CENTRE TELLS STATES TO ENSURE REGISTRATIONS ON SITE, PLACES ORDERS FOR 44 CRORE VACCINE DOSES
A day after the Prime Minister announced that the Centre will directly procure 75 per cent of the total doses to vaccinate every adult in the country free of cost, the Ministry of Health placed an advance order Tuesday to secure 44 crore doses from the two vaccine manufacturers in the country.
And moving to tide over vaccine registration problems as it expands the inoculation drive, especially in the semi-urban and rural areas, the Centre, in revised guidelines issued to the states Tuesday, said that the option of on-site registration must be available at government as well as private vaccination centres. This facility will be available for individuals and groups. The detailed procedure is to be finalised and published by states to minimise any inconvenience to citizens.
Dr V K Paul, head of India’s Covid-19 task force, said: “On-site registration and the registration of groups will become very important as we move to the periphery and semi-urban areas. We have to help register large groups on-site. Common services centres and call centres will also be used for prior booking.
He said the Ministry of Health has placed orders for 25 crore doses of Covishield from Serum Institute of India and 19 crore doses of Covaxin from Bharat Biotech, and that 30 per cent advance amount has been released to the two vaccine manufacturers.
Detailing the blueprint for augmentation of vaccine supplies post-August, Paul said India will have 74 crore additional doses available from August, including the recent order for 30 crore doses from Biological E.
“Up to July, we have an availability of 53.6 crore doses; these orders were placed earlier (during different phases of vaccination). Going ahead, 74 crore more doses have been secured and we do not see a shortage in August-September.” “In fact, we will have to increase our vaccination pace to absorb the availability of doses. The big picture is clear. These doses are to be delivered from August and December… there may be others to be placed. Timelines are available, we have told them (manufacturers) to provide a road map and availability schedule,” he said.
KEY COVID NUMBERS
Current Active Cases Countrywide: 12,26,850
New Cases in last 24 hours: 91,208
Recovered in last 24 hours: 1,59,399
Change in no. of Active cases in last 24 hours: -70,404
No. of deaths in last 24 hours (Total Covid Deaths so far): 2,213 (3,53,557)
Daily Tests (Monday): 18,73,485
Daily Positivity Rate (Proportion of Positives among total Tested): 4.7%
Percentage of Population Vaccinated (At Least One Dose / Two Doses): 14.2% / 3.5%
Most Affected States:
(S. No. / State / No. of Active Cases / New Cases in last 24 Hrs / Deaths in Last 24 Hrs)
1 Karnataka 2,25,004 / 9,808 / 179
2 Tamil Nadu 2,18,595 / 18,023 / 409
3 Maharashtra 1,67,927 / 10,891 / 702
4 Kerala 1,43,249 / 15,567 / 124
5 Andhra Pradesh 1,07,588 / 7,796 / 77
6 Odisha 65,336 / 5,896 / 45
7 Assam 49,158 / 3,948 / 43
8 Telangana 24,306 / 1,897 / 15
9 Jammu and Kashmir 21,817 / 1,184 / 11
10 West Bengal 19,925 / 5,427 / 98
11 Chhattisgarh 19,471 / 1,102 / 14
12 Punjab 18,546 / 1,252 / 59
13 Gujarat 14,724 / 695 / 11
14 Uttar Pradesh 14,067 / 705 / 92
15 Rajasthan 13,624 / 529 / 32
16 Uttarakhand 11,885 / 546 / 66
17 Manipur 9,141 / 748 / 12
18 Madhya Pradesh 7,983 / 535 / 36
19 Bihar 7,897 / 711 / 34
20 Haryana 7,531 / 635 / 38
21 Puducherry 7,147 / 545 / 6
22 Himachal Pradesh 6,970 / 602 / 13
23 Tripura 6,055 / 700 / 8
24 Goa 5,899 / 473 / 19
25 Jharkhand 5,099 / 603 / 13
26 Delhi 4,962 / 316 / 41
27 Meghalaya 4,924 / 379 / 9
28 Nagaland 4,676 / 133 / 3
29 Sikkim 4,018 / 255 / 2
30 Arunachal Pradesh 3,305 / 304 / 1
31 Mizoram 3,168 / 315 / 2
32 Lakshadweep 890 / 99 / 1
33 Chandigarh 685 / 71 / 5
REVEAL ROADMAP TO VACCINATE ALL BY YEAR-END: CONGRESS TO CENTRE
With the Centre deciding to revert to the system of centralised procurement of vaccines against Covid-19 and allocate them free of cost to states, opposition Congress on Tuesday asked the government to reveal the roadmap for vaccinating all Indians by the end of this year.
