Last Updated:

Elections 2022 | EC Imposes Strict COVID Protocol For 2022 Polls; Officials On Duty To Be Double-vaccinated

As 5 states in India gear up for the Assembly Elections, EC held a press conference to brief on the COVID protocols to be followed amid the surge in infections.

Election Commission

Image: ANI, Pixabay

As the five poll-bound states in India gear up for the Assembly Elections, the Election Commission on Saturday, January 8, held a press conference to brief on the COVID protocols to be followed amid the surge in infections. The Election Commission of India (ECI) also announced the schedule for Assembly elections of the five states including Goa, Punjab, Manipur, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh. 

Assuring that the EC is aiming to ensure COVID-free elections, CEC Sushil Chandra said, "As COVID cases soared in view of Omicron variant, ECI held meetings with Union Health Secretary & Home Secretary, experts, & health secretaries of States. After taking these views & ground situation, ECI decided to announce polls with safety norms in place."

EC announces COVID protocol for Elections 2022

Considering the COVID situation in the country, the Election Commission of India has decided that roadshows, padayatra, cycle or bike rallies, and processions will not be allowed till January 15, Saturday. A decision on the same will be taken after reviewing the situation in the coming days and further restrictions will be announced. 

CEC Sushil Chandra stated, "No physical rally of political parties or probably candidates or any other group related to elections shall be allowed till January 15. ECI should subsequently review the situation and issues further instructions accordingly."

Also, a maximum of five people are allowed for the door-to-door campaign with specific undertaking. 

According to the new guidelines announced by the Election Commission, all officials and employees on election duty will be considered as frontline workers and will be eligible to avail the 'precautionary dose'. To further ensure safety amid the worsening COVID situation, the Election Commission has taken a decision considering the positivity rate of states going for polls. 

It is further mentioned that senior citizens aged above 80 years, persons with disabilities, and COVID-19 patients will be given the provision to vote by postal ballot. 

COVID situation in India

India on Saturday, January 8, recorded 1,41,986 fresh Coronavirus infections with 40,895 recoveries in the last 24 hours. The COVID recovery rate stands at 97.30%. According to data provided by the Union Health Ministry, after Maharashtra and Delhi reported 876 and 513 Omicron cases, respectively, the country's overall tally stands at 3,071. 

To date, the country has administered 1,51,38,70,836 COVID vaccine doses under the Nationwide Vaccination Drive.

Image: ANI, Pixabay

First Published: