17 MPs, including 12 from BJP, test positive for COVID-19 as Parliament's monsoon session begins

Seventeen members of Parliament, most of them from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have tested positive for COVID-19 in the mandatory testing conducted ahead of the monsoon session that began this morning.

BJP's Meenakshi Lekhi, Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma and Anant Kumar Hegde are among those tested positive for coronavirus.

Mandatory testing was conducted on all MPs before the monsoon session began with precautionary measures.

According to an NDTV report, 12 of the 17 MPs are from the BJP, while the YRS Congress has two, the Shiv Sena, DMK and RLP one each.

Earlier, BJP MP Sukanta Majumdar had said on Sunday that he tested positive for COVID-19.

"Have tested #Covid19 positive today. I am doing well & taking doctor's advice," Majumdar, who represents the Balurghat Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal, said.

"Requesting all those who have come in close contact with me in the last few days to monitor their health and get tested in case of any symptoms," he added.

According to detailed guidelines issued by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats for the monsoon session, COVID-19 test of the MPs need to be done 72 hours before the start of the session and it can be done either in their constituencies or at the Parliament complex.

"In case a member is found to be negative, she/he can attend the session.... In case a member is found positive, she/he will have to go for institutional isolation/hospitalisation as per advice of doctor and as per patient/clinical management protocol," according to the guidelines.

The first-of-its-kind monsoon session will see Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha sitting in two different shifts, while special seating arrangements have been made for MPs in adherence to social distancing guidelines.

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