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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


Midday News

1400 HRS
18.04.2021
THE HEADLINES:
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviews COVID-19 situation in Varanasi.

  • Production of Anti-Viral drug Remdesivir to be doubled to nearly 3 lakh vials per day in next 15 days, says Government.

  • Centre sanctions 162 Pressure Swing Adsorption Oxygen plants for installation in public health facilities in all States.

  • Nation registers over 2 lakh 61 thousand new cases in the last 24 hours.'

  • More than 12 crore 26 lakh COVID vaccine doses administered in the country so far.

  • Delhi reports over 25 thousand 500 fresh COVID-19 cases in 24 hours; Test positivity rate increases to nearly 30 per cent .

  • Delhi Government makes mandatory 14 day home quarantine for those visited Kumbh Mela.

  • Congress leader Rahul Gandhi cancels all his public rallies in West Bengal in view of Covid situation.

  • JEE Main Entrance Exam for 2021 postponed till further orders.

  • NIA declares 7 lakh rupee reward on Madvi Hidma, leader of the Maoist group involved in ambush in Sukma early this month.

  • In IPL Cricket, Royal Challengers Bangalore to take on Kolkata Knight Riders in Chennai at 3.30 pm. and Delhi Capitals to lock horns with Punjab Kings in Mumbai at 7:30 p.m.

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"As the number of Covid cases is on the rise again, we appeal to our listeners not to lower  the guard, follow all the 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 has emphasized on Test, Track and Treat strategy has to be adopted to win over the Covid-19 pandemic.
 

Reviewing the status of Covid-19 in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi through video conferencing, Mr Modi stressed on contract tracing of infected persons and providing test reports at the earliest.

 

During the meeting, Mr Modi asked for information about testing, beds, medicines, vaccine and the manpower engaged in Varanasi for prevention of corona and proper treatment of corona infected patients. He directed the officials to provide all possible assistance to the public at the earliest.

 

During the discussion, the Prime Minister emphasized that Do Gaz ki doori, Mask hai Zaroori has to be followed by everyone. He also emphasized on the importance of vaccination campaign and  said that the administration should make aware about it to everyone above 45 years of age. He also asked the administration to provide all possible assistance to the people of Varanasi with full sensitivity.

 

The Prime Minister said that as the representative of Varanasi, he is  constantly taking feedback from the general public. He said that the expansion and modernization of medical infrastructure in Varanasi in the last 5 to 6 years has helped in fighting Corona. Mr Modi said, the availability of beds, ICUs and oxygen is being increased in Varanasi. In view of the pressure with the increased number of patients, he also gave special emphasis on the need to increase efforts at all levels. He said that just like the Varanasi administration rapidly set up the Kashi Covid Response Center, the same speed should be in every task.

 

The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to all the doctors and medical staff of the country and said that even in the time of this crisis, they are following their duty faithfully.

 

The Prime Minister also praised the NGOs of Varanasi who worked with the government. He stressed the need for greater vigilance and caution in view of the situation.

 

Public representatives and officials of Varanasi region informed the Prime Minister about the preparations made in the area for protection from Covid-19 and the treatment. Mr Modi was informed about the control room set up for contact tracing, command and control center for home isolation, dedicated phone line ambulance, telemedicine arrangement from control room and deployment of additional rapid response team in urban area. The Prime Minister was informed that so far over 1 lakh 98 thousand persons have been given the first dose of Covid Vaccine and more than 35 thousand persons have been given both doses of vaccination.

 

During this video conferencing, Ministers of State Neelkanth Tiwari, Ravindra Jaiswal, MLA Surendra Narayan Singh, MLCs Ashok Dhawan and Laxman Acharya, MLC and Covid in-charge of Varanasi A K Sharma, Divisional Commissioner Deepak Agarwal, Commissioner of Police A. Satish Ganesh, District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma, Municipal Commissioner Gaurang Rathi, Chief Medical Officer Dr. N. P. Singh and Director I. M. S. Banaras Hindu University Prof. BR Mittal were present.

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Production of Anti-Viral drug Remdesivir will be doubled to nearly 3 lakh vials per day in the next 15 days. Informing about the decision, Minister of State for Chemical & Fertilizer Mansukh Mandaviya said that the Centre is committed to ensure affordable availability of the drug. Remdesivir has shown to have effective results in better recovery of critically ill and hospitalised COVID patients. He said currently 20 manufacturing plants are engaged in the country in manufacturing the anti-viral drug.

