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Parliamentary standing committee meetings cancelled after 400 staffers test Covid positive

 
New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS) After over 400 Parliament staffers tested positive for Covid-19 during random testing and with the rise in the cases in the national capital, the meetings of several parliamentary committees have been cancelled.

Sources said that the meeting of parliamentary standing committees on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice Chairperson, Urban Development, and Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology have decided to cancel their meetings on Monday.

Decision to call off the meeting of the standing committee of External Affairs, scheduled later this week is likely to be taken later in the day.

Earlier, also during the peak of Covid in the first and second wave, meetings of the standing committees had been called off. Several members have demanded to call a virtual meeting of the standing committee.

Over 400 Parliament staffers tested positive for Covid-19 during random testing. Of these, 65 are from the Rajya Sabha, 200 from the Lok Sabha and 133 belong to the allied services.

It is learnt that random testing was conducted after a sudden spike in cases in the national capital and most of the staff found positive did not show any symptoms. "More random testing will be conducted for those coming to Parliament to control the infection," sources said.

The Rajya Sabha Secretariat has now restricted staff attendance. As per new guidelines, 50 per cent of the staff or officials below the rank of under-secretary or executive officer are required to 'work from home'.

Earlier, both the Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla had requested and ensured that all staff workers were vaccinated with two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

--IANS
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