YK MYK INDIA CAN TWEAK FDI POLICY FOCUSING ON NEW ECONOMY OPINION Rs. 3 KOLKATA THURSDAY, 22 APRIL, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—334 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) PRO-NAVALNY PROTESTERS TO HIT THE STREETS ACROSS RUSSIA WORLD Morning India AGONY IN NASHIK HOSPITAL HORROR: 24 COVID PATIENTS DIE DUE TO OXYGEN LEAK I n a horrific incident, at least 24 Covid-19 patients died on ventilators in a Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) hospital after an abrupt drop in pressure due to leakage in the oxygen supplies, officials said. The invisible tragedy took place in the Dr. Zakir Hussain Hospital run by the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled NMC, which is among the biggest civic bodies and one of the worst Covid-19 hotspots in the state. Following certain technical issues which caused a variation in the pressure of the oxygen being administered in the ward, the 24 patients gasped for breath and succumbed on the ventilator beds. At least 150 patients were undergoing treatment on oxygen beds and another two dozen on ventilator beds when the tragedy struck. "It's a very serious incident... coming due to a drop in pressure of the oxygen being administered to the patients," Health Minister Rajesh Tope said. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,56,21,356 TOTAL DEATH: 1,80,601 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 143,713,178 TOTAL DEATH: 3,061,291 Hospital staff members running from the spot after an Oxygen tanker leaked while tankers were being filled at Dr. Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik on Wednesday. At least 22 Covid-19 patients died due to leakage. ANI Even as stunned relatives slammed the civic authorities, NMC Municipal Commissioner Kailash Jadhav termed it as "a very sad tragedy" and ordered a probe into the incident and assured action against all found guilty of lapses. Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that he was stunned to learn of the Nashik hospital tragedy and expressed his condolences to the kin of the victims. Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) ally Shiv Sena Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray expressed sorrow over the tragedy and assured that the incident would be probed. Nationalist Congress Party's Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar condoled the PHASE 3 CLINICAL STUDY Covaxin demonstrates overall interim clinical efficacy of 78% HYDERABAD: Leading vaccine maker Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Wednesday announced interim results from phase 3 clinical trials of Covaxin, which show 78 per cent overall clinical efficacy and 100 per cent efficacy against severe Covid-19. The second interim analysis is based on accruing more than 87 symptomatic cases of Covid-19. Due to the recent surge in cases, 127 symptomatic cases were recorded, resulting in a point estimate of vaccine efficacy of 78 per cent against mild, REMDESIVIR IS NOT ‘RAMBAN’: DR TREHAN NEW DELHI: Amid the reports of shortage medical oxygen and anti-viral drug Remdesivir in different parts of country, Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman, Medanta, on Wednesday said that Remdesivir is not 'Ramban' in treatment of COVID-19 and it only decreases viral load in people who need it. FULL REPORT ON PG 7 moderate, and severe Covid19 disease. The efficacy against severe Covid-19 disease was 100 per cent, with an impact on reduction in hospitalizations. The efficacy against asymptomatic Covid-19 infection was 70 per cent, suggesting decreased transmission in Covaxin recipients. Safety and efficacy results from the final analysis will be available in June, and the final report will be submitted to a peer-reviewed publication, Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech said. Based on the achievement of the success criteria, placebo recipients have now become eligible to receive two doses of Covaxin. The phase 3 study enrolled 25,800 participants between 18-98 years of age, including 10 per cent over the age of 60, with the analysis conducted 14 days post the 2nd dose. Covaxin was developed with seed strains received from the National Institute of Virology, and the phase 3 clinical trial was co-funded by the ICMR. MORE ON PG 5, 7 AT A GLANCE PM TO ADDRESS VIRTUAL LEADERS’ SUMMIT ON CLIMATE TODAY NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the virtual Leaders' Summit on Climate at the invitation of US President Joe Biden on April 22-23, the PMO said on Wednesday. Devotees offer prayers outside a temple on Ramnavami as several religious premises remained shut due to Covid-19 pandemic in Ranchi on Wednesday. HC directs Centre to stop supply of oxygen for industrial purposes NEW DELHI: Amid the rise in the complaints of shortage of medical oxygen across several hospitals in the national capital, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to immediately stop the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes. While hearing an urgent application regarding the oxygen shortage at Max Hospital here, the Court also directed the Centre to provide safe passage for the supply of oxygen from the place of production to place of delivery. "Why government is not waking to reality? How is this that the government is so oblivious to the ground reality? We cannot have people dying. This is an emergency of such grave nature," the Court said. The Delhi High Court also noted that several people died in a hospital in Maharashtra's Nashik hospital due to no oxygen supply. Terming the present scenario as 'delicate' and 'sensitive', the Court also said that the industry can wait for several days for oxygen supply and directed the Centre to immediately takeover production of oxygen from steel plant and petroleum plant to supply for medical use. The Petitioner, Max Hospital chain, submitted that it has been running from pillar to post and have made a number of requests both to the Centre and Delhi Government. "The Hospital at (Max) Patparganj has currently only three hours of supply of oxygen and if the oxygen runs outs, the life of 400 patients out of which there are 262 COVID patients, will be under threat. A number of these patients are critical and on ventilator support and in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)," the petitioner said. "There is no