Today's top news
1. *TN reports over 27k new COVID-19 cases, 241 deaths; both highest in a day* Tamil Nadu reported its biggest single-day surge of COVID-19 cases and fatalities on Saturday, with 27,397 new infections and 241 deaths. Of the new cases, Chennai accounted for the most number of infections at 6,846. Tamil Nadu now has 1,39,401 active cases of coronavirus, while the state's total COVID-19 caseload stands at 13.51 lakh.
2. *Puducherry imposes lockdown from Monday till May 24; beaches, malls shut.* lockdown will be imposed in the UT from Monday (May 10) till May 24. All beaches, parks and malls will be shut during the lockdown while grocery and provision stores can stay open till 12 noon. This will be in addition to the night curfew (10 pm-5 am) already in place there.
3. *Centre did no work in last 6 months, wanted to capture Bengal: Mamata*
4. *Tankers carrying oxygen will be treated like emergency vehicles: NHAI* : In a statement, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Saturday announced exempting tankers and containers carrying liquid medical oxygen (LMO) from user fee at toll plazas across national highways. The announcement comes amid high demand for medical oxygen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "Containers carrying LMO will be treated at par with other emergency vehicles," NHAI added.
5. While Kerala entered a 15-day COVID-19-induced lockdown from yesterday, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu have decided to impose similar stricter restrictions from 10 to 24 May to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
6. *Over 84 lakh vaccines still available with states, UTs; 17.49 cr doses provided so far, says Centre* Out of the 53.25 lakh vaccine doses expected to be distributed among states and union territories in the next three days, Gujarat will get 8.98 lakh vaccine doses, the highest quota among all.
7. The Bombay High Court has ordered the central government to not take any coercive action against any jeweller for not hallmarking their jewellery before June 1. The court was hearing a petition filed by the All India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) challenging. Notably, for not hallmarking, there is a provision for one-year imprisonment as per protocol.
8. Hyd healthcare centres limit COVID-19 vaccine shots to 200 per day. The Urban Primary Healthcare Centres (UPHCs) in Hyderabad have limited COVID-19 vaccine shots to 200 per day. After the Telangana government decided to prioritise people's second vaccine dose from May 8 to May 15, with a limited stock of 3.75 lakh doses. PHC officials issued tokens for the vaccine shots on a first-come-first-serve basis..
9. *Punjab CM seeks support of Radha Soami Satsang Beas against COVID-19. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday sought the support of Radha Soami Satsang Beas sect in the state's fight against COVID-19. In a letter to sect chief Gurinder Singh Dhillon, the Chief Minister urged him to make all branches available with the Radha Soami Satsang Beas for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, along with attendants deputed for the purpose.
10. *DCGI approves DRDO's drug that helps reduce oxygen dependency in COVID-19 patients* The drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) comes in powder form in a sachet and is taken orally by dissolving it in water, the defence ministry said
11. *BSE Odisha declares alternative criteria for Class 10 assessment; result to be announced by 30 June* The BSE Class 10 exams were suspended due to COVID-19, therefore, students will be assessed based on their performance in Class 9 and 10 combined
12. *Andhra Pradesh: At least 10 killed, several injured in limestone mine blast in Kadapa* Kadapa Police said that the blast occurred when a consignment of gelatin sticks (explosive material) was being unloaded at the limestone quarry
13. *Indian Coast Guard declares results for Navik and Yantrik posts; check joinindiancoastguard.gov.in* Candidates who have successfully qualified for the Stage I examination will move to the next stage of scrutiny, i.e. Stage II examination
14. *COVID-19 vaccination: More than 16.71 crore doses administered so far, says Centre*
The health ministry said nearly 3 lakh beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Friday
15. *Disband Phase 3 vaccine policy, direct 100% procurement of doses by Centre: Bengal govt to SC* The state government also sought setting aside the differential pricing mechanism for COVID-19 vaccines and capping the price for COVID-19 vaccines at a uniform price of Rs 150 per dose
16. *Mumbai startup claims breakthrough in cancer detection via novel blood test* Mumbai-based biotech startup Epigeneres Biotechnology and scientists at Singapore-based Tzar Labs claim to have found a breakthrough in the early detection and diagnosis of cancer via a novel blood test. The test, called HrC, can help in determining whether cancer is absent, imminent, or present in a patient and diagnose the stages of the disease.
1. *India, EU announce resumption of free trade pact talks after 8 years* After eight years, India and the European Union have agreed to resume talks on free trade. In a virtual summit held on Saturday between PM Narendra Modi and 27 EU leaders, the External Affairs Ministry called this a "watershed moment". While PM Modi was scheduled to visit Portugal, it was called off amid the second wave of COVID-19 in India.
2. *Welfare of India critically important to US, COVID-19 surge heartbreaking, says VP Kamala Harris* The Biden-Harris Administration has announced $100 million assistance to India to deal with the pandemic. In about a week's time, as many as six planeloads of COVID-19 assistance have landed in India
3. *India's role globally will continue to expand: PM Modi, Portugal's PM* India's role as a major regional and global player is set to continue to expand over the coming years, PM Narendra Modi and his Portuguese counterpart António Costa said in a joint op-ed piece in Politico. "The meeting of the leaders of the European Union and India taking place on Saturday is a moment of profound geopolitical significance," they added.