YK MYK 577 COVID ORPHANS REPORTED SO FAR BY STATES: SOURCES WOULD LIKE TO HAVE BREAKFAST WITH SERENA WILLIAMS: SINDHU OPINION SPORTS Morning India Rs. 3 KOLKATA WEDNESDAY, 26 MAY, 2021 PG-08, YEAR—8, ISSUE—11 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) Bengal evacuate lakhs of people to safety as 'Yaas' nears coast MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: Bengal have evacuated lakhs of people from vulnerable areas to safety as severe cyclonic storm 'Yaas' is nearing the coast and is expected to make landfall near Dhamra Port in Bhadrak district of Orissa early on Wednesday morning. Neighbouring Jharkhand has also sounded an alert and is preparing for the cyclone's impact. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that her administration has evacuated over nine lakh people to safe shelters. IMD Director General Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said that 'Yaas' is likely to intensify into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS) by Tuesday evening. He said the cyclone's impact will be severe for six hours before AT A GLANCE AUS SCIENTISTS DEVELOP NEW DRUGS TO FIGHT COVID-19 SYDNEY: Scientists from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia's Queensland have developed two new drugs to both prevent SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind Covid-19 infection, and also treat people who have been exposed to the virus so they do not develop severe disease. The two early intervention drugs target how human cells respond to the SARSCoV-2 virus, instead of the virus itself, according to the findings published in the journal Nature Cell Discovery. The first peptide-based drug would be given pre-exposure to the virus and help boost the efficacy of vaccines. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 2,70,25,086 TOTAL DEATH: 3,08,522 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 168,105,518 TOTAL DEATH: 3,489,658 and after the landfall and Chandbali will witness the maximum damage. Dr Umashankar Das, a scientist at the Regional Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar said that the landfall will most likely be between Dhamra and Chandbali in Orissa's Bhadrak district. Banerjee said, over 74,000 officers and workers and over 2 lakh policemen and civic volunteers have been deployed to mitigate the natural calamity in Bengal. She said that National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel have been deployed and Army's help will be sought if required. "We have evacuated at least 9 lakh people to relief and flood centres. There are 4,000 flood centres in the Chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankar at Nabanna control room examining preparations regarding cyclone "Yaas" on Tuesday State. We are monitoring the situation 24/7. Control rooms have been set up at SC seeks Centre, Bengal's reply on plea to prevent post-poll violence exodus from State NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the Centre and Bengal Government to respond to a plea seeking directions to prevent the alleged exodus due to "State-sponsored" violence after the Assembly polls, constituting an SIT to probe the issue and take action against culprits. A vacation bench of Justices Vineet Saran and B R Gavai directed that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the National Commission of Women (NCW) be made parties in the matter after the petitioners said that they have taken note of the situation of people in Bengal. The top court said the replies of the Centre and Bengal be filed in the matter and listed the plea for further hearing in the week starting June 7. During the brief hearing conducted through video conferencing, senior advocate Pinky Anand, appearing for petitioners who are social workers, lawyers and a victim of alleged post-poll violence, said more than one lakh people have been displaced due to the post-poll violence in the State. She said many commissions like NHRC and NCW have taken note of the situation in the State and they too be made party in the case. The bench asked Anand to file an application on this during the course of the day and allowed making the commissions parties in the case. Anand also said that an interim relief be granted as people staying in camps need rehabilitation. The bench however said, Nothing happen exparte. We have to hear other parties. Let them file their replies. On May 21, the top court had agreed to hear the plea after Anand mentioned it for urgent listing. The PIL filed by social worker Arun Mukherjee and others said that they are aggrieved with the post electoral violence in Bengal from May 2 onwards. The plea alleged that the police and the State-sponsored goons are in cahoots because of which the police proves to be a mere spectator in the entire episode, discouraging and threatening victims from filing FIRs. It further alleged there was no investigation of cases, inaction in incidents where cognisable offences have been commit- ted in presence of police authorities and no provision of security to those facing threats to life. It said various media platforms including social media, print and electronic have covered the entire trail of incidents and various Government organisations and autonomous institutions like NHRC and NCW have either suo motu or on receiving complaints from helpless victims have taken cognisance of the matter and sent out teams to investigate the matter. No support/assistance was offered from the State Government and even their security was compromised at many instances. They have reported the inaction of the police in providing protection to the women, who were attacked and threatened by hooligans and no action was taken by the police officials in this regard, the plea submitted.The plea further said that due to the circumstances, people are internally displaced and are forced to stay in shelter homes/camps in and outside Bengal. The exodus of the people in Bengal due to State- sponsored violence has posed serious humanitarian issues related to their survival, where they are forced to live in deplorable conditions, in violation of their fundamental rights enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, it submitted. Post-poll violence SC issues notice to Bengal Government NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to Bengal Government on a plea seeking directions to stop or prevent the alleged State-sponsored violence in Bengal in wake of the State Assembly elections results. A Bench of Justice Vineet Saran and Justice BR Gavai asked the Government to file its response on the plea and on the request of senior advocate Pinky Anand, appearing for the petitioner, agreed to make NHRC and National Commission for Women (NCW) and Children a party to the PIL. The plea filed by five social activists, including two lawyers, also sought the constitution of an SIT to investigate the violence and take appropriate action against the culprits in reported incidents. The petition seeking SIT probe into post-poll violence provides relief and rehabilitation to lakhs of persons displaced from the State after post-poll violence