Karnataka bypolls: Congress inches towards victory in Maski; BJP candidate accepts defeat

News Network
May 2, 2021

May 2: As Congress Candidate Basavanagouda Turvihal continued to increase the lead in the counting of votes polled in Maski assembly bypolls, BJP Candidate Pratapgouda Patil walked out of the counting centre.

Pratapgouda said the anti-incumbency factor is apparent in the constituency and the people of the constituency didn't give the vote for the BJP despite implementing several developmental works. 

The party leaders will introspect the reasons behind his defeat and will be abiding by the decision taken by the party, he added. Details awaited.

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News Network
May 3,2021

May 3: Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla has said that India’s Covid-19 vaccine shortage would continue through July, reported The Financial Times. Poonawalla said that the production of the vaccines is expected to increase from 60-70 million doses (6-7 crore) to 100 million (10 crore) by then.

Poonawalla told The Financial Times that his company has been maligned by politicians and critics over shortages in vaccines. He said that the government, not the Serum Institute, was responsible for policy decisions.

While the Centre launched the third phase of the immunisation drive, covering citizens above 18 years, several states have expressed their inability to conduct the inoculation programme as they do not have sufficient vaccines. Many states are awaiting more stock from drug companies.

Currently, India is reeling under the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The country’s infrastructure is under severe strain as cases are surging at an alarming rate. India has registered more than 3 lakh cases for over 10 consecutive days, once even crossing the 4-lakh mark.

Poonawalla told The Financial Times that the authorities did not expect that it will have to face a second wave of the pandemic when new coronavirus cases had declined. “Everybody really felt that India had started to turn the tide on the pandemic,” he said.

The Serum Institute, which is the local maker of AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s vaccine, also faced criticism for charging state governments and hospitals a higher rate for the vaccine doses than it offered to the Centre. While the company was selling the jabs to the central government at Rs 150 per dose, it was charging states Rs 300 and private hospitals, Poonawalla had brought down the rates from Rs 400 for states and Rs 1,200 for private hospitals after the criticism, calling it a “philanthropic gesture”.

“I’ve been victimised very unfairly and wrongly,” he claimed. Poonawalla further said that he did not boost the vaccine production capacity because “there were no orders” and the company did not think it needed to produce more than 1 billion, or 100 crore, doses in a year.

Experts believe that India should have invested in boosting manufacturing capacity earlier and secured enough vaccine shots. “It is absolutely essential that you need to have something to deliver, it’s common sense,” Chandrakant Lahariya, a New Delhi-based public health expert, told The Financial Times. She added that the government has not been transparent on its vaccine policy.

In April, the Centre had given a loan to the Serum Institute to help it convert a production line to make more vaccines. “We have just done this right now to address the ridiculous shortage that the nation, and obviously now the world even, has,” said Poonawalla.

Last week, Poonwalla had said that he has left the country for London because of threats related to the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines. Later, the Serum Institute chief said he would be returning to India. However, he told The Financial Times that he was not in London over safety concerns but for normal business.

Meanwhile, India on Monday registered 3,68,147 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally in the country to 19,925,604 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. This is the second consecutive day when the daily infection count dropped after crossing the 4-lakh mark. The toll climbed by 3,417 to 2,18,959. There are 34,13,642 active cases and as many as 1,62,93,003 patients have recovered from the infection.

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coastaldigest.com news network
May 6,2021

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Mangaluru, May 6: In the wake of continued spike in the covid-19 cases in the coastal Karnataka, the district administration has decided to enforce tougher rules in Dakshina Kannada.

An emergency meeting was held in Deputy Commissioner’s office in the city wherein elected representatives and officials discussed the measures to be implemented to curtail the spread of novel coronavirus.

Following the meeting DC Dr K V Rajendra said that from May 7 onwards people will be allowed to purchase essential commodities only between 6 am and 9 am. By 10 a.m. no one should be there on the roads or footpaths. All shopkeepers should reach their homes by 10 a.m. People can purchase medical supplies from the nearest pharmacies.
  
Vehicles of those who move around unnecessarily will be seized. The police department will initiate tougher measures to prevent needless roaming on the streets. There will be no provision for events like marriage, housewarming and birthdays.
 
Besides, the district administration has banned all programmes including weddings and family events from May 15. Those who have already obtained permission for such events are supposed to postpone the event. 

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News Network
May 7,2021

New Delhi, May 7: Petrol and diesel prices rose in the country rose for a fourth consecutive day as oil companies raised rates to pass on to consumers the increase in international oil prices.

In Delhi, petrol was hiked by 28 paise from Rs 90.99 to Rs 91.27, while diesel was hiked by 31 paise from Rs 81.42 to Rs 81.73.

Rates have been increased across the country and vary from state to state depending on the local incidence of taxation (VAT).

This is the third straight day of increase in petrol and diesel prices since state-owned fuel retailers ended an 18-day hiatus in rate revision during the Assembly elections in states like West Bengal.

Prices of petrol climbed 27 paise in Mumbai to Rs 97.61 — the highest in the country — while the cost of diesel was 31 paise more at Rs 88.82. 

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