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New Delhi, Jan 24 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 5 pm: NATION DEL49 PM-OXYGEN-SUPPLY Govt waives basic customs duty, health cess on import of oxygen and related equipment New Delhi, Apr 24 (PTI) Taking a slew of measures to boost medical oxygen availability in the country amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, the central government on Saturday decided to waive basic customs duty and health cess on the import of oxygen and connected equipment for a period of three months with immediate effect.

DEL17 VIRUS-LD CASES India witnesses record 3,46,786 COVID-19 cases, 2,624 deaths in a day New Delhi: A record single-day rise of 3,46,786 coronavirus cases pushed India's tally of infection to 1,66,10,481, while active cases crossed the 25-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Saturday.

DEL52 PM-LD-SWAMITVA Ensure COVID does not hit villages: PM Modi tells panchayats, praises their efforts during pandemic New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for ensuring that the COVID-19 pandemic is stopped from spreading to villages 'by all means' and every person in rural areas is vaccinated, as he noted that the challenge before the country at present is bigger than last year. DEL33 DL-LD OXYGEN 20 patients die in Jaipur Golden Hospital as Delhi’s desperate oxygen hunt continues New Delhi: Twenty people died at Delhi’s Jaipur Golden Hospital, their lives ebbing away as the hospital waited for oxygen to be replenished, officials said on Saturday, day five of a deepening crisis over the scarcity of oxygen vital to save critically ill Covid patients.

DEL25 CJI-LD SWEARING IN Justice N V Ramana sworn in as 48th Chief Justice of India New Delhi: Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana was sworn in as the 48th Chief Justice of India by President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday.

DEL53 BIZ-VACCINE-SERUM-PRICE Serum Institute defends Covid vaccine pricing, says initial rates based on advance funding New Delhi: Serum Institute of India, which makes the most used Covid-19 vaccine in the country, on Saturday defended pricing Covishield vaccine at 1.5 times the initial rate, saying the earlier price was based on advance funding and now it has to invest in scaling up and expanding capacity to produce more shots. DEL57 RSS-VIRUS-LD APPEAL Be cautious about conspiracies by destructive, anti-Bharat forces amid COVID crisis: RSS New Delhi: The RSS on Saturday appealed to the people to be cautious about conspiracies by 'destructive and anti-Bharat' forces, claiming they can take advantage of the adverse circumstances posed by the second wave of COVID-19 to 'create an atmosphere of negativity and mistrust'.

DEL56 DEF-VIRUS-LD RAJNATH Medical facilities of DPSUs, OFB to treat civilian COVID-19 patients: Rajnath after review meet New Delhi: All health facilities of defence public sector undertakings and Ordnance Factory Board have been allowed to provide health services to civilians infected with the coronavirus, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday.

BOM6 MH-CBI-DESHMUKH-LD SEARCHES Maha: CBI searches Anil Deshmukh's premises in Mumbai, Nagpur Mumbai/Nagpur: The CBI on Saturday conducted searches at former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh's premises in Mumbai and his hometown Nagpur after registering a case against him in connection with allegations of corruption, an official said. CAL2 AS-ONGC-RESCUE 2 ONGC employees rescued after encounter near Indo-Myanmar border in Nagaland Guwahati: Two employees of ONGC were rescued after an encounter near the India-Myanmar border in Nagaland on Saturday, while a search for the third personnel is underway, Assam police chief Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said. LEGAL LGD14 DL-HC-VIRUS-3RDLD OXYGEN-HOSPITALS Del HC asks Centre about preparedness to deal with COVID-19 second wave peak, terms mounting cases a 'Tsunami' New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Saturday asked the Centre about the preparedness to deal with the expected COVID-19 second wave peak in mid-May, terming the mounting cases as a 'Tsunami', and also warned it will 'hang' any person who tries to obstruct oxygen supplies to hospitals here. LGD10 CJI-PROFILE Justice Ramana takes oath as 48th CJI, authored key verdicts, ensured end of internet ban in Kashmir New Delhi: Justice N V Ramana, the new chief justice of India, has authored path-breaking verdicts as a Supreme Court judge and one of them led to the end of internet ban in Jammu and Kashmir, and another brought the apex court under the ambit of transparency law. By Sanjeev Kumar FORIEGN FGN18 VIRUS-PAK-INDIA-LD IMRAN Pak PM Imran Khan expresses solidarity with India over COVID-19 crisis Islamabad, Apr 24 (PTI) Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday expressed solidarity with the people of India battling the deadly wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying “we must fight this global challenge confronting humanity together”. By Sajjad Hussain FGN4 VIRUS-US-LD INDIA US working closely with India to identify ways to help address COVD-19 crisis: American officials Washington: The US is working closely with India to identify ways to help address the current COVID-19 crisis in the country, American officials have said, as the Biden administration came under intense pressure from various quarters to ship COVID-19 vaccines along with life-saving medical supplies to it. By Lalit K Jha PTI TDS TDS