LPG domestic cylinder rate hiked by Rs 25; third hike in a month

News Network
February 25, 2021

The oil marketing companies (OMCs) again hiked the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) domestic gas cylinder (14.2 kg) by Rs 25 per cylinder from Thursday. 

This is the third hike in February alone. A domestic cooking gas cylinder now costs Rs 794 in Delhi. The cumulative increase in February alone is Rs 100 on a cylinder.

Prior to this, the price of LPG cylinder was hiked on February 14 and February 4. This is the first time in the recent history of India that the cooking gas prices have been increased three times in a month. Since December cooking gas price has been hiked by Rs 200 per cylinder.  

The rise in the price of LPG comes at a time when petrol and diesel prices in India have hit the roof. LPG is a byproduct of natural gas and crude oil refining.

The price of LPG gas cylinders is determined by state-run oil companies. It used to be revised on a monthly basis until November 2020. 

However, in December, the OMCs hiked the price twice. The LPG price depends on factors such as international fuel rates and US dollar-rupee exchange rates. The prices keep going up or down based on these factors.
 

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News Network
May 1,2021

Mangaluru, May 1: The intensity of the second wave of the covid-19 has forced the Mangalureans to rush to the vaccine centres. All the vaccination centres are witnessing long serpentine queues.

Many eligible beneficiaries had gathered in large numbers in front of District Wenlock Hospital and at Urban Health Care Centre in Bejai to receive the vaccine. The Covid-19 situation has reached an alarming stage in Dakshina Kannada, with the district reporting as many as 1,175 positive cases on Thursday.

In the meantime, the Dakshina Kannada district administration has made it mandatory to register online to receive the first dose of vaccine for Covid-19.

“The vaccines are not available as per the demand. There is pressure to administer the first dose, along with the second dose, for the eligible. Hence, the district administration has made online registration mandatory for receiving the first dose,” said officials.

A few had reached Wenlock hospital as early as 7 am to receive the token for the vaccine. RCH Officer Dr Rajesh, who is in charge of vaccines, said, “500 people availed vaccinations by availing token at Wenlock Hospital. Those who had availed the first dose of vaccine should avail the second dose within the time frame.”

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News Network
April 24,2021

Washington, Apr 24: Defending US's restrictions on the export of key raw materials for the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccine that threatens to slow India's vaccination drive, a senior State Department official has said the Biden administration's first obligation is to take care of the requirements of the American people.

When asked when the Biden administration would decide on India's request to lift a ban on the export of vaccine raw materials, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said: "...the United States first and foremost is engaged in an ambitious and effective and, so far, successful effort to vaccinate the American people. "

"That campaign is well underway, and we're doing that for a couple of reasons. Number one, we have a special responsibility to the American people. Number two, the American people, this country has been hit harder than any other country around the world more than 550,000 deaths, tens of millions of infections in this country alone," he said on Thursday.

"It is not only in the US interest to see Americans vaccinated; but it is in the interests of the rest of the world to see Americans vaccinated," he said.

"The point the Secretary (of State Antony Blinken) has made repeatedly is that as long as the virus is spreading anywhere, it is a threat to people everywhere. So as long as the virus is spreading uncontrolled in this country, it can mutate and it can travel beyond our borders. That, in turn, poses a threat well beyond the United States," Mr Price said in responses to questions.

As for the rest of the world, "We will, of course, always do as much as we can, consistent with our first obligation," he said.

India is currently facing a massive surge in COVID-19 infections. The country on Friday added a record over 3.32 lakh new coronavirus cases in a single day taking the country's tally to 1,62,63,695, while active cases crossed the 24-lakh mark.

The Biden administration recently conveyed to New Delhi that it understands India's pharmaceutical requirements and promised to give the matter due consideration.

It observed that the current difficulty in the export of critical raw materials needed to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines is mainly due to an Act that forces American companies to prioritise domestic consumption.

President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump had invoked the war-time Defence Production Act (DPA) that leaves US companies with no option but to give priority to the production of COVID-19 vaccines and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for domestic production to combat the deadly pandemic in America, the worst-hit nation.

