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New Delhi, Apr 16 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 1700 hours: NATION DEL42 PM-VIRUS-OXYGEN PM Modi calls for increasing production of medical grade oxygen New Delhi: Amid a steep rise in coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday undertook a comprehensive review to ensure adequate medical grade oxygen supply in the country and called for ramping up its production.

DEL48 IMD-2NDLD MONSOON Monsoon to be normal this year: IMD New Delhi: The Southwest monsoon, which brings nearly 75 per cent of rainfall to the country, is expected to be normal this year, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday.

DEL50 VIRUS-ECDC CHIEF-INTERVIEW Interventions like masks must until vaccines ‘fully mitigate’ Covid impact: European Centre for Disease Control chief Kolkata: Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as physical distancing should be stringently continued until vaccinations can “fully mitigate” the impact of the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and its known variants, says European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) Director Andrea Ammon. By Sudipto Chowdhury DEL33 RAIL-SERVICES No state has asked to stop train services: Railway Board chairman New Delhi: No state has asked the railways to stop any train service yet, Railway Board Chairman Suneet Sharma said on Friday, adding that wherever the states have raised concerns about containment zones, passengers have undergone random tests and checks at the destinations.

BOM8 MH-LD-SERUM-POONAWALLA-USA SII CEO urges US to lift raw material export ban to ramp up vaccine production Mumbai: Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Friday said the US needs to lift its embargo on raw material exports to help ramp up vaccine production.

DEL24 VIRUS-CENTRAL MINISTRIES PSUs PSUs asked to dedicate hospital beds for COVID-19 management New Delhi: To augment hospital infrastructure for management of severe cases of coronavirus, the Union Health Ministry has advised all central ministries to ask hospitals under their control or PSUs to set-up dedicated hospital wards or separate blocks within hospitals for COVID care.

CAL12 WB-MAMATA-RALLY BJP responsible for Covid surge in Bengal, will urge EC to prevent entry of outsiders during campaigning: Mamata Nabadwip (WB): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday she will call upon the Election Commission to stop the BJP from bringing 'outsiders' during campaigning, squarely blaming the saffron party for exacerbating the COVID-19 situation in the state.

CAL8 WB-SHAH-RALLY Shah calls Rahul 'tourist politician', blames Mamata for denial of citizenship to Matuas Tehatta (WB), Apr 16 (PTI) Union Home Minister Amit Shah Friday accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of denying citizenship to Dalit Matua and Namsudra communities as her 'vote bank would not like it'.

LEGAL LGD5 SC-COAL Coal scam: SC appoints former ASG Maninder Singh, advocate Rajesh Batra as SPPs in ED cases New Delhi: The Supreme Court has appointed former Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh and advocate Rajesh Batra as special public prosecutors (SPPs) for trial of multi-crore coal scam cases filed by Enforcement Directorate.

FOREIGN FGN45 CHINA-2NDLD ECONOMY China's GDP surges to record 18.3 per cent in Q1 Beijing: China's economy grew a record 18.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, riding on strong domestic and foreign demand and aided by recovery from a low base in early 2020 when COVID-19 stalled the world's second-largest economy, according to statistics released on Friday. By K J M Varma FGN29 VIRUS-UK-INDIA-VARIANT UK finds 77 cases of COVID-19 variant first found in India London: UK health authorities have identified 77 cases of the highly infectious B.1.617 variant of coronavirus which causes COVID-19, first found in India, and has designated it a Variant Under Investigation (VUI). By Aditi Khanna FGN28 PAK-SOCIAL MEDIA Pakistan suspends services of social media platforms following violent protest Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday temporarily suspended the services of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp to stop their use to organise demonstrations following violent protests by a radical religious group that has now been banned by the government. By Sajjad Hussain PTI SRY