log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday SATURDAY MAY 1, 2021 Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday 8 pages PRICE ` 6 High vaccination rate key to future course of Covid: Study 6 The Goan (Playstore) PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VI, NO. 311 GOA Margao wholesale fish market to remain shut for two days 2 Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 GOA Govt issues ad inviting applications for additional 913 posts in police Jabs for 18-45 category off for now, no stocks CHIEF MINISTER SAYS DRIVE TO TAKE-OFF AFTER ARRIVAL OF VACCINES THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI After much bravado that all adults aged above 18 years will be rolled out the Covid-19 vaccine from May 1, the Goa government has done a U-turn: the Covid-19 vaccination programme for the 18-45 years group will not begin from Saturday after all. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant admitted on Thursday that the State government will begin the vaccination drive for the younger group only when the stocks arrive. Sawant said: “Vaccine manufacturing companies are in the process of expanding their capacities. Third vaccine is also getting introduced. Goa has placed an order of 5 lakh doses with the Serum Insti- IN SHORT >> Another noted Goan succumbs to Covid PANAJI: Noted Konkani writer and Sahitya Academy award winner Prakash Padgaokar passed away after losing battle to Covid. He was 73. Yesterday another prominent personality from the field of arts and Sitar player Yogiraj Naik had succumbed to the dreaded virus. Soli Sorabjee passes away NEW DELHI: Former Attorney General of India and renowned jurist Soli Sorabjee died of Covid-19 at a private hospital in New Delhi on Friday morning. He was 91. >> See pg 7 Covid fight: Armed forces get powers NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday invoked special provisions and granted emergency financial powers to the armed forces to empower them and speed up their efforts to tide over the prevailing Covid situation in the country. >> See pg 7 WEATHER >> Max: 34.8 C Min: 26.3 C Humidity: 80% TIDES Low: High: 7:31 0:56 14:39 20:16 Vaccine manufacturing companies are in the process of expanding their capacities. Third vaccine is also getting introduced. Goa has placed an order of 5 lakh doses with the Serum Institute. Vaccination for the 18-45 age group will progress as and when we receive the doses – Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister tute. Vaccination for the 18-45 age group will progress as and when we receive the doses.” Earlier, the government had announced that mass vaccination of the younger 18-45 year age group will commence from May 1 across the country and had even bragged about high registrations for receiving the first jab on the central government’s app for the purpose. But now, much as the case is with several other States, there are no stocks of the vaccine to implement the plan. Goa has thus far received supplies of 4.3 lakh vaccine doses so far and has vaccinated over 2.5 lakh people with the first dose and around 68,000 from among them have also got the second dose. “We have only 1.1 lakh doses available with us right now for further vaccination,” Sawant said, adding that the vaccination programme for the younger 18-45 year age group will be planned and announced in due time. Meanwhile, the ruling BJP party in Goa, which had widely publicised the State government’s decision to vaccinate all above 18 years of age for free from May 1, has put out alerts on various social media platforms asking youth not to queue up at vaccination centres from Saturday. Meanwhile, the vaccination drive for 18-44 category in many other States will not take off from May 1 for want of supply of doses. Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Puducherry said they did not have adequate stocks of vaccines to meet the expected rush of immunity seekers, even as the country’s Covid graph, including in southern states, has been mercilessly on the upward trend. Due to the uncertainty over the supply of Covid-19 vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, the Tamil Nadu government on Friday deferered its rollout of the massive vaccination drive for the 18-44 years age group on May 1 as originally planned. Explaining the predicament, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan said, “instead of waiting till >Continued on P5 3 8 SPORTS IPL: Punjab Kings outplay RCB to clinch vital win Private hospitals told to reserve 50 per cent beds But only for serious Covid patients THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The state government on Friday issued directions to 27 premier private Goan hospitals with ICU facility to dedicate 50 per cent of their bed capacity for admission and treatment of serious Covid-19 patients. Through this single order issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 by the State Disaster Management Authority, the