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Last Updated : May 7 2021 6:17AM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviews COVID-19 situation in the country            Indian army establishes COVID management cell to coordinate assistance to civil authority            Civil Aviation Ministry issues guidelines to ensure timely vaccination of aviation community            Madhya Pradesh govt extends Janta Curfew till 15th May to check rising cases of COVID-19            More than 16.25 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country so far           

Text Bulletins Details


Evening News

2030 HRS
17.04.2021

2030 HRS.   


17th April, 2021

 
 

THE HEADLINES:-


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds meeting to review COVID-19 and vaccination situation in the country.

  • Chief Seer of Juna Akhara ends Kumba Mela after Prime Minister's appeal to keep it symbolic.

  • Centre asks States to plan and increase COVID hospitals to deal with the surge in cases.

  • More than two lakh 34 thousand new cases of COVID-19 reported in the country in last 24 hours.

  • Price of Remdesivir injection reduced after government's intervention.

  • Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya says, Centre is assisting Maharashtra with supply of Remdesivir in every manner. 

  • DRDO to reopen its Covid Hospital in Delhi Cantt tomorrow.

  • 78.36 per cent polling recorded in fifth phase of assembly elections in West Bengal.

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar speaks to his Afghanistan counterpart Mohammed Haneef Atmar; says, India will stand with the people of Afghanistan.

  • Raul Castro confirms handing over leadership of Cuban Communist Party to a younger generation.

  • In IPL Cricket, Mumbai Indians take on Sun Risers Hyderabad in Chennai.

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As the number of Covid cases is on the rise again, we appeal to our listeners not to lower their guard, take all precautions and all those above 45 years to get vaccinated without any hesitation.


Stay safe and protected by following these three simple steps:


  • Wear a face mask.

  • Maintain Do Gaz Ki Doori for social distancing &

  • Focus on hand and face hygiene.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting this evening to review the COVID-19 and vaccination situation in the country. Top officers across various ministries will participate in the meeting. The Prime Minister had interacted with Governors on 14th of this month and Chief Ministers on 8th of this month on Covid-19 situation in the country.

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India has achieved the landmark of administering over 12 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine so far. The Union Health Ministry said that more than 30 lakh four thousand doses were given to the beneficiaries in the last 24 hours.


The Ministry said, two lakh 34 thousand 692 new cases were reported in the country in the past 24 hours taking the cumulative positive cases to over one crore 45 lakh. One thousand 341 deaths have also been reported taking the toll to over one lakh 75 thousand across the country so far.

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Swami Avdeshanand Acharya Mahamandaleswar of Juna Akhara has announced an early end to the month-long mega festival Kumbh Mela for their Akhara. The announcement came after  Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to keep the festival as symbolic in the wake of Covid-19 Pandemic. Swami Avdeshanand Giri said that the people of India and their survival is the first priority and in view of the rising cases of Covid-19, the Juna Akhara have immersed all the deities who were installed for  Kumbh. He said, on behalf of Juna Akhara it is the completion of the Kumbh.


The Prime Minister spoke to Swami Avdheshanand Giri and requested that Kumbh Mela should now only be symbolic as two shahi snans have already concluded. Mr Modi said, it will strengthen the fight against the pandemic.


In his telephonic conversation, the Prime Minister also enquired about the health of Saints and thanked them for all kind of cooperation to the administration.

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The Government has said that more than 79 per cent of new Covid 19 cases have been reported in ten states. These states are Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. The Union Health Ministry said, Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 63 thousand 729. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh with over 27 thousand while Delhi reported more than 19 thousand 486 new cases.


The five States of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala cumulatively account for over 65 per cent of India’s total Active Cases.

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Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has  exhorted the States to plan in advance and increase COVID hospitals,  beds with oxygen supply facility and other relevant infrastructure to deal with the surge in COVID cases. He requested the States to give special focus to the prominent 5 to 6 cities in their administration, map medical colleges to either these cities or adjoining 2 to 3 districts.  Dr Vardhan chaired a high-level review meeting with the Health Ministers of 11 States and Union Territories  to review measures taken by  them for prevention, containment and management of the recent surge in COVID-19 .


These States include  Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, West Bengal, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.


Detailing the number of beneficiaries vaccinated in each targeted segment of the population, Dr. Harsh Vardhan also addressed the perceived issue of vaccine shortage. He said, the total consumption of vaccines so far including wastage has been approximately 12 crore 57 lakh 18 thousand doses against the 14 crore 15 lakh doses provided by the Centre to the States.


