As India reported over 1.3 lakh Covid-19 cases on Thursday, a tussle brewed between the Centre and states over the adequate supply of vaccines.
While some states including Maharashtra, Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh cited a shortage of vaccine stocks, the Centre hit back by accusing the state governments of showing a lackadaisical approach to fighting Covid-19.
Apart from this, vaccine shortages were also reported from several parts of Uttar Pradesh which led to the shutting down of vaccination centres in Noida, Ghaziabad and Varanasi.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged chief ministers to strengthen their efforts for the next 2-3 weeks to check the spread of the virus on a “war-footing” and proposed to call the night curfew clamped in many places as “corona curfew” to maintain public awareness about the pandemic.
He also said that states should observe a ‘vaccine festival’ between April 11-14 to inoculate the maximum number of eligible beneficiaries against Covid-19.
HERE IS ALL THAT HAPPENED ON APRIL 8:
PM HOLDS MEET WITH CMs, POINTS OUT LAXITY
PM Modi held a virtual interaction with chief ministers to discuss the pandemic situation and the ongoing vaccination drive. He noted that administration was appearing lax in many states with daily Covid-19 cases hitting new peaks.
He also called for observing a vaccine festival (Tika Utsav) between April 11-14.
11 – 14 , – ‘ ‘
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi)
The prime minister also strongly defended the current eligibility criteria for vaccination amid demand by some states, ruled by opposition parties, to open the shot for all above 18 years.
He also asked the CMs to focus on micro-containment zones to curb the disease and reiterated his call to work on the mantra of test, track, treat besides pushing Covid-appropriate behaviour and Covid-management to bring down the peak.
STATES HIT BACK, SAY NO POLITICS OVER COVID FIGHT
With the debate taking political overtones in some cases, PM Modi said wryly that those doing politics over the issue may do so but he will not join the issue and asked chief ministers to work together with the Centre to prevail over the pandemic.
INDIA SEES OVER 1 LAKH COVID CASES AGAIN
The number of coronavirus cases in India once again crossed the 1-lakh mark, according to the data provided by governments of various states and Union territories.
As per the tallies provided by health departments of various state governments, India on Thursday saw 1,31,787 new cases of Covid-19.
The states and UTs reporting a large surge included Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Punjab, while several other states also reported a lot more new cases than in the recent past in what is being called the second wave of this deadly pandemic.
Among the states with a rapid surge in infections, Maharashtra reported 56,286 cases, Chhattisgarh 10,662 cases, Uttar Pradesh 8,490, Delhi 7,437 cases and Karnataka 6,570 cases.
NIGHT CURFEWS IN UP, KARNATAKA AND J&K DISTRICTS; 60-HOUR LOCKDOWN IN MP
FRESH CURBS IN TAMIL NADU
As fresh Covid-19 cases continued to increase, the Tamil Nadu government on Thursday announced the reintroduction of curbs like permission only for 50 per cent seating capacity in cinemas and ban on select activities effective April 10, to help prevent virus spread.
#TamilNadu has decided to impose #Lockdown from Saturday to curb the spread of deadly virus. @PramodMadhav6 with more details. #ReporterDiary | https://t.co/FAHzdk9TO8 pic.twitter.com/4xmBK2jg2A
— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday)
To ensure effective Covid-19 preventive measures, the government reconstituted Field Support Teams for all the 15 zones in Chennai and named Monitoring Officers for all the other 36 districts.
ANOTHER MIGRANT CRISIS IN THE MAKING?
As India witnesses a resurgence in Covid 19 cases, it is migrant workers who are staring at an uncertain future with several states announcing night curfews and weekend lockdowns.
In Delhi, many migrant workers were seen leaving for their home states from the Anand Vihar Bus Terminal. They said they were going back to their native places amid fear of another lockdown.
Migrant workers head home amid the surge in coronavirus cases.#ITPhotoblog | : AFP & Getty Images pic.twitter.com/PiPUnZMRHR
— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday)
Many migrants in Mumbai were also seen heading back home. More than the fear of the virus, they were afraid of being stranded and not being able to earn a living.
MAHARASHTRA VS CENTRE ON VACCINES CONTINUES
Meanwhile, the tussle between Maharashtra and the Centre continued over the depleting stock of Covid vaccines in the states.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope sought to know why the state was getting fewer Covid-19 vaccine doses as compared to some other states, including Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, even as it is leading the vaccination drive and has the highest number of active cases in the country.
