March 24, 2023

covid: Covid situation now better, Election Commission may further ease curbs today | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Taking into account the continued improvement in Covid situation as well as vaccination rates in the poll-going states, the Election Commission is planning further relaxations of its curbs on physical campaigning, including allowing rallies with better attendance, ahead of the start of polling on February 10.
The options being considered by the EC, according to sources, include doing away with the existing cap of 1,000 participants and instead allowing people up to a certain percentage of the capacity of the open ground on which physical rally is to be held. This could be pegged at anything between 30% and 50% of the ground’s capacity, said a senior functionary.
The EC is likely to make an announcement in this regard on Sunday.
Sources said the EC, based on a report received from its special observers detailing the Covid situation and scope for further relaxation in the five poll-bound states, held a fresh discussion with the Union health secretary on Saturday to hear his assessment on case positivity rates, vaccination status and hospitalisation rates.
Observing the consistent fall in daily Covid cases, satisfactory vaccination coverage of both first and second doses and very low hospitalisation rates across the poll-going states, the EC has felt that a further relaxation in curbs was in order, particularly in the wake of easing of restrictions imposed by state disaster management authorities in most states including opening of schools etc, and the demands of the small parties to allow a physical campaign to enable their candidates to connect directly with the voters.

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