Safety measures are being put in place to prevent transmission of Covid-19 during the Panchkula municipal corporation polls, election commission officials have said.(HT Photo/For representation)
Safety measures are being put in place to prevent transmission of Covid-19 during the Panchkula municipal corporation polls, election commission officials have said.(HT Photo/For representation)

PPE kits, mandatory Covid test reports: Safety steps in place for Panchkula MC polls

Every polling booth will have a thermal scanner. No one, including the staff, will be allowed to enter without getting their temperature checked, says state election commissioner Dalip Singh
Hindustan Times, Panchkula | By Tanbir Dhaliwal
UPDATED ON DEC 25, 2020 12:56 AM IST

Temperature checks through thermal scanners, personal protective equipment (PPE) for those with fever and Covid-19 negative reports for staff are part of measures adopted by the state election commission to ensure the safety of voters during the Covid-19 pandemic at the Panchkula municipal corporation (MC) elections on December 27.

“Our main focus is on the day of polling. We have spent crores of rupees to ensure the safety of voters,” said Dalip Singh, state election commissioner, on Thursday.

About 1.85 lakh people, including 98,323 men and 87,316 women, are expected to vote.

To ensure social distancing and avoid crowding the administration has set up 275 booths across 20 wards so that just 1,000 voters visit a booth.

“We have set up enough polling booths looking at the number of voters to ensure that overcrowding does not take place. Then every polling booth will have a thermal scanner. No one, including the staff, will be allowed to enter without getting their temperature checked,” says Dalip Singh

Arrangements for clean drinking water, sanitisers, gloves and PPE kits have also been made at each booth. “There will be five to seven staff members at every booth who should have undergone Covid-19 tests. Before entering they have to show a Covid-19 negative report that’s not older than three days,” he adds.

Even though the polling hours are from 8am to 5:30pm, only those have fever or have been quarantined will be allowed to vote in the last hour (4:30pm to 5:30pm ). “They will be requested to wait and will be given PPE kits before casting their votes,” he says.

The last day of the campaigning of elections is December 25, and voting is on December 27.

Hypersensitive and sensitive polling stations

The Panchkula DC also says that duty magistrates, superviser and patrolling parties have been deployed to ensure that the polls pass off peacefully.

Also, of the 275 polling booths, 98 have been declared hypersensitive and 29 as sensitive.

The hypersensitive booths include five in Saketri, four in Mansa Devi Complex-sector 6, seven in Blue bird Model School, and six in Saint Michael Model School, Sector 6. A strong police force will guard each booth to prevent electoral fraud and other untoward incidents.

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