Ministries, agencies prepare to hold elections amid pandemic

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Prime Minister Pham Minh Chính on Monday chairs a Cabinet meeting on election preparations. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Pham Minh Chính on Monday called on ministries, ministerial-level agencies and Government agencies to develop scenarios to hold the upcoming elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PM, speaking while chairing a Cabinet meeting on election preparations, asked the Ministry of Health to clarify criteria for localities to determine what constitutes an outbreak-hit locality and appropriate measures to deal with the situation.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information and Communications and press agencies were urged to expand dissemination on the elections and disease prevention and control measures via all means of communications.

The ministries of National Defence and Public Security should stay ready to ensure security, safety and order at polling stations from now until the election day – May 23.

People’s Committees must work closely with the organisations in charge of the election work in localities, ensure facilities, technology and equipment for the elections, and focus on pandemic prevention and control, Chính said.

Given the complex developments of the pandemic, the Government leader emphasised the need for a written request to the National Election Council requiring specific regulations on how to hold meetings with voters and voting in an appropriate form.

Reporting on election organisation, a representative from the Ministry of Home Affairs said that the National Election Council, ministries, sectors and localities have taken drastic measures to fight the pandemic and prepare for the elections.

Deputy Health Minister Trần Văn Thuấn said his ministry had issued a plan on medical work serving the elections with the focus on environmental sanitation and COVID-19 safety, food safety, and emergencies.

The ministry has also run training classes for medical workers at district and province levels.

The ministry also sent inspectors to some provinces to examine their preparation for the elections, Thuấn said, adding that the provinces had developed quite detailed scenarios to respond to possible medical issues during the election.

The ministry suggested voters go to vote at arranged times to ensure safe distance and a proper number of people at an election place at a specific time.

A representative from the Ministry of Public Security said specific scenarios were needed for each voting places and each province, particularly locked-down areas or concentrated quarantine areas. — VNS

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