Pondicherry's Opposition party MLA, N S J Jayapal has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first MLA in the union territory to contract the virus.
Agency reports said that Jayapal was admitted to a private hospital after he tested positive for the infection last night.
Jayapal, who represents Kadirkamam constituency, was attending the ongoing budget session of the Assembly since the sitting began on July 20, except on Friday. A spokesman of the Assembly secretariat said all the legislators of the territorial Assembly would be screened as a precautionary measure today.
Accordingly, the Legislative assembly hall, where the budget session happened on Friday has been locked and disinfected as a precautionary measure.
It was also decided by the speaker VP Sivakolunthu to conduct the house in an open place, upon the consensus Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, Ministers and legislators. The option to conduct the ongoing session in the conference hall on the fourth floor of the Legislative assembly annexe building was ruled out due to lack of adequate space.
Mr Sivakolunthu told newspersons that the session will be held under a Neem tree inside the assembly premises and it will commence at 1230 hours.
Meanwhile, the health authorities were directed to test all Ministers, legislators and the press, who attended the session.
Lt.Governor Kiran Bedi was also informed about the development and sources said that the Governor will also take up the COVID test as she addressed the house yesterday.
(with reports from PTI and UNI)