Deputy health minister Iraj Harirchi said on Thursday that strict hygiene regulations will be enforced at more than 10,000 polling stations across Iran that would accommodate the votes on a weekend holiday on Friday, Press TV reported.
Harirchi said a hygiene supervisor would be present at every polling station to ensure coronavirus safety protocols are properly observed.
The official said that using ink stamp pads and some other devices will be removed from the entire voting process for a first time in Iran to minimize the risk of infection through contact.
He said voting staff and supervisors will be required to enforce distancing measures among the voters.
“The Ministry ... is ready to strictly monitor and control how hygiene protocols are observed at the polling constituencies across the entire country,” Harirchi was quoted as saying by the official IRNA agency.
While battling a fourth wave of coronavirus infections, Iran is holding key votes to pick a new president and members of the Islamic Councils in cities and villages.
The country came to know its first cases of the disease in late February 2020 just after holding a nationwide parliamentary election.
Health ministry officials said on Thursday that the number of coronavirus cases detected in the country over the past 24 hours had reached 10,291 while the daily death toll from the disease stood at 139 as of noon local time.
More than three million people have been infected and nearly 83,000 have died of the coronavirus in Iran over the past 16 months, according to official figures.
Iran is holding its 13th presidential election on Friday, June 18. Three candidates have dropped out of the race, but four others are still running. Over 59.3 million Iranians are eligible to vote in the election, according to the Interior Ministry.
The dropouts will leave the reformist Hemmati and three principlist candidates – Mohsen Rezaei, Ebrahim Raeisi and Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi – in the presidential race.
According to Iran’s election law, the polls are to open at 7:00 a.m. on Friday.