The three-day Monsoon Session of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly will commence on Thursday, with authorities making special seating arrangments following COVID-19 protocols and setting up testing centres near residences of MLAs for easy collection of swab samples.
Assembly Speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit has said all members will undergo COVID-19 test in a day and there will also be thermal screening facility outside the House.
In the run-up to the session, coronavirus tests were carried out on 600 staff members of the Assembly on Monday. Twenty staffers tested positive for the virus.
Ahead of the session, two ministers — Kamal Rani Varun and Chetan Chauhan — died due to COVID-19 infection in a span of two weeks.
Uttar Pradesh Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Atul Garg was hospitalised on Tuesday after he said he had tested positive for COVID-19.
Elaborating on the seating arrangements in the Assembly, Mr Dixit said, “The MLAs will be seated leaving a seat (vacant) between them.”
Arrangements have also been made for the legislators to sit in the “Yes” and “No” lobbies. Each lobby can accommodate 30 legislators, according to Mr Dixit.
A visitors’ gallery has also been reserved this time for the MLAs to sit, he said, adding that the canteen would not be opened.
The MLAs will be thermally scanned before they enter the House and they will surely come wearing a mask, the Speaker said. “If they do not come wearing a mask, we will give them one,” he said.
“I have requested former MLAs that they should not come to the Vidhan Bhawan during the session,” the Speaker said.
Uttar Pradesh reported its worst single-day spike of 77 fatalities on Tuesday, pushing the COVID-19 death count in the state to 2,585, a senior official said.
The number of COVID-19 cases has reached 1,62,434 with 4,336 fresh cases in 24 hours.
The state has 50,242 cases of active infection, he said.