KOLKATA: Alerted by health experts about a possible second wave of COVID-19, the West Bengal government on Monday directed all district administrations to make wearing masks and maintenance of physical distance mandatory during political rallies.
Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, during a virtual meeting with the district magistrates and the top police officers, took stock of the COVID-19 situation in Bengal, and the preparedness to control its spread amid the elections.
"Elections are nigh, and the 30 assembly constituencies would go to polls in a few days (on March 27). At this juncture, this sudden rise in COVID numbers is a matter of concern. The chief secretary has asked all DMs and SPs to ensure that people follow basic hygiene rules to keep the disease at bay," a senior official who attended the meeting here said.
Steps were being taken to ensure that CAPF personnel, booth officials and activists of political parties do not fall prey to the disease, he said.
Among others, Home Secretary HK Dwidevi, DGP Neeraj Nayan and other senior officials of the state government were also present at the meeting.
Elections in West Bengal will be held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29.
Votes will be counted on May 2.