The government on Tuesday night hiked the excise duty on petrol by steep Rs 10 per litre and that on diesel by Rs 13 a litre.

The hike in duty has taken away gains from falling global crude oil prices.

Last month, benchmark Brent crude oil dropped to as low as $18.10 per barrel – the lowest since 1999, as coronavirus wiped away demand, creating large surpluses around the globe.

Prices have since rebounded to around $28 a barrel.

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Ahmedabad on Tuesday reported its highest single-day spurt in coronaviruscases so far at 349, while daily fatalities in the district also reached a new high of 39, the Gujarat heath department said.

With the latest figures, the number of coronavirus cases in Ahmedabad rose to 4,425, while the death toll shot up to 273, it said.

As many as 84 more patients were discharged from hospitals in Ahmedabad, raising the number of recovered people to 704, the department said.

Out of the total 39 single-day deaths, 23 were men and 16 women, it said.

The case death rate of Ahmedabad city is 5.8 per cent, which is higher than the national incidence of 3.2 per cent.

The city on Monday had reported 26 deaths, while the fatality figures were 23 and 20 on last Sunday and Saturday, respectively.

The number of fresh cases at 349 was also the highest single-day spike in the city so far. For the last four days the city was recording 250 to 275 cases every day.

Amid a sharp rise in the number of cases, Vijay Nehra, Municipal Commissioner of Ahmedabad, was home quarantined for two weeks after coming in contact with two coronavirus patients during his field visit, an official said.

The state government replaced him with Vice Chairman and CEO of Gujarat Maritime Board Mukesh Kumar on a temporary basis, an official release said.

Another IAS officer Rajiv Kumar Gupta, serving as Additional Chief Secretary (Forests and Environment), has been appointed for supervision, monitoring and coordination of works related to coronavirus in the city, the release said. Chief secretary Anil Mukim, principal secretary in the office of chief minister, K Kailashnathan, and newly appointed officers held a meeting with staff members of the Ahmedabad

Municipal Corporation Tuesday evening on how to control the rising number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the city.

Earlier in the day, Nehra said in a video message that the growth rate of active cases in the city has been brought down to below 5 per cent, and set a target to bring it further down tonil by May-end.

The city has also achieved rate of testing of samples at 5,344 per million, Nehra said, while also elaborating that action is being taken to identify potential “super spreaders” by screening a large number of vegetable vendors for coronavirus and providing them with face masks and hand sanitisers.

READ | Air India to operate 64 repatriation flights from May 7, private airlines may join later: Govt

WATCH | India to evacuate around 15,000 Indians from 12 countries on more than 60 flights

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KOLKATA: Seven people died due to Covid-19 in West Bengal in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll in the state to 68, home secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay said on Tuesday.
The number of active cases in the state rose to 940, after 85 fresh cases were reported during the same period, Bandyopadhyay said.
At least 46 people were discharged from different hospitals in the state since Monday evening, following their recovery, he said. The number of people who have recovered in the state so far stands at 264.
A total of 2,455 samples were tested for the disease in the last 24 hours, he said. The total number of samples tested in the state jumped to 27,571.
Bengal has reported 1,344 Covid-19 cases so far, Bandopadhyay said.
The Union health ministry, however, put the figure at 1,259.

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Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday said 6.5 lakh stranded migrant workers have so far been brought back to Uttar Pradesh from other states.

The chief minister gave this figure in a video message in which he also attacked opposition parties of playing politics as the country fights coronavirus.

He claimed that more than six lakh people stuck in other states due to the nationwide lockdown against coronavirus were brought back by March 28.

In the second phase, over 50,000 labourers returned home, he said.

He said the state government had deployed thousands of buses for the exercise so far.

The chief minister said the returning labourers were sent into home quarantine after being given rations and a maintenance allowance of Rs 1,000 each.

He accused the opposition of trying to weaken the country’s fight against coronavirus.

“When the country is moving ahead in its fight against coronavirus, there are many who are playing politics in this situation too,” he said.

“It is saddening that some people are attempting to weaken India’s strong fight against the virus due to their own political interests,” the chief minister said.

He claimed that the “PM Garib Kalyan” package announced for the poor during the pandemic had frustrated those who used to “usurp” money meant for the poor when they were in power.

Adityanath said while his government was standing by everyone without any discrimination, some parties were doing “unnecessary politics”.

He said this behaviour was against “political decorum.”

“The people know everything,” he said, adding that the public will reply to such “negative people”.

Adityanath listed the initiatives taken by his government in recent weeks.

The first installment of Rs 2,000 each was credited into the accounts of 2.34 crore farmers in April and the second installment is being sent this month, he said.

Apart from this, an amount of Rs 1,630 crore has been sent to the Jan Dhan accounts of 3.26 crore women in April and a similar amount credited to them in May.

He said free cooking gas cylinders have been provided to 1.47 crore families and free foodgrain distributed twice to 18 crore poor people. It is being distributed the third time now, he added.

Over 30 lakh people including daily- wage labourers have been given a maintenance allowance of Rs 1,000 each and free foodgrain.

He said 88 lakh pension holder have been given an advance payment.

READ | Air India to operate 64 repatriation flights from May 7, private airlines may join later: Govt

WATCH | India to evacuate around 15,000 Indians from 12 countries on more than 60 flights

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