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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


Morning News

0830 HRS
19.04.2021
THE HEADLINES:

  • Centre bans supply of oxygen for industrial usage to meet rising demand for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
  • Home Minister Amit Shah says, fight against Corona is topmost priority for government.
  • DRDO to operationalise its dedicated Corona hospital in New Delhi today.
  • Railways converts more than four thousand train coaches as Covid care-cum-isolation facility to help state governments facing shortage of beds. 
  • Campaigning for sixth phase of assembly elections ends this evening in West Bengal.
  • Polling underway for second phase of Panchyat elections  in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Deepak Punia bags Silver medal at Asian Wrestling Championships in Almaty.
  • Delhi Capitals beat Punjab Kings by 6 wickets in IPL Cricket

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As the number of Covid cases are on the rise again, we appeal to our listeners not to lower the guard, follow all the precautions and all those abo

ve 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.

And now, the news in detail:

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Centre has prohibited the supply of Oxygen for industrial purposes by manufacturers and suppliers from 22nd of this month  till further orders. Union Health Ministry said that the matter was deliberated by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) with all the stakeholders and after due deliberations, it was considered prudent to restrict the industrial usage of oxygen to meet the rising demand for medical oxygen. It said, the surplus oxygen available as a result of this temporary restriction will facilitate its freeing up for use as medical oxygen for treatment of COVID19 patients.

The Ministry said, this prohibition, however, shall not apply to the supply of oxygen for nine industries. These are  Ampoules and Vials, Pharmaceutical,  Petroleum refineries, Steel plants,  Nuclear energy facilities,  Oxygen cylinder manufacturers,  Waste water treatment plants, Food and water purification and Process industries which require uninterrupted operation of furnaces.

The industrial units, other than these, are advised to consider alternate measures such as import of Oxygen or setting up their own Air Separator Units (ASU) for generation of Oxygen for their captive requirements. The Union Health Ministry has advised all Chief Secretaries to ensure effective implementation and  compliance of this Order.

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Union Minister Piyush Goyal has said that the Centre is working round the clock to support state governments in COVID-19 management. He said, a decision has been taken to start transportation of oxygen cylinders or tankers by trains. In an interview to a News Agency, Mr Goyal said that a green corridor is being created to ensure fast movement of Oxygen Express Trains and timely availability of Medical Oxygen to the States. He also said that supply of oxygen for industrial purposes by manufacturers and suppliers will be prohibited from 22nd April as a temporary measure except for nine specified sectors. Mr Goyal added that after an elaborate meeting with 12 states, Central Government did mapping along with state governments on various requirements and 6 thousand 177 metric tonnes of oxygen has been finalized to be distributed to the States. The Minister mentioned that before the COVID pandemic, the country's daily medical oxygen consumption was around one thousand to one thousand 200 metric tonnes but  on 15th of this month, 4 thousand 795 metric tonnes of medical oxygen was used in the country.

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Health Ministry has 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 today, 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 Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) is going to set up an oxygen plant with 200 cubic meters per hour capacity in its Gujarat's Kalol unit and will provide free oxygen to hospitals suffering from a shortage of oxygen amid the unprecedented surge of COVID-19 infections. The plant will generate medical grade oxygen and fill 700 big D type cylinders daily and also 300 medium B size cylinders on demand which will be supplied to all hospitals free. The hospitals need to bring their own cylinders for a refill.

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Home Minister Amit Shah has said that the fight against Covid-19 is the topmost priority for the government. In an interview to a TV channel, Mr Shah said India has tackled the coronavirus pandemic well so far and the country will be in a better position to deal with the ongoing second wave by the start of May. He said, India's recovery rate has been amongst the best population-wise. Mr Shah said, the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has been 2.5 to 3 times severe across the world in almost all countries. Talking about the government’s response, the Home Minister said, the Centre has banned the export of Remdesivir injections and also decided to increase production capacity by 3 times. Mr Shah said, the government has also taken a decision to fast-track approval of foreign-made vaccines. Discounting the possibility of imposing a national lockdown, the Home Minister said, it is better for states to decide their own restrictions. He said, the Centre has put in place the necessary infrastructure to deal with COVID-19 following last year's national lockdown.

