As the Monsoon Session of Parliament likely to begin from September 14, Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla Friday urged all the MPs and other entrants including parliament staff and media personnel to get themselves tested for Covid-19 at least 72 hours before the start of the session.
To finalise the arrangements for the upcoming session, Birla on Friday chaired a meeting of officials from the health ministry, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Delhi government and Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats.
“Comprehensive arrangements have been made in the Parliament building for the upcoming session in wake of the pandemic and MPs will be requested to get tested for coronavirus at least 72 hours before the start of the session,” Birla said after the meeting.
Birla said arrangements have also been made for zero-touch security checks during the session and if required, random tests for Covid-19 can be conducted during the session, adding that visitors will not be allowed during the session.
Preparations have already begun in the Parliament building to ensure that pandemic protocols are followed.
According to the current plan, while members of the Lower House could be seated in the chamber of the Lok Sabha, its galleries, the chamber of Rajya Sabha and its galleries, the elders could sit in both the chambers for the meetings. Sanitation will be done between the shifts.
The Lok Sabha chamber — which has seating capacity for 545 members — will accommodate 168 MPs and every row will be separated by polycarbonate sheets to ensure distancing. The Rajya Sabha chamber is to accommodate 60 members. Others will be seated in visitors’ galleries of both Houses.
For members seated in galleries and other chambers, large screens will be placed at various places and microphones provided for each member at their seats. Each intervention and statement would be relayed in both chambers and galleries.
The Monsoon Session is likely to conclude on October 1.