A group of health officials representing the Ministry of Health has stressed the need to protect the new MPs who would be elected to the new Parliament, its visitors and staff members from the COVID-19 virus.
A statement from the House Media Office said the health officials accompanied by the Deputy Director-General Dr Laxman Gamlath visited Parliament premises on Wednesday to discuss measures to be taken complying with health guidelines before Parliament sittings post-August 5 General Elections.
“The importance of protecting Parliamentarians of the new Parliament, the Parliament staff, security forces as well as visitors to the Parliament from the COVID -19 pandemic after the general elections, was emphasised,” the statement said.
Secretary-General of Parliament Dhammika Dassanayake, Deputy Secretary-General and Chief of Staff Neil Iddawala and higher officials of Parliament were present during the inspection
The officials first visited the Chamber of Parliament, library, members lobby and canteen, staff canteen and many other places within the premises including the public, media and VIP galleries.
The health officials pointed out the importance of restricting visitors to Parliament until the COVID-19 situation subsided.
Later they discussed with the senior management of the Parliament on the health precautions currently in place and the practical issues faced by the Parliament.
Based on the discussion and the observations made, the officials of the Ministry of Health will present to the Secretary-General of Parliament a series of guidelines for conducting sessions within the next few days in accordance with health care guidelines and practices.
Secretary-General of Parliament Dhammika Dassanayake stressed that all necessary steps would be taken to conduct future Parliamentary sessions hygienically based on the guidelines of the Ministry of Health.
It was stated earlier that all new MPs will be subjected to PCR tests before the sessions start. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)