The US has ramped up the production of COVID-19 vaccines mostly by Pfizer and Moderna to meet the goal of vaccinating its entire population by July 4.

The suppliers of its raw materials, which is in high demand globally and sought after by major Indian manufacturers, are being forced to provide it only for domestic manufacturers in the US.

The Serum Institute of India is the world's largest producer of the COVID-19 vaccine.

In recent weeks, India's Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu has been taking up the matter with the Biden administration officials.

During the telephonic conversation between US Secretary of State Blinken and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, the two top diplomats also discussed the coronavirus pandemic and ways to deal with it.

State Department spokesperson Price said the US has played a leadership role when it comes to containing, seeking to contain the virus beyond its borders.

"We have re-engaged with the WHO on day one, the USD 2 billion we've contributed to COVAX, with 2 billion more on the way. When it comes to our own hemisphere, the loan arrangement with Canada and Mexico, and when it comes to India, the Quad and the arrangement with the Quad, including to increase production capacity in India," he said.

"So as we are more comfortable in our position here at home, as we are confident that we are able to address any contingencies as they may arise, I expect we'll be able to do more," he said.

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News Network
April 24,2021

lockdown.jpg

Bengaluru, Apr 24: With Bengaluru recording 1.5 lakh active coronavirus cases, the highest for any city in the country, the Karnataka Task Advisory Committee on Covid- 19 has asked the state government to impose stringent restrictions, including lockdown for 14 days to break the chain.

The members of the panel have also recommended to the government to increase the number of beds to tide over the crisis.

The TAC members also foresee the third wave Covid in October-November and have, accordingly, insisted that the government should complete the vaccination of vulnerable age groups before the next wave hits. Professor and Head of Lifecourse Epidemiology, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Giridhar Babu said:

"I have on record said that there are two main strategies. Firstly, we need to reduce the number of cases and that will happen only by a stringent lockdown for at least 14 days. Secondly, we should expand the bed capacity by taking as much as possible beds from all the private medical colleges, nursing homes and hospitals."

According to him, the 14 days lockdown will reduce the number of infections. The TAC member said the state may witness the peak of the second wave by the May end or the first week of June. Eminent cardiologist and director of the Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, C N Manjunath said he had in November 2020 predicted the arrival of the second wave of Covid in March or April based on the pattern of spread and resurgence in Europe.

While the Covid cases may come down by May end or the first week of June, people's behaviour for the next six to nine months will hold the key.

"The most important is when the cases come down, guards should not be let down. Facemask wearing and physical distancing should continue while most importantly congregation should be banned," he said. The health experts were of the opinion that the healthcare system is totally suffocated.

"In the first phase, the cases were coming in a staggered manner. So the daily rise in a particular state was 200 to 300 cases. Now it's in thousands," the cardiologist said.

Giridhar Babu too concurred with him. "The BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) has informed the high court that there are no more ICU beds. So, the court has also said the situation is very scary. That will summarise the current status," Babu explained. Both were unanimous that the vaccination drive should be completed by October before the possible third wave hits the nation.

"Vaccination should go on. By October- November the entire country should be vaccinated. Otherwise, we are in for a rude shock again," Manjunath said. Meanwhile, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said the officials at the civic agency's Covid war room are working over time.

On the shortage of oxygen and essential drugs such as Remdesivir, the Chief Commissioner told the news agency that the whole country was grappling with it and the Centre and the state are dealing with it in an effective manner. To a query on the need for more ICU beds, he said already a few have been arranged and more have to be procured very soon. With 26,962 infections on Friday, the state touched the highest single-day spike in Covid cases.

There were 190 deaths too. More alarming was that the active cases in the state crossed two lakh mark of which 1.5 lakh are in Bengaluru alone.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had during a video conference told the PM that the state needs about 1,500 tonnes of oxygen and two lakh vials of Remdesivir. To contain the alarming rise in Covid cases, the state has imposed night curfew and weekend curfews while ordering closure of many shops and business establishments. 

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