Bhubaneswar: A day before the scheduled commencement of the monsoon session of the Odisha Assembly, 12 legislators, including Deputy Speaker Rajanikant Singh, tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, an official said.Also Read - Night Curfew, Sunday Lockdown: COVID Curbs Continue In These States Amid Cases | Check Guidelines

Ministers Samir Dash, Padmini Dian and Jyoti Panigrahi tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time. They had earlier contracted the disease and had completed their quarantine period, he said. Also Read - UK Classifies New Form Of Omicron As 'Variant Under Investigation'

The infections were detected during a special drive to test samples of lawmakers for COVID-19 ahead of the monsoon session of the Assembly. Also Read - Thailand Tourism Latest Update: Thailand Opens up For Quarantine-Free Entry For Vaccinated Visitors

Two other MLAs including Government Chief Whip Pramila Mallick had tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

The coronavirus status of some other legislators whose samples were collected during the day will be known on Tuesday, the official said.

“I have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been admitted to SUM COVID Hospital, Bhubaneswar. I request everyone who had come in contact with me in recent few days to get themselves tested. Jai Jagannath,” the deputy speaker said in a Twitter post.

Umakanta Samantray, the MLA of Satyabadi seat in Puri district, also said in a social media post that he has tested positive for COVID-19. He urged people who had come in contact with him in the last couple of days to isolate themselves.

The special sample testing drive was launched as per the order of Speaker S N Patro ahead of the monsoon session.

MLAs, journalists and Assembly and ministerial staffers were tested.

The speaker had said that only those testing negative for the infection will be allowed to enter the Assembly building.

As many as 50 MLAs, including nine ministers, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Odisha so far. Many of them have completed their quarantine period.