Voters encouraged to cast votes during suggested time slots during Sarawak Election

Proposed voting time under the Covid-19 prevention standard operating procedure (SOP) for the implementation of the 12th State Election

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KUCHING, Dec 5: The Election Commission (EC) has released new guidelines involving voting times, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and inter-district movement for coming 12th State Election.

According to the EC in a statement today, recommended times for each voter to go out to cast their vote will be stated on their mySPR Semak application or on the EC Voter Registration portal, to control the number of voters who come to the polling station from 7.30am until 5pm.

The proposed times are from 7.30am-9am, 9.30am-11.30am, 11.30am-1.30pm, 1.30pm-3.30pm, and 3.30pm-5pm.

Among the SOPs which will be enforced are that all individuals present must check in via the MySejahtera QR code or record their attendance in the book provided (name, phone number, body temperature and time), while symptomatic individuals (Persons-Under-Investigation (PUI) and Persons-Under-Surveillance (PUS)) with body temperatures above 37.5 °C, coughs, sore throat, or breathing difficulties should be isolated and placed in a special tent to cast their ballots while awaiting further action.

Election officials must also ensure that physical distancing are practised while handling wheelchair-bound voters and the wheelchair must be sanitise after every use.

For symptomatic voters, a disposable brush will be used for marking their left index finger after voting, and they are required to double face mask and wear rubber gloves before holding the ballot paper.

Officers involved in handling individuals with symptoms also must adhere to procedures set and wear PPE (personal protective equipment, including nose and mouth covers, aprons, face shields and gloves) while handling the individual, including sanitising their hands as often as possible while wearing gloves whenever dealing with symptomatic voters.

Apart from that, the cleaning and sanitation of polling stations must be done every time a voter with symptoms has finished marking their respective ballot papers, and after voting, the symptomatic individuals will be managed by the Ministry of Health (MoH) officer on duty for further action.

Voters with Covid-19 positive status are not allowed to leave the location where they are receiving treatment (home quarantine, treatment centre and others) in accordance with the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) to vote because they are still under treatment and have the potential to spread the disease.

Voters with PUI and PUS status who wish to vote must apply for permission from the District Health Officer and District Health Office supervising the Surveillance and Observation Order Instructions to go out temporarily to the polling station and must be isolated in special tents provided.

They are also required to use their own transportation and the usage of public transportation is prohibited.

This permission is subjected to infection risk assessment by the District Health Officer and voters must comply with all guidelines set by the Ministry of Health. — DayakDaily