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New Delhi, May 14 (PTI) These are the top stories at 9 pm: NATION DEL43 PM-LD-VIRUS Prime Minister says COVID virus rapidly spreading in rural areas New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the coronavirus pandemic is rapidly spreading in rural areas, as he urged citizens to take precautions, wear masks and maintain social distance to check spread disease that has claimed at least 2.6 lakh lives. DEL10 VIRUS-LD CASES India adds 3.43 lakh new COVID-19 cases, 4000 fresh fatalities New Delhi: With 3,43,144 people testing positive for coronavirus in a day, India's COVID-19 tally of cases climbed to 2,40,46,809, while the death toll rose to 2,62,317 with 4,000 fresh fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.

DEL45 PM-WEST BENGAL FARMERS PM-KISAN benefits reach WB farmers; 7.03 lakh farmers get 1st installment of Rs 2,000 each New Delhi: For the first time on Friday, the benefits under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme reached farmers of West Bengal as about 7.03 lakh of them got Rs 2,000 each under the programme launched more than two years ago.

DEL67 BIZ-2NDLD DRREDDYS-SPUTNIK Dr Reddy's launches Sputnik V vaccine in India at Rs 995.4 per dose New Delhi: Dr Reddy's Laboratories on Friday launched COVID vaccine Sputnik V in India and the imported vaccine is priced at Rs 995.4 per dose. DEL39 VACCINE-ALLOCATION Centre to supply 192 lakh COVID vaccines to states/UTs from May 16-31: Health ministry New Delhi: A total of 191.99 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccines--Covishield and Covaxin--will be supplied to states/UTs free of cost from May 16 to May 31, the Union health ministry said on Friday.

BOM6 GA-HOSPITAL-DEATHS 13 more COVID-19 patients die at GMCH; toll 75 in four days Panaji: Thirteen more COVID-19 patients died at the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in the early hours of Friday, a senior health department official said, taking to 75 the number of people who have succumbed at the government-run facility here in the last four days.

DEL79 LD MONSOON Monsoon to make early arrival over Kerala: IMD New Delhi: The southwest monsoon is likely to arrive over Kerala on May 31, a day earlier than its normal onset date, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday. DEL55 VIRUS-DEFENCE-NURSE Armed forces rope in Battlefield Nursing Assistants to help in COVID care New Delhi: The armed forces have roped in Battlefield Nursing Assistants (BFNA) to help fight the second wave of COVID-19 and have suggested that a similar model can be followed by state governments and hospitals, according to senior officials.

DEL73 RS-PAR-MEETINGS Parliamentary panels' virtual meetings not possible as of now: RS secretariat to Kharge New Delhi: Virtual meetings of parliamentary standing committees cannot take place as it requires an amendment in rules which is not possible as the Parliament is not in session, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat stated in a letter to Leader of Opposition in the Upper House Mallikarjun Kharge, sources said on Friday.

MDS15 KL-VIRUS-LD LOCKDOWN Amid COVID-19 surge, Kerala extends lockdown till May 23 Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Friday announced that the total lockdown being enforced in the state from May 8 to May 16 will be extended till May 23 to contain the massive spread of COVID-19.

BUSINESS DEL58 PM-LD KISAN-INSTALMENT Rs 1.35 lakh cr disbursed so far under PM-KISAN scheme; govt buying more wheat, paddy at MSP: PM New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the Centre has transferred around Rs 1,35,000 crore so far under the PM-KISAN scheme with the payment of eighth instalment on Friday and is also procuring higher quantity of paddy and wheat at MSP to boost farmers' income. DEL15 BIZ-PETROL-PRICE-HIKE Petrol, diesel prices rise again, reach record highs New Delhi: Petrol and diesel prices on Friday touched record high levels across the country after rates were increased for the fourth time this week.

LEGAL LGD5 SC-QUOTA REVIEW Centre moves SC for review of verdict denuding states of power to declare SEBC New Delhi: The Centre has moved the Supreme Court seeking review of the May 5 majority verdict which held that 102nd Constitution amendment took away the power of state governments to declare Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) for grant of quota in jobs and admissions.

LGD6 DL-HC-LD KALRA No interim protection from arrest to Kalra till May 18 in oxygen black marketing case: HC New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Friday declined to grant interim protection from arrest to Navneet Kalra, seeking anticipatory bail in connection with alleged black marketing of oxygen concentrators, agreeing with the reasons given by the trial court while denying him the relief.

FOREIGN FGN40 NEPAL-LDALL OLI Oli sworn in as Nepal Prime Minister again; retains previous Cabinet Kathmandu: K P Sharma Oli, heading a minority government, was sworn in as Nepal's Prime Minister on Friday, four days after the embattled leader lost a crucial vote of confidence in Parliament.By Shirish B Pradhan FGN35 VIRUS-CHINA-INDIA China says price hike in anti-COVID medical supplies to India due to import of raw materials Beijing: China on Friday said the prices of some of the COVID-19 medical supplies like oxygen concentrators being procured by Indian companies from Chinese manufacturers have gone up as they had to import raw materials to meet the excess demand from India. By K J M Varma PTI TDS TDS

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