF) have been deployed in the state. Maharashtra too was bracing for impact as the Met department predicted heavy to very heavy rains at isolated places in north Konkan, Mumbai, Thane and Palghar and extremely heavy rainfall in Raigad on Monday. Four deaths have been reported from Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Chikkamagaluru and Shivamogga districts in cyclonerelated incidents. The water level in many dams across Kerala showed a rising trend after heavy rains in the catchment areas, prompting authorities to sound an alert. Gusty winds and heavy rains started lashing several parts of Goa since Sunday morning. Power supply in a majority of areas of Goa was disrupted as hundreds of electric poles were uprooted due to the highspeed winds, state Power Minister Nilesh Cabral said. In Karnataka, over 70 villages in seven districts have been affected by the cyclone. Home Minister Amit Shah also reviewed with CMs of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and the Administrator of Daman & Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli, their preparedness to deal with the situation arising out of cyclone Tauktae. The Home Minister took stock of the steps taken to maintain health facilities in the areas and directed the State Administrations, District Collectors to make adequate power back-up arrangements in all Covid hospitals, vaccine cold chain and other facilities. More reports Page 4 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 16 MAY Congress leaders on Sunday slammed the police action against some people for allegedly putting up posters critical of the Prime Minister and dared the government to arrest them for raising questions on the export of Covid vaccines. Led by Rahul Gandhi, Congress leaders changed their profile pictures on Twitter with the poster asking why Covid vaccines were sent abroad. The Opposition party said tough questions will be asked from the Prime Minister if people don’t get vaccines, medicines and oxygen. “Arrest me too,” said Gandhi in a tweet while sharing a picture of the poster “Modi ji, Arrest me too. Modi ji, why did you send our children's vaccines abroad” RAHUL GANDHI The challenge was posed after a few people were arrested by Delhi police for putting up posters in the national capital on the vaccine issue why did you send our children’s vaccines abroad”. The challenge was posed after a few people were arrested by Delhi police for putting up posters in the national capital on the vaccine issue. The Delhi Police also registered a number of FIRs and arrested people for pasting posters critical of the PM. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh dared the Prime Minister and home minister to arrest him, saying he was putting up such posters on his compound wall. “Putting up critical posters against PM is now a crime? Is India run by the Modi Penal Code now? Is the Delhi Police so jobless in the middle of a raging pandemic,” he asked. Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said questions will be asked from the Prime Minister if people don’t get vaccines, medicines and oxygen they desperately need. “I dare you to arrest me. Where is my vaccine, where is my oxygen? We will continue to ask questions,” he said while alleging people are being “arrested for asking questions”. Vacancies in SC, HCs: Govt awaits collegium proposal Provide dignified cremations: Centre to UP, Bihar govts PRESS TRUST OF INDIA The Centre has directed the Uttar Pradesh and Bihar governments to prevent dumping of dead bodies in Ganga and to ensure their “safe disposal,” while providing support for “dignified cremations.” Following media reports of dumping of Covid-19 affected human bodies, partially burnt or decomposed corpses, in the Ganga and its tributaries, Jal Shakti Ministry Secretary Pankaj Kumar reviewed the situation with the state governments and sought to know actions being taken by them. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) Director General Rajiv Ranjan Mishra told the meeting that the situation was being followed NEW DELHI, 16 MAY The Supreme Court has seven vacancies, two high courts are functioning without regular chief justices and two high court chief justices are set to retire in the next one and a half months, a government functionary said. He said the government is awaiting recommendations from the apex court collegium to fill up the slots. The first vacancy in the Supreme Court arose following the retirement of Justice Ranjan Gogoi in November 2019 as the Chief Justice of India (CJI). Subsequently, a few more vacancies arose in the top court following the retirements of justices Deepak Gupta, R Bhanumathi, Arun Mishra, Indu Malhotra, and S A Bobde, who demitted office as the CJI last month. Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar passed away in April. With a sanctioned strength of 34, the apex court is functioning with 27 judges at present. The high courts of Allahabad and Calcutta are being run by acting chief justices. The chief justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court will retire later this month, while the chief justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court will retire in June. The 25 high courts of the country have a combined sanctioned strength of 1,080 judges, but are functioning with 660, a shortfall of 420 judges, according to 1 May figures. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE The directions come following media reports of dumping of Covid-19 affected human bodies, halfburnt or decomposed corpses, in Ganga and its tributaries NEW DELHI, 16 MAY Relatives carry the body of a suspected Covid-19 victim, near a cremation ground on the banks of the Ganges. At Phaphamau in Prayagraj, on Sunday. up with several districts like Unnao, Kanpur Rural, Ghazipur, Ballia in UP, and Buxar and Saran in Bihar. Describing the incidents as “most undesirable and alarming,” the Jal Shakti sec- IANS retary told the state governments that there were instructions already given to deal with the issue. Preventing the dumping of dead bodies as well as their safe disposal and protection of water quality has to be attended to on war footing, he said. Mishra said several other districts had also reported similar incidents. He asked the State NMCG units to follow up action taken with all districts. Mishra said that there was need to strengthen enforcement, maintain vigil, to take proactive action to facilitate and support the families for cremation of dead bodies and asked State missions to specifically report on this. If needed, Project Directors can assess and also give support to District Ganga Committees out of NMCG funds available with them while keeping NMCG informed, Mishra said. The Central Pollution Control Board and the Central Water Commission were also involved in the Jal Shakti Ministry review. It was decided in the meeting that a suitable awareness generation program needs to be taken up against the ill effects of dumping of bodies in the Ganga. State Pollution Control Boards were directed to improve and make more frequent water quality monitoring in consultations with the health department. The CPCB was assigned the task of over-all monitoring and giving guidance to state pollution control boards. ral of samples to nearest Covid-19 testing laboratory, in accordance with ICMR guidelines. CHOs and ANMs should be trained in performing Rapid Antigen Testing. Depending upon the intensity of surge and number of cases, as far as feasible, contact tracing should be done as per Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme’s (IDSP’s) guidelines, it stated. “Nearly 80-85 per cent Covid-19 cases are asymptomatic/ mildly symptomatic. These patients do not require hospitalisation and may be managed at home or in Covid care isolation facilities,” the SOP stated. As monitoring of oxygen saturation is important, it is desirable for each village to have adequate number of pulse oximeters and thermometers. The SOP recommended developing a system of providing pulse oximeters and thermometers on loan to families with a confirmed case of Covid through ASHA/ Anganwadi workers and villagelevel volunteers. “Home Isolation kit shall be provided to all such cases which should include medicines such as Paracetamol 500 mg, Tab. Ivermectin, cough syrup, multivitamins (doctor-presribed) besides a detailed pamphlet indicating precautions to be taken,” the SOP stated. Covaxin effective against India, UK Covid-19 strains: US-based study NEW DELHI, 16 MAY Bharat Biotech on Sunday said its Covid-19 vaccine ‘Covaxin’ has been found to be effective against coronavirus strains found in India and the UK. Citing a study published in peer-reviewed medical journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the Hyderabad-based vaccine major noted that vaccination with Covaxin produced neutralising titres against all key emerging variants tested, including B.1.617 and B.1.1.7, first identified in India and the UK, respectively. The study was conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Virology and Indian Council of Medical Research, it added. “Covaxin gets international recognition yet again, by scientific research data published demonstrating protection against the new variants. Yet another feather in its cap,” Bharat Biotech co-founder and Joint Managing Director Suchitra Ella said in a tweet. She also tagged PMO India, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, among others, in the tweet. 2nd Covishield dose: The Union health ministry on Sunday clarified that already booked online appointments for second dose of Covishield vaccine will remain valid and the same will not be cancelled on Co-WIN platform. It, however, said requisite changes have now been done in the Co-WIN digital portal, as a result of which further online or on-site appointments will not be possible if the period after first dose date for a beneficiary is less than 84 days. The Centre has widened gap for the Covishield vaccine to 12-16 weeks. PTI
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