The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday has made it mandatory for candidates and their agents to show negative RT-PCR test reports or complete vaccination reports to enter counting centres.
“No candidates/agents will be allowed inside the counting hall without undergoing RT-PCR/RAT test or without having 2 doses of vaccination against Covid-19 and will have to produce negative RT-PCR report or RAT report or vaccination reports within 48 hours of start of counting,” the election commission said. According to the ECI’s official notification, the District Election Officer (DEO) will be the Nodal Officer at each counting centre to ensure adherence to all the COVID 19 related norms.
It is to be noted that the Commission has already made it a point that there will be no victory procession after the counting of votes. It added, ” Not more than two people shall be allowed to accompany the winning candidate or his/her authorized representative receive the certificate of election from the Returning Officers”.
It further prohibited public gatherings outside the counting venue during the process of the counting of votes. The commission suggested bigger and more spacious rooms for the counting of votes to maintain social distancing and for proper ventilation due to the rapid surge in COVID cases.
The ECI has also stated that the centres along with the sealed EVM/VVPAT should be disinfected before and after the counting.