total Covid bed capacity of the state has risen by 778. These hospitals have been ordered to dedicate 50 per cent of the total bed capacity declared under Deen Dayal Swasthya Seva Yojana under the Directorate of Health Services. The order states that the public health sector is under strain and that there is a need to expand the availability of beds to accomodate patients. All private hospitals had been directed on April 24 to admit as far as possible only non-Covid critically ill and emergency patients with the only aim to pave way for admission and treatment of Covid cases. As these directions were not complied with in letter SOME RAY OF HOPE and spirit, DMA issued fresh orders to this effect. The state presently has 22,945 active Covid cases and the SDMA, in its order, states that It anticipates a further sharp spike. The 27 hospitals ordered to make beds available for only serious Covid patients include Manipal Hospital (140 beds), Healthway Hospital at Old Goa (80), Apollo Victor Hospital (60), SMRC (60), Grace Intensive Cardiac Care Centre and General Hospital (31), Chodankar Nursing Home and Research Centre (26), Redkar Hospital and Research Centre (26), Trimurti General Hospital (25), Vishwas Sanjivani Health Centre (25), Royal Hospital (24), R G Stone Urology and Laproscopy Hospital (23), Dr A G Borkar Memorial Borkar Nursing Home (21), Sawaikar Clinic and Nursing Home (20), Healthway Hospital Pvt Ltd (20), Vision Multispecialty Hospital (20), Campal Clinic (20), Nagarsekar’s Classic Hospital (18), Aster Hospital (18), Dr Lawande’s Hospital and Medical Research Centre (18), KCRC’s Horizon ICU and Hospital (16), Usgaonkar’s Children Hospital, Clinic and NICU (16), Menezes Polyclinic (15), Pai Hospital (13), Mothercare Multispecialty Hospital (12), A V da Costa Memorial Clinic (11), Mahatme Nursing Home (10) and My Eye Hospital (10). Protocol tweak: No need of nod for home isolation THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI Overwhelmed by the sheer numbers, the health department has tweaked the protocol for people testing positive for the dreaded coronavirus: If you test positive and are asymptomatic, no longer do you have to seek an advance nod to stay home and isolated. For three days in a row, Goa has witnessed 3,000-plus testing positive everyday taking the number of active Covid-19 inflicted patients in the State to a whopping 22,945 exceeding by more than 100 per-cent the total bed capacities of Covid-19 hospitals and Care Centres. Thus the numbers are so high, that there is no way existing health infrastructure can cater to all the active Covid-19 patients. Also, the existing primary healthcare setup through the various Community, Urban and Primary Health Centres in the State are unable to coordinate the logistics involved in tending to those testing positive and isolating at their homes. In fact, reports have been coming in from different parts of the State that Primary Health Centres in their areas have run out of supplies and were out of home isolation Covid kits to be delivered to April death count alone @ 337 with 11 succumbing per day PANAJI: Coronavirus claimed 337 lives in Goa during the month of April as 32,747 new cases of the infection were detected in the state between April 1 and 30. The average of 11 Covid deaths a day has now overshadowed the previous peak in Covid deaths which was experienced in September 2020 with the Health Department recording 234 Covid deaths. >Continued on P5 Where is helpline for bed info? PANAJI: A week since the BJP government assured to set up a state-level helpline to provide real-time data of bed availability, the Covid-19 patients in Goa continue to scramble in the dark. Owing to the panic and complete lack of information and clarity, families of Covid patients still rely heavily on fervent appeals over social media platforms and amplification of these. homes where those who have tested positive are isolating themselves. Meanwhile, neighbourhood communities have for several days begun closing >Continued on P5 Patients starve for timely meals PANAJI: Complaints have begun to surface from among the Covid-19 patients admitted at South Goa District Hospital and ESI Covid Hospital in Margao about the inadequacy and long delays in mealtimes. The family of one patient admitted at ESI Covid Hospital informed that the size of the packed meal served to the patient is insufficient and this has left her feeling hungry and at times shivering and trembling due to the heavy medication dose administered on an almost empty stomach. The Panaji market wore a near-deserted look on the first day of the four-day lockdown on Friday. Voluntary lockdown in commercial capital MARGAO: Panic-stricken citizens enforced a voluntary lockdown in the commercial capital and Salcete’s countryside as Goa went into a Covid lockdown mode on Friday. Markets, shops and establishments were open, but Madganvkars and Saxttikars opted to stay indoors on day one of the