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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Special arrangements have been made for COVID-19 tests of all ministers, MLAs and other staff ahead of the winter session of Odisha Assembly starting from November 20, informed Speaker, SN Patro on Tuesday.

During a high-level meeting held with officials of the health department and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), Patro informed that it has been decided to follow the same protocols which were in place during the last assembly session.

As per the schedule, the supplementary budget will be moved on November 20 and the appropriation bill will come on November 29.

“The winter session of the assembly will be conducted under strict observance of COVID-19 protocols. All members of the State cabinet, MLAs, their private secretaries and personal assistants and all other staff of the assembly, media personnel and security personnel, who have been granted passes, will be tested for COVID-19. The special testing drive will be carried out for three days starting from November 17,” said Patro.

Patro further said that only those persons, who will be tested negative for COVID-19, will be allowed to enter the Odisha Assembly campus. The entire building will be sanitised daily after each session of the House.

“The decision of second phase COVID-19 testing rests on the Speaker. If a person shows any symptoms, he/she will have to undergo an antigen test,” said Patro.

Senior officials informed that masks, sanitisers will be provided to all those who will enter the Odisha assembly including journalists. However, no decision has been taken on the question-hour during the winter session, Patro added.

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