Citing supply issues, several states postpone COVID-19 vaccination for people 18 and older
Daily NEWS Summary | 30-04-2021; Several states, including Delhi, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, have postponed the third phase of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, which is scheduled for all adults from May 1. Punjab, Gujarat, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have also reported vaccine shortages.
- Delhi’s chief minister said on Friday that all citizens will be vaccinated against COVID-19 within the next three months, but called on citizens not to queue outside the capital’s vaccination centers from Saturday.
- Karnataka’s Minister of Health and Medical Education, K. Sudhakar, also made a similar appeal. Tamil Nadu had placed an order for Rs 1.5 million doses of vaccine, which has not yet arrived.
- Government of Arunachal Pradesh has officially postponed the launch of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign for 18-44 year olds until new orders cite “technical” problems.
- Jammu and Kashmir administration has said the new date for the vaccination campaign will be announced once supplies are established.
- Likewise, a senior official in the Telangana health department said that although the state government is in contact with vaccine manufacturers, there is no certainty when stocks for mass vaccination will be available.
- Also in Andhra Pradesh, according to a senior government official, inoculation may not begin on May 1 in the state as scheduled due to the delay in purchasing the vaccine from manufacturers.
Crackdown on citizens seeking help from COVID-19 on the internet will be treated as contempt of court: SC
Daily NEWS Summary | 30-04-2021; The Supreme Court on Friday warned state governments and police not to clamp down on the dissemination of information or requests for help through social media from citizens affected by COVID-19.
- The observation was made during a suo moto hearing during which the court learned of problems related to the supply of oxygen, the supply of drugs and the vaccination policy in relation to the COVID pandemic -19, said there should be no crackdown on information.
- A special bench by D.Y. Chandrachud, L. Nageswara Rao, and S. Ravindra Bhat said any steps a state takes to punish citizens who turn to social media to seek help with oxygen cylinders, COVID-19 drugs, beds, hospitalization, etc., in the midst of a devastating second wave would attract contempt of justice.
- Justice Chandrachud said the free flow of information during the 1970 famine allowed the government to tackle the problem effectively in relation to cracking down on the 1918 pandemic.
- Judge Rao reminded states that this is a time of great crisis. The bench said empathy and action should be the rule of the day.
- At one point, Judge Chandrachud wondered how the Center intended to guarantee the registration of the vaccination of illiterate people, taking into account that the registration of the COWIN request was compulsory.
- The bench also asked how the Center expected a sense of fairness from vaccine manufacturers.
- Judge Bhat noted that manufacturers charge the Center ₹ 150, while vaccines for states are priced at ₹ 300.
“Why should we as a nation pay for this? The price difference becomes ₹ 30,000 to ₹ 40,000 crore … AstraZeneca provides vaccines at a much lower price for US citizens, so why should we pay so much?Asked Judge Bhat
- The Bench asked if, now, one state would have priority access over another to obtain vaccines. The court asked the government why it could not follow a national immunization program policy regarding vaccines.
- How will the poor find the money to get vaccinated? We cannot have this private sector model, ”the court said.
- The bench also focused on the plight of medical workers, nurses and doctors. He said it was not enough to declare them “COVID warriors”, which was done for them on the ground.
Facebook Launches Vaccine Finder on Mobile App in India
Daily NEWS Summary | 30-04-2021; Facebook said on Friday it had partnered with the Indian government to roll out a vaccine finder on its mobile app in India, which will help people identify nearby places to get vaccinated.
- The social media giant announced earlier this week a $ 10 million grant for emergency response efforts for the COVID-19 situation in the country.
- In this tool, the location of the vaccination centers and their hours of operation were provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
- The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has exceeded 15.22 million rupees. In addition, more than 2.45 million people have registered on the Co-WIN digital platform before phase 3 of the COVID-19 vaccination for people over 18 years of age, which is expected to start from May 1.
- Facebook said its tool will also display walk-in options (for those over 46) and a link to register on the Co-Win website and schedule an appointment for the vaccination.
COVID Cases Could Peak Next Week, Says Government Advisor
Daily NEWS Summary | 30-04-2021; Coronavirus cases in India could peak between May 3-5, according to a mathematical model by a team of scientists advising the government, days before an earlier estimate, as the virus has spread faster than planned.
- The group previously told senior government officials in an April 2 presentation that cases would peak between May 5 and 10, Vidyasagar said.
- The actual number of infections is said to be 50 times higher, Vidyasagar said, as many people who contract the disease do not have any symptoms.
Modi calls on ministers to address local issues and collect feedback
Daily NEWS Summary | 30-04-2021; Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked ministers to reach out to residents in their respective regions to assist them and gather feedback on the second wave of COVID-19 underway in the country.
- The Council of Ministers met by videoconference to discuss the second wave, calling the current crisis a “crisis that only occurs once in a century,” according to a government statement.
- The ministers reviewed the efforts of the central and state governments over the past 14 months, he said.
West Bengal government announces partial lockdown
Daily NEWS Summary | 30-04-2021; The West Bengal government has announced a partial halt amid the massive increase in coronavirus cases. The state recorded its highest number of 17,403 new cases on Thursday.
- Shopping centers, beauty salons, cinemas, sports facilities and spas will remain closed, markets will only be able to operate five hours a day, from 7 to 10 a.m. and from 3 to 3 p.m. Restaurants, bars, gyms and swimming pools will be closed, the state government said, adding that home delivery and other online services will be allowed.
- The eight-phase assembly election count will take place on May 2. The state government has said that all anti-Covid rules must be followed at counting centers.
Daily NEWS Summary | 30-04-2021; The number of reported coronavirus cases in India stands at 1,89,72,229 at the time of this bulletin’s publication with the death toll at 2,09,592.
- The first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine will arrive in India on May 1, the ANI news agency reported, citing the executive director of Russia’s Direct Investment Fund, Kirill Dmitriev.