360c. 260c. Sunrise: 06:22 am Sunset: 06:56 pm rising cases a credit negative threat to recovery: Moody’s Pg 5 2020 gave us an opportunity to think out of the box: shreyas talpade Pg 14 virus surge casts griM shadow over econoMy All establishments, public places will be shut No eating at street-side food stalls Only home deliveries from restaurants after 8 pm Public transport for those in essential services Not a complete lockdown, but strict guidelines CM requests PM for relaxation in GST Appeals for supply of more oxygen It's an emergency-like situation: CM lowed. He also clarified that public transport -- buses, taxis, trains, autos and flights -- would continue to function but with strict crowd management curbs. It would only be available to emergency and essential service providers. Thackeray called upon the people and parties to extend their cooperation in the fight against the virus. He also told political parties, especially the BJP to refrain from , politicising the pandemic. In his web address on Tuesday which coin, cided with the start of the Maharashtrian New Year, Thackeray urged people not to venture out of homes unnecessarily but work from home and voluntarily observe ‘Janata Curfew’. He further said that essential services related to healthcare, banks, media, e-commerce and fuel would also function from 7am to 8pm only . Financial institutions associated with the SEBI and the RBI will function, as will construction and pre-monsoon work. Industrial units will be allowed to operate but employers will have to make arrangements for their workers to stay on the premises, as their travel will be banned. Groceries, vegetables shops, fruit vendors, dairies, bakeries, confectioneries, food shops, cold storage and warehousing services will continue to function. Manufacturing units for essential services can operate at full capacity . Shopping centres, malls, film shoots, beaches will remain shut. Hotels and restaurants will remain shut but home delivery and takeaways will be allowed. Shopkeepers and others in essential services will be fined if they do not follow Covid-19 rules, including vaccination. CONTD. ON P8 Demons fight, men live at peace and Gods play. The same force that is beauty also creates playfulness. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Vol. 64 No. 295 | WEDNESDAY | APRIL 14, 2021 | 14 Pages | ` 4 | EDITIONS: MUMBAI*, Pune, Indore, Bhopal, E-Paper TRAVELINFO PUBLIC TRANSPORT AUTORICKSHAW Driver + 2 passengers TAXI (FOUR-WHEELERS) Driver + 50% capacity BUS Full seating, but no standing TRAVEL GUIDELINES Mask must in bus, `500 fine In taxi, fine on offender and driver All vehicles to be sanitised after trip All public transport drivers and staff to get vaccinated at earliest In taxis and autos, plastic sheet to isolate driver In out-station trains, no standing in general compartment, mask must Fine of `500 in trains for noncompliance Public transport allowed, including all incidental services ESSENTIALS The following essential services are exempted from curbs: l Hospitals, diagnostic centres, clinics, vaccinations, medical insurance offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies, other medical and health services, including supporting manufacturing and distribution units along with the dealers, transport and supply chain. l Veterinary services, animal care shelters, pet food shops l Groceries, vegetable shops, fruit vendors, dairies, bakeries, confectionaries l Cold storage and warehousing services l Public transport: airplanes, trains, taxis, autos and public buses l Services related to offices of diplomats l Pre-monsoon activities by authorities l All public services by local authorities l RBI and services designated by it as essential l Transport of good l Agricultural activities l Water supply services l Export-Import services l Accredited media l E-commerce (only for supply of essential goods and services) l Petrol pumps l All cargo services l ATMs l Postal Services DOMESTIC HELP/DRIVERS: EDIT 15-DAY CLOSURE IN JANATA’S NAME 60,212 new Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra Curbs from 8 pm Wednesday till 7 am, May 1 Janata curfew in state from 8 pm Wednesday Only essential services allowed No one can venture out without valid reason Reverse migration PIC: BL Soni SANJAY JOG / Mumbai Citing the dangerous spike in Covid infections that were stressing health infrastructure in the state, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday announced a 15-day ‘Janata Curfew’ by imposing stringent restrictions beginning from 8pm on April 14 till 7am on May 1. The government, in a bid to avoid crowding, has invoked Section 144 to ban assemblies of more than four people across Maharashtra. However, essential activities, including travel and services, are al- RELIEF FOR NEEDY IN TIMES OF CURFEW SANJAY JOG Mumbai Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in a bid to pro, vide much needed relief during the ‘Janata Curfew’ from April 14 to May 1, has announced a package of Rs 5,476 crore for the economically weaker sections, including families below the poverty line, women, the aged, widows, the physically challenged, the unorganised sector, rickshaw drivers and tribals. Despite the present financial crunch in the state, the government will mop up funds to implement this package. In addition, Thackeray has urged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release aid as provided for affected by natural calamities. In addition, the government has earmarked Rs 3,300 crore exclu- sively for the upgradation, strengthening, expanding and optimising the existing health infrastructure, which is currently under tremendous pressure because of the sharp rise in Covid patients. The government proposes to add more beds, including oxygen beds and ICU