 

Mr Mandaviya, added that another 20 manufacturing sites have already been granted government's approval and they would soon add to the existing production capacity of 1 lakh 50 thousand vials per day. The Minister asserted that due to centre's active intervention, the major pharma companies have significantly reduced prices of their Remdesivir brands.

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Health Ministry today said that 162 Pressure Swing Adsorption, PSA oxygen plants have been sanctioned by Government of India for installation in public health facilities in all States and these will augment medical oxygen capacity by over 154 Metric Tonnes.

 

In a tweet, the Ministry said, out of 162 PSA plants sanctioned by the Centre, 33 have already been installed, five in Madhya Pradesh,  four in Himachal Pradesh, three each in Chandigarh, Gujarat and Uttarakhand, two each in Bihar, Karnataka and Telengana and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Kerala, Maharashtra, Puducherry, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

 

The Health Ministry said, States have appreciated installation of PSA Oxygen plants in their public health facilities. It said, in addition to 162 plants already sanctioned, they have requested Government of India for more than 100 such additional plants which are also being sanctioned.

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Indian Railways has given in-principle approval to transport Liquid Medical Oxygen container trucks on Roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) basis. In a first of its kind operation approved by the Ministry, the Indian Railways will soon carry cryogenic tanker trucks loaded with Liquid Medical Oxygen from one part of the country to another.

 

The decision has been taken by the Railway Ministry in view of request received from Maharashtra government for transportation of liquid oxygen into the state. The Railways have said that through this mechanism a significant amount of transportation cost and crucial time can be saved while delivering Medical Oxygen to Health care facilities, specially in view of surge in COVID cases.

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Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will reopen its Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Covid Hospital in Delhi Cantt today. 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, 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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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that 25 thousand 500 fresh COVID-19 cases have been reported in Delhi and positivity rate has increased to nearly 30 per cent in 24 hours. In a virtual media briefing today, Mr Kejriwal said, there are 10 thousand beds in Delhi including that of Central Government, of which, 1,800 beds currently reserved for COVID. He requested Centre to allot 7 thousand of 10 thousand beds in view of severe COVID cases.

 

The Chief Minister said, less than 100 ICU beds vacant in Delhi hospitals and situation is worsening every moment. He said, Delhi Government will add over 6 thousand high-flow oxygen beds in next 2 to 3 days at Yamuna Sports Complex. Mr Kejriwal said, Commonwealth Games Village and some schools too will be turned into COVID centres and the COVID facility at Radha Soami Satsang Beas will be reopened. The Delhi Chief Minister said, he had spoken to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan yesterday and spoke to Home Minister Amit Shah today about rapidly increasing requirement of beds and oxygen.

 

Meanwhile, Delhi Government has made home quarantine of 14 days mandatory for the residents of national capital who visited the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar. All those who have visited Kumbh 4th April onwards will have to upload personal and journey details on Delhi government's website.      

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The nation registered highest surge in COVID cases with 2 lakh 61 thousand 500 new cases. The number of total active cases in the country further swelled up to nearly 12.18 per cent of the total reported cases.

 

Ten States- Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat & Kerala continue to be the major hotspots of the pandemic. Nearly 80 per cent of the new cases are reported from these 10 states.

 

In the last 24 hours, one thousand five hundred and one COVID related deaths were reported in the country, taking the cumulative toll to 1 lakh 77 thousand 150.

 

Currently over 18 lakh people are reported to be suffering from the viral pandemic and are either hospitalised or under home isolation.

 

With a special focus on the 5-point principle of 'Test, Track, Treat, Isolate & Vaccinate', the number of cumulative COVID-19 testing has surpassed the figure of 26 crore 65 lakh. In the past 24 hours, more than 15 lakh 66 thousand samples were tested for COVID-19 in the country.    

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India's vaccination drive against COVID-19 crossed another milestone with the administration of over 12 crore 26 lakh doses within 92 days of the World's largest vaccination programme. The Health Ministry has informed that in the last 24 hours more than 26 lakh 84 thousand doses of COVID vaccine has been administered in the country.

