Madurai

COVID-19 test mandatory for candidates, counting staff, agents

A COVID-19 negative certificate based on RT-PCR test has been made mandatory for all counting officials, staff, candidates and their counting agents during counting of votes scheduled for May 2.

However, for those who have taken both doses of vaccine, the test is not mandatory.

Virudhunagar Collector R. Kannan said special camps would be held for agents and candidates in all government hospitals in their constituencies on April 29 and 30.

“We will ensure that priority is given to providing results of the swab tests on May 1,” Mr. Kannan said.

He also assured candidates that agents found positive could be replaced 24 hours in advance. The Returning Officer concerned would issue identity card for the replaced agent.

Each of the 149 candidates for seven Assembly constituencies would be allowed to have 19-20 agents inside the counting centres. “Since a few hundred counting personnel and agents would be inside each hall for hours together, a negative report would ensure a safe environment for all,” the Collector said.

This included agents allotted for 14 tables for counting of votes in electronic voting machines and four/five agents for postal ballots and electronically transmitted postal ballots.

“Most of the police personnel and government employees have taken both doses of vaccines as per the Election Commission’s earlier directive,” an official said.

The agents would be allowed to carry pencil, ball-point pen, white paper, Form 17-C (details of total votes and votes polled in each booth) and eraser.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 2:52:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/covid-19-test-mandatory-for-candidates-counting-staff-agents/article34386886.ece

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