Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla Urges MPs To Wear Masks

The Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla recommended wearing masks during fresh Coronavirus concerns on Thursday.

Om Birla

Amid fresh coronavirus concerns, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday advised parliamentarians to wear a mask and spread awareness about Covid-appropriate behaviour.

Birla came to the House wearing a mask himself and said Covid cases are once again on the rise in certain countries. 

He said the government has taken quick steps and asked people to wear masks in crowded places and follow Covid-related protocols.

"We should be vigilant keeping in mind the past trends of the pandemic," he told the members.

He also said masks have been made available for MPs at the entry points of the Lok Sabha chamber and they should all wear one. 

The government on Wednesday advised people to get vaccinated and mask. It also said that random sample testing will be conducted at airports for passengers arriving from China and other countries. 

Besides MPs, masks were also distributed to journalists covering the Winter session of Parliament.

The Lok Sabha secretariat has asked employees to wear masks and follow distancing norms, sources said.

"We were asked to wear masks before entering the Lok Sabha chamber. We welcome this step. The Lok Sabha secretariat had made arrangements to ensure enough masks were available for members," said BJP MP Manoj Tiwari.

Former Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said he came wearing a mask and was happy to note that Birla too has urged members to mask up.

"Even before the Speaker's advice, members were wearing a mask. It is a healthy sign and sends a good signal to people that MPs have started wearing masks and they should also follow," he said.