South Korea’s Nationwide Election Fee launched an apology on Sunday for poor planning throughout particular early voting hours for coronavirus sufferers that resulted in unexpectedly lengthy waits at polling websites and, in keeping with native media reviews, some sufferers fainting.
“We’re very sorry for inflicting an inconvenience to the Covid-19 sufferers in the course of the early-voting interval,” the assertion mentioned.
It was unknown how many individuals had been concerned, however not less than one individual with Covid needed to be hospitalized.
South Korea is experiencing a pointy spike in coronavirus circumstances, its worst wave of the pandemic. Lawmakers and well being officers had agreed final month to revise election legal guidelines to permit voters contaminated with the virus to forged a poll within the nation’s contentious presidential election.
Beneath the brand new guidelines, most people may vote early all day on Friday and Saturday, however virus sufferers and people in quarantine had been allowed on the polls solely throughout a restricted window on Saturday. Folks with the virus had been permitted go away dwelling to vote beginning at 5 p.m. and wanted to stroll, drive or take a cab to a polling station by 6 p.m. However having so many present up on the similar time induced strains of over an hour at some polls, and in lots of circumstances, outdoors within the chilly climate.
Greater than 1 million individuals in South Korea had been in in-home remedy for Covid on Saturday, the well being authorities mentioned. The nation was reporting a median of greater than 208,000 new circumstances a day, in keeping with the Heart for Methods Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins College.
In accordance with the election fee, the two-day early-voting interval had a 36.93 % voter turnout, which was greater than a ten share factors increased than the early-voting turnout within the 2020 parliamentary elections.
On Wednesday, Election Day, the brand new guidelines will permit voters with Covid to depart isolation to vote from 6 to 7:30 p.m., the well being authorities mentioned. The remainder of the citizens will be capable to vote from 6 a.m. to six p.m. as a security precaution.
Reflecting upon the mishaps in the course of the early voting weekend, the election fee mentioned that it will “give you measures as quickly as potential in order that the general public can vote with confidence on Election Day.”
In different developments:
Hong Kong Submit will droop courier companies and parcel deliveries on Monday to concentrate on important postal companies as the town faces a surge within the Omicron variant. SF Specific, a well-liked courier service in Hong Kong, has additionally suspended door-to-door deliveries, leading to lengthy strains at self-pickup places. As dozens of residential buildings are locked down for mass testing and growing numbers of households self-isolate at dwelling, supply companies are dealing with a rise in demand and a scarcity of manpower.
Tiffany Could contributed reporting.