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Daily Briefing: SC sets up task force for Covid response; Suspect in attack on Maldives Speaker has Islamist group ‘links’

The Task Force would also undertake an oxygen audit for “formulating a methodology for the scientific allocation of oxygen to states and UTs (Union Territories)”.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 9, 2021 8:18:44 am
A look at the top news today, May 27, 2021.

Good morning, 

The Second Wave

The Supreme Court, based on the Centre’s suggestion, has set up a National Task force of top experts and doctors from across the country for Covid response and undertaking an oxygen audit. The Task Force, whose term shall be six months initially, will  “commence work immediately” and submit its recommendations to the government as well as the Court.

Only in the Express

 Under the Centre’s Vaccine Maitri initiative, effectively suspended at the end of March, more than 6.6 crore doses of Covid vaccines were sent to 93 countries. An analysis by The Sunday Express showed that 60 per cent of the exports went to those countries which were better off than India in terms of Covid cases and death count per lakh population.

The Sunday Express spoke to some Union ministers and several functionaries in the BJP and the RSS to get a sense of how the national anxiety is echoing in the corridors of power. While a senior RSS leader blamed “centralised decision-making” for not anticipating and now scrambling to catch up with the second wave, a Union Minister said “there’s a fear in almost every family across the country.”

From the Front Page 

After four people linked to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) were arrested for their involvement in an alleged hospital bed scam, police are now investigating the role of a middleman with close links to the personal assistance of a BJP MLA. BJP MP Tejasvi Surya recently highlighted irregularities in the allotment of beds through the BBMP’s centralised system.

One of the three men arrested for Thursday night’s attack on the life of Maldives Speaker and former president Mohamed Nasheed is believed to have links with Islamist extremists, official sources told The Sunday Express.

Health workers check patients receiving treatment inside a banquet hall converted into a Covid-19 isolation center in New Delhi on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Express photo by Amit Mehra)

Must Read 

Till a month ago, 24-year-old law student  C T Ramnunmawii Parte and the 93-year-old Myanmar refugee she now calls ‘pi-pi’ (grandmother in Mizo), lived on either side of an international border, oblivious of each other’s existence. Their paths crossed at a Covid hospital in Mizoram, where Parte, who had just recovered from the disease herself, decided to nurse the elderly lady back to health.

An editorial published in The Lancet medical journal offered a scathing critique of the Modi government’s handling of the second wave. PM Modi’s attempt to stifle criticism and open discussion during the crisis was “inexcusable”, it has said, urging the government to own up and revamp its strategy.

From the flurry of patients waiting for hours for a bed at an already overburdened hospital, to the despair of loved ones scrambling to find oxygen, The Sunday Express brings stories and photographs from seven hours spent at Holy Family, one of the hospitals at the heart of Delhi’s coronavirus crisis.

And Finally 

With some confined to their homes for over a year with little respite, the elderly have been among Covid-19’s most vulnerable victims. Many saw family members and loved ones succumb to the deadly infection, and are now forced to grapple with the constant anxiety of wondering  who may be next. The elderly from several cities spoke to us about coping with this unprecedented crisis. 

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

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