The West Bengal government had on April 30 ordered shutdown of all shopping malls, salons, restaurants, bars, sports complexes, gyms, spas and swimming pools in the state with immediate effect until further orders, amid the surge in COVID-19 cases. Social, cultural, academic, entertainment-related gatherings and congregations have also been prohibited in the state for the time being, according to the order.
Orders have been issued to all the district administration to prevent gatherings outside the counting centres, and actions will be taken against those involved in the violation of the guidelines, an Election Commission official told PTI.
West Bengal on April 30 registered the highest single-day COVID-19 deaths with 96 people succumbing to the disease, the health department said in a bulletin. The tally mounted at 8,28,366 with a record one-day spike of 17,411 new cases of infection. The state government, however, said activities related to the electoral counting process and victory rallies will be guided by Election Commission protocols.
Meanwhile, a majority of Exit Polls released after the eighth and final round of voting suggested that the ruling Trinamool Congress might have an edge over the opposition BJP and the Left-Congress-ISF combine. But, who will get the magic figure of 147 in the house of 294 will be known only after the votes are counted on Sunday (May 2).