Piping hot and packed snacks, sanitisation using ultraviolet light and increased fines for not wearing masks were some of the steps highlighted by Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi on Wednesday after at least nine legislators were infected by Covid-19 during the ongoing budget session.
“I want to reassure everyone that this House is fully sanitised every day after the business of the day ends. Every chair and table are sprayed and sanitised,” the Speaker told the House after the Question Hour.
Reassuring the MLAs present in the House about sanitisation, Trivedi added, “For sanitising the air, three ultraviolet lights are kept functional throughout the night and are only switched off during the day. So, both air and surfaces are sanitised every day. So, perhaps I think this is the reason why nothing happened to Congress MLAs Rutvik Makwana and Rajesh Gohil. The infection seems to be coming from outside.” The two Congress legislators were sitting near party MLAs Naushad Solanki and Punja Vansh, who were tested positive for the virus Tuesday.
“Henceforth, we are also providing dry and packaged snacks. This is to rule out any exchange of food. We are also providing hot food for (the MLAs and ministers),” the Speaker said.
Trivedi said that all the lobbies of the Assembly were also sanitised. “We have restricted the entry of visitors. People who are found not wearing masks appropriately in the lobby will also be fined. We have raised the fines from the earlier Rs 500 to Rs 1,000,” he added.
He also asked MLAs to wear masks over the nose and asked any member feeling uncomfortable with the masks to step out in to the lobby for a few minutes.
The Indian Express on Tuesday reported that at least nine MLAs have been infected with Covid-19 since the budget session began on March 1. BJP MLAs Vijay Patel and Mohan Dodiya, who were among those attending the ongoing Budget session, had tested positive for the infection Tuesday. In Vadodara, BJP MLA from Dabhoi Shailesh Mehta had tested positive last week.