Chennai, Mar 18 (PTI): Highlights from the Southern region at 5 PM.

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MDS1 TL-VIRUS-CASES Telangana adds 278 fresh COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths push toll to 1,662 Hyderabad: Telangana continued to witness a steady rise in COVID-19 cases with 278 new infections being reported, pushing the tally to 3,02,047, while the death toll rose to 1,662 with three more fatalities, the state government said on Thursday.

MDS2 PD-VIRUS-CASES Puducherry logs 81 new COVID-19 cases, overall tally rises to 40,201 Puducherry: The union territory of Puducherry registered 81 fresh coronavirus cases during the last 24 hours, a top Health department official said on Thursday.

MDS4 KL-TRANSWOMAN Kochi: Hina Haneefa, a young transwoman who secured a historic verdict from the Kerala High Court this week for her community's right to join the National Cadet Corps (NCC), says she wants to be an inspiration for all, particularly those who are marginalised in society. By T G Biju MDS5 KL-POLL-SUDHAKARAN Not to contest against Kerala CM, says K Sudhakaran Kannur: In a setback to the Congress in Kerala, senior party leader K Sudhakaran on Thursday said he would not contest against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Dharmadom constituency in northern Kannur district.

MES7 TN-POLL-AIADMK-PLAINT AIADMK files plaint against DMK's Senthil Balaji over 'river sand' comment Chennai: The ruling AIADMK on Thursday lodged a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer against main opposition DMK's Senthil Balaji for allegedly threatening government officials during his campaign days ago.PTI SS PTI PTI