BHUBANESWAR: Ahead of the monsoon session of the state Assembly scheduled to commence from September 29, all legislators along with their PSOs and drivers will have to undergo COVID-19 tests at a special camp on the campus of the Odisha Legislative Assembly (OLA).
As per a notification issued by the Health and Family Welfare department, the tests will be conducted twice during the nine-day session. Swabs of the MLAs, their security staff and drivers will be collected by a team of doctors from 7.30 am to 9.30 am on September 27 and 28 for RT-PCR tests.
There will be another round of RT-PCR tests for all the members of OLA on October 4. If any member feels uncomfortable during the session of the Assembly, he/she can go for rapid antigen test by the doctors on short notice.
There will be RT-PCR tests for all the officers and staff of the OLA Secretariat along with the officers and staff of office of the Chief Minister, Ministers, Leader of Opposition and Government Chief Whip at the same place and time from September 26 to 28.
The MLAs and officials of the assembly, question and reporting branches and other House related staff, who are required to go inside the Assembly hall, will be provided with face shields, masks, gloves and sanitiser by the health department daily before commencement of each sitting during the session.
Additional Chief Secretary of the health department PK Mohapatra said the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has been asked to make arrangements for the tests in consultation with the OLA Secretary.
While the Odisha State Medical Corporation has been urged to provide face shields, masks, gloves and sanitiser for use of the members during the assembly session, the director of Capital Hospital has been asked to deploy a team of doctors and medical staff along with sufficient testing kits. A team of doctors will also remain present during the session in case of any emergency, he said.
Earlier, Speaker Suryo Narayan Patro had directed the health department to conduct COVID-19 tests for all MLAs and follow all precautionary measures during the session in view of the prevailing pandemic.
The monsoon session of the Assembly will continue till October 7 and meet on Sunday during the period. The last special session of the House held at the Lok Seva Bhavan Convention hall on March 30 had lasted for one hour during which the Appropriation Bill was passed and the budget for 2020-21 was approved.