Alleging that the government is driven by headlines and not deadlines, the party asked why people still have to pay for the jabs at private hospitals.
The party also demanded transparency in allocation of vaccines to the states and a Parliament session for discussing the policy and approval of fresh budgets required for vaccinating all the people. It said there should be no discrimination in vaccine distribution, and the government should follow the principle of cooperative federalism.
“The government must work out a transparent allocation formula in consultation with states for providing vaccines to the states. We know there have been periods that BJP-ruled states have been favoured heavily in allocation of vaccines and other essential medical supplies,” senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said at a press conference.
Pointing out that around 31 lakh vaccine doses were administered on Monday, Ramesh said around 80 lakh doses will have to be administered each day if India has to fully vaccinate 100 crore of its citizens by the end of December.
“The roadmap for this is not there. Which are the vaccines, when the vaccines are going to come, how the vaccines are going to be distributed, these are all issues that have to be done in a coordinated manner, in a cooperative manner, in a consensual manner, in a participative manner with the state governments…that was not in evidence…. The Prime Minister did not shed any light on that yesterday,” he said.
FREE VAX, FOOD TO COST GOVT ₹1L CR OVER OUTLAY
The Centre’s vaccine bill is expected to climb to Rs 45,000-50,000 crore, against the budgeted Rs 35,000 crore, as production of anti-Covid shots increases and the government agrees to procure and supply 75% of domestically made shots.
It will also spend around Rs 91,000 crore between May and November for free food grains to more than 80 crore beneficiaries, instead of Rs 26,000 crore estimated for May and June. Put together, the Centre’s spending will rise by around 1.05 lakh crore over the budgeted figures. Although there are several variables on vaccine cost, including possible purchase from companies such as Pfizer as well as Biological E, government sources said initial estimates point to an increase and assured that funds will not be a problem.
STING ENSNARES MANY IN GLOBAL DRUG TRADE
US and Australian agencies hacked into an app used by criminals and read millions of encrypted messages, leading to hundreds of arrests of suspected organised crime figures in 18 countries, Australian officials said on Tuesday.
They read millions of encrypted messages of criminals operating around the world
Hundreds of suspected organised crime figures were held in 18 countries
The operation by the Australian police and the US FBI ensnared suspects in Australia, Asia, South America and the Middle East involved in the global narcotics trade, the officials said.
Named Operation Trojan Shield by the FBI, it was one of the biggest infiltrations and takeovers of a specialised encrypted network.
Australian PM Scott Morrison said the operation “struck a heavy blow against organised crime – not just in this country, but one that will echo ... around the world”. “This is a watershed moment in Australian law enforcement history,” Morrison told reporters in Sydney.
WHO CAN'T COMPEL CHINA TO DIVULGE MORE INFORMATION ON COVID ORIGINS: OFFICIAL
A top official from the World Health Organization while speaking to the press said that it cannot 'compel' China to give more information about Covid origins.
However, the official did say that WHO will propose more studies that are needed to understand where the virus emerged.
According to a Reuters report, Mike Ryan, director of the agency's emergencies programme, was asked how WHO will compel China to be more open about Covid origins. In the report, Ryan was quoted as saying, "WHO doesn't have the power to compel anyone in this regard. We fully expect cooperation, input and support of all of our member states in that endeavour".
UDDHAV MEETS PM MODI AMID SIGNS OF THAW IN TIES
A one-on-one meeting on Tuesday between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray set off speculation of a thaw in the long-frozen ties between old allies BJP and the Shiv Sena.
