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With a permit and a mask, those positive for the coronavirus will vote – The protocol of the Ministry of Health

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Με αδεια και μασκ α θα ψηφΙσουν οι θετικοΙ στον κο&rho ;ωνοio-Το πρωτoκολλο του Υπουργ&epsilon ;λου Υγελας

Permission to go exclusively to the  Center where they are registered, for the purpose of exercising their right to vote, will be given to people who test positive for the coronavirus on election day.< /b>

The Ministry of Health published today the precautionary measures decided for the conduct of the elections.

According to a relevant announcement, the Department of Medical Services and Public Health Services, as part of a series of instructions to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Corona virus, urges election officials to apply the following protection measures.

It is noted that for the purposes of implementing the aforementioned directives, all personnel who come into contact with voters or places visited by voters in the context of elections are considered election workers. These measures should  be considered as the minimum  which should be implemented. Depending on the conditions that will prevail during the election process, the General Election Commissioner may impose additional measures for the protection of voters and workers, if this is deemed necessary.

It is also important that the management of the electoral process defines roles and responsibilities for the staff, so that the dissemination and circulation of information is implemented effectively (e.g. if one of the staff falls ill, the management must be informed immediately) and also know the staff the actions they must take in the event of any emergency of this nature.

Regulatory Regulations Regarding Contagion (Determining measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus COVID 19) Decree (No. 2) of 2023 :

Persons who are in confinement after testing positive for the disease Covid 19, and are registered in the electoral roll, on the day of the elections, are granted permission to go exclusively to the electoral center where they are registered, for the purpose of exercising their electoral right.

They can go to the polling station either on foot   or by  private vehicle in which they will have exclusive use for that day and without any other stops for visits.

It is noted that the use of public transport is prohibited.

They must necessarily wear a protective mask.

Rooms:

Rooms should be adequately ventilated. The use of air conditioners is permitted provided that a continuous and sufficient intake of fresh air is ensured, either by using mechanical systems or by natural regular ventilation of the space.

Employees and candidates' representatives must necessarily throughout the during their stay at the polling station, to wear a protective mask.

Recommendation for the use of a protective mask by all voters inside the polling centers

Existence, in a clear position at the entrances and exits (where applicable),  of the voting booths, bottle of alcoholic solution (with injection pump and base) for hand hygiene, for the use of the voters.

The voting booths will not have a curtain and it will be the responsibility of the staff of the center to regularly disinfect them, as well as all the surfaces with which the voters and the staff come into contact as well as pens.

Disinfection of voters' hands when entering and leaving the polling station is mandatory.

Personnel Hygiene

All polling station employees and representatives of the candidates, it is recommended that they undergo a rapid antigen detection diagnostic test (self test) for the disease of COVID19 the day before the elections.

Written instructions and training on how to spread COVID-19 should be made available to staff from the election management so that  know the symptoms of COVID-19 and be able to recognize them in time. The purpose is to be able to request appropriate medical assistance  and laboratory control and to minimize  the  risk of contamination of both the public  as well as other employees.

All staff working in the electoral process  must be trained on precautions:

Personal protection rules< /p>

  •  respiratory hygiene (when coughing or sneezing, cover the nose and mouth with a tissue that is immediately disposed of in the trash. If this is not available, cover the mouth and nose with the inside of the elbow),
  • avoid hand contact with eyes, nose and mouth to reduce the risk of infection with the virus,
  • frequent hand hygiene especially after contact with respiratory secretions, before eating and after using the toilet (hand hygiene includes either cleaning the hands with soap and water or rubbing the hands with an alcohol solution, rubbing with an alcohol solution is preferable when hands are not visibly soiled, washing hands with soap and water especially when visibly soiled).

Staff presenting  symptoms of COVID-19 should stay away from  work and to contact directly by phone  to his personal physician. If symptoms occur during work, the working person should leave work immediately. The staff in question can exercise their right to vote before leaving.

The electoral management will make arrangements for the continuous monitoring of the staff regarding the possible appearance of related symptoms.

An effort should be made for the staff to work in groups with a permanent composition so as to reduce the possibility of the spread of the virus in the event of an outbreak.

