Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu today reiterated his concern for the safety of the people in general and the Members of Parliament in particular during the ongoing pandemic.
The Chairman informed the Members that he had held a meeting with the Home Secretary, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and D.G., ICMR and officers of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat about the measures being taken to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the safeguards and precautions that are to be taken by the members.
He also highlighted the four key measures that would help in containing the pandemic. He said that as advised in the meeting, wearing a mask during the ongoing pandemic was the best safeguard from the virus. “Wearing a mask is important whenever you meet a person outside your house, including outsiders working in your house. This is very important,” he added.
The Chairman said that the second most important precaution is to maintain a safe distance. He said, ” The second thing is maintaining a safe distance, surakshit doori, or, whatever you call. That is essential till this mahamari goes away.”
He said the third important factor to stay protected is to maintain hygiene. He said, “The third one is maintaining hygiene – washing your hands, cleaning them with Dettol, or other soaps, from time to time and keep yourself free from any sort of infection.”
The fourth safety measure mentioned by the Chairman is to boost immunity. Suggesting ways to boost immunity levels, he said, “That is possible by healthy food habits, healthy lifestyle and also some amount of exercise, whether it is walking or Yoga.”
Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said that eating healthy food was very important. While highlighting the importance of healthy food, he said, “Remember the grandmother’s prescriptions in your respective places and whatever to be done in normal course, in cooking, in eating and also in living. That has to be remembered.”
The Chairman, while expressing his concern for the safety of the parliamentarians, requested them to maintain a safe distance and adhere to the six-foot limit. M. Venkaiah Naidu also asked the Members to avoid coming to the Table of the House to talk to the officers or to the Chair, and instead send a slip.
Reiterating the measures taken and the facilities available at the Parliament, the Chairman said, “Covid-19 test facility, both Rapid Antigen and RT-PCR, are available at Reception Office, Parliament House, from 8.00 A.M. to 2.30 P.M. and at Auditorium, Ground Floor of Parliament House Annexe, from 10.30 A.M. to 5.00 P.M. every day throughout the current Session of Parliament. Members are advised to avail of this facility and get their tests done as per their convenience and requirement. Further, significant numbers of Oximeters to check oxygen saturation level of Members are available at First Aid Post, Parliament House and Medical Centre, Parliament House Annexe.”
He sought the cooperation of all the Members for following the norms set by the ICMR, the Health Ministry and the Home Ministry for their safety.
In view of paucity of time, he also advised the members to make optimal utilization of time and facilitate smooth conduct of the proceedings.