20 UP Assembly staff test COVID positive

Twenty staff members of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Monday, three days before the start of a brief session, Speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit said.
The three-day monsoon session of the state legislature is scheduled to start from Thursday and will conclude next Monday.
Coronavirus tests were carried out on its 600 secretariat staff on Monday, Dixit told PTI.
“Of these, only 20 tested positive for COVID-19, while the rest 580 tested negative,” he said. “Those who tested positive have been sent to quarantine.” The development comes in the backdrop of the death of two state ministers — Kamal Rani Varun and Chetan Chauhan — who succumbed to the infection in a span of two weeks.
The Speaker said COVID-19 testing centres would be established near the residences of the MLAs as they have to be tested in a single day.
Elaborating about the seating plan in the Assembly, 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 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.
Dixit exuded confidence that the Opposition would not move into the well of the House and that they would abide by social distancing norms. “They have assured us,” he added.
On Wednesday, there will also be an all-party meeting, which will be attended by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and also a meeting of the business advisory committee.
The MLAs will be thermally scanned before they enter the 403-member 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 the MLAs had been asked to bring their aides to the House during the session.
“I have requested the ex-MLAs that they should not come to the Vidhan Bhawan during the session of the House,” the Speaker said.
Dixit added that the air conditioner of the legislature building will work as per the guidelines set by the Centre.