As the third wave of pandemic hit India, at least four judges of the Supreme Court have tested positive for Covid-19. The sources also said that over five percent of the apex court staff have also tested positive.
As per the sources, out of the 32 top court judges, at least four judges, and 150 out of the nearly 3,000 staff members, are currently infected with the virus.
The test reports of several others are still awaited. A Covid-19 test facility has been set up in the Supreme Court premises which is functional from Monday to Saturday.
“To contain the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus infection and sudden upsurge in the cases of Omicron variant, it is reiterated that the entrants to the Supreme Court premises, i.e. the registry staff, staff of the coordinate agencies, advocates and their staff, etc., particularly those who may be showing any symptom(s) similar to those notified for Covid-19 infection, may kindly get themselves tested at the facility,” said a circular issued by Supreme Court.
On January 2, the Supreme Court decided to shift to conducting all hearings through virtual mode for the next two weeks.
400 Parliament Staff Tested Positive, Restrictions Imposed On Attendance
In the past few days, over 400 staff of Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha, and allied services have tested positive.
As per the sources, 65 members of Rajya Sabha Secretariat, 200 members of Lok Sabha, and 133 members of the allied services have tested positive between January 4-8. The results came days after the budget session in the Parliament.
Taking note of the surge in the cases, Rajya Sabha has reimposed the Covid restrictions on the attendance of officials and staff.
50 percent of officials and staff below the rank of under secretary or executive officer are required to work from home till the end of this month. They constitute about 65 percent of the total employees, stated the directions issued by Rajya Sabha.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has also expressed his concern over the situation and has urged all the members to take precautions to curb the spread of Covid-19. The persons with disabilities and pregnant women are exempted from attending office. Rajya Sabha has also staggered the timings to avoid unnecessary crowding. All the official meetings are also scheduled to be held virtually.
On Monday, India recorded 1,79,723 fresh Covid-19 cases, pushing the active Covid caseload to 7,23,619. 146 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours.