All MPs attending the Monsoon Session of Parliament, beginning from September 14, will have to bring a certificate after testing negative for Covid-19 to enter the House, News18 reported on Friday. The requirement is part of a set of guidelines issued by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariat in accordance with the recommendations of the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Union health ministry.
The test needs to be done 72 hours before the session begins and those who fail to do so will have to undertake the coronavirus test at the Parliament’s reception.
Further, if any family member and staff of an MP tests positive for the coronavirus, the legislator concerned would have to go into 14-day self-quarantine in accordance with the health ministry’s guidelines. The family members and staff will also need to get tested ahead of the Assembly session, Business Standard reported.
The Lok Sabha Secretariat will set up a Covid-19 test camp on Saturday where all employees on duty during the Assembly session would be checked for the infection.
On August 28, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had said that caution will be observed to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. Arrangements have been made for zero-touch security checks during the session and if necessary random tests can also be conducted, the Speaker had said, adding proper measures for sanitisation of the premises will also be undertaken.
Other measures include maintaining physical distance, covering face with masks, maintaining hand hygiene and avoid gathering in common or dinner areas and the lobby. Further, MPs have been advised to not invite visitors and stay inside the House during the proceedings. They have been also asked to avoid carrying paper bills and reports and encouraged to use digital copies.
Moreover, media personnel will also have to be checked for Covid-19. Unidentified officials have said that another Covid-19 test would carried out for MPs, their family members and staff, the Secretariat staff and the media personnel after seven days to check if any one has been infected with the virus.
India’s coronavirus count went up to 39,37,017 on Friday with 83,341 new cases. The toll rose by 1,096 to 68,472. Over 30 lakh people have recovered so far.