City Buzz: Vaccine shortage fears | New restrictions in Delhi | NGT on Gurugram’s Bandhwari landfill…and more

Catch all the recent and important news highlights from urban India

Massive COVID spike in Delhi, new restrictions in place

Given the massive spike in coronavirus cases, the Delhi government has introduced several restrictions, banning most public gatherings and setting limits for attendance in public places. restaurants, theatres, on public transport and functions like weddings and funerals. All restaurants, bars and cinemas will operate at 50% of their seating capacity, while weddings can see 50 invitees at the most. Not more than 20 people can attend funerals. Buses and metro rail will also run at 50% occupancy. Earlier, the Delhi CM had already ordered the closure of schools and colleges in the NCR region.

The national capital registered 8,521 new cases on 9th April, the highest single day spike this year till that date. With this, the total number of cases reached 7,06,526, with more than 26000 active cases. The total number of fatalities stands at 11,196. Close to 1,10,000 tests have been conducted in Delhi so far. The test positivity rate stands at 7.79% and the case fatality rate at 1.58%. Night curfew and all restrictions mentioned above will be in place till 30th April in the national capital and NCR region.

Source: NDTV | Hindustan Times

Read more: The second wave of COVID: The how and the why

Nagpur, Raipur, Bhopal to face lockdown

As cases continue to rise, several cities are staring at a lockdown. The cities might face restrictions ranging from mini lockdowns to night curfews. Also, these restrictions are being imposed keeping in mind upcoming regional festivals such as Navratri, Gudi Padwa, Baisakhi etc. Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur in Maharashtra will undergo a lockdown from 8 PM on 9th April 2021 till 7 AM on 12th April 2021.

Chhattisgharh’s capital Raipur has been declared as a containment city and will be under a lockdown for the next ten days, from 9th April to 19th April. Only essential services and students appearing for different entrance exams will be allowed to move. Offices of Central government, state government, semi-government, as well as private offices and banks will remain closed.

Bhopal’s Kolar Road, Shahpura and Chuna Bhatti areas have also been declared as containment zones and will undergo a ten-day lockdown starting from 9th April. These areas have reported 40% of the total new cases in the capital city. Several other cities in Madhya Pradesh will undergo a 60-hour lockdown starting 9th April.

Source: Hindustan Times and The Times of India

SII hit by vaccine shortage

As the country struggles in the face of a new resurgent wave of the coronavirus, SII has reportedly been hit by a shortage of its COVID-19 vaccine, marketed under the Covishield brand in India. Astra-Zeneca has even sent a legal notice to SII for the delay in delivering vaccines to partner countries. The global vaccine sharing alliance, Covax, has notified countries regarding the delay in shipment of doses coming from India. SII has applied for a grant of Rs. 3,000 crore with the government to ramp up production capacities.

Meanwhile several states have also flagged a vaccine shortage, with Maharashtra at the forefront. There were reports of several centres in Mumbai suspending vaccine administration due to shortage. Other states that also reported shortage, citing that their stocks that would last anywhere between three to ten days unless they received fresh doses, include Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh among others.  The Union health minister Harsh Vardhan, however, said that the country has enough doses and urged state governments to put an end to “fear-mongering”.

The country has set an ambitious target of vaccinating 300 million Indians by August 2021, meaning India would require 600 million doses of SII’s Covishield or Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

Source: The Quartz | Hindustan Times | Mint

Uttar Pradesh to boost vaccination drive through ‘Tika Utsav’

UP aims to vaccinate 25 lakh people during a Tika Utsav hosted from 11th April to 14th April. Earlier, PM Narendra Modi had put out a call for organizing such an event (Tika Utsav), in order to boost vaccination across the country. The state has announced plans to kick start the campaign by opening 6000 vaccine sites which will be increased to 8000 towards the end. So far, more than 81.5 lakh vaccine shots have been administered in the state. The campaign will also mobilize public leaders like MPs, MLAs, Mayors and Corporators.

Source: Hindustan Times

Anti rabies shot given in place of COVID vaccine in Shamli

In a case of shocking medical negligence, three women were administered anti rabies shots in place of COVID vaccine at the Kandhla Community Health Centre in Shamli, NCR. As per the media reports, the women entered the OPD centre instead of going to vaccination room. Some reports further claimed that the women stood in the wrong queue and hence got the wrong vaccine shot.

The district administration has ordered an inquiry into the incident and has said that strict action will be taken against those found guilty of this kind of serious medical negligence.

Source: Hindustan Times

Civic authorities have failed to take action: NGT on Gurugram’s Bandhwari landfill

Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement recently organised a protest against the waste-to-energy plant in the vicinity of Aravalli hills. Pic: Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement

The National Green Tribunal has criticized the role of Gurugram Municipal Corporation and Urban Development Administration of Haryana for not being able to clear the Bandhwari landfill, which is drowning in waste. The green court has noted that civic authorities of Gurugram failed to execute their responsibilities under the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016, which guarantees right to clean and healthy environment for each citizen.

Read more: Why NCR citizens are against a waste-to-energy plant at Bandhwari

The NGT asked the state government to take the onus of clearing the landfill site in the interest of rule of law, protection of environment and public health. While hearing a plea seeking remedial action for an estimated 33 lakh tonne of legacy waste at the landfill site, the principal bench of the Tribunal said it had been monitoring the planned remedial action by the Gurugram municipality for over five years but had found the progress on the site disappointing.

Source: Hindustan Times | The Indian Express

Compiled by Rishabh Shrivastava

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