April 29, 2021
Voters in the Indian state of West Bengal go to the polls.
People in the Indian state of West Bengal are voting in the final phase of elections despite soaring Covid cases.
Long queues were seen outside polling booths, raising concerns about further spread of the virus amidst a deadly second wave.
Experts fear West Bengal could be the next epicentre of the virus, as has campaigning continued there.
India reported 379,257 new infections on Thursday, the world’s highest single-day total.
Cases in West Bengal rose by 17,000 on Wednesday – a record for the state.
The state has already seen seven phases of voting. West Bengal is one of the few where Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not have a majority of parliamentary seats.
There has been a lot of criticism that he continued to hold large rallies there even as the virus began overwhelming the country.
Some of the biggest rallies, including those attended by Mr Modi, saw throngs of people not wearing masks or maintaining social distancing.
What is happening now in India?
Hospitals have been overwhelmed, oxygen is in critically low supply and crematoriums are operating non-stop.
The overall death toll officially surpassed 200,000 on Wednesday, though experts believe the actual number could be much higher.