Health

Coronavirus update: Madras High Court holds Election Commission repsonsible for pandemic surge

Karnataka to lock down for 2 weeks from tomorrow

 
By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 26 April 2021
Madras High Court. Photo: Yoga Balaji / Wikipedia (under Creative Commons)

Madras High Court Monday (April 26, 2021) held the Election Commission of India “singularly responsible” for the tremendous upsurge of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the country. The top court of Tamil Nadu threatened to stop counting of votes if a blueprint to counter the situation wasn’t prepared.

Counting of votes cast in the elections to the legislatures of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal are due on May 2. Bengal still has a phase of polling pending on April 29 after today’s phase as ECI refused to draw the process shorter despite repeated appeals from almost all parties except the Bharatiya Janata Party, incumbent at the Centre and the main challenger in the crucial eastern state. 

Experts repeatedly pointed out how dangerous mass electoral campaign rallies could be. Thousands of attendees jostled for space with scarce attention to COVID-19 protocols. Top leaders of the country have been spotted without masks at rallies.      

Cases have been on the rise in West Bengal, especially capital Kolkata. The state recorded more than 15,000 cases in the past 24 hours. The daily tally used to be under 5,000 a couple of weeks ago.

The Karnataka government announced a lock down of the state for two weeks, starting April 27, after it recorded more than 34,000 cases in the past 24 hours. The state reported 143 deaths in the period. 

Within Karnataka, capital Bengaluru has been hit the worst with more than 20,733 cases in 24 hours amid a 20 per cent positivity rate.

India’s daily case count shot up to over 350,000 while more than 2,800 died. The country remained the worst-affected in the world.

Several countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States, vowed to help the country. Internet behemoth Google LLC vowed assistance of Rs 135 crore through non-governmental channels to fight the pandemic in India and drive awareness. Software major Microsoft Corp promised help too. 

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