HIGHLIGHTS AT 2100 HRS

New Delhi, Apr 25 (PTI) These are the top stories at 2100 hrs NATION DEL58 LDALL VIRUS COVID-19: Nationwide tally nears 25,000; Govt says daily growth rate lowest at 6% New Delhi: The nationwide tally of coronavirus positive patients neared 25,000 on Saturday with fresh cases getting detected in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh among other places, but the government said the daily growth rate has dipped to 6 per cent and some states began relaxing some lockdown conditions by allowing more shops to open.

DEL50 LOCKDOWN-SHOPS-2NDLD EXEMPTIONS Standalone shops of cell phones, garments, hardware allowed to open during lockdown, but not markets New Delhi: Neighbourhood and standalone shops, including those selling garments, mobile phones, hardware and stationery items have been allowed to open but those located in market places, malls and COVID-19 hotspots and containment zones, will continue to remain shut till May 3.

DEL39 HEALTH-VIRUS-RAPID-TESTS COVID-19 rapid antibody test kit use put on hold, ICMR to check accuracy: Official source New Delhi: States and Union Territories have been asked to put on hold the use of COVID-19 rapid antibody test kits till their accuracy is rechecked by apex health research body the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), official sources said on Saturday.

DEL56 LD SONIA-PM Sonia Gandhi writes to PM Modi; seeks economic package for revival of MSMEs New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce a financial package of Rs 1 lakh crore for the revival of the MSMEs, saying if ignored, the financial crisis in the sector can have a devastating and expansive ripple effect on the country's economy.

DEL62 UP-LOCKDOWN-LD-LABOURERS UP starts bringing back its native workers stuck up elsewhere: Official Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government has begun bringing back state’s native workers stranded elsewhere in the country amid the COVID 19 lockdown and has ensured the return of 2,224 of them in the first phase, a senior official said on Saturday.

CAL18 VIRUS-BENGAL-LD TEAM COVID-19: Central teams flag non-cooperation by WB govt, suggest stricter lockdown measures Kolkata: Alleging non-cooperation by the West Bengal government, two central teams visiting the state to assess the COVID-19 situation on Saturday took umbrage at a top bureaucrat's remark that officials cannot waste time by accompanying them and wondered whether the ruling dispensation would take responsibility of their members' safety.

MDS16 TN-LOCKDOWN-PANIC BUYING People resort to panic buying in urban TN,give go-by to social distancing Chennai: Giving social distancing a virtual go-by, people resorted to panic buying by swarming markets in cities including Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai on Saturday to buy vegetables and essential commodities in view of the four day complete shutdown from Sunday.

DEL63 VIRUS-MHA-BODIES-FOREIGN Bodies of Indians who die abroad due to COVID can be brought back: MHA New Delhi: The Home Ministry Saturday said the bodies of Indian nationals and OCI cardholders, who died abroad due to COVID-19, can be brought back, but with strict adherence to relevant guidelines.

DEL66 UP-LOCKDOWN-ONIONS Have onions, will travel: Mumbai man turns to vegetable trade to beat lockdown Allahabad: How do you travel from Mumbai to Allahabad when there is a lockdown? Buy 25 tonnes of onions, load them onto a truck and hit the road.

Desperate to reach his ancestral village on the outskirts of Allahabad, Prem Murti Pandey, who works at Mumbai airport, says he did just that.

DEL47 CVC-3RDLD APPOINTMENT President's secretary Sanjay Kothari takes over as Central Vigilance Commissioner New Delhi: President's secretary Sanjay Kothari on Saturday took over as the Central Vigilance Commissioner, ten months after the top post in the country's anti-corruption watchdog CVC fell vacant.

FOREIGN FGN24 PAK-LD MISSILES Pakistan Navy successfully test-fires anti-ship missiles Islamabad: The Pakistan Navy on Saturday successfully test-fired a series of anti-ship missiles in the North Arabian Sea, a spokesman said. By Sajjad Hussain FGN11 TRUMP-IMMIGRATION-REPORT Trump's temporary Green Card ban aims to 'turn off the faucet' of new immigrant labour: report New York: President Donald Trump's executive order to temporarily halt issuance of green cards aims to 'turn off the faucet' of new immigrant labour and is the beginning of a broader strategy to reduce the flow of foreigners into the US, architect of Trump's immigration agenda Stephen Miller has said. By Yoshita Singh FGN32 VIRUS-UNSC-POLLS UN General Assembly yet to decide on Security Council elections amidst COVID-19 United Nations: As member states work remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, the UN General Assembly has not yet decided as to how it will proceed with a secret ballot scheduled for June to elect non-permanent members of the Security Council, an election India will win following the endorsement of its candidature by the Asia-Pacific grouping. By Yoshita Singh FGN10 US-LD INDIAN Indian-American woman elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences Houston: Renu Khator, an Indian-American university chancellor, has been elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences for her contributions in the fields of education and academic leadership. By Seema Hakhu Kachru PTI NSD