330c. 260c. Sunrise: 06:09 am Sunset: 07:02 pm April fActory orders, needed: A centre-stAte output jump slowest covid-control mechAnism in 8 months Pg 7 Pg 13 90 per cent of todAy’s remix songs Aren’t working: lAlit pAndit Pg 18 Don’t keep thinking ‘I have a lot to do’. Thinking about work tires you more than the physical work. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji Vol. 64 No. 312 | TUESDAY | MAY 4, 2021 | 13 Pages | ` 4 | EDITIONS: MUMBAI*, Pune, Indore, Bhopal, E-Paper EDIT PETROL ` 96.83 Per litre WHEN LIFE HANGS BY A THREAD Adding to the crisis of spiralling number of Coronavirus cases in Karnataka, 24 Covid-19 patients died due to interruption of medical oxygen supply at the Chamarajanagar Institute of Medical Sciences (CIMS) in Chamarajanagar district on Monday . The Karnataka government has ordered a probe that will be headed by IAS officer Shivayogi Kalasad and asked for a report in three days. Dr DM Sanjeev, Director of CIMS, told the media that due to shortage of oxygen between 12 am and 2 am, 24 patients who were on ventilators and needed high flow oxygen died. “Out of the 24 persons who have died, 18 were suffering from comorbidities and had long-standing problems. Right now, we require 350 cylinders a day a , 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 24 lives snuffed out in hospital for want of oxygen OUR CORRESSPONDENT / Bengaluru DIESEL ` 87.81 daily spike of 35 to 40 cylinders, and our vendors are not able to match the increase in demand. We faced a major shortage due to delay in supply affected by the widespread increase in demand,” he said and added that 50 cylinders that were sent at midnight as a response to a distress call were not enough to sustain the high pressure required for critical patients. CONTD. ON P12 CREATE O2 BUFFER: SC SC bats for free flow of dialogue As bodies pile up, out of space crematoriums in Bengaluru are closing the gates. FPJ NEWS SERVICE / New Delhi The recriminations between the Centre and the Delhi government provide no solace to citizens whose lives hang by a "thin thread" of oxygen, the Supreme Court has said. The top court accordingly directed the Centre to create a buffer stock of oxygen for emergency situations and BETWEEN THE LINES COVID CASES ARE TAPERING OFF? According to the Union health ministry, some states, including Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, are showing early signs of plateauing or decrease in daily cases of Covid-19. This comes on the heels of these states registering a record spike in daily Covid-19 cases. However, the health ministry cautioned that these are very early signs to analyse anything. JUST ONE COVID DEATH IN BRITAIN Britain recorded just one Covid death on Monday in the lowest fatality toll in nine months, while infections dipped to levels not seen since the start of September. Department of Health statistics showed this was only the third time deaths had fallen to this level, after August 3 and 30. July 30 was the only day of the pandemic to see zero victims recorded. Health bosses also posted another 1,649 coronavirus cases, down by a fifth on the 2,064 last Monday. It was the fewest positive tests since September 2, before the second wave spiralled out of control. QUOTE WHO IS RUNNING THE COUNTRY?: This is one of the biggest tragedies I have seen in my life. Patients are dying because we don’t have oxygen. To treat Covid-19, you need oxygen, drugs and vaccination. Nothing is available. The government says there is a lot of oxygen in our country. But patients are dying. Judiciary or executive? I don’t know who is running this country. — R. S. Gupta, medical director, Batra Hospital CAUTION: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Monday said that unnecessary CT scans should be avoided in all mild Covid-19 cases. HELD UP AT CUSTOMS "forthwith" as "the situation on the ground in Delhi is heart rending". The top court’s order was uploaded on its website late Sunday night. In the battle of shifting responsibility "the protection , of the lives of citizens is paramount in times of a national crisis and the responsibility falls on both the Central Government and the ad- The bench also asked the Centre to inform it about the status of imported oxygen concentrators which are pending customs clearance. "People should not lose lives for this reason -- that there are resources, but the consignments are pending clearance,’’ the HC bench observed in another matter. Threats to SII CEO Adar Poonawalla Days after Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla alleged that he had been receiving threats in India over vaccine supply Min, ister of State for Home Shambhuraje Desai on Monday announced that the state government would hold an in-depth inquiry into the matter but Poonawalla would have to file a police complaint. “Poonawalla should lodge a complaint giving details of threat and the phone number from where he got the call. We will conduct an in-depth probe into it,” said Desai. Desai’s announcement came after Poonawalla on Saturday told The Times, London, “Threats are an understatement", as he revealed the pressure to scale up production and deliver the crores of doses required by the Indian government to vaccinate as many people as possible to counter the devastating second wave of the virus. Poonawalla, who is currently in the UK on an extended stay has said he will , Observations made during court proceedings by HC AGENCIES / New Delhi Batting for "free flow of dialogue" in courts, the Supreme Court on Monday said it would neither restrain the media from reporting oral observations made during proceedings in public interest, nor demoralise high courts -"vital pillars of democracy" -- Report sought into post-poll State violence OUR CORRESPONDENT / Kolkata return in a few days. Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee Nana Patole called upon Poonawalla to return to India, assured him that his party would take on the responsibility for his security “People’s lives are impor. tant and vaccine production should take place in India only The Centre has already . given him ‘Y’ category security More (security) will be giv. en if necessary he said. ,” “No one can touch him. He should return and work on vaccine production,” the Congress leader said.However, NCP chief spokesman and Minister of Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik claimed Poonawalla was responsible for the present situation he is in and that no one was defaming him. “First, he announces a price of Rs 150 per dose of Covishield vaccine for the Central government, Rs 400 for the states and Rs 700 for private hospitals. Later, through a tweet, he announces a price reduction for states to Rs 300 per dose from the earlier Rs 400 per dose. CONTD. ON P12 No sooner did the EC announce the final poll outcome, violence erupted in several parts of West Bengal. If the claim of the Bengal wing of the BJP is to be taken at face value, at least six of its workers have been killed across the state since Sunday The party unit al. leged that a few hundred party offices and houses of BJP workers were ransacked even while the counting was on and the trend was becoming clear by the minute. On Monday violence against the , BJP cadres started in the wee hours. Taking cognizance, the MHA sought a report on the post-election vandalism and arson targeting opposition political workers in the state. West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, too, met Commissioner of police Soumen Mitra. Later, the Governor of West Bengal took to Twitter and said, “Such political violence and lawlessness cannot be overlooked as its taints the essence of democratic fabric. CONTD. ON P12 "Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier were found to be positive in the third round of testing in the last four days. All other team members have tested negative for COVID-19," the league, which features the biggest names in international cricket, said in a press release. Apart from this, Chennai Super Kings CEO Kasi Viswanathan, bowling coach L Balaji and a bus cleaner with the contingent tested positive on Sunday A top . BCCI official, after declaring all three cases to be "false positives", later clarified that Balaji along with the unnamed cleaner had come out positive even in the repeat test. CSK, currently based in Delhi, suspended their training for the day and are scheduled to face Rajasthan Royals on May 5. The team had been hit by COVID cases even in the 2020 edition which was held in the UAE. There was cause of concern in Delhi too as a few groundsmen at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, which is due to host Mumbai Indians vs SunRisers Hyderabad on Tuesday , have also tested positive for the virus. by asking them to refrain from raising questions. The apex court said, however, that it's order would consider Election Commission's submission that "wanton charges" levelled against it by the Madras High Court were unwarranted and would try to strike a balance between two Constitutional bodies. The Maharashtra Government will hold two inquiries against former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh by a three-member committee headed by a senior IAS officer after acting Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjay Pandey decided to recuse himself. Pandey’s move came days after Singh alleged that the former had allegedly offered to mediate between him and the state government. FPJ EXCLUSIVE Singh had called Pandey and recorded the conversation in which Pandey had allegedly made his offer. He had attached the transcript of the conversation with Pandey in his petition filed last week in the Bombay High Court against the government’s decision to hold two probes against him. A senior home department officer told The Free Press Journal, “The decision to conduct these inquiries by a commit- 45+ can go in for 2nd dose Must have certificate/SMS proof of 1st dose having been received SWAPNIL MISHRA / Mumbai Twenty lakh beneficiaries are on the waiting list for their second dose of the Covid vaccine, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. According to civic data, so far, 25 lakh registered beneficiaries have taken their first dose, while only five lakh have taken the second dose. But the others will have to wait until the civic body gets adequate vaccines to restart the vaccination drive for all adults. Officials said they need at least one lakh doses daily to achieve their target, so that all those waiting for Covid bursts IPL bubble: Match postponed LAST WORD A SPORTS DESK / New Delhi COVID-19 outbreak left the star-sprinkled IPL on tenterhooks as Kolkata Knight Riders' Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive for the dreaded virus, forcing postponement of their game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, while cases also came to light in the Chennai Super Kings camp. The match, which was to be held in Ahmedabad this evening, will be rescheduled some time later during the tournament, which will conclude on May 30. It termed as "too farfetched" the poll panel's plea for restraining media from reporting remarks made during court proceedings. A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah reserved its order on the EC appeal against the Madras High Court's "critical" remarks holding it responsible for surge in COVID-19 cases in the country and fastening responsibility on its officials with the murder charge. It assured the poll panel that the high court's remarks were not meant to "run down" a Constitutional body but may have been made "momentarily" in the flow of discussions and that's why it was not in the judicial order. CONTD. ON P12 Two probes against Param