People with COVID symptoms can vote at isolation polling precincts: Comelec

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 02 2022 11:23 AM | Updated as of May 02 2022 12:53 PM

A member of the media casts her vote during the last day of the Local Absentee Voting at the Comelec NCR office in Intramuros, Manila on April 29, 2022. Uniformed personnel, teachers and members of the press who will be on election duty during the May 9 election can cast their votes until Friday, April 29 at 5PM. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News
A member of the media casts her vote during the last day of the Local Absentee Voting at the Comelec NCR office in Intramuros, Manila on April 29, 2022. Uniformed personnel, teachers and members of the press who will be on election duty during the May 9 election can cast their votes until Friday, April 29 at 5PM. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - Persons who turn out to have COVID-19 symptoms on May 9 can still vote at isolation polling precincts, the Commission on Elections said Monday.

The temperature of voters will be checked at the entrance of the school or poll precinct and if they exhibit symptoms or a high temperature, they will be directed to vote in an isolated polling precinct, Garcia said.

"Di po kailangan ng RT-PCR, rapid antigen test. Di po kailangan ng vaccination card. Kahit wala pong face shield. Face mask lang po okay na," he told ANC's Headstart.

(Voters don't need to present an RT-PCR or rapid antigen test result, or a vaccination card. There's no need to wear face shield, only a face mask.)

"Instead of them voting in the regular precinct, they'll be voting in isolation voting precincts," he added when asked about voters with virus symptoms.

The Comelec cannot stop from voting COVID patients who find a way to leave their isolation facilities on May 9, Garcia added.

"We cannot bring the ballots to them. For whatever reason nakalabas sila, then we will allow them to vote, we have no choice. It’s their constitutional right," he said. 

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COVID-19 patients are urged to stay home or at their isolation facility as going outside is a violation of Republic Act 11332 or the "Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events Act," according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

"Kapag tayo ay may sakit di po tayo pwedeng lumabas. You will be sanctioned pag tayo ay gumawa nyan," she told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(If we're sick, we can't go outside. You will be sanctioned if you do so.)

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Video courtesy of PTV

The public is urged to get their booster shots to prevent a possible increase in cases, according to infectious disease specialist Dr. Edsel Salvana.

"Nanawagan po kaming mga doktor, scientists. Ayaw na po namin bumalik sa 2 years ago na halos punong-puno po ang mga ospital natin," he said In a televised pres briefing.

(Us doctors and scientists are calling on the public. We don't want to go back to 2 years ago when hospitals were nearly full.)

"Ang booster po ang nagsisilbing insurance na di na po tayo babalik—para na pong nightmare ang nangyari dati. Ang COVID ay nandyan pa rin po, very important po we protect ourselves with the tools science is giving us.)

(Booster shots serve as our insurance against revisiting that nightmare. COVID is still here, it's very important we protect ourselves with the tools science is giving us.)

The Comelec has also assigned personnel to implement the 1-meter physical distancing rule, Garcia said.

Voters are urged to write their preferred candidates on a piece of paper as the use of cellphones inside polling precincts is discouraged, Garcia added.

"Di naman bawal yung tingnan ang (It's not prohibited to look at your) cellphone, in actuallity, the watchers will object. You will be complained of," he said.

"Our instruction is you can bring a cellphone but while inside poll precinct refrain from using it."

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