As Tamil Nadu is in the final stage of polling to elect the new government in the state, the Election Commission of India has designated the last hour of the voting between 6 pm to 7 pm for the COVID-19 patients and people who are under isolation to cast their votes with necessary and precautionary measures.
The polling in Tamil Nadu has begun at 7 am on Tuesday across the state. The Election Commission has set up over 88,000 polling booths with around 4000 candidates on the ballots. The state has over 6.26 crore eligible voters and the commission has made arrangements to ensure that the COVID-19 patients would get a chance to cast their vote.
The Election Commission has said that people those who have tested positive for the COVID-19 viral infection and those who are under isolation are advised to arrive at their respective polling stations between 6 pm to 7 pm. DMK MP Kanimozhi, who had recently tested positive for the viral infection, had come to a polling station in Mylapore after 6 pm on Tuesday to cast her vote.
Kanimozhi had cast her vote not as a DMK leader but as a COVID-19 patient. She has been getting treated at the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai and she straightly arrived at the polling station from the hospital through an ambulance. She was seen wearing a PPE kit and entered the polling booth and cast her vote. After casting her vote, she had boarded the ambulance and returned to the hospital.
On the other hand, Madhusudhanan, who is the Presidium Chairman of the Tamil Nadu ruling ADMK, had come to a polling station in Washermenpet to cast his vote. Madhusudhanan had recently tested positive for the COVID-19 viral infection and he has been getting treated for the pandemic. As a COVID-19 patient, he arrived at the polling booth in a wheelchair by wearing a PPE kit and cast his vote.
Besides both the leaders of the rival parties, thousands of voters who are either tested positive or under isolation have been arriving at their respective polling stations across the state to cast their votes. While the reports have earlier said that the last one hour of the polling was dedicated to the COVID-19 patients, Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo has on Tuesday evening said that apart from the COVID-19 patients, common people can also cast their votes between 6 pm to 7 pm.
The Election Commission had made adequate arrangements to have a smooth voting process for the COVID-19 patients. The polling officers at the polling stations were given with PPE kits and disinfectants and both the polling officers and a COVID-19 positive voter must wear the PPEs at the polling stations. The polling officers are trained adequately on how to dispose the biomedical waste from the stations including masks, face shields, and PPE kits. The temperature checks will be also be done during the polling and the voters who have a fever have been asked to come between 6 pm and 7 pm to vote.
#TamilNaduElections: DMK MP K Kanimozhi, who has tested positive for COVID-19, casts her vote in PPE kit at a polling station in Mylapore, Chennai.— ANI (@ANI) April 6, 2021
Election Commission has designated one hour between 6 pm & 7 pm for voting by COVID positive patients. pic.twitter.com/z2G3ClKEie