beds, ventilators, step up oxygen supply and procure medicines including Remdesivir, demand for which is likely to increase to 1 lakh from the present 50,000 per day . The Free Press Journal on Monday broke the story about the government’s financial package for the poor, underprivileged and economically weaker sections. As reported, the government has decided to use the time to further strengthen the health infrastructure and streamline medical and related facilities amid rising Covid cases. CONTD. ON P8 FPJ NEWS SERVICE / NEW YORK US health authorities called for a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, after reports surfaced of extremely rare blood clotting. All six cases were in young women aged between 18 and 48, with symptoms showing six to 13 days after vaccination. One of them died and another is in hospital, the New York Times reports. Johnson & Johnson's jab is the only one-dose vaccine being used so far; it works in a similar way as AstraZeneca's, which is also embroiled in blood clot concerns. Both vaccines use an adenovirus to transport part of the coronavirus into the body . Incidentally British vaccine regulators are expect, ed to give the green signal to the pioneering one-shot vaccine this week. The UK has ordered 30million doses of the jab, which would be enough to immunise more than half of the adult population. The US Food and Drug Administration said it was acting "out of an abundance of caution". It said six cases of severe blood clotting had been detected in more than 6.8 million doses of the vaccine. In the United States, 300,000 to 600,000 people a year develop blood clots, according to CDC data. But the particular blood clotting disorder that the LAST WORD PIC: BL Soni l Financial package of `5,476 crore for poor l `3,300 crore to fortify health infrastructure US pauses J&J vaccination on clotting fears among young A decision will "depend on local conditions" A muted Gudi Padwa The couple was framed by a relative who sponsored their ‘second’ honeymoon and made them carry a package containing contraband, passing it off as tobacco; acquitted by Qatar court, they return to Mumbai today, 21 months later vaccine recipients developed, known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, is extremely rare and needs a different treatment than usual. The common treatment - an anticoagulant drug called heparin - "may be dangerous", the FDA said and added that an alternative was required. The company's shares were down 3 per cent before the opening bell. Clinical trials suggest the J&J vaccine offers 100 per cent protection from severe Covid leading to hospitalisation or death, and around 66 per cent protection from mild infection. a) Cinema halls, drama theatres b) Amusement parks/ arcades/ video game parlours c) Clubs, swimming pools, gyms and sports complexes d) Shooting for films/serials/advertisement e) All shops, malls, shopping hubs not catering to essential services f) Public places like beaches, gardens, open spaces etc g) Places of worship h) Only personnel engaged by place of workshop shall continue to perform their duties; but no visitor i) Barber shops/spas/salons and beauty parlours j) Schools and colleges PRATIP ACHARYA Mumbai With the holy month of Ramzan starting from Wednesday, members of the Islamic community have said, in view of the pandemic still being around, they will be celebrating the month-long observance indoors instead of the customary public gatherings. On Tuesday the state govern, ment also released a set of guidelines, appealing to citizens to keep festive celebrations low-key . Tahir Ahmed, the administrative officer of the Haji Ali Dargah Trust, said that in view of the ongoing pandemic, the entry and exit of devotees inside the mosque had been barred by the trust. “ rituals will be held behind All closed doors and no one other than the trustees and authorities will be allowed inside. CONTD. ON P8 ` 96.98 Per litre For Mohammad Shareeq Qureshi and his wife Oniba, this year, it will be a Ramzan of vindication and blessing. Twentyone months after they were arrested and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment by a Qatar court for allegedly carrying drugs to the Gulf country Shareeq and , Oniba will finally return home, on Wednesday to celebrate , Ramzan with their family and its newest addition, their baby who was born in captivity . Shareeq and Oniba had gone on a ‘second honeymoon’ to Qatar in July 2019, a gift from Shareeq’s paternal aunt, Tabassum Riyaz Qureshi. However, to their horror, they found themselves under arrest at Hamad International Airport in Doha for carrying 4.1 kilograms of hashish in their baggage. The couple had claimed ignorance and pleaded innocence about the contents of the package ` 87.96 Per litre www.freepressjournal.in twitter.com/fpjindia IMPORTED JABS ON FAST TRACK Reg. No. Mcs/048/2018-20; RNI No. 1541/1957 M.p.c.s office Mumbai-400001 FROM OUR BUREAU NEW DELHI Self-reliance has taken a backseat. The Centre has decided to allow entry of many foreign-made Covid-19 vaccines that have been listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) or by other governments for restricted use. Their import – which is expected to beef up the shortages -- was approved on Sunday by the National Expert Group of Vaccine Administration and accepted by the government on Tuesday . Some of these vaccines have already been cleared by regulators in the US, Europe, Japan and the UK. These vaccines will now only require "post-approval bridging clinical trials. The idea is to build a “bridge” between a new region where a vaccine is introduced and the foreign place where it is already in use, and to ensure the vaccine’s safety and efficacy among the population in the new region. So, the first 100 beneficiaries of such foreign