The meeting that took place in Delhi was later described by senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut as “a personal interaction between two leaders who share affectionate ties”.
Raut said PM Modi and the Thackeray family had had an old relationship from the times of Balasaheb Thackeray whom Modi revered.
Thackeray made light of the visit to the PM. “I came here to meet my own PM, the PM of my country, not the PM of Pakistan. We discussed a range of issues related to the state.”.
Thackeray later said he urged the PM to push for Maratha reservation with the same passion as he pushed the Triple Talaq Bill.
AKHILESH YADAV AGREES TO GET VACCINATED MONTHS AFTER REFUSING ‘BJP VACCINE’
Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday welcomed the Centre’s decision to provide free vaccines to states for all above 18 years starting June 21, and asked people to get themselves vaccinated,
In a tweet in Hindi, Yadav said, “Seeing the public outrage, the government instead of politicising the corona vaccine announced that it would give the vaccines doses. We were against the BJP’s vaccine but welcome the vaccine of Government of India. I will also get vaccinated. I appeal to those who could not get vaccinated for the lack of vaccines to do so.”.
Yadav had earlier triggered a controversy by saying he will not get himself injected with a “BJP vaccine” against coronavirus.
SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav had got himself vaccinated at a private hospital on Monday.
AGRA HOSPITAL SHUT DOWN AFTER OWNER’S VIDEO: ‘MOCK DRILL… CUT OXYGEN SUPPLY’
The district administration on Tuesday ordered the sealing of Shri Paras Hospital, a prominent private hospital in Agra, following a purported video clip of its owner where he talks about how the hospital cut off oxygen supply to Covid-19 patients for five minutes as part of a “mock drill” to find out “who will die”. He says that 22 patients were “filtered out” during this “experiment” as they “turned blue”.
The incident is reported to have occurred on the morning of April 26, and the video was made on April 28.
The district administration has ordered a probe by the ADM (City) and the Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Yesterday, a notice outside the hospital announced that it would be sealed from June 8. The administration has been told to shift the patients to another facility.
ACT AGAINST ILLEGAL ADOPTION OF ORPHANS, SC TO STATES
Expressing concern over illegal adoption of children whose parents died of Covid-19, or otherwise, the Supreme Court has directed state governments and Union Territories to “prevent any NGO from collecting funds in the names of the affected children by disclosing their identity and inviting interested persons to adopt them”.
A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Aniruddha Bose asked state and UT authorities to take action against NGOs or individuals indulging in illegal adoptions.
The bench pointed out that no adoption of affected children should be permitted contrary to the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. “Invitation to persons for adoption of orphans is contrary to law, as no adoption of a child can be permitted without the involvement of CARA (Central Adoption Resource Authority).
I DON'T THINK KIDS WILL HAVE SERIOUS COVID INFECTION IN FUTURE: AIIMS CHIEF
There is no data, either global or from Indian case studies, pointed to children being more vulnerable to Covid-19, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director said on Tuesday. “It is a piece of misinformation that subsequent waves of the coronavirus pandemic are going to cause severe illness in children. There is no data - either from India or globally - to show that children will be seriously infected in subsequent waves,” said Dr Randeep Guleria.
Earlier in the day, VK Paul, a member for health in the Indian government’s think-tank NITI Aayog, also said there was no evidence to suggest that children will be more affected than adults in the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The assurances come after several experts have claimed that the third wave of the pandemic in India could seriously affect children, as already being seen in Singapore.
TWITTER FALLS IN LINE, SAYS COVID DELAYED APPOINTMENTS
Twitter has written a letter to the government, blaming the Covid19 pandemic for the delays it has had in making statutory personnel appointments in line with the new IT rules.
It said that it has already appointed a nodal contact person and a resident grievance officer “on a contractual basis”, while being in “advanced stages of finalising” the role of chief compliance officer.
The company said it wants to abide by the IT Regulations, and would brief the government about its compliance within a week. It said the pandemic made it difficult “as a practical matter to make certain arrangements necessary to comply with the guidelines in the stipulated time-frame.”
