The Election Commission will convene a meeting with senior officials of the Union Health Ministry on Monday to discuss the current Covid situation in the five poll-bound states, sources said. 

A source said that the Commission will discuss the current Covid situation for poll-bound states and will seek update on new Covid variant Omicron from Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan. The commission is also likely to seek suggestions on improving the Covid protocol for poll campaigning, polling days, and others.

Assembly elections are due in five states - Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Goa, and Punjab in 2022, and the schedule is likely be announced in the first week of January, said the source. 

The Chief Election Commissioner and other officials are scheduled to visit Uttar Pradesh - the largest of the five - to take stock of the poll preparedness in the state on Tuesday.

An Allahabad High Court bench on Thursday had urged the government to consider postponing the Assembly elections in UP for a month or two and banning all political rallies amid rising Covid cases on daily basis.

Meanwhile, India continues to report rise in daily Covid caseload. A total of 6,987 fresh cases were reported in a span of 24 hours across the nation on Sunday. As per the Health Ministry report, with 162 more fatalities reported, the total death toll has climbed to 4,79,682.

The Omicron infection tally has also climbed at 422 across the nation. However, out of total Omicron positive, 130 have been discharged. So far total 17 states have reported the new Covid variant, said the Health Ministry said on Sunday.

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