With more than two dozen MPs testing positive for coronavirus, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday urged members to wear masks, maintain a safe distance and follow good hygiene of washing hands frequently.
When the House met for the day, Naidu said the COVID-19 testing facility, both rapid antigen and RT-PCR, will be available in Parliament House everyday throughout the current session.
“Members are advised to avail this facility and get their test done,” he said, adding that a significant number of oximeters to check the oxygen saturation level are also available in Parliament House.
Naidu said officials have told him that the best safeguard against the virus is a mask.
“Wearing a mask is important whenever you meet a person outside your house, including outsiders working in your house. This is very important,” he said, adding that the second most important thing is maintaining a safe distance.
The third important thing is maintaining hygiene by washing hands.
“The fourth thing is about the need to keep immunity levels of your body. That is possible by healthy food habits, a healthy lifestyle and also some amount of exercise,” he said.
Stating that he was concerned about the health and safety of people, he said members should keep distance while interacting with each other.
“Do not cross that six-feet limit and do not bend on other member’s side and try to wish him. If it is very important, send a slip. Otherwise, you can go out,” he said asking members not to physically reach out to officers or the Chair.
The members can convey their problems or grievances by writing, he said. “That is the best way.”
“I hope everyone of our members will remember these four things that have been stated by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), health ministry and the home ministry and cooperate so that we can operate and complete our business at the earliest, and go back to serve our people,” he said.
His comments came amidst talk of the government mulling curtaining the session by at least a week.
The monsoon session of Parliament, which opened on September 14, is scheduled to end on October 1. This is the first time Parliament is meeting in six months.