HIGHLIGHTS AT 5.10 PM

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New Delhi, Apr 27 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 5.10 pm: NATION DEL26 VIRUS-EC-LD COUNTING Assembly polls: EC bans victory processions after counting of votes amid COVID surge New Delhi: The Election Commission on Tuesday banned all victory processions after counting of votes in states where assembly polls were held to check the spread of coronavirus.

BOM1 MH-VIRUS-BODIES-AMBULANCE Maha: Bodies of 22 COVID-19 victims stuffed in one ambulance Aurangabad,: The bodies of 22 COVID-19 victims were stuffed in one ambulance while being taken to a crematorium at Beed in Maharashtra, with the district administration citing lack of medical transport vehicles as the reason for it.

DEL49 DL-VIRUS-LD KEJRIWAL Delhi govt to import 18 cryogenic tankers from Thailand, 21 oxygen plants from France New Delhi: With Delhi facing a crippling shortage of life-saving oxygen, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said his government will import 18 cryogenic tankers from Thailand and 21 ready-to-use oxygen plants from France.

DEL48 VIRUS-2NDLD CASES India adds 3.23 lakh new COVID-19 cases in single day; toll nears 2 lakh New Delhi: With 3,23,144 people testing positive for the coronavirus in a day, India's infection tally has climbed to 1,76,36,307, while the national recovery rate further dropped to 82.54 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday.

DL-CREMATORIUMS As death toll spirals, corpses wait in 20-hour queues for last rites at Delhi crematoriums New Delhi: Under the high tin roof, 50 funeral pyres burned fiercely on Tuesday, the hot air filled with smoke, fine ash and muted sobs of shell-shocked famlies.

Nearby, lying unattended on the floor, and in scores of parked vehicles, more corpses awaited their turn, which relatives were told would come 16 to 20 hours later. By Amanpreet Singh DEL50 VIRUS-DOUBLE MUTANT 'Indian strain' of coronavirus spreads faster, but little evidence of it being more lethal: Experts New Delhi: The 'Indian strain' of the coronavirus carries higher transmissibility similar to the UK variant, but there is little evidence so far of it being more lethal than the original virus, experts have said.

DEL46 DEF-VIRUS-CDS-RAWAT Time for armed forces to rise to occasion: Gen Bipin Tawat on COVID-19 New Delhi: As India battles a devastating wave of coronavirus infection, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat on Tuesday called upon the armed forces to rise to the occasion and support the civil administrations across the country in dealing the pandemic as well as creating mitigation facilities in a time-bound manner.

DEL37 MHA-OXYGEN-LD CONTAINERS Oxygen tankers from Thailand arrive in India, more to come from Singapore New Delhi: A consignment of containers for the transportation of medical oxygen has arrived in India from Thailand while some more empty tankers will be airlifted from Singapore, the Union Home Ministry said on Tuesday.

CAL4 AS-LD NIGHT CURFEW Night curfew in Assam till May 1 amid rise in COVID-19 cases Guwahati: The Assam government on Tuesday imposed night curfew across the state -- from 8 pm to 5 am - with immediate effect, as part of its efforts to control the surge in COVID-19 cases.

LEGAL LGD31 SC-LD VEDANTA SC allows Vedanta's oxygen plant at Tuticorin to operate in view of ''national need' New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed Vedanta to operate its closed oxygen plant at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, saying the order has been passed in view of 'national need' for oxygen and there should be no “political bickering” over the generation of the gas by the company as the country is facing a 'national crisis'.

LGD36 DL-HC-VIRUS-OXYGEN-MEDICINES Delhi govt’s system failed; black marketing of oxygen cylinders, medicines going on: HC New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Tuesday said the AAP government's entire system has failed as black marketing of oxygen cylinders and crucial medicines for treating COVID-19 patients is going on.

FOREIGN FGN23 VIRUS-US-INDIA-ASSISTANCE Biden administration goes into mission mode to help India fight COVID19 Washington: The Biden administration seems to have adopted a mission mode approach and removed all bureaucratic hurdles to help India in its fight against deadly COVID-19 pandemic that has spread like wildfire across the country. By Lalit K Jha FGN22 VIRUS-AUS-INDIA-LD FLIGHTS Australia suspends direct passenger flights from India with immediate effect; announces relief package Melbourne: Australia on Tuesday suspended all direct passenger flights from India with immediate effect until May 15 due to the 'very significant' spike in COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced. By Natasha Chaku SPORTS SPD16 SPO-CRI-IPL-BCCI-FOREIGNERS-LD WRAP COVID cloud on IPL: BCCI assures safe return to foreign players; Aus suspends flights from India New Delhi/Melbourne: The BCCI stepped in to assuage apprehensions of foreign cricketers, especially Australians, at the IPL as a second wave of COVID-19 infections battered India, prompting the government Down Under to suspend air travel with the country besides asking players to make their 'own arrangements' for return. PTI TIR TIR