All ministers, MLAs and staff members undergoing COVID test ahead of winter session of Odisha assembly

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 All the MLAs, ministers and staff members undergoing COVID-19 test ahead of Odisha Assembly session (Photo/ANI)
All the MLAs, ministers and staff members undergoing COVID-19 test ahead of Odisha Assembly session (Photo/ANI)

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], November 17 (ANI): All the MLAs, ministers, journalists, security persons, staff members and other senior officials will have to undergo COVID-19 test before the commencement of the upcoming Winter Session of the Odisha Legislative Assembly.

As per the decision taken in a meeting chaired by the Assembly Speaker Surya Narayan Patra, RT-PCR tests of the legislators, staff members and other officers started at three special counters.

"The House will start by 20th of this month and will end on December 31, 2020. We have made it mandatory for all the MLAs, ministers and every person coming to attend this Assembly session to undergo COVID-19 test. The house will be properly sanitised. All the MLAs will sit in a distance of four feet," said Patra.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) along with a medical team will collect the swab samples of all the MLAs, staff members and other officials. Only those who would test negative for coronavirus will be allowed to participate in the Assembly proceedings, said the Speaker.

If any MLA found positive for COVID-19, he won't be allowed to attend the session. During the last assembly session, more than 15 legislators had been diagnosed with COVID, so they were not allowed to attend the session.

"During COVID-19 pandemic Odisha has already demonstrated its ability to conduct the legislative business with all the restrictions imposed by the authorities. If we do not conduct this session, we will be failing to fulfil the obligation under the Constitution. Therefore, with all the restrictions imposed in the last Assembly session, we are going through the process and we will be able to conduct the session safely," said Soumya Ranjan Patnayak, BJD MLA.

Speaking to ANI, Santos Singh Saluja, Congress MLA said that this is an excellent step taken by the Odisha Chief Minister.

"This is a good step not only for MLAs and ministers but for the public as well. Our recovery rate is better than other states. I also underwent the COVID-19 test," said Marandi. (ANI)