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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Daily Briefing: Key members of govt Covid task force push for lockdown; 12 die after Delhi hospital runs out of O2

Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation April 20, said lockdown should be used only as the "last resort", some members of the Covid-19 task force are “pushing hard” for a national lockdown.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
May 2, 2021 7:57:22 am
A look at the top news today, May 11, 2021.

Good morning, 

The Second Wave 

Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation April 20, said lockdown should be used only as the “last resort”, some members of the Covid-19 task force are “pushing hard” for a national lockdown, The Sunday Express has learnt. 

In the second such incident this month, 12 covid patients, including a senior doctor, died at a hospital in Delhi after the facility ran out of oxygen and was without any supply for nearly one and half hours. 

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court warned the central government of initiating contempt proceeding if its directions on supplying 490 metric tonnes (MT) of oxygen to Delhi was not complied with. “Enough is enough. Now we mean business. Now you will arrange everything,” the bench told the Centre. 

Only in the Express

P Chidambaram writes: “Shortage of vaccines is still a problem and the blame lies solely at the door of the Central government that failed to place advance orders for approved vaccines other than Covishield and Covaxin.”

Last May, the Jharkhand government welcomed migrant workers returning home on special trains with roses and actively tested them for Covid and even quarantined them. This year, however, is different.  At the Hatia station, one of the two in the state capital, we did not see any sign of Covid-appropriate behaviour

From the Front Page

In an interview with a London newspaper, Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla has complained of receiving threats from  politicians and “powerful men” demanding quick delivery of the Covishield vaccine that his firm has been producing. He also hinted at starting a new vaccine production unit in the United Kingdom.

Must Read 

While the second wave of Covid-19 has battered cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, the country’s Covid graph points to the spread of the deadly infection beyond the metros. There are alarm bells ringing in smaller Tier 2 and 3 towns, such as Nashik, Ranchi, Raipur and Dehradun, which have been combating rising cases, crumbling infrastructure and long lines for beds, vaccines and oxygen this time around.

After reporting an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases, Mumbai is now offering a glimmer of hope as its daily positivity rate dropped from a high of 20.8 per cent in the beginning of April to 9.9 per cent by the end of the month. This suggests that the number of infections in the city is decreasing. Mumbai’s success in flattening the curve is being attributed to a timely lockdown, aggressive testing and effective triaging system.

With the second wave of the Covid pandemic lashing Bengaluru hard, mortuaries and crematoriums in the city have been stretched to their limits. The mortal remains of Covid patients have been piling up at mortuaries, despite the state government’s efforts to speed up the process of last rites by cutting red tape and opening up more crematoriums and burial grounds.

And Finally…

When a biopic based on Saina Nehwal’s life was released earlier this year, another former Indian shuttler was forced to grapple with memories of a competitive rivalry that ultimately cast her in Nehwal’s shadow in the world of professional badminton. One of the film’s standout scenes features Nehwal losing to Aditi Mutatkar in a match — a moment, which in reality was seared in the minds of both the winner and the one who lost. Later, in a blog post, Aditi shared her side of the story. 

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

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