Parliament in times of Covid.

Parliament in times of Covid.

Monsoon session: BJP’s Lekhi, Hegde among 17 MPs to test positive for Covid

First time MPs register attendance via App; Today's Papers on Members' portal

Agency Report | New Delhi | 14 September, 2020 | 11:30 PM

Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Meenakshi Lekhi, Anant Kumar Hegde and Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma are among 17 Member of Parliament (MPs) who tested positive for coronavirus in the mandatory tests conducted before the Monsoon Session of Parliament which began on Monday.

As many as 12 MPs from the BJP the most from any party in Lok Sabha, were found infected with the disease during the test followed by the YSR Congress’s two MPs and one each of the DMK, the Shiv Sena and the RLP.

Others who have been detected Covid-19 positive include Pratap Rao Jadav, Janardan Singh, Sukhbir Singh, Hanuman Beniwal, Sukanata Majumdar, Goddeti Madhavi, Bidyut Baran, Pradan Baruah, N. Reddeppa, Selvam G, Pratap Rao Patil, Ram Shankar Katheria, Satya Pal Singh and Rodmal Nagar.

The Lok Sabha members were tested at the Parliament House on September 13 and 14– a during a mandatory test for those attending this year’s Monsoon Session which will end on October 1.

BJP MP Sukanta Majumdar in a tweet on Sunday morning declared he had tested Covid-19 positive.

“I am doing well and taking doctors’ advice. Requesting all those who have come in close contact with me in the last few days to monitor their health and get tested in case of any symptoms,” Majumdar tweeted.

The results come at a time when India on Monday registered 48,464,27 Covid-19 cases across the country with a massive spike of 92,071 cases including 1,136 deaths in 24 hours.

Earlier, at least seven Union Ministers and around 25 MPs and MLAs had contracted the disease. Among them were Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who underwent a thorough medical examination at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) before the parliament session started.

An MP and several MLAS have died from the highly-infectious pandemic.

The Monsoon Session of parliament this time is being held with large-scale safety protocols in place that include staggered seating of MPs in chambers of both Houses to maintain physical distancing.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the MPs this time registered their attendance using the ‘Attendance Register’ App: a step forward in digitalising operations at the Parliament.

The ‘Attendance Register’ App initiative was adopted by the Parliament this year in view of the spurt in coronavirus or Covid-19 cases so that the spread of the disease could be contained during the Session.

The move is a step forward in digitalising operations at the Parliament.

“The digitalisation of operations at the Parliament demonstrates India’s capable and efficient response to the current pandemic,” Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said in a tweet while commenting on the use of ‘Attendance Register’ App.

To minimise Covid-19 transmission risks due to multiple handling of papers, the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha secretariat this time came up with the App. The initiative is among various first-time measures adopted in the Parliament in this Monsoon Session.

Besides, all parliamentary papers will be available electronically through ‘Today’s Papers’ tab on the Members’ portal during the session. Members may download and take printouts for their use. Parliamentary papers, not exclusive to the MPs, will also be available on the Lok Sabha website under the tab ‘Today’s Papers in the Business of the House.’

The Monsoon Session will continue till October 1. Of the two Houses, the Lok Sabha held its first-day proceedings on Monday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. while the Rajya Sabha proceedings which started at 3 p.m. will go till 7 pm. (IANS)