Quality at Value VOL. 32 NO. 48| MUMBAI, PUNE, INDORE, BHOPAL SUNDAY| APRIL 4, 2021| 15 PAGES | ` 4 SITUATION ‘MAHA’ TENSE, 49,447 CASES IN 24 HOURS CATCH US IF YOU CAN: DEREK O’BRIEN TO BJP KOLKATA “Catch us if you can,” said TMC leader Derek O’Brien responding to BJP president JP Nadda’s claim TMC is losing assembly polls in the state. (Pg 5) CORONAVIRUS CASES 131,160,631 DEATHS 2,854,681 Source - Worldometer WEST BROM STUN CHELSEA 5-2 IN PREMIER LEAGUE LONDON: Matheus Pereira and Callum Robinson each scored a double after Thiago Silva was sent off as West Brom secured 5-2 victory at Chelsea. (Pg 8) l Highest single-day spike in Maharashtra since the pandemic began l Mumbai records 9,000 cases in 24 hours l State may issue new strict guidelines from tonight SWAPNIL MISHRA Mumbai The Covid-19 situation in Mumbai and rest of the state seems to have become more worrisome. For the first time since the pandemic hit us, Mumbai recorded 9,000 new cases in a span of 24 hours. Taking the total count to 4,41,282 cases till now.This is the highest single-day corona cases count for the third consecutive day on Saturday . Maharashtra reported close to 50,000 new corona cases on Saturday out of , which 49,447 new infections were reported in the last 24 hours, pushing its tally to 29,53,523. Meanwhile, the state also reported 277 Covid deaths, increasing the death toll to 55,656 so far. Meanwhile, the Covid death toll has increased to 11,751, with 27 fatalities being reported in the last 24 A healthcare worker conducts antigen tests at a mall in Worli on Saturday. (Photo BL SONI) hours. The recovery rate has dropped to 83 per cent and doubling rate has also reduced to 44 days from 46 days which was just a day before. According to health experts, the cases will continue to rise sharply in the coming days before hitting a plateau. Dr Rahul Pandit, member of the state-appointed Task Court remands Vaze in NIA custody till April 7 STAFF REPORTER Mumbai Suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze was on Saturday remanded in the National Investigation Agency (NIA)’s custody till April 7 by a special court. The NIA, which is probing the Antilia bomb scare-Mansukh Hiran murder case, told the special NIA court that its probe has found that Vaze held a joint account and locker with an accomplice in DCB Bank’s Versova Branch. BETWEEN THE LINES Virtual hearings in HC from Apr 5 MUMBAI: A division bench of the Bombay High Court on Saturday decided to revert to virtual hearings from April 5 in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases in Mumbai. The bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale will take up their judicial assignment through video- conferencing instead of physical hearings, a notice issued V R Kachare, Registrar Judicial said. "As a precautionary measure in view of COVID-19, the hearing of matters will be conducted via video conferencing," the notice said. Busy on call, nurse gives two vax shots LUCKNOW: Busy on her mobile, an auxiliary nursing midwife (ANM) administered Covid-19 jab twice to a woman in sheer medical negligence at a Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Akbarpur area of Kanpur dehat. Taking serious cognizance of the medical negligence during vaccination drive, the District Magistrate . Kanpur Dehat J.P Singh has directed the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) to submit a detailed report on the goof up. The ANM, identified as Archana, has been put off duty. President Kovind better, out of ICU NEW DELHI: The health condition of President Ram Nath Kovind is improving after his bypass surgery and he has been shifted from the ICU to a special room in AIIMS on Saturday, according to the Rashtrapati Bhavan. "President Kovind was shifted from the ICU to a special room in the AIIMS today. His health has been improving continuously. Doctors are constantly monitoring his condition and have advised him to take rest," the Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a tweet.On March 30, Kovind had undergone a cardiac bypass surgery at AIIMS. It said this account was operated by the said suspect, whose name it did not reveal, on March 18, when Vaze was in its custody after his arrest on March 13. The NIA alleged that incriminating material was swiped out of it. On 30 March, when it searched the locker, only some documents were found, the NIA alleged. FULL STORY ON P3 Force for the clinical management of critical patients, said that there will be a surge in Covid cases in the coming days. They are expecting to hit the plateau hopefully in this month after which the cases will start coming down gradually “The daily cases . have shot up as the state has increased daily testing in big numbers and also improved tracking contacts of Covid patients. The state will have to continue increasing testing figures till the positivity rate comes down to 5% or below to control the situation,” he said. Dr Subhash Salunkhe, state advisor on Covid-19 and former director-general of health services, said that strict measures need to be adopted by the state government to control the rising number of cases. “Looking at the pattern and the incubation period, we could see such high numbers till April 15. During this period, two things need to be strictly carried out — more vaccination and strong testing drive... There is an absolute need for active intervention in the form of localised restrictions to start with, including no congregation, no crowding in restaurants, weddings, etc,” he said. State mulls