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Mamata Banerjee cancels public meetings citing ECI order, Covid surge

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Thursday that all her prescheduled public meetings stand cancelled as the state logged 11,948 new Covid-19 cases today. Up to 56 fatalities were reported, too.

CM Banerjee’s decision comes less than an hour after the Election Commission of India issued an order, restricting the number of people allowed to attend a public meeting to 500.

Taking to Twitter, CM Banerjee said that she will reach out to the people virtually. She will be sharing the updated schedule of the virtual meetings shortly.

“In the wake of upsurge in #COVID19 cases across the country and the ECI Order dated 22nd April, 2021, I am cancelling all my prescheduled meetings and we will reach out to the people virtually. We will be sharing the updated schedule of the virtual meetings shortly,” the West Bengal CM tweeted.

CM Banerjee also said that free Covid vaccination will be provided to all above the age of 18 years in the state after 5 May.

Addressing a public meeting in Tapan, the Bengal CM said, “The result of the West Bengal assembly polls will come on May 2. We will provide free Covid vaccination to all above the 18 years in Bengal after May 5.”

Banerjee’s remark comes against the backdrop of fresh debate across the country over the pricing of Covid-19 vaccines.

The Serum Institute of India (SII) on Wednesday fixed the prices of “Covishield” vaccine at 400 per dose for state governments and 600 per dose for private hospitals.

“Following the Government of India directives, we are announcing the prices of the Covishield vaccine – 400 per dose for state governments and 600 per dose for private hospitals,” it said.

SII further said the company will serve 50% of the total production to the Government of India’s vaccination program, and the remaining 50% of the capacity will be for the State governments and private hospitals.

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