Egypt says it has begun the disinfection of polling stations nationwide ahead of ballot casting for the Senate elections on Tuesday and Wednesday.
According to the state TV website, the National Elections Authority (NEA) said the sterilisation measures began on Monday at 11 am, with the disinfection to be carried out again after the end of voting on the first day.
It includes a full disinfection of areas were voters are present, including the polling stations, offices, ballot boxes and tents outside polling stations or any waiting areas for voters.
The authority added that disinfection gates will be installed in front of every polling station to ensure the safety of voters against any viral infections, especially COVID-19.
The NEA announced on Saturday that it will make wearing facemasks mandatory inside polling stations for the senate elections.
It said that all those participating in the electoral process are required to wear masks and abide by social distancing inside polling stations, including the heads of polling stations, candidates’ representatives, media personnel and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) representatives.
The authority will provide facemasks inside polling stations to allow voters to participate in ballot casting.
Egypt started to make wearing facemasks in public mandatory on 30 May, with violators facing fines of up to EGP 4,000 (approx. $250). Nevertheless, many people have disregarded the new law on wearing masks.
Elections already kicked off for Egyptian expatriates by mail on Sunday and will run until Monday.
A total of 787 candidates are competing for seats in the 300-seat second parliamentary chamber.
Two-thirds of the members will be elected via the individual candidacy and the closed party list systems, and the rest will be appointed by the president.
The senate's term lasts for five years.
The results of the first round of voting will be announced on 19 August.
Second round voting will be held on 8-9 September, with the results to be announced on 16 September.
Senate polls will be followed by elections for the House of Representatives.