Kerala polls: Public campaign to end on April 4, final-day celebrations banned

The final-day campaign celebrations were banned after reports of a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state post the local polls.
CPIM campaign
CPIM campaign
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The public campaign for 2021 Assembly polls in Kerala will end on Sunday evening, April 4 at 7 pm. The campaign for Malappuram Lok Sabha bye-polls will also end on the same day. Considering the recommendation by Kerala’s Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena, the Election Commission has banned 'Kottikalasam' — the final campaign celebration in the state, due to COVID-19 regulations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, CPI(M) leaders Brinda Karat, Parakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury, and many more national leaders have visited Kerala for the high voltage campaigning. Kerala will go to polls on April 6.

Usually for Kottikalasam or Kalashakottu, thousands of people gather for a huge celebration on the final day of campaigning. Even during the Kerala local polls in December 2020, the grand celebrations were not held in many places, and only in some districts.

There were reports that after the local polls, there was a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state.

Kerala reported 2,508 fresh COVID-19 cases on Friday, including 10 health workers and 14 deaths on Friday, pushing the caseload to 11.29 lakh and the death toll to 4,646.

As many as 2,287 people were cured of the disease, taking the total recoveries to 10,98,526. Active cases stood at 26,407.

A total of 51,783 samples were examined on Friday, taking the overall number to 1,32,64,994, Health Minister K K Shailaja said in a release. The test positivity rate stood at 4.84%.

Among the districts, Kozhikode accounted for the highest number of infections with 385, followed by Ernakulam 278, Kannur 272, Malappuram 224 and Thiruvananthapuram 212.

Of the positive cases, 132 had come from outside the state and 2,168 were infected through local transmission. Ten health workers were among those infected, the Health Minister said. Currently, 1,39,837 people are under observation, including 4,172 in hospitals.

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