HIGHLIGHTS AT 9.15 PM

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New Delhi, Apr 30 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 9.15 pm: Nation: DEL53 VIRUS-PM-2NDLD COUNCIL-MEET Stay in touch with people, take their feedback: PM to Union ministers New Delhi: Amid the COVID-19 crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Union ministers on Friday to stay in touch with the people of their respective regions, help them and keep getting their feedback on the situation.

DEL80 VIRUS-CASES-APRIL India records over 66 lakh COVID cases in April, highest since pandemic broke out New Delhi: India reported more than 66 lakh coronavirus cases in April, making it the worst month of the pandemic, and the total number of new cases recorded during the month is equivalent to what was earlier witnessed in over six months, showing the enormity of the second wave of COVID-19.

DEL89 VIRUS-LD HEALTH MINISTRY Treat available oxygen as critical commodity: Centre to states New Delhi: The Centre on Friday said it has asked the states to treat the available oxygen as a critical commodity and undertake an oxygen-consumption audit at all hospitals, including private ones, amid a shortage of the life-saving gas in several parts of the country.

DEL81 DEF-VIRUS-NAVY-LD-OXYGEN COVID-19: Indian Navy deploys warships to bring medical oxygen from abroad New Delhi: The Indian Navy on Friday launched a special operation to bring oxygen-filled cryogenic containers from abroad as hospitals across India are reeling under an acute shortage of medical oxygen as a result of sky-rocketing COVID-19 infections.

DEL75 VIRUS-RAJNATH-LD FINANCIAL COVID-19: Rajnath grants emergency financial powers to armed forces New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday granted emergency financial powers to the three services to allow formation commanders to establish and operate hospitals as well as quarantine facilities for COVID-19 patients.

DEL71 VIRUS-HEALTH MINSTRY-FATIGUE Health Ministry warns against 'misplaced bravery', says 'we may be tired but virus isn't' New Delhi: Amid a record surge in coronavirus cases, the Health Ministry warned against 'misplaced bravery' and stressed on following COVID-appropriate behaviour and treatment guidelines while saying 'we may be tired but the virus isn't'.

DEL61 RAHUL-VIRUS-LD DEATHS Zero accountability even after two lakh dead in 2nd COVID wave: Rahul Gandhi New Delhi, Apr 30 (PTI) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi targeted the central government on Friday, saying over two lakh people have died in the country during the second wave of COVID-19 and still there is zero accountability.

BOM17 MH-VIRUS-GENOME Maha govt to carry out genome sequencing study of virus Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has decided to send coronavirus samples from the state to the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) for genome sequencing, an official order has said.

MDS9 AVI-2LD-VACCINE-DRONES Aviation Ministry permits Telangana to use drones for delivery of vaccines New Delhi/Hyderabad: The Civil Aviation Ministry on Friday permitted the Telangana government to use drones for experimental delivery of vaccines within the visual line of sight.

Business: DEL65 BIZ-LD INFRA Core sectors' output up 6.8 pc in March due to base effect; contracts 7 pc in 2020-21 New Delhi: The output of eight core sectors grew by 6.8 per cent in March, the highest in 32 months, driven by base effect-led uptick in production of natural gas, steel, cement and electricity, official data showed on Friday.

Legal: LGD40 SC-3RDLD VIRUS COVID: It's national crisis says SC, warns against clampdown on raising grievances on internet New Delhi: Terming the second wave of COVID-19 as a “national crisis”, the Supreme Court on Friday warned authorities, from the Centre down to police chiefs, against silencing people and their pleas for help on the presumption that they are raising false grievances on the internet.

Foreign: FGN38 ISRAEL-LDALL STAMPEDE Jerusalem: At least 45 people were killed and over 150 others injured after a stampede broke out at a religious festival attended by tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel, medical officials said on Friday, in what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a 'terrible disaster' and promised a thorough probe into the country's worst peacetime tragedy.

FGN36: VIRUS-UK-INDIAN-VARIANT London: UK health authorities have said that two further strands with the same “parent lineage” as the so-called Indian variant of coronavirus have been identified and are now being monitored as separate Variants Under Investigation (VUIs).

FGN35: VIRUS-CHINA-XI-2NDLD MODI Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed readiness to strengthen cooperation with India to fight the pandemic and provide support and help to deal with the current surge of COVID-19 cases in the country. PTI AQS AQS