Highlights

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New Delhi, Apr 23 (PTI) These are the top stories at 9 pm: NATION DEL65 VIRUS-PM-LD MEETING CMS Railways, Air Force being deployed to reduce transportation time for oxygen tankers: PM New Delhi: Amid several states flagging scarcity of medical oxygen in the COVID-19 fight, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said Railways and Air Force are being deployed to reduce the transportation time for oxygen tankers and all state governments need to work together to meet requirements of life-saving gas and medicines.

DEL86 PM-LD OXYGEN-MANUFACTURERS Modi for utilising industry's full potential to meet oxygen demand New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called for utilising the industry's full potential to meet the demand of medical oxygen in the coming days, saying there is a need to increase the availability of oxygen cylinders as well as to upgrade logistical facilities for its transportation. DEL18 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19: Over 3.32 lakh fresh cases in India in single day, record 2,263 fatalities New Delhi: India added a record over 3.32 lakh new coronavirus cases in a single day taking the country's tally to 1,62,63,695, while active cases crossed the 24 lakh-mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.

DEL89 LD ALL DL-OXYGEN Waiting for oxygen: 25 Ganga Ram patients die as O2 dwindles in Delhi hospitals, Kejriwal pleads for help New Delhi: Twenty-five Covid patients in Delhi’s elite Sir Ganga Ram Hospital died in 24 hours and the lives of many more hung in precarious balance on Friday, the scramble for life-saving oxygen getting more frantic in hospitals across the national capital and its suburbs as the day progressed.

CAL15 WB-PM-RALLY Modi tempers attack on Mamata as he winds up Bengal campaign, says state needs peace for development Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday accused West Bengal's TMC government of partonising illegal immigration from Bangladesh and extortion syndicates but uncharacteristically avoided personally targeting Chief Minister Mamata Banarjee.

DEL85 PM-MEETING-KEJRIWAL-LD POLITICS Modi raps Kejriwal for televised comments during meeting on COVID, says 'against protocol'; CMO 'regrets' New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's decision to telecast his comments live during an interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday regarding the pandemic situation in the national capital drew disapproval from the latter, who chided him for 'breaking protocol', and later the Union government officials accused the AAP leader of 'playing politics'.

DEL90 GOVT-2NDLD FOODGRAINS Govt to provide free food grains to 80 crore poor people in May, June New Delhi: The central government on Friday decided to resume providing free food grains to 80 crore poor beneficiaries in May and June to help them tide over the economic hardship in the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, a move that would cost the exchequer around Rs 26,000 crore.

DEL81 DEF-OXYGEN-LD GERMANY Defence ministry decides to airlift 23 oxygen generation plants from Germany New Delhi: The defence ministry has decided to airlift 23 mobile oxygen generation plants from Germany as several states reeled under an acute shortage of medical oxygen due to a massive surge in coronavirus cases, officials said on Friday.

BOM28 MH-HOSPITAL-LDALL FIRE Another hospital, another fire; 14 die in Virar ICU blaze Virar (Maha): Fourteen COVID-19 patients died after a fire broke out at the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Palghar district of Maharashtra on Friday, police said.

DEL78 VIRUS-MUTANT Double and triple mutants of coronavirus one and the same; vaccines effective on it: Scientist New Delhi: The double and triple mutant strains detected in India are one and the same variant of the coronavirus, and the available vaccines are effective on it, National Institute of Biomedical Genomics Director Soumitra Das said on Friday.

LEGAL LGD17 SC-LD VIRUS SC raps lawyers for unfair criticism over COVID-19 case, says it destroys institution New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday expressed deep anguish over its criticism by some lawyers for “something which was not part of its order” in the suo motu case related to framing of national policy on the COVID-19 pandemic and said “this is how institution is being destroyed”.

LGD13 SC-CJI Leaving with satisfaction, I did my best: CJI Bobde New Delhi: Outgoing Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde Friday said he was leaving the Supreme Court with “happiness, goodwill and very fond memories” and the satisfaction of having done his best.

FOREIGN FGN9 VIRUS-US-VACCINE-MATERIAL US defends restrictions on export of COVID-19 vaccine raw materials amid India's request to lift ban Washington: Defending US' restrictions on the export of key raw materials for the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccine that threatens to slow India's vaccination drive, a senior State Department official has said the Biden administration's first obligation is to take care of the requirements of the American people.

FGN4 VIRUS-CANADA-INDIA-LD TRAVEL Canada bans passenger flights from India, Pak for 30 days due to surge in COVID-19 cases Toronto: The Canadian government has banned all passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days due to the unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases in the region, the longest country-specific travel ban imposed by Canada. PTI TDS TDS