Odisha by-election: Polling personnel will carry COVID kit

Odisha by-election: Polling personnel will carry COVID kit

Bhubaneswar: Apart from EVMs, indelible ink and other election-related materials, the polling personnel this time will also carry COVID kit for conducting by-elections in two Assembly segments of Odisha on November 3. This was decided at the meeting of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S K Lohani with the district magistrate-cum collector of Balasore and Jagatsinghpur districts on Thursday. The COVID kit consists of masks, sanitiser, face shield, PPEs and hand gloves.
“The CEO has instructed the collectors to ensure sanitisation of polling stations prior to the poll to ensure clean and hygienic environment for the polling staff as well as for voters,” the official said, adding that the special COVID kits will be provided to each polling personnel as per the guidelines of the Election Commission of India.
Accordingly, 675 IR thermometers, 4,313 PPE kits, 6.5 lakh gloves, 7,830 face shields as well as sufficient quantity of hand sanitiser, sodium hypochlorite solution, bleaching powder, soaps, paper napkins and others are being supplied for election purpose, he said. The collectors have also been asked to engage sufficient number of vehicles for deployment during the poll process keeping in mind the social distancing norms for safe travel of polling personnel.
“District collectors have been specially asked to take care of all the polling personnel deployed on election duty to ensure their safety and well-being during the COVID pandemic,” CEO Lohani said.
This time two additional personnel, including one ASHA worker, are being engaged outside each booth to conduct thermal scanning of each voter, dispensing sanitiser and distributing gloves to voters and also for maintaining a queue to ensure social distancing.
As per the ECI guideline, any person deployed in the election process has to always wear a face mask. All the entries to halls/rooms/premises used for election purpose will have thermal scanning, sanitiser, soap and water for cleaning.
The premises used for election purposes will be regularly sanitised in addition. All the election-related activities would be carried out in large halls to ensure social distancing. The ECI has also advised that large halls/spaces have to be identified for distribution and collection of election materials, the official said.
The by-polls have been necessitated following the demise of sitting BJP MLA of Balasore Sadar Madan Mohan Dutta and BJD legislator from Tirtol, Bishun Charan Das.

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