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Monday, June 14, 2021

Daily Briefing: Vaccine inequity deepens in young; 12 parties, 4 Oppn CMs write to PM Modi on Covid crisis

Of the 34.66 lakh doses administered from May 1-May 12 to those in the 18-44 age group (the cohort for which states have to procure from the open market), over 85% were administered in seven states.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
May 13, 2021 8:29:54 am
A look at the top news today, June 2, 2021.

Good morning,

The Second Wave 

After vaccine inequity was observed in rural India, it has now begun to deepen in the young as only seven states account for almost 85% of all doses administered to those in the 18-44 age group. Consider this: Karnataka, with the country’s highest active caseload (5.87 lakh), administered just 74,015 doses.

With vaccine shortages forcing several states to suspend the drive for the 18-44 age group, leaders of 12 major Opposition parties, including four Chief Ministers, wrote a joint letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking the Centre to procure vaccines and begin a free, universal campaign across the country.

Even as some states continue to pressure the Centre to import vaccines, the country’s richest municipal corporation has floated a tender for 1 crore doses for Mumbai. However, it has effectively barred China from submitting any bids. 

Only in the Express 

In Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli district, there is a growing chorus that the number of Covid cases and deaths are being undercounted. Residents of Sultanpur Khera village in the district say they have never seen 18 deaths in a month before. Of the 17, local residents say 15 were not tested for Covid, or taken to a hospital. And this is why, they say, official records show only two Covid deaths from the village of 3,000 in April.

In an interview with The Indian Express, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant spoke about the medical supplies being received from abroad to battle the pandemic, as well as how they are being supplied to different states. 

Must Read 

After as many as 26 Covid-19 patients succumbed to suspected oxygen shortage at Goa Medical College and Hospital in a single night, local citizens and top doctors say that they have been flagging the drop in oxygen levels to the administration for days. 

In Jharkhand’s Jamtara district, an army of local quacks and healers has been roped in by local administration to spread awareness about the coronavirus pandemic and also to encourage more people in villages to get the Covid-19 vaccine. But with widespread vaccine hesitancy, they certainly have their work cut out for them. 

Local administration in UP’s Ballia district cremated 12 decomposing bodies that were recovered from the river Ganga this week. However, this is not the first time such an incident has occurred in the recent past. On Tuesday, 25 bodies were found in the Ganga in neighbouring Ghazipur district. 

Soon after the coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown was announced last year, Odisha native Ranjan Sahu lost his job in Kolkata. The 40-year-old realised that while he had enough savings to return home and sustain himself and his family, thousands of migrant workers did not. Today, he runs his own garment manufacturing unit, employing 70 migrants who had returned to their villages.

And Finally 

From personally welcoming India’s Olympic shooting team, to ensuring that their firearms arrived at the shooting range — Croatian shooter Petar Gorsa has left no stone unturned to make sure India’s preparation for the Tokyo Olympics goes smoothly. He claims that he was driven by gratitude after testing positive for Covid in New Delhi. 

In today’s episode of ‘3 Things’, we look at the extent of Covid in rural India, the discovery of close to a hundred bodies in the river Ganga, and the joint letter sent to PM Modi by Opposition leaders. 

Until tomorrow,
Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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