360c. 230c. Sunrise: 06:28 am Sunset: 06:54 pm IMF CHEER AMID COVID GLOOM: INDIA MAY GROW 12.5% IN FY22 Pg 7 MY WIFE SARGUN ALWAYS WANTED ME TO BE A GOOD KISSER!: RAVI DUBEY Pg 18 MORE RESTRICTIONS RAISE CONCERNS OVER ECONOMY SO, VIRTUAL HOUSE ARREST Vol. 64 No. 289 | WEDNESDAY | APRIL 7, 2021 | 13 Pages | ` 4 | EDITIONS: MUMBAI*, Pune, Indore, Bhopal, E-Paper SERUM NEEDS `3,000 CRORE TO HIKE OUTPUT ONLINE REPORT / PUNE The Serum Institute -- the manufacturers of Covishield -- needs Rs 3,000 crore to ramp up production, CEO Adar Poonawalla told NDTV on Tuesday He gave the pro. jection even as the nation is grappling with a second wave of Covid and the Centre is coming under great pressure to make more and more doses of vaccine available. Poonawalla, who earlier said the SII had agreed to supply the first 100 million doses at heavily subsidised rates, said the company had to make bigger profits than it was doing now, so it could "reinvest in the production line and facilities" and be able to make more doses quickly . "We are supplying the vaccine in the Indian market at around Rs 150-160. The average price of the vaccine is approximately $20 (Rs 1500) ... because of the Modi government's request, we are providing vaccines at subsidised rates... It is not that we are not making profits... but we are not making a super profit, which is key to re-investing," Poonawalla told NDTV . "This (the amount needed) would be roughly Rs3,000 crores. The process takes 85 days, so it would be just under three months before we scale up operations," he said, adding that he had written to the centre on this subject, failing which SII would approach the banks for a loan. Asked how stressed for capacity the SII is now, he said: "Very to put it frankly", and ... January's fire - in which five people died - damaged equipment and led to delayed deliveries. "We are supplying two million doses per day ... between 60 and 65 million per month. And have given, so far, over 100 million doses to the government," he said, explaining that he eventually hoped to produce around 110 million doses of Covishield, of which the SII has no stockpiles, per month. Poonawalla also said that it was difficult to explain to foreign governments - with many of whom the SII has contracts - that India had first claim to the vaccines. EDIT Pg 13 Housing societies with more than 5 patients shall be sealed and treated as micro-containment zones No resident can go out without intimating society Asymptomatic patient shall not move out at all FIR against violators Cops outside building DIPTI SINGH /MUMBAI secretary and another top office-bearer of the society or the police personnel deployed, except in cases of medical emergencies or important exams of students (Board or university) "Any asymptomatic positive patient in home isolation shall not move out of his/her flat. An FIR shall be filed by ward officials against violators," the BMC official said. The Mumbai civic body has warned that it will inflict penalties on those housing societies which are found to be violating its norms and said police personnel shall be deployed at the entry gate of sealed buildings. The housing societies are further directed to put a board outside their gates to inform visitors about COVID-19 cases on their premises and deny them entry . In the wake of a massive spike in COVID- 19 cases, the BMC has issued a fresh set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for marking of micro-containment zones. The new guidelines state that housing societies having more than five active COVID-19 patients shall be sealed and treated as micro-containment zones(MCZ). The SoP states that online ecommerce supplies and delivery of newspapers and essential items will be undertaken only till the office of the housing society and not door-to-door for buildings marked MCZs. The SOP further stipulates that no resident should be allowed to go out without intimating the society chairman or The BMC has also directed the housing societies to monitor all restrictions related to micro-containment zones and keep a close watch. "A fine of Rs 10,000 will be imposed on a housing society for violating its norms. Subsequent instances of violation will attract a penalty of Rs 20,000. The assistant municipal commissioners of respective wards will be responsible for ensuring strict implementation of norms related to MCZs, with the help of local police. Police personnel will be deployed at the entry gate of every sealed building, henceforth to be addressed as a micro-containment zone," said Iqbal Singh Chahal, BMC commissioner. Meanwhile, the civic body on Monday issued a circular stating that private hosCONTD. ON P12 