Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on January 11 sought to calm the COVID-struck country, saying all necessary arrangements for the upcoming Budget session of Parliament are in place. He said the “situation is under control” and all steps are being taken to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
According to a statement issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, Birla inspected the Parliament House complex during the day to take stock of the health safety related measures and other preparations put in place in light of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.
Sources said 65 employees of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, 200 of the Lok Sabha Secretariat and 133 of allied services tested positive for COVID-19 between January 4 and 8 during regular tests. Birla visited the testing facility set up in Parliament House Annexe for the MPs, officers and staff of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats and reviewed the preparations there.
Reviewing the testing and medical facilities at the Parliament House complex, Birla directed the officials to immediately address any requirements of members and officials that were felt necessary. He also directed officials concerned to put in place all precautionary measures to check the pandemic and keep track of positive cases.
Speaking to doctors at the medical centre, Birla took stock of facilities available and directed that all additional resources may be made available on priority. Birla said he has directed officials to take special care of MPs above the age of 60 years and attend to their requirements in a proactive manner. Though the dates have not yet been announced, the Budget session usually begins at the end of January.