To make a recommendation to people who can  belong to vulnerable groups, not to work in the elections.

Organization of election sites  

– Before the elections, to inform the election staff any gatherings to be held, these should be held with the least number of people and should  governed by personal protection measures.

– During the electoral process, it should be ensured that the access to the polling stations will be conducted without overcrowding and crowding.

  • The geographical dispersion of the polling stations should be done (e.g. premises)
  • It should be ensured that all access points to the polling stations will be open.
  • Avoid the use of polling stations with elevator access.
  • Mandatory dispersion of voters during access to the Center   and to avoid their unnecessary stay in the area.
  • Placement of posters/personal hygiene instructions.
  • Disinfection of the canopies and equipment by at regular intervals.
  • There will be an unobtrusive availability of antiseptic at the entrance of the polling centers, in the toilets and other prominent places.
  • The use of air conditioners is allowed provided that a continuous and sufficient intake of fresh air is ensured either with the use of mechanical systems or with natural regular ventilation of the space.

Practices during the conduct of the elections 

You should  an effort should be made so that the minimum possible number of people remains inside the   center. Waiting for voters to take place outside

Reduce to the minimum possible both in number and time the presence inside the centers of any observers who act on behalf of candidates and any visits by candidates/party officials.< /p>

The staff  to limit  to the extent possible  the conversation with voters and with each other  to the absolute essentials.

– Proposal for arrangement and delegation of duties

  • The person handling the electoral roll (1) sits next (to the left) of the person (2) who will give the ballots.
  • When the voter enters the Center, he proceeds to the person (1) who handles the electoral roll. The person (2) sitting next to him gives a pen to sign the list and asks him with the same pen to vote. (Pen comes from box A)
  • After the voter signs the list he is given by person 2 the ballot paper.
  • The voter then signs the list and holding the same pen continues in the canopy.
  • Persons 1 and 2 are advised to disinfect their hands.
  • After marking his choice, he exits the canopy and places the ballot in the ballot box and the pen in box B .
  • When the voter leaves, the canopy where the voter uses to mark his choice is disinfected. 
  • During the sorting and counting of votes, hands should be disinfected frequently.
  • Do not consume food/beverages inside the Center   (this requires the removal of the mask).

Cleaning and disinfection

< p>Cleaning staff must be trained in proper cleaning and sanitizing procedures regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus. The appropriate documents are used for this purpose, which are posted in the section “Instructions for dealing with the effects of the coronavirus in workplaces” on the website of the Press and Information Office –

https://www.pio.gov. cy/coronavirus/categories/info

Diligent and frequent cleaning and disinfection of shared objects.

Soap and paper dispensers (soap and paper dispensers) in the restrooms should always have soap and paper towels available, should be checked frequently for proper operation and should be cleaned frequently.

Supply of  toilets with liquid soap, disposable hand towels (which will be disposed of in foot-operated lever bins near the sinks), and antiseptic alcohol solution (with 70% alcohol content). The plastic bags of the bins, when full, must be tied tightly and removed immediately. After use, the gloves must be disposed of immediately in the plastic bags of the waste bins and no attempts should be made to clean them, e.g. washing disposable gloves and reusing them.

In addition to  normal toilet cleaning tasks, frequently used smooth surfaces (e.g. knobs, handles, handrails of stairs or railings,  switches, faucets, elevator buttons, etc.) need frequent cleaning with common cleaners , i.e. liquid soap and water, or household bleach solution  (sodium hypochlorite at a concentration of 0.1%), or hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of 0.5%, or an alcoholic antiseptic (ethanol 70%). It is noted that cleaning operations must be carried out with the use of gloves and a work uniform suitable for this purpose.

Consumables

Care must be taken so that there is continuously immediately accessible to polling stations sufficient consumables to prevent infections:

  • liquid soap
  • alcoholic hand cleaning solution (70% ethanol)
  • tissues
  • protective face masks.
  • garbage bags
  • liquid surface cleaning detergents
  • cans marked A & B for placing the pens.

Delivery of the voting centers.

At the end of the election process, the rooms that will be used as voting centers should be ventilated with natural way for at least half an hour and to be disinfected.

Source: www.reporter.com.cy

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