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Covid norms during polls: EC appreciates state machinery

Kolkata: The Election Commission (EC) on Saturday appreciated the state machinery for flawless arrangements of the polling booths, maintaining Covid appropriate behaviour and safe disposal of biomedical waste and directed regular monitoring of Covid behaviour and action against the violations.

The Commission led by Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar held a meeting with senior officers of the state, including the Chief Secretary and other concerned officials of the administration and police top brass on Saturday. State CEO Aariz Aftab was also present in the meeting. The Commission directed the state Disaster Management Authority and its functionaries to implement and monitor the implementation of Covid norms during the campaign and take appropriate action in case of any violation.

Chief Secretary apprised the Commission that the entire machinery has been directed to take more stringent and prompt steps for sensitisation and enforcement of existing instructions under the Act.

The Health Secretary informed that as per Commission's directions Nodal Health Officers have been assigned at each of the 294 Assembly constituencies, all 24 CMOHs are Nodal Health Officers for their district, apart from state-level Nodal Health Officer. He also informed that elaborate arrangements have been made for the collection and disposal of gloves discarded by the voters after use at the polling stations as bio-medical waste.

The Commission further directed that appropriate and effective communication strategies must be put in place to inform the voters about Covid safe and secure environment at all polling stations. The state machinery should ensure that all voters wear masks and are provided with hand gloves and sanitisation facilities. Social distancing must be maintained in the queues. The Chief Secretary assured the Commission that all actions for enforcement of Covid-appropriate behaviour during public gatherings for electioneering purposes and otherwise also under the Disaster Management Act 2005 and all other relevant statutory provisions shall be ensured as directed by the Commission.

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