Here are the top 5 news updates of April 23, 2021:
1. 13 patients dead in fire at COVID hospital in Maharashtra's Palghar; CM Uddhav Thackeray orders probe
Thirteen COVID-19 patients died in a blaze at the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Palghar district of Maharashtra today. There were 90 patients in the hospital, 18 of them in the ICU, when the fire broke out after a blast in the AC unit, an official said. The dead include five women and eight men. Visuals showed the smoke-filled ICU in a disarray after the blaze, with the ceiling falling off in some places, beds and other furniture strewn around and kin of the deceased wailing outside the hospital. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has ordered an inquiry into the incident at the hospital.
The National Investigative Agency (NIA) today arrested Inspector of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch, Sunil Mane for his involvement in the Antilia bomb scare case and the Mansukh Hiran murder case. The NIA probing the two cases Mane before a special NIA court today at 2 pm. NIA officials sought Mane's custody in the case. He was sent to NIA custody till April 28.
Raising alarm that a "big tragedy" may happen due to oxygen shortage in hospitals during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said the Centre should take over all oxygen plants through the Army. At a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the COVID-19 situation, Kejriwal requested him to direct chief ministers of all states to ensure smooth movement of oxygen tankers coming to the national capital. "Despite being a CM, I am not able to help the people of Delhi. I request you with folded hands to direct all CMs to ensure smooth movement of oxygen tankers coming to Delhi," he said.
With stricter restrictions to check the COVID-19 spread coming into force in Maharashtra, the state police today reintroduced the e-pass system for inter-state and inter-district travel in "extreme emergency" situations. Maharashtra DGP Sanjay Pandey said, "The e-pass system has been reintroduced from Friday and citizens should use it in case of absolute emergency." People have to apply on covid19.mhpolice.in and submit the necessary documents and mention the reason for their extreme emergency travel. "But those who do not have access to online e-pass system, can visit the nearest police station to procure it," he added.
Equity benchmark Sensex declined 202 points today, tracking losses in ICICI Bank, Infosys and HUL amid persistent concerns over the economic impact of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the country. After a volatile session, the 30-share BSE index ended 202.22 points or 0.42 per cent lower at 47,878.45. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty dropped 64.80 points or 0.45 per cent to 14,341.35.