government-announced threeday lockdown. >> See pg 2 Life in port town comes to standstill VASCO: Life in the bustling port town came to a standstill as most shops were closed and roads virtually deserted. While the main Vasco market was closed, a few grocery outlets remained open in certain areas. Some vendors at the fruit and vegetable market were open but did not receive many customers. >> See pg 3 Narayan Pissurlenkar Response in Mapusa overwhelming MAPUSA: The three-day lockdown announced by the government received an overwhelming response in Mapusa on the first day, with the entire municipal market remaining shut and people remaining inside their houses. Vehicular traffic remained thin and the roads wore a deserted look during most part of the day. Private buses, taxis and motorcycle pilots also remained off the road. >> See pg 3 NO DECISION YET ON EXTENDING LOCKDOWN: CM >> See pg 3 SC warns against action on Major goof-up: Declared dead in morning, Covid Internet Covid grievances patient found alive later in the day at South hosp PTI NEW DELHI Terming the second wave of Covid-19 as a national crisis, the Supreme Court on Friday warned authorities, from the Centre down to police chiefs, against silencing people and their pleas for help on the presumption that they are raising false grievances on the internet. The top court made clear that any attempt to clampdown on free flow of information on social media including the call for help from people would be treated as contempt of court. There should be free flow of information; we should hear voices of citizens. This is a national crisis. There should not be any presumption that the grievances raised on the internet are always false. Let a strong message be sent to all the DGPs that there should not be any kind of clampdown, a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said, referring to posting of messages on social media about issues like shortage of oxygen, beds or doctors. The bench, also comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat, said, if any action is taken against such posts by citizens in distress, we will treat it as contempt of the court. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that as an officer of the court he agreed with the views. The apex court’s observations assume significance following the recent decision of the Uttar Pradesh administration to prosecute people under the National Security Act for allegedly raising false alarms on social media. The court also pulled up the Centre for not ensuring a continuous supply of oxygen to Delhi and said you cannot sit tight and do nothing. THE GOAN I NETWORK MARGAO amily members of a patient admitted at the South Goa district hospital had to undergo trauma on Friday after the patient was declared dead in the morning before realization dawned on the staff in the evening that the patient is alive and undergoing treatment. The major goof-up came to light on Friday evening when the patient’s son had come to take the mortal remains after making the necessary arrangements at the Margao crematorium, only to find that the body shown was not that of his father. District hospital medico-legal surgeon, Dr Madhu Ghud- F FATE HAD OTHERWISE Relatives of the patient received a message from the South dist hospital in the morning stating that he was no more Patient was admitted to the hospital on Thursday evening No sooner they received the message of the sad news, they started preparations for the last rites When the patient’s son went to the district hospital mortuary to collect the body at 5 pm, he was aghast to find the body was of someone else and not of his father kirekar, who was informed that the patient’s body was missing, ordered an inquiry, only to find the patient on his bed in the male ward of the district hospital. Dr Madhu is believed to have compiled a report on the episode and is expected to forward it to the district hospital authorities. Where exactly the goof-up occurred is being inquired, sources said, throwing up a question whether it was on account of the exchange of documents or otherwise. Medico-legal surgeon puts in place system for disposal of bodies MARGAO: The district hospital medico-legal surgeon has put in place a system to streamline the disposal of Covid bodies so as not to inconvenienCe relatives. Medico-legal surgeon, Dr Madhu Ghodkirekar, said he had put in place a system wherein family members had to give an undertaking to the Deputy Collector before the body is released for the last rites. >Continued on P5 The episode started in the morning hours when the relatives of the patient received a message from the hospital stating that he is no more. The patient was admitted to the hospital on Thursday evening after he had complained of chest pain and had undergone a Covid test at Hospicio. No sooner the relatives received the message of the sad news, they approached the Mathagramasth Hindu >Continued on P5
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