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01. India May Need 5 Lakh ICU Beds In Next Few Weeks

Forecasting that the COVID-19 pandemic is only going to get worse, noted surgeon Dr Devi Prasad Shetty has said India will need an extra 5 lakh ICU beds, 2 lakh nurses and 1.5 lakh doctors in the next few weeks, and also suggested radical solutions to meet the mountainous challenge. At present, India has only 75,000 to 90,000 ICU beds and almost all are already occupied – when the second wave of the pandemic hasn’t even reached its peak yet, he said. India is reporting about 3.5 lakh cases a day, and some experts say the number could go up to 5 lakh cases daily at its peak.

02. “Gujarat’s Covid Vaccination Drive Earliest By May 15”: Vijay Rupani

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Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Thursday made it clear that the COVID-19 vaccination drive for the 18-45 age group in the state will start latest by May 15 instead of the first day of the next month.

03. Exit Polls Predict BJP- Led Alliance Likely To Retain Assam

Ahead of the assembly election results in Assam on May 2, exit polls conducted nationwide reflected the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition’s victory for the second time on Thursday. However, the figures also showed that BJP and its allies will return to power in Assam after a neck-to-neck fight with Congress and its grand alliance.

04. Nagaland Announces Closure Of All Educational Institutions

The Nagaland government on Thursday declared closure for all schools and colleges with effect from April 30. It also ordered the closure of all coaching/vocational institutions/student hostels. However, online/distance learning will continue.

05. Delhi Reports Highest Ever Deaths Due To Covid On A Single Day

The national capital yet again reported its highest ever fatalities on a single day due to COVID-19. Government data shows 395 Covid patients died in the last 24 hours in Delhi. The city reported 24,235 Covid cases during the same period. The positivity rate or the chances of infection spreading is 33 per cent, and the active cases are at 97,977.

06. NATO Says Afghanistan Withdrawal Has Begun

ATO has started the withdrawal of its mission from Afghanistan following a decision by President Joe Biden to bring US forces home, an alliance official said Thursday. “NATO Allies decided in mid-April to start the withdrawal of Resolute Support Mission forces by May 1 and this withdrawal has begun. This will be an orderly, coordinated, and deliberate process,” a NATO official told AFP.

07. Oxygen Crisis To Ease By Mid-May, Says Top Industry Executive

The severe medical oxygen supply crisis in the country is expected to ease by mid-May, a top industry executive told Reuters, with output rising by 25% and transport infrastructure ready to cope with a surge in demand caused by a dramatic rise in coronavirus cases.

08. After Covishield, Covaxin’s Price Reduced For State Govts

A day after the Serum Institute of India reduced the price of the Covishield vaccine, the Indian vaccine manufacturer has now lessened the price of its vaccine Covaxin for the state government at a price of Rs. 400 each dose. Earlier, the vaccine cost for the governments was Rs. 600 for each dose, while, for private hospitals, it has been fixed at Rs. 1200 each dose.

09. COVID Vaccines Arrive In Guwahati Ahead Of Inoculation On May 1

As Assam gets ready to conduct the third inoculation drive from May 1, the state on Thursday received 13 boxes of vaccines weighing against Covid-19.416 kgs from Mumbai. The boxes were delivered to Guwahati Airport.

10. 1st Batch Of O2 Concentrators From Germany & Russia Arrive In Delhi

As India grapples with oxygen crisis during the second wave of the fatal coronavirus, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday said the first consignment of oxygen concentrators from Germany and Russia arrived at the national capital.

11. Covid Vaccination In Meghalaya & Arunachal Not To Begin On May 1

As India gears up for the third phase of the vaccination drive against Covid from May 1, Northeastern states of Meghalaya and Arunachal have informed that the states will not be able to start the inoculation process from Saturday. Both the government through an official release stated that they’re awaiting Covishield vaccine vials from its manufacturer Serum Institute of India.

12. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal Takes 2nd Dose of COVID Vaccine

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took the second dose of COVID vaccine on Thursday and urged all eligible people to get themselves inoculated. The chief minister, who has a history of diabetes, was administered the first dose of the vaccine at the LNJP Hospital on March 4.

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