EC, health professionals call for observing health protocols during elections


Kathmandu, Nov 13: The nation is observing upcoming November 20 as the day for the voting for elections to the Member of the House of Representatives (HoR) and Province Assembly simultaneously.

In the run up to the elections, political   parties and election candidates are busy home visit events as part of the election publicity campaign.  When the election atmosphere is gaining momentum at home, health  professionals are worried about the public health issue bearing in mind the  infection risk of infectious diseases majorly  COVID-19.  

On Saturday, eight new cases of COVID-19 were found in the past 24 hours. Though the COVID-19 infection risk slows down, the risk persists and health professional advised the people to take recommended health protocols against the disease. 

Dr Sagar Raj Bhandari said that he was worried to see election candidates not following the health protocols, posing a serious threat to public health. “Ignoring to practice safety measures is to increase the risk of infectious diseases.  The risk of common cold, influenza and changing form of COVID-10 may rise.”

Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital former director Dr Bhandari advised political parties and candidates to ensure venues chosen for gatherings are well-ventilated and avoid programmes and gatherings in congested zones. 

COVID-19 risk still exists and the cases of seasonal flu and other respiratory health issues are on the continuous rise, according to Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital Dr Sher Bahadur Pun. As he stressed, participants of election meetings and gatherings should be aware of food intake as well. 

He added that risk of diarrhea could not be avoided in winter.” Intake of foods haphazardly may cause diarrhea and vomiting in winter.”

  Doctors advised the people with common cold symptoms and fever to stay away from the crowd and gatherings to contain the risk of the spread of infectious diseases. They insisted on physical distancing, wearing of mask and special attention to cleanliness.  

According to health professional, employees participating in the election procedures are required to follow the health protocols against the contagious diseases. 

Meanwhile, the Election Commission said it is committed to ensuring the observation of health protocol during elections. The Election Code of Conduct mandates political parties and candidates to comply with the health safety measures. EC assistant Spokesperson Surya Prasad Aryal said the EC has already supplied hand sanitizer and mask to the polling centers. “We have been urging all for observing the social distancing.” (RSS)

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