New Delhi, Mar 19: Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu urged the Members of Parliament on Friday to remain extra careful and strictly follow the coronavirus-related guidelines in the wake of rise in the number of cases in some states.
During the morning session, Naidu said while the severity has come down, reports are coming from certain states that the pandemic is spreading.
"...all the members of Parliament, who are here, who are there in their respective fields, to be extra careful. I know that you are all public representatives, you can't live in isolation. But at the same time, while dealing with people, meeting them, or going to the constituencies or areas, be careful, follow strictly the advice given by the Health Ministry and Home Ministry, central government, as well as the guidelines issued by the state governments concerned from time to time and see to it that they are implemented," he said.
Naidu further said MPs should take interest to see that common people too are guided properly.
"One of the reasons, as we are seeing, though the severity has come down, but the cases are spreading here and there, is that people in those respective areas are not following the amount of discipline," he said, and added "we should not allow the situation to deteriorate".
The Chairman also urged MPs and their family members, who are eligible, to get themselves vaccinated.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi suggested that asthma and obesity too should be included in the list of comorbidities for vaccination, saying these two have emerged as a major cause of COVID-19 mortality.
People of over 45 years with comorbidities are eligible for vaccination, along with senior citizens. Chaturvedi said she was a proponent of vaccine for all so that India could emerge out of COVID-19 sooner rather than later.
G V L Narasimha (BJP) talked about the difficulties faced by exporters of spices regarding settlement of payments as some unscrupulous people in some countries create difficulties.
"So they need at least in those cases where they have genuine difficulties, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Missions concerned in their respective countries should come forward to lend assistance to them by way of settling disputes, as per the local mechanism in their respective countries," he said.
The BJP MP suggested that the government should set up a help desk in every Mission, where Indian exporters can go for redressal of their problems related to payments.
Sujeet Kumar (BJD) raised the issue of rising cancer cases and demanded lowering of prices of cancer drugs.
He said while the Government of India has taken several initiatives for the welfare of cancer patients, there is an urgent and clear need to lower cancer drug prices in the country to keep these life-saving drugs available and affordable to patients belonging to the poor segment of society, especially in this COVID-19 scenario.
BJD leader Subhash Chandra Singh demanded the government that major trains should pass through Cuttack and Cuttack Railway station should be upgraded.
BJP leader Hardwar Dubey urged the government to protect people working in the tourism sector in Uttar Pradesh as they are affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Congress leader Chhaya Verma expressed concern over delay in sanctioning a processing and cold storage unit for Chhattisgarh where farmers are not getting fair price for their horticultural crops.
"The state government has written to the Centre for a processing and cold chain unit. But no action has been taken so far and as a result the state has not been able to benefit from the processing units," she said.
After the Zero Hour, members made 'Special Mentions' on several issues including fuel price rise and milk adulteration.