With the Monsoon sessions of Parliament set to begin, the Lok Sabha Speaker on Friday said that the Members of Parliament will be requested to get themselves tested for COVID-19 at least 72 hours before the beginning of the session.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said that not only the MPs but all others who are expected to enter the Parliament premises, including officials from ministries, representatives from the media and staff of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats will also be tested for the virus.
The monsoon sessions of the Parliament is set to begin on September 14 and will conclude on October 1.
To chalk out the plan for the upcoming session, keeping in mind the safety measures, a meeting was called by Om Birla with officials from the Health Ministry, ICMR, AIIMS, DRDO and Delhi government.
“COVID-19 has posed a major challenge for the functioning of democratic institutions across the world. We hope that the members will cooperate in the smooth functioning of the Monsoon session by following COVID-19 related guidelines,” he said.
Om Birla said arrangements have also been made for zero-touch security checks during the session. If required random tests for COVID-19 can be conducted during the session.
Sources have told news agency Press Trust of India that the Monsoon Session is likely to be held in two shifts – morning and evening.
For the monsoon session, it has been reported that four large (85 inches) display screens will be set up in the chambers and six smaller (40 inches) screens and audio consoles in the four galleries, as well as cables, to transmit real-time audio-visual signals and communications consoles to enable members to participate in debates and discussions.
There are also proposals to install an ultraviolet irradiation system in the air-conditioning unit of the Rajya Sabha to kill germs and viruses.
India on Friday reported the worst single-day spike in the world with a record 77,266 fresh Coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours taking the tally to 33,87,501. As many as 1,057 fatalities were reported in the same period pushing the death toll to 61,529, Union Health Ministry data shows.
Of the total cases, 7,42,023 are active while 25,83,948 people have been cured of the deadly infection that was first reported in Kerala on January 30.