Rajya Sabha Chairman, 875 Staff Members Test Covid Positive Ahead Of Budget Session

New Delhi: A total of 875 staff members have tested positive for Covid-19 in the House so far ahead of the Budget Session of Parliament, official sources said on Sunday.

As many as 2,847 Covid-19 tests were conducted till January 20, out of which 875 parliamentary staff members had tested positive, ANI reported official sources as saying.

A total of 915 tests were done by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, out of which 271 cases were found positive against Covid-19.

Earlier in the day, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu also tested positive for Covid-19 in Hyderabad.

“The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, who is in Hyderabad, tested COVID positive today. He has decided to remain in self-isolation for a week. He has advised all those who came in contact with him to isolate themselves and get tested,” the Vice President of India’s office tweeted.

In a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat has reimposed restrictions on the attendance of officials and staff.

Around 50 percent of the officials and staff below the rank of Under Secretary or Executive officer are required to work from home till the end of this month, according to the directions.

Besides, those with disabilities and the pregnant women are exempted from attending the office.

As per the latest order, the Secretariat’s starting and closing timings are staggered to avoid crowding.

The Budget Session of Parliament slated to begin in a week is likely to take place with strict Covid protocols in place in view of the increasing cases in the country.

The Budget Session will be underway from January 31 and will conclude on April 8.

The Monsoon Session in 2020 was the first full session held under Covid-19 protocols with the Rajya Sabha meeting in the first half of the day and Lok Sabha during the second half.

The same was followed for the first part of the Budget Session during 2021.

The Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha reverted to normal timings for the second part of the sessions last year.