During the meeting, Dr  Vardhan also assured a fresh supply of the lifesaving machines and said that 1 thousand 121 ventilators are to be given to Maharashtra, 1 thousand 700 to Uttar Pradesh, 1 thousand 500 to Jharkhand, 1 thousand 600 to Gujarat, 152 to Madhya Pradesh and  230 ventilators  to Chhattisgarh.


Duirng the meeting, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan informed the States on the steps taken for providing medical grade oxygen and augmenting Remdesivir stocks in the country.

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The Government has stressed on providing equity in access to Covid-19 vaccines to mitigate the impact of the corona virus pandemic. Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harshvardhan urged the global community to collaborate in research and development and manufacturing of vaccines for speedy distribution to everyone across the world. The Minister was sharing his views virtually at the Economic and Social Council special ministerial meeting on the topic, ‘A Vaccine for All’.


Highlighting the country's effort in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, the Health Minister said, India has been at the forefront of the global fight against the pandemic. He said, two indigenous vaccines have been granted emergency use authorization and 20 vaccine candidates are under development. He said, the government is committed to providing vaccines to its citizens. Terming misinformation as a big challenge, he said, vaccine hesitancy can be curtailed by providing scientific facts which will allay the fears of the public. Dr. Harshvardhan said, India has made significant contributions in supplying vaccines to various vaccine alliances like GAVI and COVAX.

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Due to Government’s intervention, the price of Remdesivir Injection is now reduced. National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority in an office memorandum said, major Pharma companies have announced voluntary price cuts for Remdesivir Injections after Centre's intervention to ensure it's affordable availability. Cadila Healthcare's Remdac will now cost 899 rupees instead of 2 thousand 8 hundred rupees. Syngene International's RemWin will now cost 2 thousand 450 rupees instead of 3 thousand 950 rupees. Dr Reddy's Redyx will be available at 2 thousand 700 rupees instead of 5 thousand 400 rupees. Cipla's Cipremi will cost 3 thousand rupees instead of 4 thousand rupees. Mylan Pharmaceutical's Desrem will be available at 3 thousand 400 rupees instead of 4 thousand 800 rupees. Jubilant Generic's Jubi-R will now cost 3 thousand 400 rupees instead of 4 thousand 700 rupees. Hetero Healthcare's Covifor will be available at 3 thousand 490 rupees instead of 5 thousand 400 rupees.

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Minister of State for Chemical and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya has said that Centre has been in active contact with officers of Maharashtra Government and is assisting with supply of Remdesivir in every manner.  He was Replying to Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik on Twitter who alleged that 16 export oriented units that have 20 Lakh vials of Remdesivir and are seeking permission to sell it but central government is denying it. Mr Mandaviya said, the tweets by Mr Malik are shocking. He said, it is full of half truths and lies and the threats issued are unacceptable. The Union Minister said, Mr Malik is unaware of the ground situation. He said, Government is doubling the production in the country and have given express permission to 20 more Plants since 12th of this month to manufacturers. Mr Mandaviya said, ensuring adequate supply of Remdesivir to the people of Maharashtra remains our priority.

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The Maharashtra government has decided to relax the fortnightly random RTPCR tests which was mandated for household helps, hotel and restaurant staffers, industrial workers and e-commerce delivery persons.


"Maharashtra Chief Minister Udhdhav Thackeray today interacted with FICCI, CII and other industry representatives through the video conferencing.He informed that the state is facing oxygen shortage, apart from this, industries should increase facilities for medicines, beds, testing centers and speed up vaccination. He suggested the industries to set up such facilities by adopting a coherent working method from now on.The Chief Minister also directed the Chief Secretary to immediately form a task force of industries to work in the future in coordination with them in the field of health. While Chief Minister also said that industries social responsibility would be fulfilled if they too implement initiatives like Shivbhojan Thali for the colonies and villages in the vicinity of industries through CSR. Nivedita, Air News, Mumbai."

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Kerala continued to report spike in Covid cases as it confirmed 13,835 cases today. Our thiruvananthapuram correspondent reports that over 81,000 samples were tested in the last 24 hours.


"The test positivity rate rose to an alarming 17.04.Mass testing drive is going on in the State in the last two days as part of the State's Covid containment strategy "Crushing the curve". State Health Minister K.K.Shailaja said that even if the number of Covid patients increases as part of mass testing, the State is fully prepared to face the situation. She further said that presently there is no shortage of oxygen and medical facilities in Kerala and that the State had requested Centre, for additional 50 lakh covid vaccine doses on priority. Meanwhile twenty seven more  death was confirmed due to Covid today, taking the death toll to 4904. There are presently 80,019 active Covid cases in Kerala. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram."

