Consultation held with major political parties on adhering to guidelines

District Collector and DEO Purva Garg said all arrangements were in place for counting of votes at three counting centres in the Lawspet area.

“Since we are in the midst of a pandemic, requisite arrangements are made to ensure that COVID appropriate behaviour and safety norms, as directed by the ECI, Madras High Court and the MHA, are rigorously followed at the counting centres so that all persons can be safe and the counting process can take place smoothly,” Ms. Garg said.

She spelt out the three important instructions of the ECI — anyone entering the counting centre has to be tested negative for COVID or should produce certificate of completing two doses of vaccination, the bar on victory rallies after declaration of results and limiting the number of persons accompanying a candidate to the counting centre to two to avoid crowding.

Sufficient security arrangements are also in place, she said.

Rahul Alwal, SSP, said police personnel would be deployed inside counting centres and along the periphery. Patrol teams will ensure implementation of COVID-19 protocols as the lockdown has been extended to midnight of May 3 and ECI guidelines prohibiting victory processions across the city.

A consultation had been held with major political parties on adhering to the guidelines and to avoid crowding of any sort near the counting premises, he said.

T. Sudhakar, Nodal Officer (Counting) said the Elections Department has also made arrangements for separate entry passages for officials and candidates at counting centres, thermal scanning and RAT facilities. Masks, face shields and sanitisers are also made available.

Measures are also in place for maintaining social distancing at the venues.

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