“The government staff in polling booths and COVID positive voters should wear PPEs while voting. Only those who are interested to vote will be identified and facilitated for exercising their franchise,” a poll official said. Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo has issued a standard protocol for district election officers under which corona patients should be allowed in the last segment to cast their votes. Only a few booths will have such voters and we are expecting around 2,000 positive cases to be reported in Chennai during the day of polling. How many wish to vote will be known only on April 6, an official said.
“The body temperature of all voters will be taken and those with fever will be asked to come in the evening and if the fever persists, they will not be allowed to vote without a PPE. The corona positive patients will be informed about their timings by local booth officials, another government official said, adding, the zonal parties have been asked to ensure supply of PPEs to all those assigned for duty inside polling stations. Adequate masks, hand sanitisers and temperature scanners will be provided to all the booth level staff. Social distancing and masks will be made mandatory for the voters, an official said. The Centre has instructed the State to increase testing of corona cases and maintain a testing average of 85,000 cases per day. “We are expecting around 5,000 cases per day and after that we hope that the caseload subsidies. Election gathering is a reason for the spurt but even states where there are no polls, cases are increasing,” a senior government official with the State Public Health Department told DT Next.