YK MYK RAMDEV COMMENT DRIVEN BY BUSINESS INSTINCT AND NOT R&D TROUBLES FOR SUSHIL, RLYS MAY TAKE ACTION AGAINST HIM OPINION SPORTS Morning India Rs. 5 RANCHI TUESDAY, 25 MAY, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—11, ISSUE—21 (RNI NO: JHAENG / 2012 / 44137) WEATHER TODAY CM Soren takes ministers’ views on handling third wave MAX 28 C MIN 11 C SANJAY SAHAY rainfall may occur. AT A GLANCE Mid-air wedding, a couple marries on a chartered Spicejet flight in the presence of family members and relatives from Madurai on Monday. 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 The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Monday de-rostered the crew of a SpiceJet chartered flight that was used for a wedding party. ANI On-site registration for 18-44 years allowed 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- 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. DISCUSSIONS UNDERWAY WITH INDIA FOR SUPPLY OF COVID VACCINE, SAYS PFIZER NEW DELHI: To bring Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in India, discussions are underway between the Government of India (GOI) and Pfizer Inc. In a statement on Monday, Pfizer spokesperson said: "Pfizer's discussions with the GOI are ongoing and we are hopeful to bring the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in the country. We are unable to divulge further details at this moment." On state procurement tenders, the US vaccine maker said it will supply vaccines only to central governments. "Pfizer will supply COVID19 vaccine only to central governments and supranational organisations for deployment in national immunization programs. MORE ON PG 7 RANCHI: In a meeting with his cabinet ministers on Monday, Chief Minister (CM) Hemant Soren said that his focus is on preventing Covid spread in the rural areas, adding the situation has been brought under control in the urban pockets. The CM stated that 75 percent of the state’s population live in the rural area adding the state government is aiming to protect both lives and livelihood. Notably, the CM discussed the present status of Covid, preventive measures and the future course of action with the ministers. Stating that the second wave was more deadly, the CM mentioned that the uncertainties over declaration of lockdown at national level delayed the preventive measures, adding eventually the states had to take decision on the issue. He said that the swasthya suraksha saptah (SSS) implemented from April 24 brought positive results. The CM said that 35 days ago there was a chaos in entire state with siren of ambulances filling the atmosphere. He said, “Many people lost their near and dear ones in the second wave. The masses, however, fought with the challenge.” He pointed out that SSS was extended thrice keeping the public interest in mind. He said that inter-state movement was restricted, adding this step was necessary as 23 out of the 24 districts of the state have borders with neighboring states. The CM stated that the steps led to a large fall in the infection rates. He said that YAAS INTENSIFIES INTO CYCLONIC STORM, TO MOVE NORTHNORTHWEST the state government was now preparing to handle the third wave, adding that the advice of the paediatrics has been taken in this regard. The CM said that based on the advice of the ministers, the government would send medical kits and medicines to all Anganwadi centres from Tuesday. He said that concerns of the ministers for increasing the vaccination is logical but the state government has so far got only 40 lakhs vaccines. He said that the state government was regularly writing to the central government on the issue. He said that a testing protocol has been started for rural areas under which 10 days of tracing, testing and treatment drives have to be conducted. He said that the state government wants to ensure medical test of the people before vaccination. The CM informed that that oxygen and testing kits would be available at the panchayat level. He said that two ambulances have been provided to each block for sending serious patients to hospitals. Rural development minister Alamgir Alam said that RT-PCR test must be done for all workers returning home. He said that gathering of people must be prevented in the rural areas. Minister Rameshwar Oraon said that stopping large gatherings during marriages was needed. Minister Satyanand Bhokta spoke on increasing the medical manpower. Minister Champai Soren said that the SSS must be further extended. Minister Banna Gupta said that the process of e-pass must be simplified. He said that black fungus must be declared an epidemic. NEW DELHI: The deep depression over east central Bay of Bengal remained practically stationary during past six hours and has intensified into