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Health authorities and EC looking at increasing participants at meetings to 500

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Discussions are being held between the Ministry of Health and the Election Commission (EC) to see the possibilities of increasing the number of participants at election rallies from 100 to 500 as per the requests made by party secretaries, The Morning learnt.

As told by Ministry of Health Spokesman Viraj Abeysinghe, a final decision has not yet been taken in this regard.

In the election-related Covid-19 health guideline issued by the health authorities, it has been mentioned that the number of participants for an election rally has to be limited to 100 in order to maintain the social distancing.

“Party secretaries are continuously requesting to increase the number of participants and therefore the health officials are seeking possibilities together with the EC,” Abeysinghe said.

Meanwhile, when contacted by The Morning, EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said the decision has to be taken by the health authorities.

Despite the requests made by the EC and public health inspectors (PHIs), the Government is yet to gazette the health guidelines under the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance.