NEW DELHI, Jan 9: Over 400 Indian parliament staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, local media reports said Sunday. According to officials, the employees were subjected to random testing from Tuesday to Saturday, and most of the infected cases were found to be asymptomatic, reports said.
The infections were found ahead of the budget session of parliament. A local news agency said 402 members were tested positive out of the 1,409 parliament staff, after which their samples were sent for genome sequencing to confirm the variant. "Close to 402 staffs were tested positive for COVID-19 from January 4 to January 9 and all samples have been sent to genome sequencing for Omicron variant confirmation," the agency quoted an official as having said.
Reports said an internal message from the staff of parliament, the staff members were advised to follow the precautions as per the guidelines of the government. "There is a consolidated list of 200 Lok Sabha and 69 from Rajya Sabha and 133 allied staff who have been tested positive, but we all need to take proper precautions," reads the internal message quoted in local media.
The budget session of the Indian parliament will be underway in the next three weeks and the federal budget is likely to be presented on Feb. 1. Recently an order from Delhi Disaster Management Authority directed all government offices to run under 50 percent of staff capacity and allow the remaining to work from home. Delhi has added 20,181 new COVID-19 cases during the past 24 hours.