 

Our correspondent reports that after Prime Minister's clarion call for maximum and best utilisation of health resources in the country, the number of total Covid Vaccination Centres have increased significantly. Number of vaccination centres in the country increased to over 60 thousand from nearly 45 thousand.

 

The nation commenced the largest vaccination drive in the world on 16th January this year with vaccination of healthcare workers first. Widening the scope of Vaccination, from 1st of this month, under the current phase everyone above the age of 45 is being vaccinated. Health Ministry has informed that so far more than 10 crore 63 lakh people have received the first dose of the vaccine whereas nearly 1 crore 61 lakh have been fully vaccinated with both the required doses.

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The National Testing Agency has postponed the April session exams of the Joint Entrance Examination, JEE Main for the year 2021. In a media release shared by Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, the NTA has informed that the decision to postpone the exam has been taken in view of the present situation of COVID-19.

 

The JEE (Main) April Session was scheduled to be held on 27th, 28th and 30th of this month. The revised dates for the examination will be announced later with prior notice of at least 15 days before the examinations.

 

JEE (Main), one of the most sought after examinations for engineering aspirants in the country is scheduled to be conducted in four sessions this year. Two of these sessions have already been completed in February and March.

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The election campaign for the sixth phase of West Bengal election has reached a crescendo as political leaders try to cover as many constituencies as possible before the public campaign ends tomorrow evening.

 

Campaigning in Purbashali uttar today, the Home minister and BJP leader Amit Shah predicted 122 seats for BJP in the five phases of election in West Bengal. He called upon them to vote for Vishwas, Vikas and Vyapar as assured by the BJP.

 

Addressing a public meeting at Krishnanagar Dakshin today, Trinamool Congress leader and Chief Minister Mamatha Banerjee appealed to Election Commission to reduce the number of phases of election in the state to prevent spread of the pandemic. She regretted that the Commission has reduced the campaign period. She stressed that during her tenure she has respected all the religion and its practices.

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has cancelled all his public rallies in West Bengal in view of the prevailing Covid situation. Making the announcement to suspend his Bengal rallies through a tweet message today, Mr. Gandhi also advised all political leaders to think deeply about the consequences of holding large public rallies under the current circumstances.

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Bihar recorded its highest single-day spike in coronavirus cases, with seven thousand 870 people tested positive in the last 24 hours. 51 people died of the virus in the same period. The last 50 thousand cases have been added in just 17 days. The Army recruitment rally which was scheduled to begin at Danapur, Katihar, Muzaffarpur and Ranchi from 25th of this month has been postponed in view of the pandemic.

 

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said, the state government will take the final call today whether to impose lockdown or exercise other options to contain thespread of Covid -19.

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In Madhya Pradesh, except for big cities, the pace of corona has started to decrease slightly. According to the Health Bulletin of the state, 11 thousand 269 new patients were reported yesterday. During this period 6 thousand 497 people recovered from covid-19.


In the capital Bhopal had the highest number of one thousand 669 new covid -19 cases yesterday, while one thousand 656 patients were found in Indore. It is a matter of relief that the pace of infection has started decreasing in Khandwa, Burhanpur, Dewas and Chhindwara in the state.  New cases are decreasing rapidly here. Meanwhile, the work of Covid Vaccination is being done at a rapid pace in the state. Till yesterday, more than 71 lakh 77 thousand vaccine doses have been applied. Rashid Ahmad Khan from News Room Bhopal."

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The centre has decided to depute 25 doctors and 75 paramedical staff from Central Armed Police Forces CAPF at the upcoming 900-bed COVID hospital of DRDO in Gujarat. This was decided by the Union Home Ministry on the request from Gujarat Government. DRDO is going to set up 900 beds dedicated Covid Hospital at University Convention and Exhibition Centre in Ahmedabad.

 

DRDO hospital to be set up at University Convention and Exhibition center in Ahmedabad will have oxygen and ICU beds facilities. According to sources, the hospital is likely to start admitting Covid patients by the end of this month. Meanwhile, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has added 17 more new micro-containment zones in the city following the detection of new cases. Ahmedabad is reporting maximum cases of Covid19 in the state. 3241 new cases of Covid19 were reported in Ahmedabad during the last 24 hours. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad"

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Amidst rising Covid 19 cases in Maharashtra, the state is conducting vaccination drive in full swing.  More than 2 lakh 36 thousand people were vaccinated in the state yesterday. Mumbai witnessed the highest number of 42,849 doses administered followed by Pune with 33,681 doses. Thane stands third in the tally with 25,169 doses administered. The cumulative figure of vaccination in the state till today stands at 1 crore 21 lakh 39 thousand 771.

