GEORGE TOWN: Up to four medical personnel will be at each voting centre tomorrow to assist voters who are Covid-19 positive.

With 294 schools and 12 private education institutions turned into polling centres in Penang, this means more than 1,000 healthcare professionals will be engaged to help patients exercise their voting right without unwittingly causing the virus to spread, said an Election Commission (EC) spokesman in the Bayan Baru constituency yesterday.

“They will help them follow the standard operating procedure. There will be a tent outside every polling centre, with medical staff.

“Those who are Covid-19 positive must go to the tent first and then be guided through the voting process,” he said.

The spokesman said each polling centre would have at least two wheelchairs, and there are 10 steps to the voting process compared with the eight steps previously.

“The extra steps are for voters to leave their cellphones with the officer (at a desk) before voting and then, they can retrieve it before leaving.

“This is to prevent people from taking pictures of ballot papers,” he said.

He said the polling centres would be set up today as it was a public holiday.

“The polling clerks will also go to their respective tallying centres to be briefed and to check the contents of the boxes,” he added.

Citing as an example the polling centre in Bayan Baru’s SM Sungai Ara, the EC spokesman said there would be 198 streams and urged all voters to visit online to check on their voting streams and number to reduce their waiting time.