He said that while Maharashtra received 7.5 lakh doses, Uttar Pradesh was given 48 lakh doses, Madhya Pradesh 40 lakh, Gujarat 30 lakh and Haryana 24 lakh doses.
I have just been informed that the Center increased COVID19 vaccine doses from 7 lakhs to 17 lakhs. Even this is less because we need 40 lakh vaccine doses a week and 17 lakh doses are not enough: Rajesh Tope, Maharashtra Health Minister pic.twitter.com/6NEflWaqIJ
— ANI (@ANI)
In response, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan called for an end to “fear-mongering” about the shortage of vaccines after some states complained of a lack of supplies.
Let’s put an end to fear mongering now!#COVID19Vaccine doses:
Total administered: 9 cr+
In stock/nearing delivery to states: 4.3 cr+
Where does question of shortages arise?
We’re continuously monitoring & enhancing supply pic.twitter.com/NllmH3kifQ
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan)
He dismissed as “farce” the “hue and cry” by certain states about partisanship by the Centre and called it an attempt to hide their own incompetence, saying non-BJP ruled Maharashtra and Rajasthan figured among the top three states based on the allocation of vaccines.
Union minister and senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar alleged that five lakh doses of the Covid-19 vaccines were wasted in Maharashtra due to a lack of planning by the state government.
PEOPLE QUEUE UP FOR FUNERAL OF COVID DEAD IN GUJARAT
With the number of Covid death increasing rapidly in Gujarat, the system in the state’s government hospital and crematoriums is breaking down. Even though official state figures claim 10-15 Covid deaths daily, the storage at crematoriums and Covid hospitals in the state are telling a different story.
The mortuary at the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad is filled with corpses with more bodies arriving every hour. Kin of the deceased has to reportedly wait for hours to claim the bodies.
At the same time, a video from Surat is going viral in which a long line for cremation can be seen at a funeral home.
This clip is of a crematorium in Surat where 15 dead bodies are lined up and the person who shot this is heard saying his token is 24th and latest 40th token is issued. This is just one crematorium out of approximately 14 pic.twitter.com/KxSEP6Vluy
— TheAgeOfBananas (@iScrew)
DELHI SEES OVER 7,000 CASES, 37 DOCTORS TEST POSITIVE AT HOSPITAL
Delhi recorded 7,437 fresh Covid-19 cases Thursday, the highest single-day surge this year, while 24 more people died due to the coronavirus infection, taking the death toll to 11,157, according to the city’s Health Department.
Amid a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi, the AIIMS decided that only urgent procedures and surgeries will be performed in its operation theatres from April 10.
The recent surge in Covid-19 cases has also hit Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital as 37 doctors at the private facility have tested positive for the virus, and five of them are admitted for treatment.
KERALA CM VIJAYAN, CONGRESS CHIEF OOMMEN CHANDY TEST POSITIVE
In Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy also tested positive on Thursday.
CM Vijayan confirmed his infection in a tweet. “I have been confirmed Covid+ve. Will get treated at the Government Medical College, Kozhikode,” he tweeted.
I have been confirmed Covid +ve. Will get treated at the Government Medical College, Kozhikkode. Request those who have been in contact with me recently to go into self observation.
— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi)
Governor Arif Mohammad Khan said in a tweet he spoke to the chief minister “who is hospitalised after testing Covid positive. Relieved that his health is stable. I wish Hon’ble chief minister and family members speedy recovery.”
Sources from the Chief Minister’s Office said that he was asymptomatic.
Congress sources confirmed 77-year-old Oommen Chandy had not been keeping well for the past two days and tested positive for the virus. He is likely to be shifted to a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram.
NEW ZEALAND BANS TRAVEL FROM INDIA
Meanwhile, New Zealand has for the first time imposed a temporary ban on travellers coming from India, including its citizens, from April 11 to 28 due to a surge in Covid-19 cases among visitors to this country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
The travel restriction comes after New Zealand recorded 23 new positive coronavirus cases in managed isolation on Thursday, of which 17 came from India.
Reacting to the travel ban, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said it hopes that the suspension would be lifted after April 28 so that an attempt to move towards normalcy in movement can be made.