The Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked the Centre to speed up the COVID-19 vaccination in poll-bound states, reported India Today. The ECI said the goal is to ensure that everyone is fully vaccinated at the earliest in the poll-bound states of Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
This comes after the Election Commission assessed the COVID-19 situation in the poll-bound states with the Union health secretary.
According to news agency PTI, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan briefed the poll panel for nearly an hour on the Covid situation in the country, especially in the poll-bound states. The issue of the spread of Omicron variant of the coronavirus was also discussed.
"It was a session meant to get information. The commission assessed the situation based on statistics provided (by the Health Ministry)," a functionary said.
The health secretary also briefed the EC about the Covid protocols and Home Ministry guidelines issued in the recent past to check the spread of the virus.
The terms of Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur legislative Assemblies are ending on different dates in March next year while the Uttar Pradesh Assembly's term will end in May.
The Election Commission is expected to announce election dates next month.
Meanwhile, even as cases of the new Omicron variant are witnessing a surge in the country, the upcoming five state elections are unlikely to be postponed, sources told NDTV today.
Last week, an Allahabad High Court bench of Justice Shekhar Yadav had urged the government and the poll panel to consider postponing the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections for a month or two and banning all political rallies amid the fears of an impending third wave of Covid.
(With PTI inputs)
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