Bhubaneswar, Sep 16 (PTI) The Odisha government on Wednesday issued instructions for setting up a camp where MLAs, their personal security officers (PSO) and drivers, besides staff of the Assembly will be tested for COVID-19 before the next session of the House begins on September 29.
The Health and Family Welfare Department also asked the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), state-run Capital Hospital and the Odisha State Medical Corporation Limited (OSMCL), a procurement agency, to observe all safety measures during the session which will continue till October 7.
'As per direction of the Assembly Speaker, the RT-PCR test of all the members of the Odisha Legislative Assembly along with their PSOs and drivers will be conducted from 7.30 am to 9.30 am on September 27 and 28 on the Assembly premises by a team of doctors,' Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, P K Mohapatra said.
Again on October 4, there will be RT-PCR test of all the members, Mohapatra said in a letter to the BMC, OSMCL and the Capital Hospital.
Altogether 33 of the state's 147 MLAs, including ministers, have been infected with coronavirus but many of them have recovered from the disease. However, over 12 of them are still in quarantine, an official said.
Mohapatra in the letter also mentioned that if any member feels uncomfortable during the session which will continue till October 7, they may go for Antigen test by the doctors.
The RT-PCR test will also be done for the employees of the Assembly secretariat along with those of the offices of the chief minister, other ministers, the leader of the opposition, and chief whips from 7.30 AM to 9.30 AM from September 26 to 28 on the Assembly premises, he said.
Besides the MLAs, officials who are required to go inside the Assembly hall will be provided with face-shield, mask, gloves and sanitiser by the Health Department daily during the session.
Mohapatra directed the BMC to make all arrangements after consultation with the Assembly secretariat.
The Capital Hospital was asked to deploy doctors and medical staff along with testing kits at the camp, while the OSMCL was directed to provide face-shields, masks, gloves and sanitiser for use of MLAs and others during the session. PTI AAM NN NN