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RS Secretariat restricts attendance after 400 staffers test positive

New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) After over 400 parliament staffers tested positive for Covid-19 infection, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat has decided to restrict staff attendance.

As per new guidelines, 50 per cent of staff or officials below the rank of under-secretary or executive officer are required to 'work from home'.

It is learnt that Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu reviewed the situation and directed to take necessary measures to contain the spread of the virus among the secretariat officials and staff. It is learnt that to avoid crowding, it has been decided to have staggered timing of secretariat and all official meetings will be held virtually. Officials with disabilities and pregnant women are exempted from attending office.

Over 400 Parliament staffers have tested positive for Covid-19 during random testing. It is found that among all those tested positive for Covid, 65 are from the Rajya Sabha, 200 from the Lok Sabha and 133 belong to the allied services.

According to the sources, random testing was conducted on January 6-7 in the wake of the sudden spike of new cases in the national capital. Most of the staffers who have contracted the virus did not show any symptoms, they said, adding: "More random testing will be conducted for those coming to Parliament to control the infection spread."