Odisha Assembly Monsoon Session: 20 MLAs undergo COVID-19 test on first day

Bhubaneswar: A total of 20 members of Odisha Assembly today underwent COVID-19 test today ahead of the monsoon session scheduled from September 29.

An official said the test for COVID-19 in the premises of Odisha state Assembly started at 8.30 AM today as per the order of BMC Commissioner Prem Chandra Choudhary. Today sample collection was over at about 5.49 PM.

A total no of 757 samples of RTPCR test were collected. Out of total 757 samples only 20 nos of MLAs including Speaker have given their samples.

Arrangement for sample collection was done in six counters. Two waiting space were prepared with a capacity of accommodating 40 persons.

Besides, hand sanitising space, registration queue abiding norms were strictly adhered.

The official added the test will start at 8 AM tomorrow.

It is worth mentioning that around 900 people including MLAs, their staff as well as all the employees of Assembly will be tested for COVID-19 on premises of the building in the next three days starting from Saturday.

While 400 people including Odisha Assembly staff and security personnel to be engaged during session will undergo Corona test on first day, the test will be conducted on ministers, MLAs and their PSOs and drivers on Sunday and Monday. Around 300 people will be tested on Sunday and remaining people will get their test done on Monday.

Total seven teams have been constituted for testing the Legislative Assembly members and staff. The teams will collect swab samples twice on Saturday and once during rest of two days for antigen test, Chaudhury told reporters.

Any member or staff will undergo COVID test outside Assembly premises in one or two days will not have to get tested again after submission of the test report.

The Assembly hall and premises will be sanitised everyday by the BMC. Corona preventive kits will be supplied to all members, officials and media by Health Department.

Moreover, an antigen testing team will be engaged on premises of Assembly. The RT-PCR test of all members and staff will be conducted after five days of session that will begin next week.

The monsoon session of Odisha Assembly, which commences on September 29, will meet for around four and half hour daily, informed Assembly Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro after holding an all-party meeting yesterday.

He said that the COVID-19 tests of all MLAs will be conducted from Saturday for three days. The members will be allowed to attend the session only those who test negative for the virus.

However, the session will function without question hour. The seating arrangements have been made for the legislators in Assembly hall, visitors’ gallery and Speaker’s gallery by following social distancing norms. The session will conclude on October 7.

The first day of the session will begin at 11.00 am and continue till 5.00 pm.

“There will be a four-hour sitting from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm and again from 3 pm to 5 pm on the first day,” Patro said adding that thereafter the Assembly will begin at 10.30 am and continue till 5.00 pm with two-hour lunch recess every day.

Total 12 ordinances which were cleared by the State Cabinet will be tabled during the session for discussion. Senior members, who are unable to attend the session, can participate in the debate via video conferencing from the district headquarters or their own office. They have to inform about it in writing before the session, the Speaker said.

Besides, video conference system has also been installed at the residential office of the Chief Minister, offices of ministers, leader of Opposition and district collectors besides office of the Odisha Computer Application Centre.

The House will be adjourned for an hour after obituary references on the first day for former President late Pranab Mukherjee, former MLAs Bishnu Das, Madan Mohan Dutta and police personnel died of COVID-19 on September 29.

This time, no papers and reports will be distributed among members in the House except those of urgent nature including the amendments to the Bills and reply of a minister, he said.

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