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In Bihar an all-party meetings was held today in Patna to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the state. This meeting was chaired by Governor Phagu Chauhan. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad and representatives of LJP, Congress and left parties participated in this meeting. After the meeting Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said political parties have expressed their views on prevailing covid situation. Mr. Kumar said the final decision will be taken after meeting of crisis management group which will be held tomorrow.


Meanwhile, Seven thousand 870 active cases of Covid-19 were reported in the 24 hours in the state. Maximum of one thousand 898 cases were reported in Patna followed by 610 in Gaya and 541 in Muzaffarpur.

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The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is set to reopen its Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Covid Hospital in Delhi Cantt tomorrow. The facility was shut in the first week of February after daily Covid-19 cases came down. The 1,000-bed DRDO medical facility got 250 additional ICU beds last November to provide treatment to patients. This took the total number of ICU beds at the hospital to 500. The hospital was built by DRDO in record time of 12 days with assistance from the armed forces, the ministry of home affairs, ministry of health and family welfare and Tata Trust . The facility became operational in July last year.

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Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has spoken  to Maharashtra Chief Minister  Uddhav Thackeray  and reassured  of adequate  and uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen. Dr Vardhan also assured him all possible support with regard to  healthcare infrastructure, medicines and therapeutics. In a tweet, the Health Minister  said, additional 1 thousand 121 ventilators are also being rushed to the State in view of the  surge in COVID cases.

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Delhi is under weekend curfew in view of the surge in COVID 19 cases in the national capital. It come into force from 10 PM yesterday. The weekend curfew  will be lifted at 5 AM on Monday. Only essential services are exempted from the restrictions. Police pickets have been placed at various places in the city for checking of vehicles and movement of people. Earlier, a seven-hour night curfew from 10 PM to 5 AM was imposed in Delhi which will remain there in the week days till 30th of this month. The Delhi Police has started a helpline to facilitate the movement pass for eligible persons. The helpline number is - 011-23469900. In case of persons involved in essential services facing any difficulty or inconvenience in getting their movement passes from police authorities or seeking any clarifications, can call for assistance on this number.


During the curfew, movement of persons for marriage related gatherings upto 50 persons and funeral related gatherings upto 20 persons will continue to be allowed. Government officials involved in emergency services like health, Police, Fire and emergency Services as well as all other essential services is allowed on showing a of valid Identity card. All private medical personnel will also be allowed. Person coming from or going to airports, railway stations and bus stations have been exempted on showing of valid tickets.

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Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava, visited various parts of Delhi today to take stock of the execution of Weekend Curfew orders. The areas toured include, Akshardham, Ghazipur Crossing, Maharajpur Check Post, NH 24 Anand Vihar, Krishna Nagar, New Ushmanpur, Signature Bridge, Majanu Ka Tilla, ISBT Kashmiri Gate, Rajghat and Tilak Marg.

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In the Union Territory of Puducherry 1 lakh 48 thousand 288 persons were inoculated so far. This includes 29, 952 health care workers,17,672 Front Line staffs and 1 lakh and 664 general public.


"The spike in the Coronavirus infection continues in the UT with 715 more persons tested positive for the virus taking the tally of infection to  47,108. Presently, 721 persons are being treated in hospitals and another, 3369 positive cases are under home isolation in all the four regions of the union territory taking the present caseload to 4090. As many as 198 persons were discharged from the hospitals and 3 persons died. The case fatality rate in the UT is 1.50 percent and recovery rate stands at 89.82 percent. Chandra Mohan, AIR NEWS, Puducherry."

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Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju has tested positive for COVID-19. In a tweet, Mr Rijiju said that after getting repeated test for Covid-19, today his report has come out positive and he is taking the advice of the doctors. Mr Rijiju has  requested  all those who have come in his contact recently to be observant, exercise self-quarantine and get themselves tested. He said, he is physically fit and fine.

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Election Commission has said that 78.36 per cent polling has been recorded in the 5th phase of Assembly Elections in West Bengal held today. It said, polling in 15 thousand 789 Polling Stations spread across 45 Assembly Constituencies in West Bengal, Bye-Election in Belgaum and Tirupati Parliamentary Constituencies and 12 Assembly Constituencies across 10 States was conducted peacefully today. The poll body said, over 8 thousand polling stations in West Bengal were monitored live through webcasting. It said,  there was a huge turnout of Women Voters today. The Commission thanked voters for strictly following COVID protocols.

