South Korea reports high turnout in early voting but apologizes to coronavirus patients for unpreparedness.

South Korea’s National Election Commission on Sunday apologized for poor planning during special early voting hours for coronavirus pati...


South Korea’s National Election Commission on Sunday apologized for poor planning during special early voting hours for coronavirus patients this led to surprisingly long waits at polling stations and, according to local media, some patients passed out.

“We are truly sorry for causing any inconvenience to Covid-19 patients during the early voting period,” the statement read.

It was unclear how many people were involved, but at least one person with Covid had to be hospitalized.

South Korea is seeing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, its worst wave of the pandemic. Lawmakers and health officials had agreed last month to revise electoral laws to allow voters infected with the virus to vote in the country’s controversial presidential election.

Under the new rules, the general public could vote early all day Friday and Saturday, but patients infected with the virus and those in quarantine were only allowed to vote during a limited window on Saturday. People with the virus were allowed to leave their homes to vote from 5 p.m. and had to walk, drive or take a taxi to get to a polling station by 6 p.m. , and in many cases, outdoors in cold weather.

More than a million people in South Korea were on home treatment for Covid on Saturday, health authorities said. The country was reporting an average of more than 208,000 new cases per day, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

According to the electoral commission, the two-day early voting period saw a turnout of 36.93%, more than 10 percentage points higher than the early turnout in the 2020 parliamentary elections.

On Election Day on Wednesday, the new rules will allow voters with Covid to come out of isolation to vote from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., health authorities said. The rest of the electorate will be able to vote from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. as a security measure.

Reflecting on the incidents over the weekend of early voting, the electoral commission said it would “propose measures as soon as possible so that the public can vote with confidence on election day”.

In other developments:

  • Hong Kong Post will suspend courier services and package deliveries on Monday to focus on essential postal services as the city faces an increase in the Omicron variant. SF-Express, a popular courier service in Hong Kong, has also suspended door-to-door deliveries, leading to long queues at self-pick-up points. As dozens of residential buildings are locked down for mass testing and a growing number of families isolate themselves at home, delivery services face increased demand and labor shortages artwork.

Tiffany May contributed report.

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Newsrust - US Top News: South Korea reports high turnout in early voting but apologizes to coronavirus patients for unpreparedness.
South Korea reports high turnout in early voting but apologizes to coronavirus patients for unpreparedness.
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