Here are the top 5 news updates of March 16, 2021:
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to Maharashtra Chief Secretary after the central team's visit last week and observed that the state is undergoing the second wave of COVID-19 while urging for focus on containment strategies. "Maharashtra is in the beginning of a second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts to track, test, isolate cases and quarantine contacts are limited there with no adherence to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour among people both in rural and urban areas," Bhushan wrote in the letter.
Amidst the accusations on the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of shielding Mumbai cop Sachin Waze, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar today said that the government will not protect anyone. "We will not protect anyone. A thorough investigation will be carried out. Even if someone belonged to any political party, we will investigate them as is being done by ATS," Pawar said. Vaze has been arrested in connection with the explosive-laden car found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence.
Nominated Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta today tendered his resignation from the upper house of Parliament after being named as a BJP candidate in the West Bengal assembly elections. Dasgupta, who became a Rajya Sabha member on April 25, 2016, has been named by the saffron party as its candidate from Tarakeshwar constituency in the poll-bound state. "I have resigned from the Rajya Sabha today to commit myself totally to the fight for a better Bengal. I hope to file my nomination as BJP candidate for the Tarakeshwar Assembly seat in the next few days," Dasgupta said on Twitter.
To contain the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Gujarat government today decided to increase the night curfew timings in four major cities of the state by two hours. The curfew will now remain in force in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot from 10 pm to 6 am, an official statement said. The curfew timings earlier were from 12 am to 6 am. The decision was taken today in the core committee meeting of the coronavirus task-force headed by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. Besides, the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) on Monday said the next three T20 matches between India and England will be played without any spectators at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad in view of rising COVID-19 cases.
Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty gave up early gains to end marginally lower today, tracking losses in financial stocks. The 30-share BSE Sensex ended 31.12 points or 0.06 per cent lower at 50,363.96, and the broader NSE Nifty slipped 19.05 points or 0.13 per cent to 14,910.45. L&T was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding 1.56 per cent, followed by ICIC Bank, SBI, Kotak Bank, HDFC Bank, NTPC, Axis Bank and Bajaj Finserv. On the other hand, Asian Paints, Dr Reddy's, HCL Tech, HUL and Bharti Airtel were among the gainers.
(With inputs from agencies)