The Congress on Wednesday cancelled all political rallies and programmes in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh after shocking scenes yesterday from an event in Bareilly district, in which hundreds of women and teen girls were seen without masks and there was nearly a stampede.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has cancelled a government function in Gautam Buddh Nagar district on Thursday because it has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
It is unclear if the ruling BJP plans to follow the Congress’ lead in scrapping all political events and rallies – which draw crowds of thousands that make it difficult to maintain Covid safety protocols – as concern spreads over a third wave of infections led by the more transmissible Omicron strain.
UP will vote for a new government in less than two months, but the scheduled polls come as the country is experiencing a spike in Covid cases, with much of the concern centred on the Omicron variant – a more infectious and, potentially, more vaccine-resistant strain of the coronavirus.
This morning India logged 58,097 new COVID-19 cases – a daily increase for the sixth time in nine days. There are also 2,135 cases of the Omicron strain identified so far, with 31 from UP.