Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi
File Photo

New Delhi

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday appealed to PM Modi to open the Covid-19 vaccination to everyone who needs it, place an immediae moratorium on vaccines’ export and provide the vaccine makers necessary resources to increase the manufacturing capacity.

In a 3-page letter to the PM, he called for fast-track approval of other vaccines as per norms and guidelines and give the state governments a greater say in vaccine procurement and distribution. He sought to double the Central allocation for vaccine procurement from the existing Rs35,000 crore. Rahul urged the PM to provide direct income support to the vulnerable sections in the disastrous second wave, reiterating the Congress’s “unstinted support to the Covid-19 vaccination programme.”

On the renewed attack of the coronavirus in the country, he said it was unfortunate that “our scientific community and vaccine suppliers worked overtime to develop a solution, but their efforts are undermined by the Centre’s poor implementation and oversight.” He shared his concern India has managed to fully vaccinate less than 1% population in 3 months and at that rate it would take years to inoculate 75% of the population, which will have catastrophic effects and will gravely decelerate India’s economy. “We will lobby for halting export of vax to foreign nations to bolster PM’s image when our fellow Indians are facing huge shortages,” added Surjewala.

Shortage in Cong-ruled states is of commitment: RSP

Union minister Ravi Shan­kar Prasad hit out at Rahul, claiming the shortage in Congress-ruled states is not of vaccines but of commitment. Prasad tweeted,

Stock to finish in 2 days, give over 30L doses: Gehlot to PM

CM Ashok Gehlot has written to PM Modi, saying the stock of vaccine in Raja­sthan will finish in next 2 days and urged him to immediately provide at least 30 lakh doses. In the letter, Geh­lot said the state aimed at vaccinating 5 lakh people every day and has administered 86,89,770 doses from Jan 16 to April 7. “We have already planned to increase the pace of vaccination to 5 lakh beneficiaries per day throu­gh a collaborative approach and effective mobilisation of beneficiaries,” Gehlot said.

6.45 crore jabs exported: Vardhan

Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said India, so far, exported 6.45 crores Covid vaccine doses to 84 countries. Of the doses, 1.05 crores have been given as grants to 44 countries, while 3.58 cro­res jabs to 25 countries have been given under commercial contracts and 1.82 crores to 39 countries through WHO COVAX facility.

At 7,955, Karnataka sees year’s biggest spike

Shankar Raj

Bengaluru

Karnataka on Friday reported its highest spike this year recording 7,955 coronavirus cases in a day. With this, the number of active cases has jumped to 58,084 in the state.

The biggest contributor to the state’s Covid rising cases was Bengaluru, which reported over 5,000 cases in 24 hours. The city has been consistently reporting over 4,000 cases for the last few days.

There were 46 Covid-related deaths in the state on Friday, taking the toll to 12,813.

Worried about the spike, Bengaluru and 6 other cities in Karnataka — Mysuru, Mangaluru, Kalaburagi, Bidar, Tumakuru and Manipal — will enforce a night curfew from 10pm to 5am starting Saturday, the government announced. The curfew will be in place till April 20.

Meanwhile, the government reversed its decision on people carrying a Covid negative certificate if they want to visit Mysuru.

As Covid cases continue to rise and more curbs being imposed, industries in and around Bengaluru are witnessing a second round of exodus of migrant workers. Construction industry, MSMEs and domestic workers’ sector are the worst hit.

“Most of the workers want to come back after the April 13 New Year festival. But with the changing Covid scenario in Karnataka, they also want to watch how things pans out. Last year, they had a bad experience, stuck in the city during lockdown without employment. They don’t want to land in a similar situation this time,” K Mahantesh, national secretary of Construction Workers Federation of India was quoted in the media.

Added to the worry is the state has also been hit due to the public transport employees’ strike and most MSME units are struggling to function.

Partial lockdown in Bihar

LAW KUMAR MISHRA / PATNA: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday announced partial lockdown in Bihar and indicated night curfew may be imposed after review of the corona situation over the next three days.CM said Governor has been requested to convene an all parry meeting on Corona crisis soon. In the crisis management meeting, Nitish said, the government decided to order closure of all shops and commercial establishments at 7pm till April 30. Eateries and restaurants will be allowed with 25%.

Fix vaccination minimum age : C’garh govt

Avdhesh Mallick / Raipur: In the wake of spike of Covid 19 cases in Chhattisgarh, CM Bhupesh Baghel chaired a virtual meeting with the representatives of various media outlets in Raipur on Friday and said he requested the PM to fix the minimum age of vaccination at 18 years. The CM said the state’s Covid positivity rate increased to 1% in March and the escalated to 24% on April 7. Raipur, Durg, Rajnandgaon, Mahasamund and Bemetara are the districts with highest cases.

Yogi convenes all-party meet

Lucknow: CM Yogi Adityanath on Friday decided to convene an all-party meet next week on the Covid-19 situation in Uttar Pradesh, which reported 36 more fatalities, raising the death toll due to the pandemic to 9,039. While the CM and Governor Anandiben Patel will meet political leaders on April 11, on the 2 subsequent days, they will meet mayors and religious leaders to discuss the situation and seek their participation to spread anti-Covid awareness.

Virus tidbits

-- Delhi Govt shuts all schools indefinitely amid surge

-- 2 days after taking jab, Omar Abdullah tests positive

-- Sikkim Governor & first lady receive 2nd dose

-- Unavailability of remdesivir in Indore: Angry locals block road

-- More young people getting infected in Delhi: Experts

-- Pondy clamps night curfew amid rising cases

-- Massive surge has West Bengal govt on tenterhooks

-- SC defers hearing of priority vaccination of lawyers, judges

-- Goa to set up genome-sequencing lab for patients

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