HIGHLIGHTS AT 9 PM

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New Delhi, Apr 18 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 9 pm: Nation: DEL64 2NDLD MANMOHAN-PM-VIRUS COVID crisis: Manmohan Singh writes to PM suggesting five-point remedy; stresses vaccination key to battling pandemic New Delhi: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting five measures to battle the COVID-19 crisis, including ramping up vaccination and boosting the supply of medicines.

DEL39 CPI(M)-VIRUS-MODI-RALLY Modi demonstrating his role as party campaigner, not India’s PM: CPI(M) on BJP rallies in Bengal New Delhi: The CPI(M) on Sunday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for continuing to campaign in the West Bengal assembly polls despite the surge in COVID-19 cases, alleging that he is demonstrating his role as a “partisan party campaigner” and not that of the country’s PM.

DEL22 VIRUS-POSITIVITY RATE COVID positivity rate doubles to 16.69% in 12 days: Govt New Delhi: The daily coronavirus positivity rate in India in the last 12 days has doubled to 16.69 per cent, while the weekly positivity rate has increased to 13.54 per cent in the past one month, the Health Ministry said on Sunday.

DEL21 CHIDAMBARAM-MODI Thank you for sparing time for COVID amidst urgent war to conquer Bengal: Chidambaram’s dig at Modi New Delhi, Apr 18 (PTI) Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, thanking him for sparing 'a little time' amidst the 'urgent war to conquer West Bengal', to review the coronavirus situation in the country.

DEL61 RAIL-VIRUS-LD OXYGEN EXPRESS Railways to run 'Oxygen Express' trains to meet high demand amid surge in COVID-19 cases New Delhi: The Railways will run 'Oxygen Express' trains over the next few days to transport liquid medical oxygen and oxygen cylinders across the country, the national transporter said on Sunday.

BOM19 MP-VIRUS-LD OXYGEN-DEATHS MP: 6 COVID-19 patients die due to low-pressure oxygen in ICU Shahdol (MP): At least six COVID-19 patients died in the ICU of a government hospital in Madhya Pradesh's Shahdol allegedly due to low pressure in the medical oxygen supply.

BOM21 MH-REMDESIVIR-LDALL POLICE Police grill pharma director over Remdesivir stock; BJP fumes Mumbai: Mumbai police questioned a pharma company director following information that thousands of vials of the Remdesivir drug critical in coronavirus treatment were to be flown out of the country, an official said on Sunday.

CAL15 BH-VIRUS-NITISH COVID-19 surge: Bihar imposes night curfew from 9 pm to 5 am Patna: The Bihar government on Sunday decided to impose night curfew from 9 pm to 5 am as part of new measures to check spread of the killer virus, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced here.

MDS11 TN-VIRUS-GOVT-MEASURES TN govt cancels class 12 public exam; announces Sunday lockdown, night curfew Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday announced postponement of class 12 public examination, complete lockdown on Sundays and effective April 20, night curfew from 10 pm to 4 am.

BOM14 CG-HOSPITAL FIRE-LD PROBE 5 die in Chhattisgarh COVID-19 hospital fire; probe ordered Raipur: Authorities have ordered an investigation after five coronavirus patients died in a fire at the COVID-19 ward of a private hospital in Chhattisgarh's capital city Raipur, police said on Sunday.

CAL13 WB-POLL-MAMATA-LD PM PM Modi should resign owning responsibility for COVID-19 surge, failed in prior planning to combat crisis: Mamata Barrackpore/ Krishnanagar/Gaighata/ Tehatta (WB): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modis resignation for mishandling the COVID-19 second wave and alleged he had failed in prior planning to combat the medical crisis.

CAL WB-POLL-LD SHAH Mamata demoralised as BJP much ahead of TMC after five phases of polls in Bengal: Shah Purbasthali/Swarupnagar (WB): Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday asserted that the BJP will bag more than 122 of the 180 seats that went to elections in West Bengal in five phases.

Foreign: FES29 PAK-QURESHI-AFGHAN-TROOPS Pak supports 'orderly', 'responsible' pullout of foreign troops from Afghanistan: FM Qureshi Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday said that Islamabad supports an “orderly and responsible” pullout of foreign troops from Afghanistan and hoped that their withdrawal will coincide with the peace process in the war-torn country. By Sajjad Hussain FGN22: PAK-TLP-CRACKDOWN Lahore: Three workers of banned radical Islamist party Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) were killed and scores injured in a fresh operation launched by Pakistani security forces here on Sunday against the outfit that carried out violent protests to force the government to expel the French ambassador over a blasphemous caricature published in France last year.

FGN16: US-SHOOTING-SIKHS-LD PROBE Washington: Influential American lawmakers and Sikh community leaders have sought a thorough probe into the mass shooting at a FedEx facility in the US state of Indiana as a potential hate crime that killed eight people, including four Sikhs. PTI AQS AQS