Parliamentary standing committee meetings cancelled
As Delhi faces a spike in COVID-19 cases, 400 Parliament staffers tested positive for during random testing. In view of the rise in cases and the latest development of the staffers being tested positive, the meetings of several Parliamentary committees have been cancelled.
Of the 400 Parliament staffers who tested positive for COVID-19, 65 are from the Rajya Sabha, 200 are from the Lok Sabha, and 133 belong to the allied services.
It is learned that random testing was conducted after a sudden spike in cases in the national capital and most of the staff found positive did not show any symptoms. “More random testing will be conducted for those coming to Parliament to control the infection,” sources said.
Sources said that the meeting of parliamentary standing committees on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice Chairperson, Urban Development, and Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology have decided to cancel their meetings on Monday.
The decision to call off the meeting of the standing committee of External Affairs, scheduled later this week is likely to be taken later in the day.
Earlier, also during the peak of Covid in the first and second wave, meetings of the standing committees had been called off. Several members have demanded to call a virtual meeting of the standing committee.
Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice Chairperson Sushil Modi, cancelled a meeting scheduled for tomorrow. He said, “the rise in the number of cases is exponential, and we have taken an educated call to postpone our meeting for now. Given the fact that more than 400 staff of the Parliament are currently positive and members of Parliament have to travel from various states to the national capital for these meetings, it is best to avoid travel at this time in the interest of everybody’s health.”
The Rajya Sabha Secretariat has now restricted staff attendance. As per new guidelines, 50 percent of the staff or officials below the rank of under-secretary or executive officer are required to ‘work from home‘.
Earlier, both the Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla had requested and ensured that all staff workers were vaccinated with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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