On day one of the Monsoon session of the Parliament, 17 MPs have tested COVID-19 positive as they underwent the mandatory test on Monday. As a result, all the COVID positive MPs did not attend the Parliament. As per ANI, these 17 MPs include BJP's Meenakshi Lekhi, Anant Kumar Hegde and Parvesh Singh Sahib. Apart from the 17 Lok Sabha MPs, six Rajya Sabha MPs have also contracted the virus. Earlier on Sunday, five members of the Lok Sabha tested positive even before the commencement of the Monsoon Session.
From a new sitting plan to maintain physical distancing to providing multi-utility COVID kits to all MPs, several safety measures have been taken as an unprecedented Monsoon session of the Parliament sets off amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Touchless sanitizers have been kept at 40 different places within the Parliament House complex, and emergency medical teams and ambulances have also be stationed.
The Lok Sabha has also adopted a motion to do away with the Question Hour and private members' business. MPs have also been instructed to register their attendance through a mobile app, in an attempt to digitalize operations.
According to a press release from the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, the session will provide a total of 18 sittings spread over a period of 18 days (all the days including Saturdays and Sundays of the ensuing session will be working days) and a total of 47 items have been identified for being taken up during the Monsoon Session 2020. (These include 45 Bills and two financial items).
Ahead of the commencement of the Monsoon session of Parliament on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the media after reaching the Parliament house. PM Modi said the Monsoon session is being held in unprecedented times because of the Coronavirus but all the MPs have chosen the path of fulfilling their duties and "I want to congratulate and thank all of them." The Prime Minister wished that the upcoming Parliament Session "be a productive one." Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 3 pm on Tuesday.