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Monday, September 21, 2020

Sabah 2020: EC not officially prohibiting Covid-19 patients from voting

 The Election Commission (EC) will not stop anyone from going out to exercise their right to vote in Sabah’s election this week, despite a spike in Covid-19 cases in the eastern part of the state. - NSTP pic

KOTA KINABALU: The Election Commission (EC) will not stop anyone from going out to exercise their right to vote in Sabah's election this week, despite a spike in Covid-19 cases in the eastern part of the state.

However, the EC feels that the spiralling pandemic may affect voter turnout on Sept 26.

EC chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani, when contacted today, said those who are Covid-19 positive and are meant to undergo quarantine are advised to remain home to avoid any further spread of infection.

He said transmission on a larger scale could occur if Covid-19 patients are exposed to the community, which could lead to new clusters.

"The commission will not prevent voters from exercising their rights, but it is better for them to stay home if they are positive and quarantined.

"They will put others at risk, including staff at polling centres. We are worried there will be new clusters from the election, as cases are increasing in the east coast," he said.

Abdul Ghani stressed that the standard operating procedures set by the Health Ministry (MoH) and the National Security Council will be observed throughout the campaigning and polling periods, including dedicating special rooms for those who are symptomatic.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had said the Cabinet Committee will, on Tuesday, discuss security and health issues in Sabah ahead of the election.

The discussion will be carried out with the MoH and police.

Recently, interim Chief Minister and Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said every voter has the right to perform their duty, even if they are in poor health.

He suggested a separate queue line be provided for Covid-19 patients.

However, Sabah Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin voiced support for Ismail Sabri, saying that Covid-19 patients should not be allowed to go out to vote. - NST

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