pitals across Housing Society will be your jailer BMC to keep tabs on global arrivals SANJAY JOG Mumbai Faced with Covid cases threatening to spiral out of control and with home-quarantined patients playing truant, the Maharashtra Government has decided to confer the powers of police officers to the chairpersons and secretaries of cooperative housing societies. Their mandate will be to see that Covid patients who are home quarantined, remain at home and adhere to the stipulated norms. The chairperson and secretary will not enjoy powers under the Indian Penal Code or Bombay Police Act but they can exercise their authority and ensure that the Covid patients in their housing societies don’t wander around but remain confined to their homes. State Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde, at a meeting on Tuesday , directed the divisional commissioners, district collectors, municipal commissioners and chief executive officers of Nagar Panchayats and municipal councils to implement the government order strictly He directed . the administration to bring down the case growth rate to below 5 per cent and directed them to implement measures to prevent the black- DIPTI SINGH / MUMBAI marketing of Remdesivir. A state urban development department official told The Free Press Journal, the office bearers have direct access to society members and can help control the spread of the pandemic. “The chairman and secretary can be informants and inform police and civic officials if homequarantined patients are not in compliance with Covidappropriate behaviour,” he noted. Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association Chairman Ramesh Prabhu said, considering the shortage of beds, local authorities have no option but to encourage home quarantine. “The experience is that many positive patients go out of home while in quarantine. The housing society office bearers, through their own system, can keep a watch on such patients. CONTD. ON P12 The BMC on Tuesday revised the Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) for handling international passengers arriving from the UK, Brazil, Europe, South Africa and the Middle East. According to the revised protocol, BMC officials will check on international passengers twice a week when they are in institutional quarantine at their hotels. According to quarantine norms stipulated by the Mumbai civic body passen, gers arriving from the above-mentioned countries (which have seen variants of the coronavirus) are quarantined in hotels for seven days after their arrival and Those flyers having a certificate of two doses will be exempted from institutional quarantine. then allowed to leave only after they test negative for Covid-19 on the seventh day and complete the remaining seven days of isolation at home. However, recently several instances , came to light wherein many passengers have either paid bribes to the official on duty to escape quarantine or go missing from hotels where they are booked for institutional quarantine. The BMC has filed FIRs in a few such cases. A massive spike in the number of cases reported daily coupled with , such instances, prompted the BMC to revise guidelines for institutional quarantine making it mandatory for its officials to visit the hotels twice during the stay of a particular passenger, followed by a weekly report of such visits. The revised SoP states that the team deployed at the airport will have to send the list of such passengers landing in Mumbai for institutional quarantine by e-mail to the respective Assistant Commissioner / Executive Health Officer of the concerned department on a daily basis. CONTD. ON P12 Why this ongoing surge? Untracked, untested: Not enough contact tracing is a major cause for the spurt, BMC concedes SWAPNIL MISHRA / Mumbai Limited contact tracing has resulted in a large pool of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic people of contacts going untracked and hence, untested which has resulted in a surge in corona cases across Mumbai. According to the guidelines of the Union Health Ministry the ratio of contact tracing , should be 1:30, which means 30 contacts of a person who has tested positive should be tracked and tested, but the ratio in Mumbai is 1:15. Conceding that insufficient contact tracing could be a contributing factor to the current surge, once again, the civic body has begun 1:30 contact tracing. A deserted fashion street body too started to believe that the virus was losing its grip and this resulted in slacking off on observance of Covid protocol and the results are there for all to see. Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said there was lesser contact tracing than is stipulated in the guidelines but it is only one of the contributing factors for the surge. He also said it was difficult to trace 30 people who were contacts of a positive patient, as most patients have trouble remembering whom they had met. “We were following the protocol issued by the Central government regarding the contact tracing. CONTD. ON P12 Taslima greets Moeen with ISIS jibe CBI probe ordered without pleadings ANI / Mumbai Jofra Archer might be an aggressive bowler on the field, but the England pacer won hearts with his calm and composed reply to Bangladesh author Taslima Nasreen on Tuesday . Taslima had said that England all-rounder Moeen Ali would have joined the global terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) if he wasn't playing cricket. "If Moeen Ali were not stuck with cricket, he would have gone to Syria to join ISIS," Taslima tweeted. Archer, who has 96 international wickets under his belt, did not take it lightly and wrote: "Are you okay? I don't think you're okay ." The Bangladesh author tried to calm things down and later claimed that her tweet on Moeen was "sarcastic" in nature. "Haters know very well that my Moeen Ali tweet was sarcastic. But they made that an issue to humiliate me because I try to secularize Muslim society & I oppose Islamic fanaticism. One of the greatest tragedies of humankind is pro-women leftists support anti-women Islamists," she wrote. But Archer urged her to delete the tweet as it was in no way funny or "sarcastic". "Sarcastic?? No one is laughing, not even yourself, the least you can do is delete the tweet," Archer tweeted. Former England pacer Ryan Sidebottom floated an idea of deleting Taslima's Twitter account. "I think you might need to check if you're feeling ok!!! Maybe delete your account too," Sidebottom tweeted. Another English cricketer Saqib Mahmood tweeted, “Can’t believe this. Disgusting tweet. Disgusting individual.” ‘‘If Moeen Ali were not stuck with cricket, he would've spared more time for "Orphans in Need" as its global ambassador- a British charity that supports, improves & empowers lives of orphans & widows in 14 countries. Anyway 1 thing is for , sure -- He wouldn't tweet Islamophobia for a visa,’’ Saqib added. CONTD. ON P12 Health experts, however, believe that not just the public but the civic Maha Govt and Anil Deshmukh file separate petitions in SC against HC order SANJAY JOG Mumbai A day after the Bombay High Court ordered a preliminary probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged corruption charges by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, the Maharashtra government and former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh filed separate petitions against the judgment in the Supreme Court. Free Press Journal broke the move by the state government and Deshmukh. The state government, in its special leave petition, argued that the Bombay High Court had passed the order on Monday on merits of the ‘Procession in Khaki’ for mafia don LAST WORD OUR CORRESPONDENT Banda Mafia don-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari arrived in his home state on Tuesday in a 'khaki' procession, ushered in by a convoy of UP Police, comprising no less than 100 cops; he was being ferried from Ropar in Punjab to Banda in Uttar Pradesh. Punjab Police Commandos had also accompanied the entourage till the inter-state border. Ansari, a BSP MLA from Mau, is facing 52 cases in the state and elsewhere, and 15 of them are in the trial stage. That is essentially his claim to fame. He does not lack in lineage either. Not many know that he belongs to an illustrious family His paternal . grandfather was AICC President. His grandfather from the maternal side was a Brigadier in the Indian Army who was decorated with Mahaveer Chakra. His father was a known Communist leader from Mau. Incidentally his son Abbas , is a national-level shooter and has won international acclaim. CONTD. ON P12 BJP HAS REASONS TO TEACH HIM A LESSON Mukhtar Ansari has been patronised by the BSP , the Congress and by the Samajwadi Party ever since he entered politics in 1996 to glosso over his criminal antecedents. That the our-time MLA was well protected and pampered by the Congress government in Punjab is known to all. Samajwadi Party had almost roped him in on the insistence of Shivpal Yadav in 2015 but then Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had put his foot down. In 2005, it was the Samajwadi Party which had facilitated his surrender after the murder of a CONTD. ON P12 FPJ FOLLOW-UP Playfulness cannot happen if there is no beauty.Deva, the word for angel, also means,“One who loves to play, one who is effulgent, glorious.” