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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Daily Briefing: Centre clears wave for vaccine surge; NIA probes encounter angle in passport found at Waze house

From the latest on the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in India, to Deepak Hooda's journey to redemption; here are are today's top stories.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
April 14, 2021 8:34:18 am
Daily Briefing: Amid Covid second wave, govt rethink on offline CBSE Board exam; 102 test positive at KumbhA look at the top news today, April 18, 2021.

Good morning,

The Second Wave 

No pre-condition of conducting phase 2 and 3 clinical trials in India will be applied on Covid vaccines that have been granted emergency approvals by four foreign drug regulators, effectively fast tracking regulatory approvals for international manufacturers to commercially market their products in the country. There is, however, one condition: the first 100 beneficiaries would be assessed for seven days before a full rollout. 

# Now, how much will these vaccines cost? Countries that made an “at risk” investment in the development of vaccines ended up extracting a better deal from manufacturers. India, however, is an exception. 

# Meanwhile, as anticipated, Maharashtra government has imposed fresh restrictions in the state but it is not calling it a lockdown. Barring essential services, all establishments, public spaces, activities and services will remain closed from 8 pm today till May 1. 

# And a West Bengal town close to the international border with Bangladesh is feeling the effects of a complete lockdown in the latter, with its local economy driven by business from the border area.

Only in the Express 

Bemetara district in Chhattisgarh recorded 1,000 Covid cases last October, when the caseload was peaking across the country. By April 12 this year, the district has 9,700 active cases. The numbers capture in a nutshell the impact of the second wave of the pandemic in the state. And its lone Covid ICU facility — 8 beds at the district hospital — the damage and despair that it has caused.

From the Front Page 

A passport recovered from arrested Mumbai policeman Sachin Waze’s house, the National Investigation Agency suspects, belongs to someone Waze might have intended to eliminate. One of the theories the agency is working on is that Waze’s plan was to foist the Antilia bomb scare case on the passport holder and another man.

Politics seems to have dominated the choice of selecting the 20 non-official nominees to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Board as the list includes several BJP office-bearers, ex-party MLAs and members of RSS affiliate Laghu Udyog Bharati.

Must Read 

For the relatives of deceased Covid-19 patients in Gujarat, the wait to perform their loved one’s final rites has become longer as crematoriums across the state grapple with a rising number of Covid deaths. To meet the rush, crematoriums are now working round the clock. 

On Tuesday, Jharkhand Health Minister Banna Gupta was confronted by a woman outside a Ranchi hospital during an official visit. The woman, 30, had travelled from Hazaribagh to Ranchi seeking help for her Covid-infected father. But after waiting in the hospital’s parking lot for about half-an-hour without medical assistance, her father was declared dead. The incident points at the state of affairs in Jharkhand, which has been struggling to combat a recent surge in cases. 

Decision 2021 

After sitting on a dharma at Kolkata’s iconic Gandhi Murti for over three and a half hours against the Election Commission’s 24-hour ban on her campaigning, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee held two back-to-back rallies in Kolkata in Kolkata on Tuesday. Calling herself a “street fighter”, she said she would not be cowed down by the “intimidation tactics of the BJP”.

The villages that outline the luxurious satellite town of Newtown have mostly been forgotten over the years. But with polls in the constituency of Newtown Rajarhat, in the North 24 Paraganas district on April 17, suddenly, as always, there is attention. The desires of the residents of these villages are unlike those of the Newtown “elite”. Welfare schemes, development and job creation loom large in their minds. 

Kerala Minister for Higher Education and Minority Welfare K T Jaleel submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, four days after the Lokayukta found him guilty of “favouritism” and “nepotism”, saying he had no moral right to continue as minister.

And Finally 

In the last four months, Deepak Hooda has seen it all. A spat with the Baroda captain Krunal Pandya, tussle with his association, a ban, and now finally redemption. To hell and back. After being banned from much of the T20 tournament, he walked up to bat in the first IPL game against Rajasthan Royals, without any competitive cricket behind him and walloped a 28-ball 64.

Delhi Confidential: With Bypolls in Sujangarh, Rajsamand and Sahada slated for April 17, the BJP is increasing its campaign presence in the three Rajasthan constituencies. However, one prominent leader is missing from action: former chief minister Vasundhara Raje

In today’s episode of ‘3 Things’, we look at the debilitating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in India, whether lockdowns are an effective strategy against it, the role of vaccinations and how this wave is different from the first. 

Until tomorrow,
Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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