BJD MLA becomes 2nd legislator to test positive for COVID-19

Bhubaneswar: Ruling BJD MLA Prasant Behera has tested positive for COVID-19, the second legislator in Odisha to have contracted the disease, an official said on Wednesday.

The lawmaker from Salipur in Cuttack district was admitted to a COVID-19 hospital, he said.

Behera had come in contact with BJP’s Nilgiri MLA Sukanta Kumar Nayak, who tested positive for the infection on Monday, and has been undergoing treatment at a hospital in Balasore, the official said.

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Behera’s personal security officer and driver have also contracted the disease, he said.

The local administration has already launched contact-tracing of the legislator as he attended several programmes in his constituency.

Meanwhile, Congress MLA Sura Routray has demanded a set of guidelines for legislators as they attend programmes and meet people.

Odisha Assembly Speaker S N Patro had suspended all the meetings of various committees in the state assembly after Nilgiri MLA was found to have infected with the virus.

During a video conference with the BJD MLAs, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had earlier asked them to keep in contact with the people with strict adherence to social distancing and other health safety norms.

He had also suggested MLAs to use technology to get connected with the people of their constituencies.

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