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Cyclone Yaas: NDRF deploys 113 teams in 5 states, UT


The storm is likely to move north-northwestwards and weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm during the next six hours.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 113 teams in five states and a UT as part of its preparation and response to the severe cyclonic storm ‘Yaas’– the highest ever such deployment in the rescue operation.

These teams have been deployed in West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Andaman and Nicobar Island.

Of the total teams, 104 are deployed on the ground while nine self-contained teams are on high alert within the states to tackle the situation as Cyclone ‘Yaas’ (pronounced as ‘Yass’) has completed its landfall and weakened from “very severe” cyclonic storm into “severe cyclonic” storm.

“These NDRF teams are constantly carrying out rescue and restoration work post cyclone in coordination with state and district administration,” the NDRF said in a statement.

As the cyclone hit, rainfall in the region has led to inundation of low-lying areas, it said, adding many trapped persons were rescued by the NDRF including an infant with other three family members who were rescued after their house collapsed due to heavy rain in Odisha.

Besides, the NDRF said, hundreds of stranded people were also rescued in the state of West Bengal.

“Three persons were also saved from drowning. NDRF has evacuated thousands of people to safer places in close coordination with local administration in both the states,” said the statement.

“Rescue operations are still continuing as large number of trees and electric poles are uprooted after the cyclone hit the land. Deployed teams are removing them from roads to keep communication lines clear and still this process is on. Rescuers are making all out efforts to bring normalcy in the areas.”

Director General NDRF Satya Narayan Pradhan has urged people to restrict their movement “till the situation becomes normal and take proper precautionary measures while returning to their homes”.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) cyclone ‘Yaas’, which is crossing between Dhamra and Balasore in Odisha, made its landfall around 9 a.m. and weakened after three hours.

The storm is likely to move north-northwestwards and weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm during the next six hours.




Speciality centres to treat Mucormycosis to come up at LNJP, GTB and Rajiv Gandhi hospital: Delhi Govt


In view of rising incidents of Covid-19 associated Mucormycosis in the national capital, the Delhi government on Thursday announced to open dedicated centres for the treatment of black fungus at three large government-run hospitals.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Thursday, convened a high-level meeting to tackle the rising cases of black fungus in Delhi. Important decisions were taken for the prevention and treatment of this disease, such as the

In view of rising incidents of Covid-19 associated Mucormycosis in the national capital, the Delhi government on Thursday announced to open dedicated centres for the treatment of black fungus at three large government-run hospitals.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that the speciality centres would be open in LNJP Hospital, GTB Hospital, and Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital.

The Delhi government said that these centres will ensure adequate management of medicines used in its treatment and take all measures to spread awareness among people about disease prevention measures.

The decision was taken in a review meeting Kejriwal held with the nodal minister for Covid management and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Chief Secretary and officials of the health and family welfare department.

The Kejriwal led government is also working on formulating Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)s for awareness and prevention of the disease.

“To tackle the rising cases of black fungus, the Delhi government has dedicated three hospitals for its treatment. Dedicated centres for mucormycosis treatment center will be established at LNJP, GTB and Rajiv Gandhi Hospital, with teams of specialized doctors constituted at each centre for efficient functioning. The Delhi government will also prepare a detailed plan and issue special SOPs on how to raise awareness amongst COVID-recovered people for the prevention of the disease,” the release shared by the government stated.

Meanwhile, the Kejriwal government will also procure medicines for the treatment of Mucormycosis from the Central government.

“Delhi is the capital of the country and so, people from outside also come here for treatment. We should have a sufficient quantity of medicines to cater to everybody who is coming for the treatment of black fungus,” the CM said.




Oxygen Expresses deliver nearly 12630 MT of Liquid Medical Oxygen across nation


It may be noted that around 200 Oxygen Expresses have completed their journey so far and brought relief to various States.

Overcoming all hurdles and finding new solutions, Indian Railways is continuing its journey of bringing relief by delivering Liquid Medical Oxygen(LMO) to various states across the country. So far, Indian Railways has delivered nearly 12630 MT of LMO in more than 775 tankers to various states across the country.

It may be noted that around 200 Oxygen Expresses have completed their journey so far and brought relief to various States.

Till the time of this release, 10 loaded Oxygen Expresses on run with more than 784 MT of LMO in 45 tankers.

Oxygen Expresses have been delivering more than 800 MT of LMO to the Nation each day now.

It is Indian Railways endeavour to deliver as much LMO as possible in the shortest time possible to the requesting states.

Oxygen relief by Oxygen Expresses reached out to 13 states namely Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi & Uttar Pradesh.

Till the time of this release, So far 521 MT of Oxygen has been offloaded in Maharashtra, nearly 3189 MT in UP, 521 MT in MP, 1549 MT in Haryana, 772 MT in Telangana, 98 MT in Rajasthan, 641 MT in Karnataka, 320 MT in Uttarakhand, 584 MT in Tamil Nadu, 292 MT in Andhra Pradesh, 111 MT in Punjab, 118 MT in Kerala and more than 3915 MT in Delhi.

Crisscrossing the country, Indian Railways is picking up oxygen from places like Hapa & Mundra in the West and Rourkela, Durgapur, Tatanagar, Angul in the East and then delivering it to States of Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi & Uttar Pradesh in complex operational route planning scenarios.

In order to ensure that Oxygen relief reaches in the fastest time possible, Railways is creating new standards and unprecedented benchmarks in running of Oxygen Express Freight Trains. The average speed of these critical Freight trains is way above 55 in most cases over long distances. Running on high priority Green Corridor, with a highest sense of urgency, operational teams of various zones are working round the clock in most challenging circumstances to ensure that Oxygen reaches in fastest possible time frame. Technical Stoppages have been reduced to 1 minute for crew changes over different sections.

Tracks are kept open and high alertness is maintained to ensure that Oxygen Express keeps zipping through.

All this is done in a manner that speed of other Freight Operation doesn’t get reduced as well.

Running of new Oxygen is a very dynamic exercise and figures keep getting updated all the time. More loaded Oxygen Expresses are expected to start their journeys later in the night.

Railways has mapped different routes with Oxygen supply locations and keeps itself ready with any emerging need of the States. States provide tankers to the Indian Railways for bringing LMO.




COVID challenge remains as long as infection exists even at minor scale: PM Modi


In his second round of interaction with district magistrates and field officials on the pandemic, Modi spoke about concerns in various quarters about any spread of infection in the young generation due to mutations in the virus and asked officials to analyse the statistics in their districts.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asked officials to record the spread of coronavirus infection and its seriousness among the youth and children and cautioned that the challenge posed by COVID-19 will remain as long it is present even at a “minor scale” in the country.

In his second round of interaction with district magistrates and field officials on the pandemic, Modi spoke about concerns in various quarters about any spread of infection in the young generation due to mutations in the virus and asked officials to analyse the statistics in their districts. They will have to be better prepared for the future, he said.

There have been reports that the virus may hit the young generation, demography which has so far not been affected as hard as the adult population with people in the older age bracket being seen as more susceptible.

Noting that active cases have seen a decline in the last few days, Modi referred to the experience of the last one-and-a-half years and told officials to work to ensure that people continue to follow COVID appropriate behaviour.

When the tally goes down, people start thinking that there is no need to worry now, he said, cautioning against it.

Modi called for collective responsibility in this regard among the government machinery, social organisations and elected representatives.

The challenge remains as long as the infection is present even at a minor scale, he said.

Noting that the pandemic has made their work more demanding and challenging, he said new strategies and solutions are needed to meet them and described the virus as “dhoort” (rogue) and “bahurupiya” (impersonator), a reference to its various mutations that has kept experts on edge.

Our strategy should be dynamic, and be undergoing continuous innovations and upgrades, he said.

Speaking on the vaccination programme, the prime minister said suggestions from states and other stakeholders have been incorporated and added that the Union Health Ministry is informing states about the availability of jabs 15 days in advance.

“With clarity about vaccination supply and timeline being available, vaccination management will become easier for you,” he said, adding that its supply will be further strengthened.

Modi also said that there is a need to prevent vaccine wastage, saying every dose wasted is denying someone protection shield against the disease.

Asking officials to analyse data separately for urban and rural regions besides those for tier 2 and 3 cities, Modi said it will help them prepare their strategy accordingly.

The prime minister stressed that officers use local experiences and also work together as a country. He also called for working to keep villages corona-free.
Modi praised the officials for their efforts in making good use of existing resources to fight “the biggest disaster in 100 years”.

The officials, who interacted with Modi via video conferencing, were from Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. He had spoken to a group of field officials on Tuesday too.

The prime minister emphasised giving importance to people’s ease of living as well and said the facilities for free ration for the poor and other essential supplies must be provided.




Mamata Banerjee slams meeting with PM Modi as ‘insulting’, govt officials accuse her of creating ‘drama’


With Banerjee dubbing Modi’s Thursday meeting as “super flop”, some central government functionaries said Banerjee has a history of not attending the meetings of chief ministers with the Prime Minister, be it on the pandemic or those held prior to the outbreak.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged on Thursday that many CMs were not allowed to speak in a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on COVID-19 and dubbed it “insulting”, drawing a sharp retort from some Central government officials, who accused her of creating “drama”.

With Banerjee dubbing Modi’s Thursday meeting as “super flop”, some central government functionaries said Banerjee has a history of not attending the meetings of chief ministers with the Prime Minister, be it on the pandemic or those held prior to the outbreak.

