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·5-min read

New Delhi, May 8 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 9 pm: NATION DEL58 LOCKDOWN-LD STATES Lockdown in Kerala, Tamil Nadu amid a southern surge in COVID wave; NE states also tighten curbs New Delhi: With the fierce second COVID wave now tightening its grip over southern states, Kerala came under complete lockdown from Saturday morning, while Tamil Nadu too clamped a two-week 'total” shut down starting May 10.

DEL6 VIRUS-LD CASES Record 4,187 COVID-19 deaths, 4,01,078 new cases reported in a day in India New Delhi: A record 4,187 COVID-19 fatalities in a day took India's death toll to 2,38,270, while 4,01,078 new infections were reported during the period, pushing the tally of cases to 2,18,92,676, according to Union Health Ministry data on Saturday.

DEL62 LD INDIA-EU India and EU to resume negotiations for FTA after 8 yrs; Launch comprehensive connectivity partnership New Delhi: India and the European Union have agreed to resume talks for a balanced, ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement and also launch negotiations for a stand-alone investment protection pact, the External Affairs Ministry said on Saturday. DEL35 VIRUS-DEF-DRUG-LD-DRDO DCGI approves anti-COVID drug developed by DRDO for emergency use; Expected to save precious lives, says defence ministry New Delhi: An anti-COVID oral drug developed by the DRDO has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe coronavirus patients, the defence ministry said on Saturday.

DEL20 VIRUS-PM-LD CM PM Modi speaks to Maha, MP, Himachal, Tamil Nadu CMs on COVID-19 situation in these states New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday spoke to chief ministers of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu on the COVID-19 situation in their states, government sources said.

DEL32 VIRUS-COVID-ADMISSIONS Positive COVID-19 test report not mandatory for admission in hospitals: Govt New Delhi: In a significant directive to states and Union Territories, the Union Health Ministry on Saturday said a positive COVID-19 test report is not mandatory for admission to a health facility.

DEL37 BJP-3RDLD ASSAM Sonowal, Sarma meet BJP top brass over CM pick; legislature party meeting likely on Sunday New Delhi: Amid suspense over the next chief minister of Assam, the two main contenders for the post -- Sarbananda Sonowal and Himanta Biswa Sarma -- met BJP president J P Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah here on Saturday.

DEL40 VIRUS-VARDHAN-PATIENTS Over 9 lakh patients on oxygen support across India, 1.7 lakh on ventilator: Vardhan New Delhi: While 1,70,841 COVID patients across the country are on ventilator, as many as 9,02,291 patients are on oxygen support, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday.

DEL52 DL-KEJRIWAL-2NDLD VACCINE Great enthusiasm among youth to get vaccine: Kejriwal New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said the number of COVID-19 vaccination centres will be increased three times in Delhi and demanded that the Centre supply around 2.6 crore more vaccine doses for inoculation of all people in the national capital in the next three months.

MDS9 AP-MINE-LD BLAST 9 killed in blast at limestone mine in AP Amaravati: At least nine workers were killed in a blast at a limestone mine in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday but so far only five bodies were identified, police said.

CAL9 WB-LD MAMATA Mamata says COVID crisis result of central ministers doing no work in last 6 months;hits out at EC Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday hit out at the centre for pushing the country to 'threshold of COVID destruction' as the union ministers didn't do any work in the last six months except for visiting Bengal daily to capture power. LEGAL LGD17 SC-LD OXYGEN SC constitutes 12-member National Task Force to facilitate public health response to pandemic New Delhi: The Supreme Court has constituted a 12-member National Task Force of top medical experts to formulate a methodology for allocation of oxygen to states and union territories for saving lives of COVID-19 patients and to facilitate a public health response to the pandemic. LGD6 SC-VIRUS-LD PRISONS SC orders release of prisoners to decongest jails amid COVID-19 second wave New Delhi: Taking note of the 'unprecedented surge' in COVID-19 cases, the Supreme Court on Saturday moved to decongest prisons and ordered the immediate release of prisoners who were granted bail or parole last year.

FOREIGN: FGN17 VIRUS-INDIA-US-LD CORPORATES US corporate sector sending more COVID-19 help to India Washington: America's corporate sector is sending more medical assistance to India, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators, to help the country fight the deadly second wave of COVID-19 that has been infecting more than 400,000 people daily in recent days. By Lalit K Jha FGN20 VIRUS-US-INDIA-VARDHAN US assures India help to fight COVID-19 as health minister Vardhan interacts with US counterpart Washington: The US has assured India of its unwavering commitment to engage, collaborate and fight the raging coronavirus crisis together as the health ministers of the two countries discussed the current surge in COVID-19 cases in India. By Lalit K Jha PTI TDS TDS