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West Bengal, Barring a few sporadic incidents of violence, the election went on peacefully. The political fate of 319 candidates in 45 assembly segments spread across six districts is sealed in EVMs to be announced on the counting day on May 2nd. Voting was held in the 16 seats of North 24 Parganas, eight each in Purba Bardhaman and Nadia, seven in Jalpaiguri, five in Darjeeling and one in Kalimpong district. Prominent names in the fifth phase of election include Siliguri Mayor and Left Front leader Ashok Bhattacharya, State ministers Gautam Deb and Bratya Basu, film star turned MLA Chiranjeet, former minister Madan Mitra and BJP’s Samik Bhattacharya. The second wave of Covid 19 pandemic at its peak has posed a challenge to the Election Commission and the political parties to enforce Covid protocols.


"Due to the pandemic special care was taken at the polling booths. Thermal mapping of voters and offering sanitizers were seen in many booths. The security forces ensured social distancing. In some places queues were well maintained with polling personnel allowing people one by one into the premises. The general and police observers were seen monitoring the situation. The voters, polling and security personnel were seen wearing masks, hand gloves and holding sanitisers for the voters. The polling started at 7.00 am and concluded at 6.30 pm in 15,786 polling stations across the six districts. Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru"


We now go over Live to our correspondent in Darjeeling for update on today's polling in North Bengal.


Question: Manas, how did the polling go in North Bengal today, Amid COVID and it being sensitive region?

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Meanwhile, the election campaign is gaining momentum for the remaining three phases of assembly elections in West Bengal.


Leaders of various political parties held election rallies and road shows today.


The campaigning revolved around the alleged audio tape regarding the Sitalkuchi incident throughout the day today. Senior BJP leaders Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah accused the Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee of doing politics in the incident while Trinamool Congress leader and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee questioned the role of the central government and demanded inquiry for tapping her phone.


Addressing public meetings in Asansol and Gangarampur today, Mr Modi criticized Mamata Banerjee for non implementation of central welfare schemes in the state while Mr Shah alleged that she was concerned only about her nephew instead of the people of Bengal.


On the other hand, during rallies held in Purba Bardhaman district, Ms Banerjee criticized the BJP leaders for spreading falsehood against her and TMC.

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The Jharkhand High Court today granted bail to RJD president Lalu Prasad in Dumka treasury case of the multi-crore rupees fodder scam, paving way for his release from jail. The court directed him neither to leave the country without permission nor change his address and mobile number during the bail period. Lalu's councel  has filed a bail application  in the High Court saying that the RJD chief has completed half of the sentence in the case so he should be allowed bail. The plea also cited the poor health condition of 72 year old Prasad. The RJD supremo has been convicted in four fodder scam cases.

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External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar today had a telephonic conversation with Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Mohammed Haneef Atmar on recent developments. During the conversation, the Ministers discussed the role of neighbours in the Afghan peace process. In a tweet, Dr Jaishankar said, India will stand with the people of Afghanistan. Mr Atmar said, both discussed post-withdrawal cooperation with US and international allies and the growing partnership with neighbours and regional partners, including valued friend, India.

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Raul Castro confirmed he was handing over the leadership of the Cuban Communist Party to a younger generation at its congress that kicked off yesterday .The move ended six decades of rule by himself and older brother Fidel.


He already handed over the presidency in 2018 to protege Miguel Diaz-Canel,  who ran the party in two provinces before joining the national government


In a speech opening the four-day event, 89 year old Castro, said the new leadership would be party loyalists with decades of experience working their way up the ranks and were "full of passion and anti-imperialist spirit.".


The transition comes as Cuba faces the worst economic crisis since the collapse of former benefactor the Soviet Union, while there are signs of growing frustration, especially among younger Cubans.

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In IPL  Cricket, Mumbai Indians were 126 for 4 in 18 overs against Sun Risers Hyderabad at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai when reports last came in.


Earliar Mumbai Indians won the toss and elected to bat first.

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Now, let us take a look at the weather forecast for tomorrow.


National Capital Delhi will have mainly clear sky. The temperature will hover between 17 and 37 degree Celsius.


Mumbai will have mainly clear sky.


Chennai is expected to have partly cloudy sky.


Kolkata will have mainly clear sky.


Srinagar will have generally cloudy sky with moderate rain.


Jammu will have partly cloudy sky becoming generally cloudy towards afternoon or evening or night.


Leh is expected to have overcast sky. Minimum and maximum temperature will be between Zero (0) and 11 degrees Celsius.


Gilgit will have generally cloudy sky with Light rain. The temperature will hover between 10 and 19 degree Celsius.

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