Bir, now SANJAY JOG / Mumbai Lodge FIR, ready to probe: State SANJAY JOG / Mumbai ministration of Delhi,’’ the court said. NO SHORTAGE: The Centre, meanwhile, made an absurd claim that there is no "shortage" of the lifegiving gas; what matters is that the medical oxygen being administered to COVID19 patients, especially in hospitals, should be used "judiciously ." CONTD. ON P12 An 18+ group awaits its turn at a vaccination centre in Mumbai However, Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) chief Rohan Jaitley asserted that "none of the groundsmen on duty" are among them. The BCCI continued to insist that the league will go on, but Monday's developments have definitely cast a shadow on how the COVD-19 threat would be managed for an event being staged across six venues -- two at one time. KKR last played on April 29 against Delhi Capitals in Ahmedabad and the development is bound to trigger anxiety in the league, which had been going along smoothly so far in a bio-secure bubble in front of empty stands. "Now, the DC players (currently in Ahmedabad) will also have to be tested and every member of the team contingents that came in contact with Chakravarthy and Warrier will also be contact traced through the app watch that has been given to everyone," a BCCI source said. According to IPL's Standard Operating Procedure for COVID-19 management, any close contact of an infected person has to isolate for six days and return three negative tests on days 1, 3 and 6. CONTD. ON P12 tee led by a senior IAS officer was taken at the meeting on Monday It is impor. tant as the High Court has slated the hearing on Singh’s petition on May 4. The government will defend its decision in the high court and continue these inquiries against Singh.” He said the state government had roped in former Advocate General Darius Khambata to argue on its behalf, as Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni could not make it, having recently lost his father. CONTD. ON P12 their second dose will get their jabs phase-wise, depending on the date of the first dose. Meanwhile, on Monday , the BMC announced that all 45-plus could go to civic-run Covid centres for their second dose, starting May 4. But at the time this report was being filed, word was that they were awaiting the arrival of vaccine doses on Monday night, which would then be distributed to their centres. “45aboves may walk-in ONLY for their second dose with their first dose certificate/sms,” BMC tweeted. In all, 60 Covid vaccine centres will be re-activated tomorrow and only frontline workers and those 45-plus, who have already received their first dose will get their shots. According to vaccine data, 24.56 lakh registered beneficiaries have been vaccinated, of whom 19.56 lakh have taken the first dose, while only 4.91 lakh have taken their second doses, so far, since the drive for this group began on April 1. CONTD. ON P12 PIC: BL SONI 1-MN FREE DOSES FROM SWEDEN: Sweden plans to donate 1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to India via the UN-backed COVAX, an initiative devised to give countries access to coronavirus vaccines regardless of their wealth. The Scandinavian country's International Development Cooperation Minister Per Olsson Fridh announced it Monday on Swedish broadcaster SVT, adding “we see how the pandemic is raging around the world. People are dying, poverty is spreading, and children are still not back at school.” “We need to do everything we can to face this pandemic and fight it across the world.” (AP) decentralise the location of the stocks, so that it is immediately available if the normal supply chain is disrupted. It further asked the Centre to create emergency stocks of medical grade oxygen within four days. The three-judge bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat said the deficit must be remedied Deshmukh moves HC against FIR NARSI BENWAL / Mumbai Maharashtra's former Home Minister and senior NCP leader Anil Deshmukh on Monday approached the Bombay High Court, seeking quashing of the First Information Report (FIR) lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI). The ace politician has also sought protection from any sort of action by the CBI. The copy of Deshmukh's writ petition was not immediately available; however, sources close to the leader confirmed the development. As per the information available on the HC website, Deshmukh has filed this fresh writ petition on Tuesday evening through his advocate Sonali Jadhav. This plea is likely to be mentioned before a bench led by Justice Sambhaji Shinde on Tuesday morning. Notably the CBI had regis, tered an FIR last month after conducting a preliminary probe, in which, the central CONTD. ON P12 PM VISTA PROJECT PROCEEDS APACE TAILPIECE T he Prime Minister’s Central Vista project is proceeding apace, the hiccups because of the pandemic notwithstanding, says a report in NDTV Anticipating the irri. tants, the government has already designated the Vista project as an "essential service," so that work is not impacted by the lockdown. Happy with the work in progress, the project has moved into the next level and among the first buildings to be constructed by December next year will be the Prime Minister's residence. The headquarters of the Special Protection Group for the PM's security and an executive enclave for bureaucrats will also be constructed by the same deadline. The project has already secured all environment clearances. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has termed the plans to continue with the project despite the ongoing pandemic as "grotesque". "This is grotesque. No money for Oxygen and Vaccines as our brothers and sisters die waiting for a hospital bed to be cremated in parking lots. BUT Modi will squander public money to feed his megalomaniac vanity . Stop this Crime," he said in a tweet.