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News X asks if vaccine should be for all, ‘Vasooli govt’ on Times Now, Covid & economy on NDTV

A quick take on what prime time TV news talked about.

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New Delhi: India’s second coronavirus surge dominated headlines across channels Wednesday night. The ongoing Maharashtra drama, with suspended police officer Sachin Waze’s letter to the National Investigation Agency special court also sparked some heated discussions.

But NDTV 24×7’s Vishnu Som decided to look at the economy, instead. In an interview with International Monetary Fund Chief Economist Gita Gopinath, he discussed the impact of the second Covid-19 wave on India’s economic growth.

He asked her if the IMF had projected India’s growth at 12.5 per cent this year and 6.5 per cent next year before the second wave of the virus had struck the country. Gopinath replied: “This assessment was made prior to the second wave but we did assume that local contaminants would be in place.”

Would India’s surge in cases, almost at “world record levels”, hit India, economically? Som wanted to know.

“…we don’t have any numbers for India right now — it is still in a preliminary phase to make an assessment,” the IMF chief economist said.

However, she added: “In the previous wave of these virus cases, we saw a disconnect between the economic activity and the virus cases. In India, like in many other countries, we saw economic activity adapt to living with the pandemic. This, we have to keep in mind while making our projections.”

Times Now chose to focus on the ongoing Maharashtra drama with the CBI probe into allegations against suspended Mumbai cop Sachin Waze in the Ambani bomb scare case. The latest development was Waze’s letter to the NIA special court, accusing Maharashtra Transport Minister Anil Parab of extortion.

“The common minimum programme of this government (Maha Vikas Aghadi) is vasooli,” advocate Shehzad Poonawala commented, acerbically.

Political analyst Sumanth Raman argued, “This is a letter (Sachin Vaze’s submission to court) which needs to be corroborated whether it is true or false. It is possibly juvenile to ask the chief minister of Maharashtra to respond to this.”

BJP spokesperson Rahul Narwekar claimed: “It is absolutely clear that this govt (Maha Vikas Aghadi) has no morale. Every department in this government is indulging in mass corruption.”

Shiv Sena’s Shailesh Pandey, of course defended his government: “Anil Parab (Maharashtra minister) through a press conference said that Sachin Vaze’s allegations are false.”

On Zee News, anchor Sudhir Chaudhary talked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s virtual dialogue with students and how tuition institutions are building empires.

Recalling how Modi stressed the important lessons drawn from the Covid-19 pandemic, Chaudhary said: “PM Modi talked about how Covid pandemic has taught people to always prepare for the worst and reminded them of the things they had taken for granted.”

Saying that tuition is more important than going to classes and colleges, he said, “Seven crore students in India attend private tuition after school and even when applying for the post of a clerk you are required to attend tuition classes.”

News X’s Megha Sharma debated whether India should follow the US in vaccinating all adults.

Asked if India can organise a mass inoculation drive across the country, Dr Ravi Malik, former secretary to the Indian Medical Association (IMA), said: “In the next two week, cases might jump up to 5 lakh… We should increase the speed of our vaccination. But we don’t have any vaccines available for people less than 18 years of age right now.”

Agreeing with Dr Malik, Professor Dr M.C. Mishra, former director All India Institute of Medical Sciences, said: “While the state governments have not utilised all the vaccines available to them till now…  if we include all age groups, the requirement for doses would be higher.”

Aaj Tak’s Rohit Sardana interviewed Jharkhand Health and Family Welfare Minister Banna Gupta on the chief minister’s comment about a possible lockdown if the Covid situation continued to worsen.

“This was not said to scare anyone, there is no need to do that. We are trying to do everything we can to make the state free of Covid-19,” Gupta said.

He added that the government is doing everything it can. “One decision to curb the spread was to impose a night curfew,” he added.

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