Though Liya Tadesse, Health Minister said in the media briefing that the election is taking place with proper covid 19 prevention, some precious methods seemed to be neglected in some polling stations, Addis Zeybe witnessed.
Yesterday, Addis Zeybe reporters visited voting stations in Addis Ababa and observed that thousands of voters, who queue to cast their votes, have not been serious with social distancing measures and some were seen unmasked.
Voters at Summit 2 election station, Lideta woreda 23, Kolfe Keraniyo woreda 04 in Addis Ababa were seen ignoring COVID-19 safety, similarly, election photo reports from different polling stations across the country including shows that little attention was given for covid 19 in the voting process.
Some of the voters that we talked to said that they know such gatherings will expose them to the virus, but “we exercised it since we don't have a choice rather than lining up the way as it was in order to vote early”, they said.
One of the reporters from Addis Zeybe at Dire Dawa said "even the elders that are said to be sensitive to covid_19 were seen neglecting the proper covid prevention methods which are expected to result in an increase in infections. "
Similarly, Addis Zeybe’s reporter from BahirDar reported that it seems the residents seem to forget the pandemic and were ignoring precautions, during the voting time many were queuing unmasked and social distancing was luxury.
According to a report from Coalition of Ethiopian Civil Society on the Commencement of Voting in Polling Stations, which is released yesterday, regarding COVID 19 protocols, observers reported that 20 percent of polling stations were set up in a way that ensured social distancing whereas 53 percent of polling stations were only partially set up to ensure social distancing measures.
Before election day health experts in the country were concerned that the election could help to spread the coronavirus.
"Covid 19 is getting worse, not improving. So when it comes to holding such programs as elections, great caution is needed. This kind of irresponsible act will cost us a lot." said Haimanot Tesfaye, a medical doctor from Black lion specialized hospital.
It is known that the general election of Ethiopia was supposed to be held in Ethiopia on 29 August 2020 to elect officials to the House of Peoples' Representatives, but was delayed, supposedly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whereby, after months of delay Dr. Lia Tadesse, Ministry of Health told an emergency session of the House of Peoples’ Representatives the country could perform the parliamentary election provided all the necessary precautions are put in place against the spread of the coronavirus.
The spread of COVID-19 has already profoundly increased and impacted the health and welfare of citizens around the country. And decisions being made about how elections would be run during the pandemic seems to go in the wrong way due to the irresponsible actions of the voters.