Less than a month before the commencement of the Budget Session, over 400 Parliament staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to official sources.
Out of 1,409 Parliament staff members 402 tested positive for the virus between January 4 to 8, officials told ANI. The samples of those who tested positive were sent for genome sequencing to confirm the variant of the virus which had infected the staff.
"Close to 402 staffs were tested positive for COVID-19 from January 4-8 and all samples have been sent to genome sequencing for Omicron variant confirmation," an official told the news agency.
The Parliament staff have been advised to follow the precautions as per the guidelines of the government, according to an internal message from the staff.
"There is a consolidated list of 200 Lok Sabha and 69 from Rajya Sabha and 133 allied staff who have tested positive, but we all need to take proper precautions," read the internal message from the Parliament staff. However, this list does not include those who had tested positive outside the parliament premises.
Staff members of both the Houses of the Parliament were placed in isolation after they came into contact with others who had tested positive. Various officials of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are currently in isolation.
A recent DDMA order had directed all government offices to run under 50 per cent of capacity with the rest of the staff working from home. The Centre has also exempted its staff from biometric attending in order to curb the spread of the virus.
In light of the surging COVID-19 cases, Rajya Sabha Secretariat has restricted staff attendance. According to the new directions, 50 per cent of officials and staff below the rank of undersecretary/executive officer have to work from home till the end of this month.
Those officials and staff with disabilities and pregnant women are exempted from attending office, reported ANI Starting and closing timings of the Secretariat are staggered to avoid crowding. All official meetings will be held virtually, reported the agency.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has reviewed the situation. He has directed that necessary measures should be taken to contain the spread of COVID-19 among the Secretariat officials and staff before the Budget Session begins.
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