COVID-19 guidelines issued for Council polls

In view of the current COVID-19 situation, the Health and Family Welfare Department has issued guidelines for the conduct of the Legislative Council elections. The jurisdictional District Health Officer (DHO) has been designated as the nodal officer to enforce COVID-19-appropriate behaviour during the entire election process.

According to a circular issued on Friday, use of a face mask during every election-related activity has been made mandatory. Apart from mandatory thermal scanning at the entrance of the hall/polling station, the polling officials have been asked to ensure sanitiser, soap, and water is made available and physical distancing of one metre (three feet) is maintained at all times.

Pointing out that large halls should be identified and utilised to ensure physical distancing norms, the circular stated: “Adequate number of vehicles should be mobilised for movement of polling personnel and security personnel to ensure compliance of COVID-19 guidelines.”

While restricting the number of persons and vehicles accompanying the candidate for submission of nomination to four and three, respectively, the circular stated that the Returning Officer’s (RO) chamber should have sufficient space to perform the functions of nomination.

While restricting a gathering of up to 500 people for public rallies in adherence to COVID-19-appropriate behaviour, the circular stated that only fully vaccinated people should be allowed to participate in such meetings/rallies.

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