YK MYK RAMDEV COMMENT DRIVEN BY BUSINESS INSTINCT AND NOT R&D OPINION KOLKATA TUESDAY, 25 MAY, 2021 PG-08, YEAR—8, ISSUE—10 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) MAX 30 C MIN 26 C SPORTS Morning India Rs. 3 WEATHER TODAY TROUBLES FOR SUSHIL, RLYS MAY TAKE ACTION AGAINST HIM Deep depression over Bay of Bengal to intensify into 'severe cyclonic storm' during next 24 hrs: IMD MI NEWS SERVICE rainfall may occur. AT A GLANCE LOCKDOWN EXTENDED TILL JUNE 1 IN BIHAR: CM PATNA: The Nitish Kumar government in Bihar on Monday extended till June 01 the COVID-induced lockdown that has been in force for nearly a month and was to be effective till Tuesday. An announcement to this effect was made by the Chief Minister on his official twitter handle. "The lockdown has had a good impact and there has been a decline in the corona contagion. Hence, a decision has been taken to continue with the lockdown till June 01", Kumar tweeted after chairing a high level meeting convened to review the pandemic situation in the state, which was attended by members of his cabinet and top officials. INDIA'S DAILY COVID RECOVERIES OUTNUMBER NEW CASES FOR 11TH CONSECUTIVE DAY NEW DELHI: India's daily Covid-19 recoveries continued to outnumber the daily new cases for the 11th consecutive day on Monday with 3,02,544 recoveries registered in the last 24 hours. India's cumulative recoveries reached 2,37,28,011 on Monday and the National Recovery Rate has grown further to touch 88.69 per cent, reveals the latest data of the Union Health Ministry. Ten states account for 72.23 per cent of the new recoveries. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 2,67,99,070 TOTAL DEATH: 3,04,338 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 167,653,596 TOTAL DEATH: 3,480,642 NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday informed that the deep depression over the East-central Bay of Bengal has intensified into a cyclonic storm and it would further intensify into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours. In a tweet, IMD informed, "Deep Depression over Eastcentral Bay of Bengal intensified into Cyclonic Storm 'Yaas' and about 600 km of Port Blair. To intensify into a Severe Cyclonic Storm during next 24 hours and into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm during subse- 'All 265 fishing boats have returned to harbour from Bay of Bengal' NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: The Indian Coast Guard on Monday said all the 265 boats, which were reported to be in the Bay of Bengal by fisheries authorities, have returned to harbour in view of cyclone Yaas. The cyclone is very likely to cross the north Orissa and Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar Island around May 26 noon as a 'very severe cyclonic storm'. It is expected to bring in winds of 155 to 165 km/ph, gusting up to 180 km/ph. "Consistent efforts of the ICG ensured all 265 boats reported at sea by fisheries authorities safely returned to harbour," the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) tweeted. It said its disaster response teams, ships and aircraft are on standby. Moreover, the ICG is maintaining close liaison with State administrations and other stakeholders to deal with any situation, the coast guard said.The deep depression over the Bay of Bengal intensified into cyclone Yaas in the early hours of Monday and it is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours, the India Meteorological Department said. quent 24 hours." Keeping in view the approaching cyclone, the Eastern Railway on Sunday cancelled 25 trains between May 24 and May 29. On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a highlevel meeting to review the pre- paredness of the States and Central ministries and agencies which will be dealing with the disaster arising out of the pre- dicted cyclone Yaas. The Armed Forces also have commenced preparations to mitigate the impact of the anticipated disas- ter by airlifting 950 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel across the country, with 26 helicopters in standby for immediate deployment. As per a statement from the Ministry of Defence, 70 tonnes of load has also been airlifted from Jamnagar, Varanasi, Patna and Arakkonam to Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Port Blair in 15 transport aircraft as of May 23. The low-pressure area which formed over the eastcentral Bay of Bengal on Saturday morning, had intensified into a depression on Sunday and by Monday morning, it formed into a cyclone namely Yaas, informed the India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General of Meteorology Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra. Mamata unhappy with Centre's cyclone On-site registration aid, alleges discrimination towards Bengal for 18-44 years allowed MI NEWS SERVICE IT WILL MINIMISE VAX WASTAGE: GOVT NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday initiated on-site Registration in addition to online appointment for 1844 years age group now on CoWIN, the service is only enabled only for Government Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs) to minimise vaccine wastage and to facilitate those without internet reach. The ministry said the reason behind it to provide maximum vaccination as in case of sessions exclusively organised with online slots, towards the end of the day, some doses may still be left unutilised in case the online appointee beneficiaries do not turn up on day of vaccination due to any reason. In COVID-19 PANDEMIC such cases, on-site registration of a few beneficiaries may be necessary to minimise the vaccine wastage. Although CoWIN provides for features such as registration of up to 4 beneficiaries with a mobile number, facil- Oxy Express in town to deal with Corona K O L K ATA : Chief Minister M a m a t a Banerjee has repeatedly said that she would stand by the people to save Bengal from the Corona epidemic. On Monday, five vehicles were inaugurated at the initiative of New Alipore Suruchi Sangha and some of its affiliates. It was inaugurated by Arup Biswas, President of Suruchi Sangha Club and Minister for Power & Non Conventional Energy Government of West Bengal. Five vehicles have been named Oxy Express. These five Oxy Expresses will deliver oxygen cylin- ders or concentrators to all areas of South Kolkata, Behala and Tollygunge. To rescue Bengal from the second wave of Coronavirus, Suruchi Sangha has already provided oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, free telemedicine services, free medical advice over phone, dieticians, and nursing consultants for those who are suffering from Covid- 19. The helpline number is 18003099099. itates registration and appointments through applications, such as ArogyaSetu and Umang and through the Common Service Centres, people requiring facilitated cohort's facility and those without access to internet or smart phones or mobile phones may still have limited access for vaccination. Therefore, the feature for on-site registration and appointment is now being enabled for 18-44 years age group on CoWIN. This feature will not be available for Private CVCs, presently and the Private CVCs will have to publish their vaccination schedules exclusively with slots for online appointments. MORE ON PG 7 KOLKATA: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday pointed out that the Centre, despite promising all forms of assistance to combat Cyclone Yaas, has agreed to provide an advance of only Rs 400 crore, while smaller states such as Orissa and Andhra Pradesh are being given Rs 600 crore each. Banerjee, following a meeting of Home Minister Amit Shah with Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Bengal and the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, said her State, which is more densely populated, was facing "repeated discrimination". "We had a meeting with Amit Shah-ji this morning. The Centre is providing more than Rs 600-crore each to Orissa and Andhra Retired judges, diplomats, others write to Prez against 'political violence' in Bengal NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: Blaming "State terror" for political violence in Bengal, a group of citizens has written to President Ram Nath Kovind and called for a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe monitored by a retired Supreme Court judge for a fair investigation and speedy justice. Referring to the "targeted political killings" and violence after the Bengal Assembly elections and "deficient and inappropriate" response of the local administration and police, they demanded that these cases be handed over to the NIA to deal with the "anti-national" onslaught on the culture and integrity of the country as it is a border State. Nearly 150 people, including retired judges, diplomats, bureaucrats, police officials and veterans, have submitted this memorandum to the President on Monday. The memorandum said, "We are greatly disturbed by the mindless instigation of reported violence in electoral vengeance against the people who exercised their democratic right to vote for one political party or the other. "Media reports, largely substantiated by eye-witness accounts, mention murders, rapes, attacks on persons and property, including by anti-national elements, leading to forced migration of people to shelter homes." These unfortunate developments, if unchecked, could establish a trend which will undermine and ultimately destroy the deep rooted democratic traditions of India, they said. Citing media reports, they said over a dozen persons, including women, have been killed in post-poll violence in the State in over 15,000 incidents of alleged violence. As a result, 4,000 to 5,000 people have reportedly migrated to Assam, Jharkhand and Orissa, they said, seeking a special relief package for the victims of violence, and efforts for their rehabilitation. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at a virtual meeting with Central Home Minister Amit Shah regarding cyclone "Yaas" at Nabanna on Monday Pradesh, and only Rs 400 crore-something to Bengal to fight Cyclone Yaas. This is money being paid in advance, something the States are supposed to get. This isn't extra... "At the meeting, I sought to know why Bengal, despite being a bigger State than Orissa and Andhra Pradesh -both in terms of population density and number of districts -- is getting less? Why are we being deprived repeatedly?" Banerjee told reporters at the State Secretariat, Nabanna. She said that Shah had promised to extend full cooperation, but when it came to announcing advance funds for the States, Bengal got less. "Orissa and Andhra Pradesh are my sister States. I do not have any problem with what the Centre is offering to them. That said, can you compare UP with Puducherry? It depends on the population density, history, geography and the boundaries," she said. The CM further said that Shah, on hearing her argument, stated that "scientific views are taken into consideration" before arriving at such decisions. "The Home Minister told me that the matter will be discussed later. He also said that it depends on scientific view... I did not reply to that because I have knowledge about political science, but not much on this subject," she