curbs on timings of trains, buses to control crowds SANJAY JOG Mumbai The Maharashtra Government is exploring various options to avoid total lockdown but announce stringent curbs as the state has yet to reach its second peak during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. State recorded 49,447 new cases with 277 deaths and 401172 active patients on Saturday and it expects further hike in the days to come. Against this backdrop, the government is internally preparing for a total lockdown or imposition of strict restrictions. A senior officer said the government is likely to issue new guidelines on stringent restrictions by Sunday night for Resolute Action), the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and the Special Task Force (STF). "Five security personnel died and around 10 others injured in an encounter with the Maoists in the jungles near Tarrem, Bijapur," Chhattisgarh DGP DM Awasthi was quoted as saying by ANI. The operation is still on and some Maoists are also suspected to be killed during the exchange of fire. Following the incident, an emergency meeting of the DGP Special DG (Anti, Maoist Operations) Ashoke Juneja and other officers was held in Raipur. The CRPF also confirmed five casualties on the part of the security forces in the encounter with the Maoists in Bijapur. It said one Maoist has also been killed in the gunbattle. Migrant labourers and their family members head back to their native place from LTT, Kurla on Saturday. (Photo BL Soni) so that its implementation will begin from Monday Five jawans killed in Maoist encounter Biker hurt seriously as Security forces were conducting a joint operation against the reds in Chhattisgarh FPJ BUREAU Raipur Five security personnel including two CRPF jawans have been killed and around 10 jawans sustained injuries during an encounter with Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district on Saturday . Chhattisgarh DGP DM Awasthi said that the encounter took place at around noon when the security forces were carrying out a joint anti-Maoist operation in Tarrem area of Bijapur district, about 400 km south of the state capital. The security forces comprised Centra Reserve Police Force’s (CRPF) elite unit CoBRA (Commando Battalion BMW hits him on WEH STAFF REPORTER Mumbai A 20-year-old motorcyclist was seriously injured after a speeding BMW car hit him on the Western Express Highway (WEH) in Vile Parel early on Saturday . The luxury car’s driver identified as Gaurav Arora, 40, was allegedly in an inebriated condition at the time of accident, said police. He was later produced in a court which granted him bail. The incident took place around 3 am when the victim, Ishan Mishti doi is sweet… why Maha to promote all students is Didi so bitter? PM Modi of Class I-VIII without exams Govt to soon take decision on students of Standards 9 and 11 FPJ BUREAU Kolkata The war of words in West Bengal between Prime Minister Narendra and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit a new low on Saturday . Addressing a rally in West Bengal, Modi said that contesting elections from Nandigram is Didi's biggest mistake. He also called her ‘bitter’. "There is a certain sweetness in Bengal. It's language, it's people....don't get me started about mishti doi and the sweets. Then how are you so bitter, Didi?" PM Modi asked at the rally . The PM claimed that the TMC supremo has done across the state. These guidelines are likely to be in place for 15 days. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is meeting cross sections to know their mind before announcing the government decision to break the virus chain. He will meet political parties to seek their cooperation with a plea not to indulge into politics when the situation is “alarming.’’ Thackeray on Friday warned of a full lockdown if people did not limit their movement. Thackeray said that people were not taking necessary precautions such as wearing masks or avoiding unnecessary travel. CONTD. ON P6 SANJAY JOG Mumbai nothing for Singur but played Singur card for her own political purpose. “Didi has closed all doors of employment in Singur and West Bengal. The result of the ongoing election is clear on the day of the Nandigram poll,” stated Modi. Claiming that Banerjee will contest from Varanasi in the 2024 Lok Sabha poll, Modi said that Banerjee had understood that she cannot do anything in West Bengal anymore. Taking a potshot at TMC supremo, Modi said that her angry outbursts against central security forces and Union Home Minister is due to her ‘fear for defeat’. for giving a second dose. Suresh Kakani, additional BMC Commissioner said they have enough stock of Covishield but very few doses of Covaxin. They had demanded 10 lakh Covaxin dosages to the centres which are yet to arrive. “I have received several complaints from the vaccine centres that the Covaxin are out of stock, while some have few vials left. We cannot do anything till the Centre sends the Covaxin consignment,” he said. CONTD. ON P6 The Maharashtra government in view of unabated spurt in the coronavirus cases has decided to promote all state board students from Class 1 to 8 without examinations. FPJ FOLLOW-UP AGENCIES Washington Patel, a resident of Bandra, was returning home from his friend’s house in Malad. Arora lost control over the wheels near Hotel Ibis and hit Patel’s bike. The bystanders rushed Patel to hospital, said police. Arora was taken for medical examination which confirmed that he was driving under the influence alchohol, said police. “We