Covid-19 test must for UP legislators ahead of assembly session tomorrow

Updated on Aug 19, 2020 11:46 AM IST

Principal secretary, Vidhan Sabha, Pradeep Dubey has sent a letter to all the members informing them about the Covid testing facility provided at all the Vidhayak Niwas and in the Vidhan Bhawan complex.

Members have also been given the option of getting tested in their district. But the test should be done on or after August 18, read the letter. (HT Photo )
Members have also been given the option of getting tested in their district. But the test should be done on or after August 18, read the letter. (HT Photo )
Hindustan Times, Lucknow | By

A coronavirus test appears mandatory for the Uttar Pradesh lawmakers attending the state legislative assembly that is expected to begin its session from tomorrow.

Principal secretary, Vidhan Sabha, Pradeep Dubey has sent a letter to all the members informing them about the Covid testing facility provided at all the Vidhayak Niwas and in the Vidhan Bhawan complex.

“Before taking part in the proceedings, Covid-19 test is necessary for all the members. I have been asked to convey this,” said Dubey in his letter.

Members have also been given the option of getting tested in their district. But the test should be done on or after August 18, read the letter.

Testing for staff members and the security personnel was held the last two days in which about two dozen odd people had tested positive.

“Members have begun getting tested for Covid-19. Staffers and those functioning from other departments left out on Monday were also tested on Tuesday. We have informed members about the facility of testing available at the Vidhan Bhawan and the Vidhayak Niwas,” said Speaker of state assembly Hridaya Narain Dikshit.

The state legislative council has, meanwhile, scheduled tests for all the staffers and members on Wednesday and Thursday now.

Meanwhile, veteran Samajwadi Party (SP) MLC Shatrudra Prakash on Tuesday claimed the seating arrangements being made in the chamber sought to lower the dignity of the chair.

“This is understood that the seat of the speaker or the chairman cannot be lower than that of any other member,” he pointed out in a letter addressed to Vidhan Parishad chairman Ramesh Yadav.

“But as per the special seating arrangements being made, many members will be made to sit in the elevated visitor’s gallery while the chairman will be sitting on the ground floor,” he added.

The MLC further said he had earlier written a letter seeking permission for members above 65 years of age to virtually attend the session in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I have not got the reply to the letter yet,” he said. The Vidhan Parishad secretariat has decided to make seating arrangements in a way that members are at a sufficient distance from each other, using up the seats in the visitor’s gallery too.

In his letter, Prakash also raised questions over the credibility of the rapid antigen tests that the administration was organising for members and the staff before the commencement of the House.

“The rapid test only gives an idea and not the accurate report,” he said citing the example of Delhi and the WHO recommendations. “I, therefore, request you to arrange for a system of more credible and reliable testing,” he demanded.

Vidhan Sabha chairman Ramesh Yadav said he had received the letter raising questions over the seating arrangements and rapid tests.

“The visitor’s gallery where some members will sit on a greater height is not part of the chamber where proceedings are conducted. And as for tests, we are conducting rapid tests so that we can get results quickly and as accurate as possible and take action accordingly. It is not possible to send samples to labs due to paucity of time,” he stated.

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