While it may not seem like it, COVID-19 is still very much present in Malaysia, and with an event as important as the 15th General Elections (GE15) coming up, you might be wondering if individuals who test positive for COVID-19 can still vote. According to our Ministry of Health (KKM) the answer is yes.
In a tweet shared yesterday morning on the official @KKMPutrajaya Twitter account, the health ministry stated that all eligible voters will be allowed to vote on the 19th of November 2022 and they are encouraged to follow a set of guidelines during the voting process. For starters, voters who test positive are required to wear a face mask to protect the other voters.
On top of that, these voters are also not allowed to travel via public transport—including ride-sharing services like Grab—which means they’ll need to commute there with their own private vehicles. KKM also says that positive voters should not stop by any other locations before and after voting, and should instead go straight home once they’re done casting their vote.
Of course, voters who test positive are also encouraged to keep their hands sanitised with the sanitisers that will be provided at the voting booths, but they’re also encouraged to bring their own hand sanitisers with them just in case. Finally, eligible voters who test positive for COVID-19 should practice social distancing and keep a good physical distance between them and the other voters.
Now, it’s great news that you will be able to vote even if you test positive for COVID-19, the advice that’s being shared by KKM seems to be lacking a couple of important details. For example, with users not required to declare that they’re positive or required to scan through MySejahtera at the polling station, how will the other voters know that someone is COVID-19 positive short of being informed of that fact by the person themselves?
There’s also no information on whether there will be separate waiting areas or lines for COVID-19 positive voters, which makes it tricky to keep socially distanced from positive voters. I guess the most important thing you should take away from this is that you need to be extra vigilant when out voting, and take the appropriate precautions like wearing masks and frequently sanitising at the polling stations.
Yesterday, the 13th of November, the health ministry reported 2,234 new daily COVID-19 cases, with two deaths attributed to COVID-19 being reported in Johor and Kedah. This brings the number of active cases to 29,605 cases.