Negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report or both doses of vaccine must for entry into counting centres

Special camps are being set up in Virudhunagar for swabs to be collected for tests

The Election Commission of India has made a negative RT-PCR test report or a certificate of having taken both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for counting staff, agents and media personnel to gain entry into counting centres for the May 2 counting of votes from the Assembly election.

Earlier, one dose of the vaccine was made compulsory, but on Wednesday night the norms were changed to both doses.

A statement from the Virudhunagar district administration late on Wednesday night said that the candidates, counting staff, agents and media personnel should have taken both doses of the vaccine.

“Since many of them had taken either not taken both the doses or had very recently taken the first dose and have several days more to have the second jab, it would not be possible for them to become eligible to get permission for entry into the counting centre,” an official said. Hence, the administration has appealed to them to get a negative report for swab tests taken 72 hours prior to the commencement of counting.

The administration is setting up special camps for swab tests on Friday and Saturday.

Candidates, their counting agents, staff and media personnel were also taking the swab test at special camps at all government hospitals from Friday morning.

District Collector, R. Kannan, said that the result of these swab tests would be made available on a priority basis.

Besides, thermal scanning of all persons entering the counting centres would be done on May 2.

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