visibility for the supply of oxygen to the Hospital either from the Centre and Delhi Government, no action has been forthcoming from the respondents," it said. DHONI’S PARENTS TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, TAKEN TO HOSPITAL RANCHI: According to news reports, former India skipper MS Dhoni's parents, mother Devika Devi and father Pan Singh, have been admitted to the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. WEATHER TODAY MAX 35 C MIN 26 C Sky will be partly cloudy. tragedy and assured a highlevel investigation. Congress State Spokesperson Sachin Sawant demanded a thorough inquiry into the tragedy and punishing all those found guilty. "The hospital is managed by NMC which is under the BJP-rule. BJP must take responsibility. Where are the BJP Mayor and 3 BJP MLAs absconding?" Sawant said sternly. MORE ON PG 7 Poet Shankha Ghosh dies MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: Covid has taken its toll again. Famous poet, literary critic and social activist Shankha Ghosh died of Covid-19 at the age of 89 at his residence on Wednesday morning. He was in isolation at his home after he tested Covid-19 positive on April 14. Full report on pg 3 Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee holds a press conference regarding COVID-19 pandemic at Malda on Wednesday Mamata to write to PM on non-uniformity of vaccine prices MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is going to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the 'non-uniformity' of vaccine prices. The Trinamool supremo decided to write to the Prime Minister after the Serum Institute of India (SII) said on Wednesday that its Covishield vaccine will be sold for Rs 400 per dose to the state governments and for Rs 600 to the private hospitals. The price for the same vaccine has been fixed at Rs 150 per dose for the Central government. "I am going to write to the Prime Minister on the nonuniformity of the price of vaccines. They have set three different kinds of prices - one for the Central government, one for the state governments and one for the private facilities. This is not right. "This is not the time to do business. It is a time when everybody should work together for the betterment of human beings," Banerjee said in a press conference in Malda district on Wednesday evening. The SII issued the statement on vaccine prices after the Centre allowed vaccination for all persons above the age of 18 from May 1. The decision was announced after a meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with pharma companies, doctors, Cabinet ministers in charge of health, and officials spanning multiple nodal ministries. The Chief Minister also said that the state government has created a fund of Rs 100 crore for the purchase of vaccines from the market. "So far we have vaccinated 93 lakh people and we have asked for another 1 crore doses from the Central government. Once they come, we will be able to vaccinate another one crore people. In that case, a lot of families will be immune to the disease," she said. The Chief Minister assured that presently there are 11,000 beds for Covid patients which will be increased to 13,000 soon. "As many as 6,793 persons are admitted to different hospitals while another 51,593 are at the safe homes. There is a scarcity of oxygen, but we will be able to meet the requirement," she said. The Chief Minister also warned that if anyone is found hoarding vaccines, strict action will be taken against the person. Bengal to exercise franchise for Phase-VI polls today MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: The State electoral battlefield is gearing up for the next bout of 'Khela' with the sixth phase of the Assembly polls slated to be held on Thursday. Among the 43 constituencies, that will decide the fate of 306 candidates, nine are in Uttar Dinajpur, eight in Purba Bardhaman, nine in Nadia and 17 are in the North 24Parganas district. Over 1.03 crore voters including 50.65 lakh women and 256 of the third gender are there in this phase of the election. As many as 14,480 polling stations have been designated in the sixth phase. Development and unemployment dominate the core issues in these areas. However, the districts of North 24-Parganas and Purba Bardhaman have experienced a bit of development as compared to the other districts. But, the lack of employment opportunities haunts the ruling government. The BJP is targeting the incumbent TMC over 'tolabaazi' (extortion), 'cut money', syndicate raj and appeasement politics. Moreover, an air of antiincumbency can also be felt against the ruling TMC Government in the State. However, the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC is banking upon its welfare schemes like "Duare Sarkar', 'Swastha Sathi' and 'Kanyashree'. TMC and BJP are contesting all 43 seats. Congress, the Left parties and the Indian Secular Front (ISF) have made a coalition and are contesting under the banner of Samyukta Morcha. Out of the 43 seats in this round, Congress has got 12 in its share, CPM got 23, All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) got four and CPI has got two seats. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is also trying its luck and has fielded 37 candidates. The most high-profile candidate in this phase is BJP national vice president Mukul Roy who is contesting from the Krishnanagar Uttar Assembly constituency in Nadia district. Roy, the former railway minister and Rajya Sabha MP, was previously associated with the TMC. Although, TMC has fielded actor Koushani Mukherjee and Congress has fielded Sylvie Saha from the Krishnanagar Uttar Assembly constituency against Roy this year. TMC heavyweight Chandrima Bhattacharya is contesting from the Dum Dum Uttar constituency. Tanmoy Bhattacharya and Archana Majumdar are the CPM and BJP candidates respectively from the seat. In the Raiganj Assembly constituency in Uttar Dinajpur district, TMC has fielded Kanaia Lal Agarwal against sitting Congress MLA Mohit Sengupta, who has been representing the seat since 2011. BJP has fielded Krishna Kalyani from the seat. In the Goalpokhar Assembly constituency, State Cabinet Minister Md. Ghulam Rabbani has an edge over BJP's Gulam Sarwar and Congress candidate Masud Nasim Ehsan. Film directorproducer Raj Chakraborty is trying his luck on a TMC ticket from the Barrackpore constituency.