cyclonic storm 'Yaas' (pronounced as 'Yass') on Monday. The cyclone in Bay of Bengal laid centered at 5.30 a.m. on Monday near latitude 16.3 degree north and longitude 89.7 degree east, about 600 km north-northwest of Port Blair (Andaman Islands), 540 km south-southeast of Paradip (Odisha), 650 km south-southeast of Balasore (Odisha) and 630 km south-southeast of Digha (West Bengal). It is very likely to move slowly north-northwestwards, intensify further into a Severe Cyclonic Storm during next 24 hours and into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm during subsequent 24 hours, said National Weather Forecasting Centre of India Meteorological Department (IMD). "The cyclone would continue to move north-northwestwards, intensify further and reach Northwest Bay of Bengal near north Odisha and West Bengal coasts by May 26 early morning," the IMD said. "It is very likely to cross north Odisha-West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar islands around May 26 noon as a very severe cyclonic storm." MORE ON PG 3 PANDEMIC YEAR FY21 SC to Centre, states: Benefits must reach migrant workers, expedite their registration FDI jumps 19 pc to USD NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday said its main concern is that benefits which are meant for migrant workers must reach them and stressed the process of their registration is woefully slow. The top court said the Centre and state governments must expedite registration of migrant workers and also those working in the unorganised sectors. A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and M. R. Shah told the Centre's counsel: "Our main concern is that benefits meant for migrant workers must reach them. We have taken a cursory look at your (Centre) affidavit but there is nothing about registration of migrant workers in it." The top court also queried that how will the government give dry ration to labourers who do not have ration cards? The top court also queried, why there is no national data on workers of unorganised sector? The court emphasised that data and the portal are essential to ensure benefits reach the needy during the lockdown. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta agreed with the top court's suggestion that identification and registration of migrant workers is necessary, which would help in transfer of money directly in their accounts, besides other benefits. The top court also queried the Centre, who will monitor government schemes are reaching the beneficiaries, there should be supervision these benefits are reaching the needy, and suggested appointed of nodal officers. Justice Shah said: "On paper, we have government has spent thousands of crores, but the concern is that whether it is reaching the needy persons?" The bench said: "The government must approach them (migrant workers) to get them registered." The bench added governments could extend benefits to migrant workers, those who lost employment amid the pandemic, only if they were registered. The bench emphasised, "It is a difficult task, but has to be achieved." 59.64 bn in 2020-21 NEW DELHI: Foreign direct investments (FDI) into the country grew 19 per cent to USD 59.64 billion during 2020-21 on account of measures taken by the government on the fronts of policy reforms, investment facilitation and ease of doing business, the commerce and industry ministry said on Monday. Total FDI, including equity, re-invested earnings and capital, rose 10 per cent to the "highest ever" of USD 81.72 billion during 2020-21 as against USD 74.39 billion in 2019-20. "FDI equity inflow grew by 19 per cent in 2020-21 (USD 59.64 billion), compared to 2019-20 (USD 49.98 billion)," the ministry said in a statement. In terms MARKET CAP OF BSE-LISTED COS HITS $3 TN FOR THE FIRST TIME The market capitalisation of companies listed on the BSE reached the $3 trillion mark for the first time in its history. Taking to Twitter, BSE CEO Ashish Chauhan congratulated the investors, brokers, mutual fund distributors and companies. Earlier in the day, the market capitalisation crossed Rs 219 lakh crore. of top investor countries, Singapore is at the top with 29 per cent share. It was followed by the US (23 per cent) and Mauritius (9 per cent) during the last fiscal. "Measures taken by the government on the fronts of FDI policy reforms, investment facilitation and ease of doing business have resulted in increased FDI inflows into the country," it said. It added that the inflows are an endorsement of India's status as a preferred investment destination among global investors. The computer software and hardware sector attracted the highest inflows with around 44 per cent share of the total FDI equity inflows. 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.