DOH urges Comelec to allow online voting for COVID-positive voters
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday to have alternative modes of voting—such as virtual means—as it stressed its stand that COVID-19 positive patients should not be allowed to leave their isolation areas.
DOH Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire made the remark after the Comelec bared in a House hearing that registered voters who are positive for COVID-19 can vote in the coming 2022 elections through “isolation centers” in every polling center.
“Kailangan din isaisip, dapat may alternative tayo for those who are COVID positive para sa botohan na ito. Alam natin na ang isang positibong tao kapag lumabas ng kanilang kwarto o ng kanilang lugar ay maaaring makahawa ng ibang tao,” Vergeire said in a press briefing.
(We should think of alternative means for COVID-positive voters. We know that when a person who tested positive leaves their room or their area, they can infect others.)
“Sana Comelec (I hope Comelec) will have an alternative way of having these elections for those COVID-positive patients,” she added.
One possible means, if possible, is virtual voting, said Vergeire.
“Baka pwede naman virtual na lang, digital through SMS kung makakagawa tayo ng ganitong proseso,” Vergeire said.
(Maybe we can do it virtually, or through SMS if this process is possible.)
“Ang DOH ay hindi nire-rekomenda na ang mga COVID-positive patients ay lalabas ng kanilang isolation area to do these kinds of activities because this might have some form of transmission and infect other people,” she added.
(The DOH is not recommending that COVID-positive patients leave their isolation area to do these kinds of activities because this might have some form of transmission and infect other people.)
Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas said they will coordinate with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to finalize the safety guidelines for the coming elections.
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