MANILA—The Department of Health on Friday cautioned the Commission on Elections against allowing COVID-19 patients to vote in person in the May 2022 elections as it may lead to further transmission of cases.
Comelec had said that isolation centers would be set up in polling places to allow those who test positive for the virus to still vote.
"Alam po natin na isang positibong tao na kapag lumabas po ng kanilang kuwarto o kanilang lugar ay maaari pong makahawa ng ibang tao," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing.
(We all know that when a patient goes out of his/her room or area can infect other people.)
"So, sana po (hopefully) Comelec will have an alternative way of having this election for those COVID positive patients," she added.
This includes the possibility of casting ballots virtually or through SMS, Vergeire said.
"Dahil talagang ang [DOH] ay hindi po natin inirerekomenda na ang mga COVID positive patients ay lalabas ng kanilang (Because the DOH does not recommend allowing COVID positive patients outside their) isolation area to do these kinds of activities because this might have some form of transmission and infect other people," she added.
As the filing of candidacies looms, the country is faced with a surge in infections fueled by the more contagious Delta variant.
As of Thursday, the Philippines has recorded more than 2.3 million coronavirus infections, of which over 36,000 have succumbed to the illness. It currently has over 177,000 active cases of COVID-19.
— With a report from Raphael Bosano, ABS-CBN News