booked the driver under relevant sections of the IPC and Motor Vehicle Act for drunk driving," said Alka Mandve, senior inspector of Vile Parle police station. Russian court fines Twitter $116,778 over illegal content IANS / Moscow A court in Russian has fined the microblogging platform Twitter $116,778 for violating the country's Internet legislation by failing to remove banned content. The platform has been grappling with government scrutiny globally including in India over the presence of bad accounts. Part of the content in question urged minors to take part in illegal protests, promoted drug use, and spread child pornography reports , Xinhua news agency . Twitter has 60 days to pay the fine from the day the ruling comes into force. State School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad on Saturday said that the government will soon take a decision on Classes 9 and 11. Free Press Journal broke the story on March 31. “In view of the ongoing situation due to COVID-19, all state board students across Maharashtra from Class 1st to 8th will be promoted to the next class without any examinations. A decision regarding students of class 9th and 11th will soon be taken,’’ said Gaikwad in a video message uploaded on twitter. FPJ reported on March 31 the state government’s proposal of mass promotion of Class 1 to 8 students due to the coronavirus pandemic. The government, however, is firm on holding offline examinations for Classes 10 and 12. CONTD. ON P6 Coronavirus spike plays spoil sport cially distancing, and washing hands frequently Xinhua , news agency quoted the CDC as saying on Friday . The CDC defined fully vaccinated people as being fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last recommended dose of vaccine. For international travel, fully vaccinated people do not need a Covid-19 test prior to travel, unless it is required by the destination, the CDC noted. Meanwhile, fully vaccinated people do not need to selfquarantine after returning to the US. They should still have a negative Covid-19 test before boarding a flight to the US, and a follow-up test three to five days after their return, said the CDC. possession of document of property registration and payment of a stamp duty of Rs 30 crore at 3 per cent rate on March 31. It was paid at the Old Customs House in South Mumbai. According to the document number 3089/2021, Damani has paid the stamp duty and registration charges. Inci- dentally the state govern, ment’s rebate in stamp duty ended on the same day as it has not extended beyond March 31 despite repeated representations from the real estate industry As per . the state government's ready reckoner rates, the value of the property is Rs 723.98 crore. CONTD. ON P6 City vax centres face Fully inoculated people can travel IPL 2021: Matches at shortage of Covaxin in America at low risk: US CDC Wankhede in doubt SWAPNIL MISHRA Mumbai The Covid vaccine centres across the city are reeling under a huge shortage of Bharat Biotech- Covaxin due to which the beneficiaries are asked to come back later. Officials said that they had demanded 10 lakh Covaxin dosages, but they had received only 80,000 which was distributed at the centres. Now, there are only 20,000 dosages due to which they have asked to be kept aside In an updated guideline, the US Centers for Disease Control recommended that fully vaccinated people against Covid-19 can travel at low risk to themselves. Fully vaccinated people can travel within the US, and Covid-19 testing or post-travel self-quarantine are not required as long as they continue to take precautions while travelling - wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, so- DMart’s Damani buys SoBo property for record `1,001 cr Pays stamp duty worth `30 cr on March 31 SANJAY JOG Mumbai On a day when the Maharashtra government ended the waiver in stamp duty on March 31, DMart promoter Radhakrishna Damani along with his brother Gopikishan Damani has purchased a residential property in South Mumbai’s Malabar Hill for a record Rs 1,001 crore. The property has an area of 5752.22 sq mt. The billionaire investor has paid Rs 1,61,728 per sq ft for a two-story building making the most expensive residential property deal in India in recent years. Free Press Journal is in JOE WILLIAMS Mumbai While lockdown looms large over Maharashtra and Mumbai in particular, the virus spike among the people concerned in the Wankhede Stadium, BCCI officials and event management has raised doubts about 10 matches to be held at this iconic stadium from April 10, while the Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council (GC) is also looking to shift the Mumbai matches either to Indore or Hyderabad. There are some more grave incidents at the Wankhede Stadium that have been tested positive for the virus. According to MCA sources, there are eight groundsmen who have tested positive. It is also given to understand that even the BCCI co-ordinators with the teams have been affected, which has been kept under wraps. There are in all 15 groundsmen at the Wankhede Stadium and eight have tested positive in the last seven days, but ironically Mumbai , Cricket Association (MCA) is likely to keep the show on and are getting workers from other centres to see that the first IPL match on April 10 goes on. "What is saddening is the fact that the concerned people have taken the assistance of groundsmen from other centres to work on the field, while having the other seven with them," said one of the MCA members while talking to FPJ.