Rajya Sabha restricts staff attendance after Covid-19 outbreak in Parliament

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“Close to 402 staff tested positive for Covid-19 from January 4-8 and all samples have been sent for genome sequencing for Omicron variant confirmation,” an official told news agency ANI on Sunday. Of these, 65 are from the Rajya Sabha, 200 from the Lok Sabha and 133 belong to the allied services.

Written by Harshit Sabarwal | Edited by Sohini Goswami, New Delhi

The Rajya Sabha on Sunday issued fresh guidelines on the attendance of employees after more than 400 Parliament staff tested positive for the viral disease over the past days just weeks ahead of the Union Budget.

“Close to 402 staff tested positive for Covid-19 from January 4-8 and all samples have been sent for genome sequencing for Omicron variant confirmation,” an official told news agency ANI on Sunday.

Of these, 65 are from the Rajya Sabha, 200 from the Lok Sabha and 133 belong to the allied services.

According to an official statement, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu reviewed the situation along with secretary-general PC Modi and advisor PPK Ramacharyulu.

Naidu directed that necessary measures be taken to contain the spread of the virus among the Secretariat officials and staff ahead of the Budget session.

The statement said 50 per cent officials and staff below the rank of undersecretary/executive officer will be required to work from home (WFH) till the end of January.

Such officials and staff of the Rajya Sabha constitute 65 per cent of the total employees. Employees with disabilities and pregnant women are exempted from attending office.

“Starting and closing timings of the secretariat are staggered to avoid crowding. All official meetings will be held virtually,” the statement further said.

Naidu also instructed that all 1,300-odd officials and staff should be tested for Covid-19 and recovery of all infected employees should be closely monitored and assisted with hospitalisation and treatment if needed. The Vice President will review the situation on a weekly basis.

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