A look at the headlines right now:

  1. Mumbai reports 5,428 new coronavirus cases, 47.86% higher than Thursday: Infections in Maharashtra rose by 50.27% from the previous day, according to official figures.
  2. Ramp up rapid antigen tests, encourage use of Covid self-testing kits, Centre tells states: The government noted that RT-PCR tests take five to eight hours to produce results, which can lead to delays.
  3. GST hike on textiles from 5% to 12% deferred, says finance minister: West Bengal, Gujarat, Delhi, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu governments had opposed the move.
  4. Doctors call off protest in Delhi over delay in college allotment after NEET postgraduate exam: The demonstrations had intensified last week as doctors feared that delayed admission could lead to staff shortages amid a rise of coronavirus cases.
  5. Fewer hospitalisations due to Omicron, vaccines offer protection from severe disease, show studies: The research showed that T-cells, critical in warding off severe symptoms, remain active among people who have been infected earlier or have been inoculated.
  6. SP leader Pushpraj Jain’s properties raided, party alleges misuse of central agencies: The Samajwadi Party claimed that the raids were being conducted after the tax officials mistakenly searched Kanpur businessman Piyush Jain’s properties last week.
  7. In Uttarakhand, 30 persons booked in case related to boycott of mid-day meals made by Dalit cook: Sunita Devi was sacked from a government school after upper caste students refused to eat the meals cooked by her.
  8. Three suspected militants killed in gunfight in Srinagar, say police: One of the deceased militants was allegedly involved in the Zewan attack, in which three police officers had died earlier this month.
  9. Many girls who elope get killed, end up as sex workers, says Bihar police chief: The Director General of Police, SK Singhal, urged parents to engage in dialogue with children and teach them ‘good values’.
  10. Women fend off Hindutva supremacists who tried to disrupt Christmas celebrations in Karnataka: One of the women asked a group of men from the Bajrang Dal: ‘Who are you to question us?’