By JAMILA HUSAIN
Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena has made a fresh appeal to parliamentarians to undergo PCR tests for COVID-19 after only an estimated 90 MPs from both the government and opposition have undergone the tests as of last week in the wake of at least four legislators being infected with the virus back then.
The Daily Mirror learns that with the number of parliamentarians who have been infected now rising to six, the Speaker has urged all MPs to get them tested to prevent a further spread.Official sources said there has been very little cooperation from MPs from both the government and opposition side to undergo PCR tests and there are fears that there may be more MPs who may be infected, after coming in contact with the virus infected legislators.
Speaker Abeywardena has also made a decision, following guidance from the health authorities to table only priority Bills in the House as of now and limit all non-essential work till such time the virus is brought under control.
While Parliament will continue to sit on its allocated days, visits by dignitaries will not be permitted while all non-essential meetings in the Parliament premises have also been cancelled.
Speaker Abeywardena himself has limited his outside interactions while MPs have also been told to limit attending public events.
As of yesterday, six MPs have tested positive for the virus out of which two - State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara and Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara making a complete recovery and being discharged from their treatment centres. Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, State Minister Piyal Nishantha, SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem and SLPP MP Wasantha Yapa Bandara are being treated for the coronavirus.
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