allegedly unleashed by TMC workers. Pfizer ready to offer 5 cr doses to India NEW DELHI: Moderna is expecting to launch a singledose COVID-19 vaccine in India next year and is in talks with Cipla among other Indian firms, while another US giant Pfizer is ready to offer 5 crore shots in 2021 itself but it wants significant regulatory relaxations including indemnification, sources said on Tuesday. While Moderna has conveyed to Indian authorities that it does not have surplus vaccines to share in 2021, there are limited prospects of Johnson & Johnson exporting its jabs from the US to other countries in the near future, the sources privy to discussions added. Two rounds of high-level meetings chaired by the Cabinet Secretary were held last week on the availability of vaccines in the global as well as domestic markets as it was felt that there is an urgent need to procure the jabs at a time the country is reeling under an unprecedented second wave of COVID-19 and a widening gap between supply and requirement. Currently, the country is using two ''made- in India'' jabs -- Covishield and Covaxin -- to inoculate its billion-plus population and has administered 20 crore doses since launching the world''s largest vaccination drive in mid-January. A third vaccine, Russian-made Sputnik V, has been approved by the government and is being used on a smaller scale at present. In the high-level meeting officials from the Ministry of External Affairs, NITI Aayog, Department of Biotechnology, Law Ministry and Health Ministry were present. It was discussed that Moderna doesn''t have surplus vaccines to share in 2021 and that it plans to launch its single-dose vaccine for the Indian market only in 2022, for which, they are in discussion with Cipla and other Indian companies, a source said. It is learnt that Cipla has already evinced interest in procuring 5 crore doses from Moderna for 2022 and has requested confirmation from the central government in respect of stability in regulatory requirements/policy regime. every block to monitor the situation, apart from the one at State Secretariat 'Nabanna'," she said. The Chief Minister said that senior IAS officers have been assigned to monitor the situation in different districts. "The Chief and Home Secretaries are in touch with the District Magistrates (DMs). I have spoken with the DMs of South and North 24 Parganas, Jhargram and Purba Medinipur districts. I will be at Nabanna to monitor the situation throughout the night," she said. Banerjee said adequate arrangements have been made for Kolkata. Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) Board of Administrators' Chairman Firhad Hakim is monitoring the situation from home, she said. 'Yaas' is likely to move north-north westwards and intensify further into a VSCS during the next 12 hours, the IMD said. The system has been moving north-north westwards at a speed of 10 km/ph. Wind speeds will increase to 155-165 km/ph gusting to 185 km/ph over north-west Bay of Bengal and along and off north Orissa and adjoining Bengal coasts during landfall, it said. The system is likely to cause heavy rain over large parts of Bengal and Orissa on Tuesday and Wednesday. 'Yaas' is also expected to cause a storm surge of 2-4 metres along the coastline of Purba Medinipur and 1-2 metres in South 24 Parganas, and may cause inundation of several lowlying areas. Sanjib Bandopadhyay, the Deputy Director of the Regional Meteorological Centre in Kolkata said there is no possibility of Amphan-like situation in the eastern metrop- olis. The city was severely affected due to the impact of the super-cyclone last year. He said, Kolkata will experience a maximum wind-speed of 65-75 km/ph gusting to 85 km/ph during landfall. The weatherman advised fishermen against venturing out into the sea till further information. It warned of destruction to thatched houses, extensive damage to kutcha dwellings and some damage to pucca buildings in coastal and adjoining interior districts of Bengal. The MeT Department also warned of bending or uprooting of electric poles and disruption of railway services due to snapping of power lines and signalling systems. The South Eastern Railway has announced the cancellation of several passenger special trains till Wednesday. Cyclone 'Yaas' Navy ramps up preparations deploys rescue, relief teams MI News Service NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: With Cyclone Yaas predicted to make landfall on the eastern coast on May 26 and likely to hit parts of Orissa and Bengal, the Indian Navy on Tuesday said it has ramped up rescue and relief operations to minimise damages. "INS Netaji Subhas is spearheading the Indian Naval's relief effort at Bengal and is in close coordination with the State Government of Bengal for preparations for Cyclone Yaas, which is scheduled to make landfall between Orissa and Bengal coast on May 26", informed an official release by the Indian Navy. As part of the preparation, two Navy Diving Teams and five flood relief teams, comprising of specialised Navy personnel with associated equipment and inflatable boats, have been deployed. One diving and two flood relief teams each, have been positioned at Digha and Frazergunge, both in Bengal on May 23 and May 24 respectively. One flood relief team has been kept on standby at Diamond Harbour, for redeployment as necessary, at short notice. These teams are equipped to undertake casualty evacuation of stranded/ marooned personal, road clearing/ tree cutting operations, and distribution of relief material, as would be required by the local district administration. In addition, the Indian Navy is also positioning Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) material for about 500 people at its depot Centre at Kolkata, for subsequent distribution if required, in the aftermath of the Cyclone. Four Indian Navy Ships, loaded with HADR material, medical teams and additional diving teams, would also closely follow the Cyclone and be available for rendering further assistance. Naval Helicopters from onboard the INS ships, Medium-Range Maritime Patrol (MRMP) aircraft at Visakhapatnam as well as Long Range Maritime Patrol (LRMP) aircraft at Arrakkonam (Tamil Nadu) are also on standby for deployment at short notice in the aftermath of the Cyclone for casualty evacuation, aerial survey and airdrop of relief material, based on requests from the State Government, as required. Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday predicted that the cyclonic storm Yaas is going to intensify into a 'very severe cyclonic storm' in the next 12 hours. "The severe cyclonic storm Yaas over east-central Bay of Bengal moved northnorth westwards with a speed of about 9 km/ph during past six hours and lay centred at 9 UTC of May 24 over east-central Bay of Bengal," IMD said in its bulletin. "It is very likely to move north-north westwards, intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm during next 12 hours. It would continue to move north-north westwards, intensify further and reach northwest Bay of Bengal near North Orissa and Bengal coasts by May 26 early morning," the weather agency said.