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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar/ Balasore: After frontline health workers, doctors and police personnel, a legislator has now contracted COVID-19 in Odisha. Nilagiri MLA Sukanta Nayak tested positive for the coronavirus, informed sub-Collector, Harish Chandra Jena.

It is for the first time that a member of the Odisha Legislative Assembly (OLA) has tested positive for coronavirus. According to Jena, Nilagiri MLA’s swab samples were collected three days back and his report came positive for COVID-19 today.

“My swab samples were collected on Saturday and it came out positive for coronavirus today. I will undergo treatment at the dedicated COVID hospital,” said Sukanta Nayak.

As the MLA had recently attended a meeting, we will sanitise NAC and tehsil offices and other places as a precautionary measure, the sub-collector informed. Jena further added that a medical team would soon launch contact tracing and other activities as per the protocol.

“We urge people not to visit government offices for the next few days. As per necessary directions from the Collector, we will decide on shutdown and other measures,” Jena added.

Union Minister Pratap Sarangi today self quarantined himself after the Nilagiri MLA tested positive for COVID-19. Sarangi reportedly had shared dais with the BJP legislator during a government programme.

In another development, meetings of various Assembly Committees have been cancelled. Informing about the development, Odisha Assembly Speaker SN Patro said, “Permission was granted for the meetings of various committees last month. However, yesterday it was decided to cancel such meetings in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We had discussed the matter with the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Governor and we will take appropriate steps after getting necessary advice on it,” he added.

On the other hand, the Opposition party chief whip, Mohan Majhi said, “There are only 12 members in the Standing Committee and only seven to eight members attend the meeting. There is no justification to cancel the meeting as it could have been conducted by following all COVID-19 norms.”

(Edited By Bikram Keshari Jena)

Also Read: COVID-19 Patient Escapes From Odisha Hospital, FIR Lodged

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