Odisha Panchayat Polls: SEC issues Covid guidelines for counting of votes

Bhubaneswar: The State Election Commission has written to all district Collectors mandating submission of negative COVID-19 test reports by polling officers/agents who will be deployed for counting of votes.

Reportedly, the RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen Tests are compulsory for all persons entering the counting centre within 48 hours of the start of counting even if they are double vaccinated.

In view of the rapid decrease in COVID-19 cases the Commission has directed the following:

1) All persons entering the Counting Hall shall be thermally scanned.

2) Only doubly vaccinated persons are allowed inside Counting Hall.

3) Persons having COVID-19 symptoms shall not be allowed.

It is to be noted that the five phases of the three-tier panchayat election will be held till February 24, 2022.

In the first phase of the three-tier Panchayat Polls on February 16, 77.2% voters turnout was recorded in the first phase of rural polls while Boudh recorded maximum voter turnout at 84.7% followed by Deogarh with 83.75% and Angul with 82.6%.

Adding to it, in the second phase of the three-tier Panchayat Polls on February 18, voter turnout of 78.3% was recorded with Subarnapur registering maximum poll percentage of 85.67 % followed by Jharsuguda (85.14 %) and Boudh (84.9%).

In the third phase of the three-tier Panchayat Polls on February 20, voter turnout of 78.6 % was recorded with Subarnapur registering maximum poll percentage of 87.44% followed by Nabarangpur (86.33%) and Koraput (84.78%).

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