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Meanwhile, Maharashtra State Surveillance Officer, Dr Pradip Awate has said that there will be a gradual decline in the cases of Covid-19 from the first week of May. He said the health experts at the national level have made these predictions. For past few days Maharashtra has been registering more than 60 thousand cases leading to a worrisome situation among the masses.

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Chhattisgarh recorded the biggest daily surge in Covid cases in a single day with 16,083 new cases yesterday. During last week, almost one lakh Corona infection cases were added to the total caseload.

 

Currently, 1,30,400 people are being treated in hospitals or in home isolation. In the last 24 hours, 138 people died due to the infection in Chhattisgarh.

 

Governor Anusuiya Uikey has appealed to the people to adopt Covid Appropriate behaviour. She said that to curb the spread of corona infection, people should follow the government guidelines and take proper precautions.


Chhattisgarh Health Minister T.S. Singhdeo said that to overcome the shortage of Remdesivir injection in the state, the Health Department has ordered the supply of 90 thousand injections.

 

Meanwhile, the police are taking action against those who are  involved in black marketing of Remdesivirinjection. 

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In Kerala, as Covid cases continue to surge, the State has  imposed new curbs to contain the spread of infection. Our Correspondent says that the State recorded its highest single-day surge,  of 13,835 new cases, yesterday.


The new restrictions include compulsory registration for people,  coming to Kerala from other countries and other states in the Covid Jagratha portal. According to the government order, details of public functions, including ceremonies like marriage,  house warming etc should be registered on the portal' in advance. The number of people allowed for public functions organised indoor and outdoor venues has been limited to 75 and 150 respectively. In Kozhikode, restriction similar to lockdown is being imposed today. Meanwhile the final decision on the conduct of Thrissur pooram to be held on 23rd April, will be made after the high level meeting  tomorrow. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram."

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Telangana reported record number of over Five thousand fresh COVID-19 cases during the past 24 hours. 15 more persons succumbed to COVID-19 and other comorbidities taking the total death toll in the state to over 18 hundred.

 

Meanwhile, over one lakh 50 thousand people have been vaccinated on a single day yesterday in the state. With this, over 29 lakh 52 thousand people have been vaccinated so far in the state.

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has declared a reward of 7 lakh rupees for the arrest of Naxal leader Madvi Hidma. Hidma belongs to the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army of the Maoists. This group was also involved in the ambush that took place earlier this month at the Sukma-Bijapur border in Chhattisgarh in which 22 security personnel were martyred. The reward has been announced in a 2019 case pertaining to the killing of Chhattisgarh legislator Bhima Mandavi. NIA had last year filed a chargesheet against Madvi Hidma in the Bhima Mandavi Murder case.    

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In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, LG Manoj Sinha shared has his thoughts through the first episode of the monthly Radio Broadcast titled "Awaam Ki Awaaz"  at 11.00 am today. It was carried by all the stations of All India Radio across Jammu and Kashmir apart from the regional Doordarshan channels of DD-Kashir and Doordarshan Jammu. 


The "Awaam Ki Baat" is a half an hour long radio broadcast and will be aired every third Sunday of a month. It is one of the many sequential steps of broader programmes taken by the J&K Government. Awaam Ki Baat is the novel initiative of Lietenant Governor Manoj Sinha which aims at disseminating the progressive steps taken by his administration and seeks feedback from the public. Now, with this initiative, the J&K administration is giving a determined push to strengthen the Government-Public relationship by inviting suggestions from the public and seeking their active participation in the policy formation. Sunil Koul, AIR News from Srinagar."

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Pakistan today reported its highest single-day coronavirus spike this year with over 6,000 cases and about 149 deaths, as the country struggled to speed up its vaccination programme. The previous highest surge was recorded last year on June 20 when the country reported 6,825 infections and 153 deaths. As the new cases shot up, the government announced that it will start vaccinating people in the 50-59 age group from April 21. Previously, the immunisation drive was restricted to people above 60 years.

