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Published On: Mon, Sep 14th, 2020

Over 25 MPs test positive for Covid-19 on first day of Parliament’s session

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mpsNEW DELHI : Over 25 parliamentarians have tested positive for coronavirus in the mandatory tests that were conducted before the beginning of the monsoon session.
Among the infected Lok Sabha MPs, the BJP has a maximum number — 12. The YSR Congress has two MPs, the Shiv Sena, DMK and RLP one each. Sources said altogether, 56 people tested positive during the RT-PCR Tests conducted in the parliament building complex by September 12.

Sources said 17 of the MPs are from Lok Sabha, and nine are from the Rajya Sabha. Ahead of the session, all members were requested to get themselves tested for COVID-19.
In Rajya Sabha, two each from BJP and Congress and one each from AIADMK,TRS, AAP and TMC were found to be infected. Some leaders tweeted and informed about their Covid-19 report.mps.1.753789
The results sparked a Covid-19 scare in Parliament which is meeting with protocols such as social distancing, usage of masks and sanitisers. The Monsoon session is already being held after a long delay and in a truncated fashion.
Among the other changes and precautions being undertaken for smooth functioning amid the Covid crisis that has pushed India’s disease burden to over 48.5 lakh cases.

While close to 200 members were in attendance in the Lok Sabha chamber, over 30 were seated in the visitors’ gallery situated above the main chamber.
A giant TV screen in the Lok Sabha chamber displayed very few Lok Sabha members occupying seats in the Rajya Sabha chamber, meanwhile, in the other venue, Lok Sabha MPs were accommodated following all physical distancing norms. Benches which, generally accommodate six members had a staggered sitting plan for just three.
Earlier, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariats had issued a detailed set of guidelines for MPs, their personal staff and parliamentary employees, stating that a Covid-19 test report is mandatory for entering Parliament.
One of the infected MPs, Meenakshi Lekhi tweeted: “After the routine Parliament test for COVID & genome test it’s confirmed that I have tested positive for the virus. I am currently in good health & spirits. I request everyone who has been recently in contact with me to get tested. Together We will fight & defeat Corona.”
The BJP’s Sukanta Majumdar ws the first to tweet his positive status yesterday. Around 200 of the 785 MPs are above the age of 65 years and are among the population vulnerable to coronavirus.
Earlier, at least seven Union ministers and around 25 MPs and MLAs had contracted the disease. Among them was Union home minister Amit Shah, who underwent a thorough medical check-up before the parliament session started. An MP and several MLAS have died from the highly infectious disease.

The parliament session is being held amid huge safety measures that include staggered seating of the MPs in chambers of both Houses to maintain physical distancing. A mobile app has been introduced to register their attendance and seats in the house have been separated with poly-carbon sheets.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla told that a large number of MPs attended the first day’s session. “It shows how strong the roots of democracy are. The coming of MPs even in extraordinary circumstances is a big thing,” added the Speaker, who had sent special covid kits to all MPs.
The kits, provided by prepared by defence research organisation DRDO, disposable masks, N-95 masks, sanitisers, face shields, gloves, herbal sanitation wipes and tea bags to enhance immunity. Each kit also contains a Covid safety manual for the MPs.
(With Agency Inputs ).

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