The Health Minister briefed both Houses on the country’s response to Coronavirus. He informed that directions have been issued for universal screening of all international passengers entering India. He said that the World Health Organisation has not declared COVID-19 to be pandemic but has asked countries to remain prepared. 

Responding to the Minister’s statement, members remarked on the untested remedies being recommended on social media and the overpriced sale of masks and hand sanitizers. Suggestions included daily briefing with the media to avoid misleading preventative measures. One Member in Lok Sabha asked the allocation for epidemics under the Health Minister to be increased. 

According to the Health Ministry’s response to an unstarred question  last year, the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme monitors and responds to outbreaks due to epidemic prone diseases. About Rs.65 crore have been allocated to the IDSP each year on average in the five years until 2017-18. 

Lok Sabha suspended seven MPs for the remainder of the Budget session under Rule 374. The Rule allows the Speaker to name a member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the House. 

Some previous instances of Members suspended in Parliament: 

Date 

Suspension of Members

Issue 

January 2, 2019

24 Lok Sabha MPs suspended for five days

On the issue of Cauvery

July 24, 2017

6 Lok Sabha MPs suspended for five days

On the issue of lynchings 

February 13, 2014 

17 Lok Sabha MPs suspended for five days

 

On the issue of statehood for Telangana 

September 2, 2013 

9 Lok Sabha MPs suspended

August 26, 27, 2013

2 Rajya Sabha MPs suspended for the day

August 23, 2013

12 Lok Sabha MPs suspended for disrupting the house

March 9, 2010

7 Rajya Sabha MPs suspended

For preventing debate on the Women’s Reservation Bill

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