Covid-19 effect: Lok Sabha Secretariat closed till March 31

New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) In the wake of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in the country, the Lok Sabha Secretariat will remain closed till March 31 starting Tuesday.

As per the order issued by the administration branch of the Parliament on Tuesday, the Lok Sabha Secretariat will remain closed till March 31 with “immediate effect”.

However, the order mentions that an officer at the level of Additional Secretary or less, or Joint Secretary or less may direct officials and staff to attend office in case of exigencies.

The order came a day after both Houses of Parliament — Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha — were adjourned sine die, 11 days ahead of its scheduled closure to contain the transmission of Covid-19 in the country which so far has led to 10 deaths besides infecting to over 500 people.

The Budget Session of the Parliament, which began on March 2, was supposed to be concluded on April 3. On Monday, first the Lok Sabha was adjourned by Speaker Om Birla after the House passed the Finance Bill, 2020, later Rajya Sabha was adjourned by Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu.

The decision was taken following a discussion of all the floor leaders of both the Houses who unanimously decided to curtail the proceedings in view of the safety of the parliamentarians, Parliament staff and media crew so that transmission of Covid-19 can be stopped.

The Centre had on March 22 asked all the state governments to take all necessary measures to break the chain of transmission which include suspension of all train services, sub-urban rail services, closure of all activities except essential services such as hospitals, telecom, medicine shops and provision stores till March 31.



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