India State Elections Go Ahead As Deaths Hit Record High

People in the Indian state of West Bengal are voting in the final phase of elections despite rising Covid cases. Long queues were seen outside polling booths, raising concerns about the further spread of the virus as a deadly second wave sweeps the country.

Experts already fear that West Bengal could be the next epicentre of the virus, as campaigning has continued there with large crowds. It recorded more than 17,000 cases in the last 24 hours – a new high.

The state has already seen seven phases of voting. The eastern state is one of the few where Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not have a majority of seats. There has been a lot of criticism that he continued to hold large rallies there even as the virus began overwhelming the country.

Journalists in the area, Amitabha Bhattasali, says some of the biggest rallies, including those attended by Mr Modi, saw throngs of people not wearing masks or maintaining social distancing.

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