May 20, 2021 8:35:46 am
The Big Story
A high-level inquiry has been ordered to look into “lapses and gaps” after 26 bodies were recovered from the Arabian sea and search continues for at least 61 more people who remain missing after getting stranded on ONGC vessels during Cyclone Tauktae.
And among the 187 men rescued from an ONGC vessel that ultimately sank was Chief Engineer Rahman Shaikh, who said everyone on board could have been saved had many of the life rafts not had punctures and the Captain taken the cyclone warnings seriously.
The Second Wave
“Delhi CM does not speak for India”. The sharp response came from External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar after Singapore strongly objected to Arvind Kerjiwal’s warning of a Covid strain from that country. Jaishankar also said Kejriwal had ” “no competence to pronounce on Covid variants”.
In a significant Covid vaccine policy shift, the government said those who tested positive for the virus should defer their vaccination by three months. It also made similar recommendations for those who received plasma therapy and those who tested positive after receiving their first vaccine dose.
A drug that has been traditionally used for cancer treatment has received emergency use approval for administering it to Covid-19 patients. Experts, however, have flagged concerns over the approval as there is minimal clinical evidence over its effectiveness.
Only in the Express
In the second of a series of agenda-setting debates organised by The Indian Express and the Financial Times, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia Lindsey W Ford will be part of online discussions on ‘India, China and the US: A new geopolitical landscape?’, on Thursday.
Surveys among healthcare workers at two prominent hospitals — Indrapastha Apollo Hospital in Delhi and Max Hospital’s pan-India healthcare network — point towards the efficacy of India’s Covid vaccination drive. While the Delhi hospital found fewer than three individuals out of every 100 who received both doses contracted the illness, Max’s survey (done on a larger scale) showed that six out of every 100 vaccinated individuals caught the virus.
In Uttar Pradesh, two seemingly unconnected families are mourning a similar loss. Residing in villages just 3 km apart, several members of both families have succumbed to Covid-19. The factor that connects them in their grief? The first case of Covid in both families can be traced back to the UP panchayat polls, where some members of both families, who were working as teachers in government schools, were made to report for poll duty amid the deadly pandemic.
Covid appeared to have no adverse effect on the astronomical incomes earned by top sports personalities, if the 2021 Forbes list for highest-paid athletes was anything to go by. There were some alterations to the top-10 list, most of which were expected since Covid had reduced prize money and playing time across sports, but the most glaring change was a Mixed Martial Artist, Conor McGregor, topping the list for the first time in a decade.
Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose
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