HIGHLIGHTS AT 12.45 PM

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New Delhi, Apr 18 (PTI) These are the top stories at 12.45 pm: NATION DEL6 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19: India records highest single-day rise of 2,61,500 cases, 1,501 deaths New Delhi: A record single-day rise of 2,61,500 coronavirus infections has taken India's total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,47,88,109, while active cases have surpassed the 18-lakh mark, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday.

DEL16 DL-VIRUS-KEJRIWAL Less than 100 ICU beds vacant in Delhi hospitals, situation worsening every moment: CM Kejriwal New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said around 25,500 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Delhi and the positivity rate has increased to nearly 30 per cent in the last 24 hours.

DEL12 RAHUL-CANCEL RALLIES COVID-19 surge:Rahul Gandhi announces cancellation of poll rallies in West Bengal New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday cancelled all his public rallies in poll-bound West Bengal following a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in the country.

DEL 3 PM-VIRUS MEETING VARANASI PM Modi to chair meeting to review COVID situation in Varanasi New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a meeting on Sunday to review the COVID-19 situation in Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency.

BOM4 CG-HOSPITAL FIRE-PROBE 4 die in Chhattisgarh COVID-19 hospital fire; probe ordered Raipur: Authorities have ordered an investigation after four coronavirus patients were killed in a fire at the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Chhattisgarh's Raipur city, police said on Sunday.

LEGAL LGD1 DL-HC-COVID-BAIL HC extends interim bail of injured murder convict in view of COVID-19 pandemic New Delhi: Owing to the prevalent COVID-19 pandemic and the need to decongest jails, the Delhi High Court has extended the interim bail of a murder convict, who lost three of his fingers while working in the prison factory.

BUSINESS DEL10 BIZ-NITI-ECONOMY Second COVID wave could spark greater uncertainty; govt will respond with fiscal steps if required: Niti Aayog vice chairman New Delhi: The country needs to prepare for 'greater uncertainty' in terms of consumer as well as investor sentiments due to the second wave of coronavirus infections, and the government will respond with fiscal measures as and when required, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Sunday.

FOREIGN FGN5 US-SHOOTING-SIKHS-PROBE Sikh community and lawmakers seek investigation into Indianapolis shooting as potential hate crime Washington: Influential American lawmakers and Sikh community leaders have sought a thorough investigation into the mass shooting at a FedEx facility in the US state of Indiana as a potential hate crime that killed eight people, including four Sikhs.

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