Prior to the upcoming polls, politicians delivered speeches at crowded rallies, and the country recorded nearly 142,000 new daily infections.
India reports 141,986 new COVID-19 cases every day-the highest since the end of May-because the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has surpassed the delta version in major cities.
The Ministry of Health also reported 285 new deaths on Saturday, bringing the total to 483,463, and the total number of infections was 35.37 million.
Coronavirus cases caused by the highly spread Omicron variant are spreading rapidly in India, prompting the federal government and states to quickly re-implement a series of restrictions.
As the turnover of restaurants and bars halved, the curfew was back. Some states have closed schools and movie theaters, and the scale of large gatherings will shrink.
But before the key state polls, Indian political leaders were busy campaigning, speaking at a gathering of thousands of people, many of whom did not wear masks.
These scenes are strikingly similar to last year’s election season, when the Delta variant ravaged the country and made India one of the worst-hit countries in the world.
Last year’s surge was partly due to the large crowds at election rallies. Politicians, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, often appeared in crowds without masks.
The wave hit the country’s health system severely, and people begged for oxygen and hospital beds. Insufficient space in the crematorium. During the peak of the crisis, the daily death toll exceeded 4,000, and at least 200,000 people died between March and May. It is widely believed that this number is greatly underestimated.
Health officials say the new surge has led to fewer deaths and many cases are asymptomatic. But they warned against taking the variant of Omicron lightly and said that many cases, even if the situation is mild, may still put pressure on the country’s fragile health system.
Overall, the number of new daily cases last week increased nearly fourfold. The number of hospitalizations is on the rise, and medical staff in some states have been asked to shorten winter vacations.
The city is experiencing a massive surge, and India’s financial capital, Mumbai, has surpassed the previous highest daily number. There has been a surge in new COVID-19 cases in the five states participating in the campaign—Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa, and Manipur.
In the past few weeks, Modi has spoken at large gatherings in several cities, especially in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state of the country, ruled by his Bharatiya Janata Party. The party’s political opponents also ignored health guidelines and participated in election campaigns.
Earlier this week, the Congress Party organized a marathon. Thousands of people ran without masks. They were packed tightly and fell together.
The Chief Minister of New Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal (Arvind Kejriwal) was seen not wearing a mask when leading political gatherings in several states, and therefore contracted the virus.