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The Gallantry Awards portal has organised an Innovative Tribute to Bravehearts competition wherein it is inviting participants from all over the country to recommend unique and innovative tributes to salute the bravehearts of the nation. The objective of this competition is to find a series of befitting tribute messages for the Gallantry Awardees.  To participate in the competition, people can visit, www.gallantryawards.gov.in   

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In IPL Cricket tournament, two matches are scheduled today. In the first match, Royal Challengers Bangalore will take on Kolkata Knight Riders at 3:30 pm in Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium. In the second encounter, Delhi Capitals will lock horns with Punjab Kings at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The match will begin at 7:30 in the evening.

 

RCB have won both their matches they have played so far, whereas KKR have won one and lost one. On the other hand, both DC and PBKS have won and lost a match each this season till now.   Last evening, Mumbai Indians defeated Sun Risers Hyderabad by 13 runs in a thrilling encounter in Chennai.

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Today is the 1004th birth anniversary of Sri Ramanujacharya, a great Hindu philosopher and thinker. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu paid tributes to the great philosopher, saint & social reformer on his Jayanti. Mr. Naidu said Ramanujacharya ji was a great proponent of Vedanta & Vaishnavism who also propagated the message of universal brotherhood.

    

Sri Ramanuja, who lighted the path of equality and bhakthi was born in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, in 1017 A.D. He was a saint who propagated universal brotherhood. He embraced the socalled untouchables and explained very categorically that the Creator of World is impartial and he never rejects any one.  He propounded a theory that one gets honor not by birth or  caste but based on one's spiritual knowledge and practice. He said that he is prepared to go to hell even, if the World gets rid of pains and sins on account of him. He opened the temple doors for all castes, and taught the procedure to worship god with Love and not with fear. Declared that the world is the Divine Form of God Almighty. Hence everything is true and nothing is illusionary.  He disclosed the secret, quintessential knowledge and true essence of the Vedas to the common man from temple tops. He was a great philosopher-Saint, theologian, social reformer and chief exponent of the Visishtadvaita School of Vedanta. According to legends, he disappeared at the age of 120 in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu in 1137 CE. Ravi Kumar, AIRNews Delhi

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Now, let us take a look at the weather across the country today.

 

The National Capital Delhi will have mainly clear sky with maximum temperature rising to  37 degree Celsius. It recorded a minimum of 18 degrees.

 

Mumbai will have mainly clear sky. The maximum temperature will be around 35 degree Celsius, while it registered a minimum of 24 degrees.

 

Chennai will have partly cloudy sky with maximum temperature rising to 35 degree Celsius from the minimum of 28 degrees.

 

Kolkata will have partly cloudy sky with possibility of development of thunder lightning. The maximum temperature is expected to be 35 degree Celsius with minimum temperature recorded 27 degrees.

 

Srinagar is expected to have thunderstorm with rain. The maximum temperature will be around 12 degree Celsius while the minimum was 8 degrees.

 

Jammu will have partly cloudy sky becoming generally cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The maximum temperature will be around 28 degree Celsius while the minimum was 26 degrees.

 

Leh will have light snow fall. The maximum temperature will be around eight degree Celsius. The minimum temperature was minus one degree.

 

Gilgit is expected to have generally cloudy sky with light rain or drizzle. The maximum temperature will be around 15 degree Celsius while the minimum temperature recorded 9.5 degrees.

 

Muzaffarabad is expected to have thunderstorm with rain.  The temperature will rise from a minimum of 11 degree Celsius to a maximum of 20 degrees.

 

Dehradun will have partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or thunderstorm. The maximum temperature will be around 35 degree Celsius while the minimum temperature recorded 18 degrees. 

 

Chandigarh will have partly cloudy sky as the temperature goes up to 33 degree Celsius. The minimum temperature was 20 degrees. 

 

Hyderabad is likely to have partly cloudy sky with a minimum temperature of 25 degree Celsius and the maximum temperature is moving around 37 degrees.

 

Ahmedabad will have a clear sky with a maximum temperature of around 40 degree Celsius. The minimum was 25 degrees.


Patna will see the temperature moving up to 37 degree Celsius from a minimum of 23 degrees. The city will have mainly clear sky.

 

Guwahati is likely to have generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The maximum temperature is expected to be around 28 degree Celsius while the minimum temperature was 20 degrees.

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