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The dedicated Covid hospital re-established by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will become operational from today. The hospital has been established near Domestic Airport Terminal in New Delhi. It has 500 ICU beds.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that 250 beds will be ready by today and it will be increased to 500 within a few days. In a tweet, he said, all beds are equipped with oxygen facility and sufficient number of ventilators are available.

A medical team drawn from the Armed Forces will look after the facility. The facility will be available free of cost. The person requiring medical facility in this hospital needs to bring RT-PCR Covid positive report and Aadhar card. There will be a large number of monitoring equipment, ventilators, basic testing facilities, and air-conditioning in this hospital, as per the WHO standards.

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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.

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A total of 25 thousand 462 new confirmed cases of Corona virus infection were reported in the national capital during the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to over eight lakh 53 thousand. Delhi Government has said that said that over seven lakh 66 thousand people affected with Corona virus have been cured so far. In the last 24 hours, twenty thousand 159 people recovered and one hundred 61 deaths were reported in the city. The death toll so far in the national capital stood at 12 thousand 121. Presently, the total number of active cases of COVID-19 in the national capital is 74 thousand 941.

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The Bihar government has issued fresh guidelines amid rising number of Covid cases in the state. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said night curfew has been imposed from 9 PM to 5 AM till May 15. Mr Kumar said essential services have been exempted from it.

Chief Minister said Schools, Colleges and Educational institutions have also been closed till May 15. Examination of schools and colleges have also been suspended.

Marrige ceremony with one hundred persons have been allowed. Twenty five people will be allowed in funeral procession. Government and private offices will be opened till 5 in the evening throughout the state.

Meanwhile, Bihar recorded its highest number of single - day cases with Eight thousand 690 more people testing positive and 27 dying of the virus in the past 24 hours.

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In Madhya Pradesh, more than 25 thousand patients have recovered from Coronavirus in past four days. On the other hand, 12 thousand 248 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours. The positivity rate in the state is now 22.8 percent.


"The supply of oxygen in the state is also getting better day by day. The state will get 700 MT of Oxygen by the end of this month.  Apart from this, oxygen plants will soon be set up in 37 districts of the state for the future needs. Keeping in mind the possibility of increasing patient numbers in coming days, buildings are being identified for Covid Care Centres in six divisions including Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior and Jabalpur. Around one thousand beds will be available in these centres. Meanwhile, nearly one lakh Remedicivir injections have been received by the state since April 8 and by April 20, around 30 thousand more injections will be received. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan has appealed to the public not to leave the house unnecessarily till April 30 and strictly follow all the Covid protocol. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal."

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In Chhattisgarh, all 28 districts will be under lockdown from tomorrow. Lockdown has already been imposed in 24 districts of the state. In Kanker and Narayanpur districts of Bastar division, lockdown is being imposed from today, while, Sukma and Kondagaon districts will be under lockdown from tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the lockdown period has been extended in thirteen districts of the state.


"In view of the convenience of the people during the lockdown, the administration in various districts has given exemption for door-to-door delivery of essential commodities like fruits, vegetables, ration and milk within a stipulated timeframe. Besides, fair price shops under public distribution system have been directed to distribute ration to the consumers following the Covid Protocol. Meanwhile, the state health department has decided that serious corona patients over the age of 55 who are undergoing treatment in home isolation will be admitted to the hospital for better treatment. Lockdown has started yielding desired results in Chhattisgarh.  Vikalp Shukla, AIR News, Raipur."

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Gujarat reported 10 thousand 340 new Corona cases  yesterday. State has now 61 thousand 647 active cases. 110 patients have lost their lives due to Covid19 in the state yesterday.


