Panaji: The State Election Commission has issued Guidelines for the conduct of Zilla Panchayt Election 2020 in wake of COVID19 pandemic.
As per the general instructions about Preventive measures to be taken at the Polling stations all voters are to be thermally screened for temperature at the entry of the polling station.
“Norms of social distancing by marking circles at 2 metre distance for the voters to stand in a queue outside the polling station and, allowing entry of limited number of voters in the marked circles near the entrance of the polling station shall be strictly followed,” the guidelines state.
It further says that the provision of hand sanitisers at the entrance of the polling stations shall have to be made without fail. The place used for setting up the polling station and all the materials/items used shall be properly sanitized before setting it up.
“Proper cleaning and frequent sanitization of the workplace, particularly of the frequently touched surfaces like tables, ballot boxes, cross mark, metal strip, etc must be ensured by the polling staff on duty. Polling parties shall be provided with hand gloves. Use of face covers/ masks is mandatory for all,” it says.
It further says, if the temperature is above prescribed norms, the Voter shall be asked to sit in the shed for 10 minutes and the second reading will be taken. If the 2nd reading is still higher than the prescribed norms, then the Voter will be asked to come for poll at the last hour of Poll i.e. 4.00 pm to 5.00 pm.
“Covid-19 positive persons will be allowed to cast their vote during the last hour of the polling day i.e. between 4.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. The BLOs shall be instructed to identify the Covid Positive person in each Polling Station. The required number of PPE kits and hand gloves based on the number of Covid positive person shall be provided by the Returning Officer to the BLOs which shall be used by the Covid positive persons when they come to the Polling Station for voting,” it adds.
Further it says, spitting shall be strictly prohibited. Drivers deployed on election duties shall follow required do’s and don’t’s related to COVID-19.
“A proper sanitization/disinfection of vehicle steering, door handles, keys, etc. should be carried out,” it says.
Amongst the specific preventive measures required at the Distribution / Collection and Counting Centres are the provision of hand sanitiser at the entrance will have to be made and only the asymptomatic staff/visitors/candidates and their agents shall be allowed after thermal screening at the entrance of the Distribution/Receiving/Counting Centres.
“Large gatherings outside the distribution centre, collection centre, and counting centres and inside the counting halls will not be allowed,” the guidelines state adding “Gazetted officer may be designated for dealing with the election staff who may develop Covid-19 symptoms during election duty to coordinate with the Health authorities and the RO”.
It says that when one or more staff members on poll duty is found to be suffering from symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 either in the office on the election duty, the said person/s should be placed in a separate room or area where he is isolated from others at the workplace.
“The nearest medical facility (hospital/clinic) may be immediately informed and the state or district helpline should be immediately called. The advice of the designated public health authority may be sought for carrying out a risk assessment and for making further advice regarding management of the said case, his/her contacts and the need for carrying out disinfection of the said premises as per Government instructions, if any,” it says.