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Saturday,17-April-2021

National News

Congress slams Centre for allowing ‘sale’ of Covid vaccine by pvt hospitals

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Prithviraj-Chavan

Senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday questioned the Centre’s move to allow private hospital charge people Rs.250/ for the Covid-19 vaccine dosage, the Phase-2 of which was launched nationwide on March 1.

A person aged above 45 with co-morbidities or over 60-years old can get inoculated at a designated private centre for Rs.250 per dose in the second phase.

Taking umbrage at this, Chavan said that in the Phase-1, the Centre had procured 1.65 crore doses of the vaccine at a cost of Rs.210/dose.

“As per the Feb. 1 Budget speech of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Rs. 35,000-crore has been allocated for the vaccination drive. In this amount, at the cost of Rs.210/dose, more than 1.50 billion doses can be procured,” Chavan said.

These 1.60 billion doses can help inoculate 75 crore of the Indians, covering almost the entire adult population of the country, and hence if budgetary provisions are made, then why the charges (Rs.250) are being levied (in private hospitals), Chavan asked.

He pointed out that in countries like USA, UK or Canada, citizens are getting free vaccines either by budgetary provisions or through insurance companies.

“I demand that all beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (Aayushman Bharat) must be given free Covid-19 vaccines,” Chavan said.

Taking a jibe at the government, the former union minister and state Chief Minister said that “despite lofty budgetary announcements and India being the largest supplies of the Covid-19 vaccine, the Modi Government is digging into the common man’s pocket” with the vaccine charges.

In a related development, the Federation of Hotels & Restaurants Association of India (FHRAI) has urged the Centre and Maharashtra government to declare the hospitality sector workers as ‘frontline warriors’ for priority vaccination, said its Vice-President G. S. Kohli.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra witnessed huge crowds for the Phase-2 Vaccination drive at all designated hospitals/centres in the state with senior citizens turning up in large numbers to get inoculated.

National News

Lalu Prasad to remain in AIIMS Delhi for treatment

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AIIMS

Despite the Jharkhand High Court granting bail to former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad, he will remain in AIIMS Delhi until he recovers fully.

Tejashwi Yadav, RJD leader and younger son of Lalu Prasad, said that he is suffering from multiple diseases and severe infection in both the kidneys.

“The Jharkhand High Court has given bail to Lalu Ji but we are extremely concerned about his health. He will undergo treatment in AIIMS Delhi. We have contacted doctors and they said that Lalu Ji has to stay in hospital. He has severe infection in both the kidneys and is also having breathing problems. He is under close monitoring of expert doctors of AIIMS,” Tejashwi said after a virtual all party meeting on the corona crisis in Patna.

“We highly appreciate the Jharkhand High Court for granting him bail. We have complete faith in the judiciary of our country. There is happiness among the people of Bihar that their idol and messiah of the poor has been released from jail,” Tejashwi said.

Anand Vij, the lawyer of Lalu Prasad, said that he was given bail on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh. Besides, he has to pay Rs 10 lakh penalty and also surrender his passport in court.

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National News

Covid surge: Hazrat Nizamuddin dargah closed till April 30

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Hazrat-Nizamuddin-Dargah

The management of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah has decided to close the dargah for devotees till April 30 in view of the unprecedented rise in Covid cases in the national capital. During this period, devotees will neither be allowed to chant at the dargah nor enter inside the tomb.

Qashif Nizami, general secretary of the Nizamuddin Dargah Committee, told IANS, “Corona cases are increasing rapidly in Delhi. A number of restrictions are being imposed by the government to prevent further infections. Weekend curfew on Saturday and Sunday has been clamped. People come from all over the country to the dargah, so there is a risk of infection.”

He said, “Precaution is very important to avoid infections. People should wear mask as well as follow social distancing norms. The dargah has been closed till April 30 for the safety of the people. Entry to the dargah will be forbidden. If the current situation prevails even after April 30, the dargah will be closed further.”

Covid cases in the national capital have been rising rapidly with 19,486 infections recorded in the last 24 hours. At least 141 people died in Delhi in the same time span.

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India’s 10 states report 86% deaths; Maharashtra, Delhi on top

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Health-worker

India’s 10 states on Saturday accounted for 85.83 per cent of the new deaths in which Maharashtra, Delhi and Chhattisgarh reported more than half of the total number registered in the last 24 hours.

A total of 1,341 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said on Saturday.

Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (398) followed by Delhi (141), Chhattisgarh 138, Uttar Pradesh (103), Gujarat (94), Karnataka (78), Madhya Pradesh (60), Jharkhand (56), Punjab (50) and Tamil Nadu (33).

Fortunately, nine states and union territories (UTs) have not reported any Covid-19 death in the last 24 hours. These are Ladakh (UT), D&D & D&N, Tripura, Sikkim, Mizoram, Manipur, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Arunachal Pradesh.

Meanwhile, India’s total active caseload has reached 16,79,740. It now comprises 11.56 per cent of the country’s total positive cases. A net incline of 1,09,997 cases recorded from the total active caseload in the last 24 hours.

The five states of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala cumulatively account for 65.02 per cent of India’s total active cases. Maharashtra alone accounts for 38.09 per cent of the total active caseload of the country.

The report comes when India’s daily new cases continue to rise with 2,34,692 new cases registered in the last 24 hours.

10 states including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan report 79.32 per cent of the new cases.

Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 63,729. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh with 27,360 while Delhi reported 19,486 new cases.

However, India’s cumulative recoveries stand at 1,26,71,220 on Saturday. The national recovery rate is 87.23 per cent. A total of 1,23,354 recoveries were registered in the last 24 hours.

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