The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) wants the Electoral Commission to scale up its efforts in ensuring adherence to the Covid-19 safety measures in order to prevent the spread of the virus at the registration centres.

CODEO in its report for the the first phase of the registration process which ended on Sunday, July 5, 2020 observed among other things that safety protocols, especially social distancing among applicants was breached. – a situation the election monitoring group describes as very worrisome.

“CODEO is worried that there is some level of laxity in the respect for the COVID-19 health and safety protocols, particularly the lack of social distancing at some registration centres observed.  Accordingly, CODEO calls on the Electoral Commission to consider additional mechanisms for enhancing the effectiveness of the respect for health and safety protocols at all registration centres at all times”, the report said.

COVID-19 health and safety protocols

1. Observers reported that in some instances (28%), registration officials could not ensure that there was a two-meter distance between registration applicants in queue. Observers reported instances of overcrowding of people outside of the inner perimeters of registration centers. This is in spite of the fact that most registration centers (91%) were found by observers to be spacious enough to allow for the necessary social distancing arrangement. However, about 9% of the registration centers observed lacked the required space to enforce the relevant social distancing protocols for registration applicants.

2. Observers indicated that in most cases (92%), registration officials checked the temperature of registration applicants before they were admitted into registration centers. However, this was not done in some cases (8%). In a few instances, some applicants were turned away from a registration center by officials because of their high body temperature.

3. In nearly all instances (99%), registration centers had hand-washing facilities (soap and buckets with water) mounted and available. Hand-washing was strictly enforced by registration officials in most cases (82%). In 18% of the time however, handwashing was not strictly enforced. Observers also indicated that in a few cases (4%), there was a shortage of some of the hand-washing facilities at some point in the registration exercise.

4, Registration officials did not always wipe or clean the surface of the fingerprint scanners after applicants used them. Observers indicated that officials “always” did so only in 4 in 10 (43%) cases, and “often” or “sometimes” in the majority (55%) of cases. At a few instances (2%), the officials ‘never’ wiped or cleaned the surface of the fingerprint scanners after applicants used them.

Below is the full report

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