India's COVID-19 tally rises to 7,706,946, Bangladesh's cases reach 394,827

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday promised free COVID-19 vaccination for all residents in Bihar if its alliance is voted back to power in the upcoming local elections.

The announcement was made by BJP in its manifesto released in Patna, the capital city of Bihar on Thursday.

"In the fight against coronavirus, Bihar's National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has set an example for the rest of the country," reads the manifesto. "It is our resolution that the moment COVID-19 vaccine is available after approval from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), every Biharwaasi (resident of Bihar) will get free vaccination."

Providing free COVID-19 vaccine has been made apart from other promises including providing employment.

"As soon as COVID-19 vaccine is available for production at a mass scale every person in Bihar will get free vaccination. This is the first promise mentioned in our poll manifesto," said federal Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while releasing the manifesto.

Local elections are scheduled to be held in Bihar in three phases from October 28. Votes will be counted on November 10.

Presently the election campaigning is going on in the state.

The BJP and the JD(U) are jointly contesting the elections in the state and the alliance is promoting Nitish Kumar as the chief ministerial candidate.

Development of COVID-19 vaccine is still in progress.

Bihar is the 11th most-affected state in India with 208,377 COVID-19 cases including 1,019 deaths.

India is in the grip of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the cases are increasing with each passing day.

India's federal health ministry Thursday said the number of COVID-19 cases in India reached 7,706,946 and the death toll rose to 116,616.

Globally India is the second worst-hit country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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