Comelec to allot isolation polling areas, COVID-19 testing for voters with symptoms

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 16) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will designate isolation polling areas with the capacity to do COVID-19 testing.

Comelec commissioner Rowena Guanzon said these will be manned by health workers who will test voters exhibiting symptoms of the disease.

"Kapag... may fever sila, o kaya inuubo, sinisipon sila, dadalhin sila sa isolating polling place and 'yung health workers dun iswa-swab sila dun," Guanzon said in a virtual briefing Thursday.

[Translation: If they have fever, cough, or colds, they will be taken to an isolating polling place and the health workers will perform swab tests there.]

During an online briefing with CNN Philippines last week, Comelec director and spokesperson James Jimenez said Filipinos do not need to present their COVID-19 vaccination cards or negative RT-PCR test results to cast their votes.

Jimenez also assured the public that every voting center will have health screenings. The poll body will also work with the pandemic task force for contact tracing.

As of July, Jimenez said 60.46 million Filipinos have already registered for the 2022 general elections. He expressed optimism the number will further grow to 62 million by end-September.

READ: Young Filipinos comprise 52% of total registered voters for 2022 polls so far - Comelec

Jimenez also said the poll body is considering adopting the voting system set for persons deprived of liberty for Filipinos in COVID-19 quarantine facilities.

RELATED: Risks flagged as Comelec studies voting for patients in quarantine centers