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar PETROL ` 96.98 Per litre DIESEL ` 87.96 Per litre www.freepressjournal.in twitter.com/fpjindia Reg. No. Mcs/048/2018-20; RNI No. 1541/1957 M.p.c.s office Mumbai-400001 BETWEEN THE LINES RECORD 297 STATE DEATHS MUMBAI: Another morbid milestone was reached in the state on Tuesday, with close to 300 Covid fatalities being reported, the highest singleday number this year, so far. 297 people succumbed to the virus in the last 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 56,330. Meanwhile, for the second time in three days, more than 50,000 Covid cases were reported in the state on Tuesday, with 55,469 new infections being recorded, taking the total count to 31,13,354 till now. Contd. on P12 In Mumbai too, there was a marginal rise in the daily number of cases in the city, with 10,030 new infections and 31 fatalities being reported in the last 24 hours, with the overall caseload now at 4,72,332, with 11,828 deaths so far. The city's recovery rate fell from 84 per cent until April 1 to 81 per cent on Tuesday. BLACK RIBBON PROTEST CALL The Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM), at a meeting of its members on Tuesday, discussed the impact of the present lockdown order issued by the Government of Maharashtra, in effect from 8pm on April 5, whereby all shops, malls, private office, godowns and business establishment would remain closed until April 30, 2021. Only essential commodities and service providers would be allowed to work. There was confusion among shopkeepers and traders on Tuesday morning about the government earlier declaring total lockdown on weekends from 8pm on Friday to 7am on Monday but the SOP saying there was a partial lockdown. According to traders, this was no less than a complete lockdown. the At meeting it was decided that the FAM would send a final request to the state government to come out with relaxations to its orders and allow traders to open their shops at least from 9am to 6pm. They have agreed to follow all the guidelines as per government directives. In the event no such relaxation is provided, on Thursday, FAM members across the state have planned a black ribbon protest from 1pm to 3pm. They will stand outside their shops with black ribbons around their mouths, while maintaining social distancing and will ring bells to draw the attention of the state government to their plight. If their peaceful protest is unheeded, they have threatened a peaceful noncooperation movement, the details of which will soon be made available. LINK BETWEEN CLOTS AND JABS Dilip Walse-Patil takes charge as Maharashtra home minister (Photo by Bhushan Koyande) petition while the case was listed for hearing on maintainability The government . further noted that there were neither pleadings nor facts before the high court to defend a probe by the CBI. State government sources said the CBI probe was unwarranted in the absence of an FIR. CONTD. ON P12 OUR CORRESPONDENT Kolkata Election Commission sources, charges will be framed against the errant official as this was a major violation of its instructions. The General Observer has checked all seals of the EVM, which has been now kept in a separate room. The incident has surfaced at a time when both the BJP and the TMC are maligning each other over manipulation of EVM machines. CONTD. ON P12 TAILPIECE SUSPENDED FOR EVM SLEEPOVER The Election Commission has suspended a West Bengal poll officer for sleeping over at Trinamool Congress leader’s house with an EVM machine. Tapan Sarkar, the deputed officer for Uluberia (North) in Howrah, was found to have taken a reserve EVM to his politician-relative’s home to sleep over. According to ROME: There is a link between AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine and very rare blood clots in the brain, but the possible causes are still unknown, a senior official for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said in an interview published on Tuesday. However, the EMA later said in a statement that its review of the vaccine was on going and it is expected to announce its findings on Wednesday or Thursday. An AstraZeneca spokesman declined to comment on the matter. “In my opinion, we can now say it: It is clear that there is an association (of the brain blood clots) with the vaccine. However, we still do not know what causes this reaction,” Marco Cavaleri, chair of the vaccine evaulation team at the EMA, told Italian daily Il Messagero. Cavaleri provided no evidence to support his comment. The World Health Organization has backed the vaccine. AstraZeneca has said its studies have found no higher risk of clots.