Around 30 MPs, 50 employees of Parliament test positive for COVID

Cheryl Sanders
September 15, 2020

Except for the first day, the Rajya Sabha will sit in the morning shift and the Lok Sabha will sit in the evening. A total of 18 sittings spread over a period of 18 days will be conducted during the monsoon session and 47 items have been identified for being taken up during the Monsoon Session 2020, said Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, all Members of Parliament (MPs) registered their attendance through a mobile application when Lok Sabha assembled on Monday for the first day of the Monsoon Session. Needless to say wearing of mask was compulsory. Of the two Houses, the Lok Sabha held its first day proceedings on Monday from 9 1 p.m. while the Rajya Sabha proceedings which started at 3 p.m. will go on till 7 p.m.

Both the Houses of Parliament will sit for four hours daily adhering to coronavirus precautionary measures.

Utmost caution - staggered seating, compulsory wearing of face masks, frequent hand sanitisation, a no-touch door opener and a new seating arrangement for social distancing - is being taken to ensure complete Covid safety even as numerous older MPs did not attend the first day of the session. Frisking of people will also make way for touch-less security scanning, while thermal scanning will also be totally touch-free.

Frequent sanitisation of the entire parliament complex will also be carried out, while arrangements have been made to sanitise various parliamentary papers as well as footwear and cars of MPs, officials said.

It is mandatory for all MPs to undergo a COVID-19 test before attending a Parliamentary session. Each kit will contain 40 disposable masks, five N-95 masks, 20 bottles of sanitisers of 50 ml each, face shields, 40 pairs of gloves, a touch-free hook to open and close doors without touching them, herbal sanitation wipes and tea bags to enhance immunity.

However, a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee of Rajya Sabha is scheduled to be held today in the Parliament.

During the monsoon session, the Opposition parties are expected to raise several issues, including the Narendra Modi government's handling of the coronavirus crisis, the devastation of India's economy and the ongoing India-China border dispute.

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