1.960877-542661894
A woman casts her vote as another checks for her name at a polling centre during the third round of the elections for Egypt’s parliament in Qaliubiya on Tuesday. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: AP

Cairo: Egypt has tightened precautions against the spread of the new coronavirus ahead of Tuesday's vote on the second chamber of parliament or the Senate.

Egyptians go to polls Tuesday and Wednesday to elect the Senate revived in constitutional amendments adopted last year. The upper house of the parliament was scrapped in 2014.

A judicial commission in charge of the election said it has taken all the necessary precautions against the COVID-19 in the polling stations nationwide. The measures include sterilising and disinfecting the places twice a day before and after the ballot.

Wearing protective face masks is mandatory for voters, polling supervisors and contenders, the National Commission for Elections said.

Masks will be available at the entrance of each polling station for those who need them.

“The commission has taken all precautionary measures against the coronavirus inside all polling stations to help generate intensive participation from citizens in the election,” the panel’s head Lasheen Ebrahim said.

“No one will be allowed into the polling stations without wearing the face mask,” he added.

Around 63 million Egyptians are eligible to vote.

The Egyptian political parties and media have over the past days urged voters to go to polls to elect the 300-member Senate.

Arrangements are made to regulate access to the polling stations to ensure social distancing and prevent crowding, officials said.

After a surge in infections, Egypt has seen a decrease in virus cases in recent weeks. The country of around 100 million people so far has registered a total of over 95,300 infections and about 5,000 related fatalities.