The Election Commission on Monday extended the ban on political rallies in the five poll-bound states till February 11, ANI reported.

The panel, however, allowed physical rallies with up to 1,000 people, and indoor meetings with up to 500 people. Also, up to 20 persons can now take part in door-to-door campaigning.

Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra held a virtual meeting with the Union health secretary and chief secretaries of poll-bound states to take a decision on the matter, according to ANI.

On January 8, while announcing the poll schedule for Goa, Punjab, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, the Election Commission had banned all physical rallies, roadshows, processions and vehicle rallies till January 15.

The poll body on January 15 had extended the ban until January 31 because of the ongoing third wave of Covid-19.

At that time, the Election Commission had allowed public meetings with a maximum of 500 people in the constituencies that were going to poll in the first two phases and also relaxed the door-to-door campaign rules.

The five states will go to polls in seven phases between February 10 and March 7. The results will be announced on March 10.

On Monday, the health ministry reported 2,09,918 new coronavirus cases, pushing the total number of infections in the country to 4,13,02,440 since the pandemic began in January 2020. Deaths from the infection rose by 959, with the total now at 4,95,050, the ministry said.