Though Modi’s interaction was primarily with district magistrates and other field officials on the COVID situation, several chief ministers, including those from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, where these officers are posted, also attended.

The central government officials, who did not wish to be named, alleged that Banerjee did not let the DM of 24 North Pargana district in West Bengal speak at the meeting with Modi to create a “drama” later.

These officials also noted that DMs from opposition-ruled states like Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Rajasthan and Maharashtra spoke in the interaction.

Banerjee had said she along with her counterparts of many states were not allowed to speak which was akin to “insulting” them.

She also claimed that only chief ministers of BJP-ruled states were allowed to speak at the meeting, while others were “reduced to puppets”.

“This was a casual and super flop meeting. We feel insulted and humiliated. This is an attempt to bulldoze the federal structure of the country. PM Modi is so insecure that he did not listen to us,” Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat ‘Nabanna’.

The chief minister also alleged that the Central government has “no proper plans” in dealing with the COVID situation in the country.




After increase in COVID case positivity for 10 weeks, decline reported since last 2 weeks: Govt


The number of districts reporting a decline in case positivity increased from 210 in April 29-May 5 to 303 districts in May 13-19, it said.

After a consistent increase in COVID-19 case positivity for 10 weeks, a decline has been reported since the last two weeks, the government said on Thursday.

The number of districts reporting a decline in case positivity increased from 210 in April 29-May 5 to 303 districts in May 13-19, it said.

Seven states have more than 25 per cent case positivity, while 22 states have more than 15 per cent case positivity, the government said.

India witnessed a consistent upward trend in weekly tests for COVID-19 since mid-February and average daily tests increased by 2.3 times in 12 weeks, it said.

According to a study, 50 per cent of people still do not wear a mask and those who do about 64 per cent cover just their mouth but not their nose, it said.
By June end, the average daily testing capacity for COVID will be augmented to 45 lakh, it added.




Oxygen Expresses deliver more than 9440 MT of Liquid Medical Oxygen across India


It may be noted that nearly 150 Oxygen Expresses have completed their journey so far and brought relief to various States.

Overcoming all hurdles and finding new solutions, Indian Railways is continuing its journey of bringing relief by delivering Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) to various states across the country. So far, Indian Railways has delivered more than 9440 MT of LMO in nearly 590 tankers to various states across the country.

It may be noted that nearly 150 Oxygen Expresses have completed their journey so far and brought relief to various States.

Till the time of this release, 12 loaded Oxygen Expresses on run with more than 970 MT of LMO in 55 tankers.

Southern states of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu got a big boost in Oxygen supply with several Oxygen Expresses delivering their loads yesterday night and today.

Incidentally, NCR region crossed the delivery of more than 5000 MT of Oxygen for further distribution.

Oxygen Expresses have been delivering nearly 800 MT of LMO to the Nation each day for the last few days.

It is Indian Railways endeavour to deliver as much LMO as possible in the shortest time possible to the requesting states.

Kerala received its first Oxygen Express at Ernakulam with 118 MT of load.

Till the time of this release, so far 521 MT of Oxygen has been offloaded in Maharashtra, nearly 2525 MT in UP, 430 MT in MP, 1228 MT in Haryana, 389 MT in Telangana, 40 MT in Rajasthan, 361 MT in Karnataka, 200 MT in Uttarakhand, 118 MT in Kerala, 151 MT in Tamil Nadu, 116 MT in Andhra Pradesh and more than 3320 MT in Delhi

Running of new Oxygen is a very dynamic exercise and figures keep getting updated all the time. More loaded Oxygen Expresses are expected to start their journeys later in the night.

Railways has mapped different routes with Oxygen supply locations and keep itself ready with any emerging need of the States. States provide tankers to the Indian Railways for bringing LMO.




India records 3.48 lakh cases, 4205 deaths in last 24 hours


In the last 24 hours, 3,55,338 recovered, taking the number of recoveries to 1,93,82,642.

India recorded 3,48,421 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours taking the overall caseload to 2,33,40,938, according to data from the Union Health Ministry.

The country’s active COVID-19 cases stand at 37,04,099.

With 4205 deaths in the last 24 hours, the total death toll is 2,54,197.

In the last 24 hours, 3,55,338 recovered, taking the number of recoveries to 1,93,82,642.

Maharashtra, Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh remain the worst affected states by the pandemic.

30,75,83,991 samples tested up to 11th May 2021, for COVID19. Of these, 19,83,804 samples were tested yesterday

According to government data, 17,52,35,991 people have been vaccinated.




Delhi govt to float global tender for vaccines: Sisodia


The development has come at a time when the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi government is seeking adequate medical supplies for the national capital, including vaccine doses and oxygen, to meet its growing demand in the wake of the raging second wave of the Covid pandemic.

In order to meet its target of vaccinating around three lakh people per month in the national capital, the Delhi government will now float a global tender for procuring Covid vaccines, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Tuesday.

The development has come at a time when the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi government is seeking adequate medical supplies for the national capital, including vaccine doses and oxygen, to meet its growing demand in the wake of the raging second wave of the Covid pandemic.

“The Delhi government will float a global tender for vaccines,” said Sisodia, who is also the nodal minister for Covid management in the national capital.

“The BJP says that Delhi government should have floated a global tender to buy vaccines from the international market. Does this mean that all the state governments should go to the international market to buy vaccines? Then what is the role of the government of India,” Sisodia asked.

With this, Delhi will join states like Odisha and Telangana, which had announced earlier that they would be buying Covid vaccines from other countries.

Addressing a press conference, Sisodia alleged that the BJP-ruled Centre is forcing the state governments to invite global tenders for vaccine procurement.

The Central government wants the states to compete and fight with each other in the international market for vaccines, Sisodia alleged.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this issue of vaccine shortage, saying the Centre should share the vaccine formula of the two manufacturers with other capable pharmaceutical companies to scale up production in the country.

“At present, Delhi government is administering around one lakh doses per day which will be increased to three lakh in the coming days. Over 100 schools have been converted into vaccination centers in the last few days. Vaccination centers will soon be started at around 200 more schools. But we are facing a shortage of vaccines at the moment,” Kejriwal said.In order to meet its target of vaccinating around three lakh people per month in the national capital, the Delhi government will now float a global tender for procuring Covid vaccines, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Tuesday.

The development has come at a time when the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi government is seeking adequate medical supplies for the national capital, including vaccine doses and oxygen, to meet its growing demand in the wake of the raging second wave of the Covid pandemic.

“The Delhi government will float a global tender for vaccines,” said Sisodia, who is also the nodal minister for Covid management in the national capital.

“The BJP says that Delhi government should have floated a global tender to buy vaccines from the international market. Does this mean that all the state governments should go to the international market to buy vaccines? Then what is the role of the government of India,” Sisodia asked.

With this, Delhi will join states like Odisha and Telangana, which had announced earlier that they would be buying Covid vaccines from other countries.

Addressing a press conference, Sisodia alleged that the BJP-ruled Centre is forcing the state governments to invite global tenders for vaccine procurement.

The Central government wants the states to compete and fight with each other in the international market for vaccines, Sisodia alleged.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this issue of vaccine shortage, saying the Centre should share the vaccine formula of the two manufacturers with other capable pharmaceutical companies to scale up production in the country.

“At present, Delhi government is administering around one lakh doses per day which will be increased to three lakh in the coming days. Over 100 schools have been converted into vaccination centers in the last few days. Vaccination centers will soon be started at around 200 more schools. But we are facing a shortage of vaccines at the moment,” Kejriwal said.




Two districts contribute bulk of COVID-19 cases in WB-check details


According to the data released by the state health department, out of the total 1,33,846 cases reported between May 4 to May 11, the above-mentioned districts reported 55,337 cases

As the second wave of COVID-19 rips through the country, two districts of West Bengal–Kolkata and North 24 Parganas–reported more than one-third of the active Covid cases in West Bengal.

According to the data released by the state health department, out of the total 1,33,846 cases reported between May 4 to May 11, the above-mentioned districts reported 55,337 cases which is nearly 41.3 percent of the total caseloads.

The data released by the department on May 11 shows that of the total 20,136 cases these two districts cumulatively contributed 7,971 cases which is 39.5 percent of the total cases.

Interestingly, enough a week before on May 4, these two districts contributed 7,868 of the total 17,639 cases which was 44.6 percent of the total cases. The data itself shows that there is a slight downward curve so far as active cases in these two districts are concerned.

On May 5, the contribution of Kolkata and North 24 Parganas had been 7,955 of the total 18,102 cases which was 43.9 percent of the total cases. Similarly, on May 6 it was 7,809 of the total 18,431 cases which was 42.3 percent of the total cases.

Significantly, from May 7 onwards for the next three days, the percentage of cases hovered around 40 percent but on May 10 and May 11, the caseloads came down below 40 percent recording 39.7 percent and 39.5 percent, respectively.

It is to be noted that the West Bengal government had ordered restaurants, bars, gyms, and malls, and other spaces where the risk of contraction is high to be shut down from May 1.

Moreover, the government has set restricted market timings, and entering into the state requires a negative RT-PCR report.

The latest bulletin released by the government shows that the number of fresh cases has crossed the 20,000-mark recorded taking the tally of fresh Covid cases in the state to 1,27,673.

India recorded 3,48,421 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours taking the overall caseload to 2,33,40,938, according to data from the Union Health Ministry.

The country’s active COVID-19 cases stand at 37,04,099.

With 4205 deaths in the last 24 hours, the total death toll is 2,54,197.

(With IANS inputs)





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