vaccines shall be as- sessed for seven days for safety outcomes before it is rolled out for mass immunization within the country . The decision will facilitate quicker access to such foreign vaccines by India and would encourage imports, including import of bulk drug material. This will in turn provide a fillip to vaccine manufacturing capacity and total vaccine availability in the country the ministry added. , On April 9, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had shot off a 3page letter to the Prime Minister for fast track approval of other vaccines as per norms and guidelines; Gandhi also wanted the state governments to have a greater say in vaccine procurement and distribution. The Centre’s plan is to add to the basket of vaccines for domestic use and increase the pace and coverage of vaccination. Russian-made Covid vaccine, Sputnik V has already been cleared for , emergency use by the Drugs Controller General of India. CONTD. ON P8 NEW DELHI: Even as the Drugs Controller General of India cleared the Russian Sputnik V vaccine for use in the country , there is still no decision on the price at which the vaccine will be procured by the government. Price negotiations with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) are yet to be concluded, reports NDTV . The rollout of the new vaccine in India is contingent on the successful conclusion of these negotiations and there are clear indicators that RDIF may not be able to match the price of $2 a dose that the government is presently paying for the AstraZeneca vaccine known as Covishield in India. At the moment, however, the government has firmly rejected the roll-out of any vaccine at commercial rates, repeatedly stressing that the vaccines need to be made available to priority groups identified by the Centre and at prices which it has set. When doctors are part of the problem Mad rush for Remdesivir, O2 & ventilator beds proves agonising for those in real need SWAPNIL MISHRA / Mumbai Amid the rising demand for the life-saving Remdesivir injections and Covid beds, the civic body has now urged doctors treating patients to ensure that patients do not panic on receiving their Covid reports if their oxygen levels and cycle threshold (CT) values are normal. Moreover, authorities have learnt that many a time, doctors are prescribing Remdesivir injections despite patients’ oxygen levels being above normal. Officials said most patients panic only when their treating doctors say they need oxygen or ventilator beds because at this point, the patient begins to run from pillar to post in search of beds. Recently The Free Press Jour, nal came across the case study of a 57-year-old patient who had tested corona-positive but his CT value was 17 and oxygen saturation levels were above 95 per cent and was asymptomatic but the doctor treating him told him to get admitted saying his condition was not good and he needed Remdesivir injections. So, the patient frantically began looking for a hospital where he could be admitted and where Remdesivir was available. There are many such patients like the abovementioned, who panic and feel they will die unless they are hospitalised and get Remdesivir. CONTD. ON P8 A Ramzan of vindication and blessing SOMENDRA SHARMA Mumbai DIESEL SPUTNIK GETS NOD BUT PRICE A PRICKLY ISSUE WHAT IS CLOSED Muslim rituals indoors only PETROL and told authorities in Qatar that it had been given to them by the aunt who had sponsored their ‘honeymoon’ to Qatar. Shareeq and Oniba were put on trial in Qatar by prosecution agencies and the Supreme Judiciary Council of Qatar had sentenced both of them to 10 years in jail and fined them 300,000 riyals each. The family of the couple in India then approached the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) to look into the matter, following which the NCB busted the mod- ule involved in the said drug trafficking case and raised the issue with Qatar authorities using diplomatic channels. After persistent efforts by the Indian authorities and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), the Qatar authorities reopened the case and acquitted the couple in March this year. Speaking about the case, NCB Deputy Director of Operations KPS Malhotra said, “On September 27, 2019, Shareeq’s father CONTD. ON P8 BETWEEN THE LINES YOGI ISOLATED ON VIRUS FEARS LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath went into self-isolation after a few officers of the CM’s Secretariat tested positive amid the second surge of coronavirus in the state. Yogi Adityanath tweetd: “A few of my officers have tested coronavirus positive. These officers were in touch with me. As a precautionary measure, I am isolating myself and will discharge my duties virtually.” They were identified as Additional . Chief Secretary to the CM S.P Goyal, CM's OSD Abhishek Kaushik, PS Jai Shanker and Special Secretary Amit Kumar SIngh. The Chief Minister’s decision came even as Uttar Pradesh reported the highest number of active cases across the state. As many as 18021 people were detected with infections on Tuesday, taking the total number of active cases to 95,980. The State capital Lucknow recorded the highest ever 5382 active cases. SURGE A THREAT TO BIZ RECOVERY T he second wave of infections presents a risk to Moody's growth forecast for India as the reimposition of virus management measures will curb economic activity and could dampen market and consumer sentiment. Moody's said retail and recreation activity across India had dropped by 25 per cent as of 7 April compared with February 24, according to Google mobility data. This was mirrored in the Reserve Bank of India's March consumer confidence survey which showed a deterioration in perceptions of the economic situation and expectations of decreased spending on nonessential items.