"Maximum 3641 new cases reported from Ahmedabad, while Surat recorded 1924 new cases. 3981 patients recovered and were discharged from the various hospitals. Meanwhile, the state has doubled its facilities for the RT-PCR test. According to the state health department, 26 educational institutions will start RT-PCR testing from today. The work of sample collection will be carried out by the medical staff. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has also launched second drive through RT-PCR test camp at Vastral RTO ground. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."

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In Odisha, offline classes for 10th and 12th standards  have been suspended from today. Earlier, in view of the spike in covid-19 cases, the state government had postponed the Board examinations for class 10th and 12th, while deciding to promote students of class 9th and 11th to the next higher classes without any examination.


"In view of the significant surge in covid-19 cases, all urban areas across the state faced night curfew in the last weekends. Besides, the ten border districts which have been witnessing a spike in the infection also faced shutdown on the weekends that just went by. Meanwhile, the covid-19 active caseload of the state has further scaled up to 21436 with the reporting of 3664 new cases during the last 24 hours. Against this background, while the word famous Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri is out of bounds for devotees on the weekends, Sri Lingaraj Temple is also closed for the public on all days, as of now. Girish Chandra Dash, AIR News, Bhubaneswar."

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59 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands yesterday. It consists of 18 airport arrivals and 41 contacts. Now the tally of active cases has gone up to 126. Till date 5390 cases of Covid-19 have been reported out of which 5200 have recovered. 64 deaths have been reported so far. South Andaman district has 125 active cases. One positive case has been reported in North and Middle Andaman. The test positivity rate is 1.53%.

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BJP president JP Nadda has asked party functionaries to launch apna booth corona mukt (My booth corona free) campaign amid huge surge in COVID-19 cases across the country. He asked all the office bearers and workers to start a massive preventive drive against Corona at booth level by doing sanitization, cleanliness drive and public awareness campaign. Mr Nadda held a virtual meeting of the party national office bearers and state unit presidents to discuss the growing cases of Corona in the country. He asked them to urge  people to strictly follow Corona guidelines and fight unitedly against the Corona pandemic.

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Railways has converted 4,002 train coaches as a COVID-19 care-cum-isolation facility to assist state governments facing shortage of beds in their states. These coaches will be allocated to state governments on request. Minister for Railways, Piyush Goyal took to Twitter to post a few pictures of railway coaches converted to COVID-19 care centre in Maharashtra's Nandurbar. Railways has deployed 94 coaches in Maharashtra's Nandurbar. These coaches will be used by the state government when they exhaust their own medical facilities.

Meanwhile, Northern Railways has deployed 50 isolation coaches at Delhi's Shakur Basti railway station and 25 such facilities will be placed at Anand Vihar. This development came after the Delhi government requested Railways to arrange up to 5,000 beds in view of the rising Coronavirus cases in the national capital.

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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.

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Principal Scientific Advisor K Vijay Raghavan has said that Remdesivir should be taken only on medical advice. In a tweet, Mr Raghavan said, the drug does not cure COVID-19, it can only reduce hospital stay by a few days. He urged people to listen to their doctor, and do not force them to prescribe Remdesiver.

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Hong Kong has announced the suspension of all flights connecting with India for 14 days starting Tuesday amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the region. The authorities have also suspended flights from Pakistan and the Philippines.This comes hours after Hong Kong had invoked a flight-specific suspension mechanism to prohibit the landing of flights operated by two airlines, including one Vistara flight from Mumbai. India has been witnessing an unprecedented increase in COVID-19 infections and has been adding more than two lakh positive cases for the past three days.

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Campaigning for the sixth phase of assembly elections will end today in West Bengal. The move comes after Election Commission imposed 72 hour silent period due rising cases of corona in the state. 43 assembly constituencies spread over four districts will go to polls in this phase on the 22nd of this month. There are 306 candidates including 27 women in the fray. BJP and TMC are contesting all 43 seats. While Congress fielded 12 candidates, CPIM is contesting 23 seats.

