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TMC Election Committee meeting scheduled to be held today at CM Mamata Banerjee’s residence in KolkataVaccination in the last 24 hours

More than 13.8 lakh (13,88,170) COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the country in the last 24 hours: Ministry of Health & Family Welfare

India reports 16,838 new COVID-19 cases, 13,819 discharges and 113 deaths in the last 24 hoursTotal cases: 1,11,73,761Total discharges: 1,08,39,894Death toll: 1,57,548Active cases: 1,76,319Total vaccination: 1,80,05,503BJP CEC meet cancelled

The meeting of the BJP Central Election Committee (CEC) scheduled to be held today has been cancelled.

Sensex down 425 points in opening trade, currently at 50,420; Nifty opens at 14,964Total Covid tests

A total of 21,99,40,742 samples tested for COVID-19 up to 4th March 2021. Of these, 7,61,834 samples were tested yesterday: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

We continue to monitor the situation at the China-India border. We welcome the agreements reached by the foreign ministers of China & India during the phone conversation on Feb 25.

– Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson

Statewide bandh call in Andhra PradeshVisakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee has called for a statewide bandh today against the Centre’s decision to privatise Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.TDP & Left parties have extended support to the bandh callCITU, CPM hold protest at Madilapalem junction, VizagChina hikes defence budget to USD 209 billionChina on Friday increased its defence budget to USD 209 billion, a 6.8 per cent hike compared to the last year.The budget hike was announced by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the country’s Parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC).Defending the increase, Zhang Yesui, spokesperson for the NPC, told the media that China’s efforts to strengthen the national defence do not target or threaten any country.Whether a country poses a threat to others depends on what kind of defence policy it pursues, he said, adding that China is committed to the path of peaceful development and adheres to a defence policy that is defensive in nature.We condemn terrorists who seek to infiltrate across the Line of Control. We continue to support direct dialogue between India & Pakistan on Kashmir & other areas of concern.

– Ned Price, US State Department Spokesperson

Reliance urges employees to get COVID-19 vaccination, to bear all costsNita M Ambani, philanthropist, chairperson and founder of the Reliance Foundation, has sent a mail to all Reliance employees and their family members, urging them to register for the government of India’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, and the company would bear the full cost of the vaccination for the employee, spouse, parents and children.In the mail, the non-executive director of Reliance Industries said cherishing the health and happiness of our family is what it means to be part of a family–the Reliance family.PM Modi to receive an award today

PM Narendra Modi will receive the CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award today and deliver a keynote address at the Cambridge Energy Research Associates Week (CERAWeek) 2021 via video conferencing.

WHO investigators plan to scrap interim report on probe into COVID-19 originsA World Health Organization (WHO) team probing into the origins of coronavirus is planning to scrap an interim report on its recent mission to China amid mounting tensions between Beijing and Washington over the investigation and an appeal from one international group of scientists for a new probe, according to Wall Street Journal report.In an open letter, a group of two dozen scientists has called for an international inquiry. They have stated that the WHO team, which had last month completed a mission to Wuhan — the origin of coronavirus had “insufficient access to adequately investigate possible sources of the new coronavirus, including whether it slipped from a laboratory”.This comes after a team of WHO experts, which had launched a probe into the origin of the COVID-19 in Wuhan, had said that there is no evidence of coronavirus circulation in any animal species in China.Transgender delegation meets Maha GovernorA delegation of the transgender community on Thursday met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, apprising him about the denial of their fundamental rights and the exploitation faced by the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.Salma Khan, a member of the organisation Kinner Maa Ek Samajik Sanstha, said a board has already formed in the state in 2020, regarding the issues, but has not been activated. “The governor assured us of a solution to our issues,” she added.Bird flu case reported in Ahmedabad poultry farmA bird flu case has been confirmed at a poultry farm in the Sola area of Gujarat’s Ahmedabad, said the district administration on Thursday.The district collector has banned the sale of meat, mutton and chicken as a precaution after confirming bird flu infection in samples.Items like eggs and other food items at the poultry farm have also been ordered to be destroyed.Agency cancels Hawaii tsunami watch after huge Pacific quakeThe US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre cancelled a tsunami watch Thursday for Hawaii that was issued after a huge earthquake occurred in a remote area between New Zealand and Tonga.The agency previously cancelled a tsunami warning it had issued for American Samoa. The magnitude 8.1 quake struck the Kermadec Islands region.The quake forced thousands of people to evacuate in New Zealand but did not appear to pose a widespread threat to lives or major infrastructure.It was the largest in a series of tremors that hit the region over several hours, including two earlier quakes that registered magnitude 7.4 and magnitude 7.3.Britain will receive 10 mn doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from SIIBritain says it will receive 10 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that will be delivered from the Serum Institute of India, a company that was meant to be producing vaccines for the world’s developing countries.The 10 million doses being shipped to the UK are part of a larger order of 100 million doses that was part of the UK’s original deal for COVID-19 vaccines made by AstraZeneca.The government said Britain’s Medicines and Health products Regulatory agency had carried out an inspection of the Serum Institute’s facilities and confirmed that “globally-recognised quality standards are being met.”

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