Free Press Bulletin
Free Press Bulletin

Here are the top 5 news updates of May 1, 2021:

1. Attention Mumbaikars! COVID-19 vaccination for 18 to 44 years at 5 centres only; go only if you receive message

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has started vaccination for registered beneficiaries between 18 and 44 years of age. However, the vaccination will be held at only five centres in Mumbai.

The Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar has appealed to people between 18 to 44 years of age only after they have registered and received a message.

According to civic officials, five vaccine centres – BYL Nair, Cooper, Seven Hills and Rajawadi Hospitals and the BKC Jumbo Vaccine Centre – will be holding the vaccination drive for all adults.

2. Government extends timelines for tax compliance; ITR for FY20 can be filed till May 31

The government on Saturday extended timelines for various income tax compliances, including the filing of belated or revised return for the 2019-20 fiscal, till May 31.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said it had received representations from various stakeholders for relaxation on compliance requirements.

Income-tax return in response to notice under Section 148 of the Act, for which the last date of filing of return of income under the said notice is April 1, 2021, or thereafter, may be filed within the time allowed under that notice or May 31, 2021, whichever is later.

Also, the due date for filing objections to Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) and filing appeals to the commissioner has been extended till May 31.

3. 'Call for shutdown of India': As COVID-19 cases rise, Biden's top medical advisor Dr Fauci bats for 'immediate' lockdown

Top US epidemiologist Anthony Fauci has suggested a lockdown for a few weeks in India as an immediate step to contain the spread of the coronavirus as its deadly second wave shows no signs of ebbing.

Fauci, in an interview to The Indian Express, said another most important thing in the immediate is to get supplies of oxygen, medication, PPEs.

"Well, one of the things you really need to do, to the extent that you can, is shut down temporarily the country, I think is important. If we want to time out and go back to what I said: there is the immediate, the intermediate, and the long range (measures to contain the virus). "I think the most important thing in the immediate is to get oxygen, get supplies, get medication, get PPE, those kinds of things but also, one of the immediate things to do is to essentially call a shutdown of the country," said Fauci, who is the chief medical adviser to the Biden administration.

Fauci said it is not necessary to shut down for six months, but it can be a temporary one to put an end to the cycle of transmission. So one of the things to be considered is to temporarily shut down, he said.

4. US announces India travel ban from May 4 as Australia threatens jail time amid rising COVID-19 cases

As COVID-19 cases in India continue to hit record highs over the last few days, several nations have announced travel restrictions. While some have temporarily stopped flight services to the country, others are calling for all citizens to leave India and even threatening imprisonment. On Friday, President Joe Biden issued a proclamation restricting travel from India from May 4 even as Australia threatened to jail or fine citizens returning from India.

President Biden has announced a partial suspension of entry for "non-citizens" of the US because of the "extraordinarily high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in the country". Students seeking to commence studies in the fall, academics, journalists and individuals who provide critical infrastructure support in countries affected by a geographic COVID-19 restriction may qualify for an exception. The new rule will not apply to lawful permanent resident and non-citizen national of the United States or the the spouse of a citizen or lawful permanent resident.

In the meantime, the Australian government has temporarily barred citizens from entering the country if they happened to be in India within 14 days. The decision was announced after a meeting of the National Cabinet on Friday and will come into force from Monday. "Failure to comply with an emergency determination under the Biosecurity Act, 2015 may incur a civil penalty of 300 penalty units, five years' imprisonment or both," an official statement from the ministry said.

5. Gujarat: 18 coronavirus patients die in Bharuch hospital fire; CM announces assistance of Rs 4 lakh for kin

At least 18 coronavirus patients died after a fire broke out at a hospital in Gujarat's Bharuch in the early hours on Saturday.

Gut-wrenching visuals of the tragedy showed remains of some patients burnt alive on stretchers and beds.

There were around 50 other patients at the four-storeyed Welfare Hospital when the fire broke out in the COVID-19 ward at 1 am. They were rescued by locals and firefighters, an official said.

"As per information at 6.30 am, the death toll in the tragedy stood at 18. Immediately after the fire, we had confirmation of 12 deaths," a police official told PTI.

Meanwhile, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani mourned the deaths and said, "I express my condolences to the patients, doctors and hospital staff who lost their lives in the fire accident at Bharuch Hospital. The state government will provide assistance of Rs 4 lakh to the families of each of the victims of the accident."

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