Days after hearing strong words from the Madras High Court Chief Justice, the Election Commission seems in no mood to show lacklustre behaviour towards following COVID-19 protocols.
The Election Commission of India on Wednesday issued fresh order saying candidates will not be allowed inside vote counting centres on May 2 without a negative RT-PCR test report or two vaccine shots.
“Candidates or their agents who have received both the doses of COVID-19 vaccine can also enter the counting hall on May 2 when votes for Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu will be counted,” according to the guidelines issued on Wednesday.
Earlier, the election body had banned any victory celebrations over the results of recent elections amid a massive COVID-19 surge in the country. In a new order today, the Election Commission banned any public gathering outside counting centres on May 2 i.e. on Sunday.
“No candidates or agents will be allowed inside the counting hall without undergoing RT-PCR/RAT test or without having two 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 the start of counting,” the guideline read.
Candidates will need to provide a list of counting agents three days before counting day.
West Bengal votes in the eighth and final round of the polling to be held on Thursday amid a huge rise in coronavirus cases in the country.