Home minister Amit Shah, Defence minister Rajnath Singh, BJP President JP Nadda, Union minister Smriti Irani and party leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain are among those who will campaign for BJP in the state today. Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee will also campaign today.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab has announced the final polling percentage recorded in the fifth phase of elections. Total 82.49 percent of 1.13 crore voters exercised their franchise in 45 assembly constituencies during the fifth phase polling held on Saturday. Purba Bardhaman witnessed the highest polling percentage of 86.04 percent and the least of 72.57 percent polling was recorded in Kalimpong.

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Polling is underway for the second phase of Panchayat elections in 20 districts of Uttar Pradesh. Voting, which started at 7 this morning, will end at 6 pm. The districts where polling is taking place includes Lucknow, Varanasi, Azamgarh, Etawah, Chitrkut, Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Bijnor, Amroha, Badayun, Etah, Mainpuri, Kannauj, Lalitpur, Pratapgarh, Sultanpur, Lakhimpur Khiri, Gonda and Maharajganj.

Strict adherence to the covid protocol during the polling have been issued by state election commission. During polling, the voters will have to put up a mask and maintain social distancing. Instructions have also been issued to make circles at a distance of six-feet at the polling centres. Uttar Pradesh panchayat elections are being held in four phases on 15th, 19th, 26th and 29th of this month, while the counting of votes will take place on the 2nd of next month.

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The world’s two biggest carbon polluters China and the US have agreed to tackle the climate crisis with urgency. Both countries have expressed their commitment to working together and with other countries to tackle climate change. The decision came after several meetings held last week between Chinese climate envoy Xie Zhenhua and his US counterpart John Kerry in Shanghai.

A joint statement by the countries said that they have agreed on further specific actions to reduce emissions. Both the countries also agreed to help developing countries finance a switch to low-carbon energy. China and the US are the world’s top carbon polluters, emitting nearly half of the fossil fuel fumes that are warming the earth's atmosphere.

US President Joe Biden will be holding a virtual climate summit on April 22 and 23, which China says it is looking forward to. It's not clear yet whether Chinese President Xi Jinping will join the world leaders at the summit or not.


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Indian Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria has left for France today on an official visit. The five-day visit of IAF Chief will enhance potential avenues for strengthening the level of interaction between the two Air Forces. He will hold meetings and discussions with senior military leadership of France and visit operational facilities and airbases. The visit comes after Gen Philippe Lavigne, Chief of Staff, French Air and Space Force visited India in February last year. The two Air Forces have seen significant operational interaction in the recent past. Defence Ministry said, the visit of Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria will be a significant step in further enhancing mutual cooperation.

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Tourism and Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel has inaugurated the first-ever online exhibition on Ramayana. The weblink for the online exhibition is www.nmvirtual.in/Virtual_Tour/Ramayan. Mr Patel addressed a webinar 'India's Heritage: Powering Tourism' on the occasion of World Heritage Day 2021 yesterday.  The online exhibition showcases forty nine miniature paintings collections of National Museum, New Delhi from different art schools of India.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Patel said that India has a unique heritage of temples, dance, music, shastras which can not be found anywhere in the world. He said, protecting these invaluable inheritances for future generations is a collective responsibility and requires a renewed focus on community participation and awareness.

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In Pakistan, a hardline Islamist group Tehrik-i-Labaik Pakistan, TLP, supporters had taken six security personnel hostage at its headquarters in Lahore yesterday. Pakistan has been witnessing violent clashes between the police and TLP supporters for about a week following the arrest of the group's leader Saad Rizvi.

The arrest of Saad Rizvi came after the Tehrik-i-Labaik Pakistan gave the Imran Khan government an April 20 deadline to expel the French ambassador over the publication of cartoons in France depicting the Prophet Mohammad. Saad Rizvi's arrest prompted his supporters to hold protests and sit-ins across Pakistan. At least four people were killed, hundreds injured, and thousands have been arrested so far.

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World championships silver medallist Deepak Punia had to settle for silver medal in the Asian wrestling championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan yesterday. Deepak, who has already secured a place in Olympics, lost 10-0 in two minutes 53 seconds to the world champion Hassan Yazdani in the 86kg freestyle final.

Sanjeet bagged bronze for India in the 92 kg category. He lost to Uzbekistan's Rustam Shodiev 8-11.

India thus ended the Asian Championships with seven medals in the men’s freestyle event and overall tally of five gold, three silver and six bronze medals.

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In IPL Cricket, Delhi Capitals defeated Punjab Kings, PBKS by 6 wickets at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai last night. Chasing a victory target of 196 runs, Delhi Capitals made 198 for 4 in 18.2 overs. For Delhi Capitals, player of the match Shikhar Dhawan was the top scorer with 92 in 49 balls. In the other match yesterday, Virat Kohli led Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Eoin Morgan led Kolkata Knight Riders by 38 runs in Chennai. Chasing a massive target of 205 runs, KKR kept losing wickets at regular intervals and could not build a winning partnership.

Today, Chennai Super Kings will take on Rajasthan Royals at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

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

In Srinagar, the minimum temperature was 6 degrees and is expected to touch a maximum of 15 degrees today. The city will have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards evening or night. Leh in Ladakh will have overcast sky, with minimum temperature recorded at one degree, reaching upto 10 degrees by afternoon.

In Jammu, there will be mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards evening or night. Minimum temperature was 16 degrees Celsius rising upto maximum of 29 degrees.

In Gilgit, the temperature is hovering between 10 to 15 degrees Celsius with generally cloudy sky and Light rain.

Muzzafarabad will have mainly Clear sky. Minimum temperature was 10 degrees while maximum will go up to 24 degree celsius.

Chandigarh will have generally cloudy sky with forecast of one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. Minimum temperature was 25 and maximum would be around 33 degree Celsius.

National Capital Delhi will have Mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. Minimum temperature was 19 degree Celsius. Maximum is expected to settle at around 37 degrees.

For Mumbai, there is a forecast of mainly clear sky with minimum temperature recorded at 24 degree Celsius and maximum expected to be around 35 degrees.

Chennai will have partly cloudy sky. Minimum temperature was recorded at 26 degree Celsius and maximum is expected to go up to 36 degrees.

Kolkata will have mainly clear sky. Minimum temperature was recorded at 26 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around 37 degrees.

In Dehradun, there is forecast of mainly clear sky with temperatures hovering between 17 and 36 degree Celsius.

In Hyderabad, the minimum temperature was touching 25 degrees while the maximum will be around 38 degree Celsius. The city will have Partly cloudy sky.

Patna will have mainly clear sky with temperatures hovering between 22 to 37 degree celsius.

Guwahati will have generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the city was 20 degree celsius rising up to 30 degrees in the day.

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AND NOW, AN OVERVIEW OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPERS.


  • All newspapers today lead with the surge in Covid-19 cases.
  • "New Symptoms strictly different, say experts, writes the Pioneer, Gastrointestinal issues, nausea, dry mouth were uncommon during first Covid phase informs the paper.
  • "Government restricts supply of oxygen to industry writes the Statesman.
  • Beyond call of duty: Cops rush oxygen, Meds to save lives, is a headline in the Times of India. This story details how Delhi police personnel, turned saviours for many residents during the weekend curfew.
  • In view of the pandemic "packaged, hygiene goods back in focus," writes the Business Standard.
  • Confident of the BJP's victory in the West Bengal Assembly polls,"quoting  Amit Shah, "Didi demoralised as BJP ahead in 122 seats" states the Asian Age.
  • "With investors infusing a whopping sum into India start-ups, "Start-up funding touches new high in 2021," writes the Financial Express.
  • And finally, with the stage all set for the Academy Awards 2021, "Oscars show reinvented as a movie with masks, longer speeches, states the Indian Express".

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