Kolkata | Jagran Politics Desk: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee on Thursday cancelled all prescheduled meetings amid the alarming spike in coronavirus cases across the country.

In a Tweet, Banerjee said that the TMC will share the updated schedule of its virtual meetings soon. "In the wake of upsurge in COVID-19 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," she said.

Banerjee's annoucement came after the election commission (EC) banned all roadshows and rallies in West Bengal and restricted public meetings to just 500 people amid spike in coronavirus cases. The order said the commission has noted "with anguish" that many political parties and candidates are still not adhering to the prescribed safety norms during the public gatherings.

Meanwhile, Mamata on Thursday also said that free COVID-19 vaccination will be provided to all above the age of 18 years in the state after May 5.

"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," she said at a rally in Tapan.

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 Rs 400 per dose for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals.

"Following the Government of India directives, we are announcing the prices of the Covishield vaccine - Rs 400 per dose for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals," it had said.

Voting for the first six phases of the eight-phased West Bengal assembly elections has already been done. Polling for the seventh and eighth phases will be held on April 26 and 29 respectively while the counting of votes will take place on May 2.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma