Health dept urges voters to be on guard- The New Indian Express

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By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Over 2.74 crore voters are set to exercise their franchise in 40,771 polling booths across the state for the assembly election and the by-election to Malappuram Lok Sabha seat being held on Tuesday. In the wake of the Covid-19 situation, the state health department has advised voters to take precautions while going to polling booth. The Election Commission has made arrangements to ensure that Covid protocol is strictly followed in the election process.

Body temperature of voters would be checked before entry into the booth. Those with temperature above normal would be asked to wait for further checks. In case the body temperature remains high even after three checks, the voter will be issued a token and he or she can vote in the last hour of polling after presenting the token. There will be separate queues for men, women, senior citizens and the differently-abled.  

Covid patients and those in quarantine can cast their votes in the polling stations during the last hour of polling after wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). If there is a queue of normal voters during the final hour, Covid patients and those in quarantine have to wait till all other voters in the queue have exercised their franchise. 

The health department has asked polling officials to keep the doors and windows of polling stations opened as closed environment has a higher chance of spreading the infection. Polling agents, officials and voters shall maintain social distancing in booths. 

Health dept’s suggestions
Wear mask covering face and mouth while going to the polling booth
Maintain a safe distance of six feet in the queue in polling booth
Lower the mask only for identification purpose at the booth.
Do not shake hands with people or engage in physical contact
Use sanitiser while entering and exiting polling booth
Do not take children to the poll booth
Carry a pen to sign in the register in polling booth
Those with fever and cough should go to the polling booth in the last hour of voting. Do not mix with the crowd.
Leave the polling booth immediately after voting
Wash hands with soap after reaching home.

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