The company has said that it will continue to have a constructive dialogue with the Indian government, and it “has been and remains deeply committed to India, and serving the vital public conversation taking place on the service”.
BIG PUSH FOR LOW-COST CHARGING SYSTEM FOR 2 & 3-WHEELERS
A low-cost charging system for two- and three-wheeler electric vehicles, expected to hit the market in about six months, could prove to be a game-changer for electric mobility in the country.
The new charging system, developed as a government-industry partnership, could be priced as low as Rs 3,500. Existing charging solutions cost anywhere between Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000. A prototype has already been developed and at least half a dozen companies are currently working to manufacture it on scale, officials said.
The all-weather charging device can be installed in any place with access to a 220-volt, 15-ampere power line.
One of the biggest hurdles in the widespread adoption of electric vehicles in India has been the limited availability of charging stations. This proposed solution seeks to address that problem. It is designed to be installed almost anywhere at an affordable cost.
A full charge, from 0 to 100 per cent, can be done within half an hour to 45 minutes. With current batteries, a full charge is enough to travel 80 to 100 km in a city.
Typically, a 15-minute charge would be enough to take the battery from 30 per cent to 70 per cent.
IISC WORLD’S TOP RESEARCH UNIVERSITY IN QS WORLD RANKINGS, IS 1ST INDIAN VARSITY TO SCORE A 100
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, has been ranked the “world’s top research university,” in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World Rankings 2022, an annual publication of university rankings.
“According to the Citations Per Faculty (CPF) indicator, when universities are adjusted for faculty size (the size of the institution is taken into account for calculating the CPF), IISc Bangalore is the world’s top research university, achieving a perfect score of 100/100 for this metric,” a press statement issued by QS stated.
Citations per faculty is one of the six broad parameters on which the QS rankings are based and measures research impact.
In overall rankings, however, IISc has been judged the third best institution in India, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay and Delhi being in first and second positions, respectively. All three Indian institutions have made it among the top 200 in the world.
The top three institutions globally are — Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Oxford and Stanford University ranked at number one, two and three respectively.
NEW DRUG FOR ALZHEIMER’S – IT’S EXPENSIVE AND DOESN’T CURE, MERELY SLOWS ITS DOWN
A new drug for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease holds promise, but comes with several caveats. For one thing, it is not a cure, but is aimed at slowing down cognitive decline.
Aducanumab, from the company Biogen, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — the first new medication for Alzheimer’s to get FDA approval in nearly two decades.
Aduhelm (aducanumab) aims at altering the course of the disease by slowing the deterioration of brain function.
The company has said the average wholesale cost would be $56,000 per year.
FRENCH OPEN: ZVEREV TO MEET TSITSIPAS IN SEMIS
German world number six Alexander Zverev reached his third Grand Slam semifinal and first at the French Open after beating Spanish opponent Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 in just 1 hour and 36 minutes.
Zverev’s will now meet world number 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas who beat 2nd seeded Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 7-6 (3), 7-5.
In woman’s singles, Unseeded Tamara Zidansek became the first Slovenian woman to reach a Grand Slam semifinals as she beat Spain’s Paula Badosa 7-5 4-6 8-6 in a gripping battle yesterday.
And Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova finally reached a Grand Slam semifinals at the 52nd time of asking as she beat Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina 6-7(2) 6-2 9-7 . The Russian will face Tamara Zidansek in semis.
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THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it. - Mikhail Bakunin
"How did it happen?" the doctor asked the middle-aged farmhand as he set the man's broken leg.
"25 years ago, when I first started working on the farm, that night, right after I'd gone to bed, the farmer's beautiful daughter came into my room. She asked me if there was anything I wanted.
I said, "No, everything is fine."
"Are you sure?" she asked. "I'm sure," I said.
"Isn't there anything I can do for you?" she wanted to know. "I reckon not," I replied.
"Excuse me," said the doctor, "What does this story have to do with your leg?"
"Well, this morning," the farmhand explained, "when it dawned on me what she meant, I fell off the roof!"