The three member Elections Commission will on July 6 discuss and submit a proposal to the health authorities to extend the quarantine period of those in centers and home to 21 days from the existing 14 days so that two PCR tests can be conducted on them before the August 5 General Elections.
Elections Chief, Mahinda Deshapriya told Daily Mirror yesterday that following a discussion within the three members, the health authorities will be requested to conduct a PCR test on those under quarantine on the tenth day and twentieth day as a strict preventive measure against the COVID-19 ahead of the parliamentary polls.
As for those who are still under home quarantine on August 5, the Elections Commission will discuss on July 6 if they can be brought in to cast their votes in the final hour before polling booths close or if voting can be extended by a further 30 minutes to allow them to cast their votes.
Further the Elections Commission will also look to set a special cubicle within the polling booths for them to cast their votes.
Those in the quarantine centers, special booths will be set up within the centers to allow citizens to cast their votes. Polling agents will be equipped in PPEs and will have all safety measures in place.
"We are going to discuss all these options in the Commission meeting with the health authorities. The Commission's aim is to ensure that there is no public transmission of the COVID-19 because of the elections," Deshapriya said.
Earlier, Deshapriya said that with all health measures in place, he was trying his best to keep the cost of the August 5 elections to below Rs. 10 billion. "If we pass this figure it will be too much," he said.
An estimated 16 million people will cast their votes in the August election.(Jamila Husain)