Ahead of the Parliament’s monsoon session which starts on September 14, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu underwent a compulsory coronavirus test, Vice President’s Secretariat said on Sunday. It is mandatory for every member to undergo the coronavirus (RT-PCR) test before attending the Monsoon Session, an advisory issued to all Rajya Sabha members said.
All the MPs have been asked to get themselves tested within 72 hours before the monsoon session begins. They can get themselves tested at the Parliament House complex or at any hospital or laboratory authorised by the government.
A negative coronavirus test report is a must for every member of Parliament to take part in house proceedings.
For the convenience of members, three test centres have been set up in the Parliament House annexe. They have been requested to send their test reports in advance to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat on a designated e-mail address to avoid inconvenience at the time of entry into the Parliament House during the session, the advisory said.
The RT-PCR test for Covid-19 is also mandatory for employees of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha secretariats, and personnel of agencies deployed at the Parliament House complex.
Rajya Sabha Chairman Naidu has been regularly reviewing the special precautionary and remedial measures taken to contain the spread of the Covid-19 infection and ensure the well-being of members during the session.
He has issued instructions to senior officials of the secretariat to not be complacent and to strictly adhere to the guidelines specified.
Risk mitigation and protection of the members’ health has been among the main concerns, Rajya Sabha officials said.
The chairman has held meetings with the secretaries of the Union home and health ministries, chairman of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to ensure the safety of the members and officials.
To ensure social distancing, the Rajya Sabha chamber and its galleries, and the Lok Sabha chamber will be used to seat members during the session.
In the Rajya Sabha, 57 MPs will be accommodated in its chamber and 51 in its galleries, the remaining 136 will be seated in the chamber of the Lok Sabha. Four large display screens will be set up in both Houses of Parliament.