said, in an apparent dig at Shah. Narada case CBI moves SC against Calcutta HC order allowing house arrest of TMC leaders MI NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court challenging the Calcutta High Court's order which allowed the house arrest of four Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders, who are accused in the Narada case. The probe agency, CBI, in its appeal, filed before the Apex Court, sought deferment of the larger Bench hearing, fixed for Monday before the five-Judge Bench of the Calcutta High Court. The Calcutta High Court, in its order recently on May 21, had allowed four TMC leaders, including two sitting Ministers, accused in the Narada case, to be granted bail, and to be kept under house arrest. The Calcutta High Court had referred the bail pleas of these four leaders to be heard by a five-judge bench after the split verdict was passed by the twoJudge bench. The four politicians of Bengal accused in the case are two sitting Ministers of Mamata Banerjee-led Government -Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee -- and TMC legislators -- Madan Mitra and former MLA Sovan Chatterjee. According to the case, the sting operation was conducted by one Narada News in Bengal, showing around 12 then TMC Ministers, leaders and an IPS officer allegedly being caught accepting bribes. The sting operation tapes were released in the case to expose the accused persons before the 2016 Bengal Assembly elections. The Calcutta High Court had, in 2017 in its order, directed a preliminary investigation to be conducted by the CBI in the case. The Calcutta High Court passed this order after going through a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking a thorough, impartial and independent investigation into the Narada tapes sting operation case. Last week, four TMC Ministers Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, MLA Madan Mitra and Former Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee were arrested by CBI in the Narada scam. AFTER LATEST INVESTIGATIVE REPORT Calls to probe Wuhan lab as source of Covid grow louder NEW DELHI: The suspicion that a lab leak from a Chinese facility in Wuhan was the root cause of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to gather momentum with an investigative report by a leading US daily pointing out that three researchers working at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) developed Covid like symptoms ahead of the official date of the breakout. According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), these researchers from WIV sought hospital care in November 2019, months ahead of China's disclosure of the Covid-19 pandemic. The newspaper on Sunday based its findings on a previous US intelligence report, which provided fresh details on the number of researchers affected at the WIV, the timing of their illnesses, and their visits to the hospital. The report may add more weight to growing clamour for a fresh and impartial probe into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially after an inconclusive investigation by the World Health Organisation (WHO) had earlier said that a lab leak was unlikely to be the cause of the pandemic The WSJ report has been published on the eve of a WHO meeting, which is expected to discuss the next phase of a probe into the origins of Covid-19. The WSJ writeup builds on earlier credible reports that strongly suggest that a lab leak could have been the likely cause of the Covid-19 outbreak. In a detailed article, the authoritative Bulletin of Atomic Scientist (BAS) had cited five rea- sons to build a case for a fresh investigation on the possibility that the virus had escaped from WIV. The BAS report points out that WIV has been engaged in what are called gain-of-function experiments. In simple language, it means that the facility had been conducting experiments to enhance the ability of dangerous animal viruses to infect people. Was SARS-CoV-2 virus that caused the Covid-19 pandemic also a result of gain-of-function experiments? In that case, its accidental leakage cannot be ruled out. Nicholas Wade, the author of the article further identifies Shi Zheng-li as a nodal researcher at WIV, who was engaged in gainof-function experiments. The author points out that Shi had earlier collaborated with coronavirus researcher Ralph S. Baric. In November 2015 the duo created a novel virus by taking the backbone of the SARS1 virus and replacing its spike protein with one from a bat virus. The development of SARS-CoV-2 could therefore have been a logical extension of her earlier work. Second, the safety standards of WIV were simply not fool-proof to prevent an accidental leakage of a lab developed Coronavirus. Wade spotlights that gain-offunction experiments were being carried out in the less safe BSL-2 level labs. Third, Chinese lack of transparency during the conduct of investigations to determine the origin of the pandemic at Wuhan has further strengthened the lab escape proposition. Fourth, the Chinese authorities went out of their way to sell the theory that the SARS-CoV2virus evolved naturally. Why did they have to mount such an extraordinary effort? Finally, the Chinese attempted to manipulate the composition of the WHO investigators, who visited them in February, and controlled the team's information access, generating further speculation of foul play. Earlier the Weekend Australian newspaper revealed that Chinese scientists were thinking about bioweapons, visualising a Word War-3 scenario. The daily cited a Chinese government document which discussed the weaponisation of SARS coronavirus.