The Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Alban Sumana Kinsford Bagbin, has sent a strong warning to Members of Parliament who have tested positive to COVID-19 to stay home and self-isolate otherwise he would be forced to publish their names in the media.
As part of the general medical screening for MPs of the 8th Parliament, the Institution of Parliament has also been screening the MPs and staff for possible cases of COVID in the wake of the increasing cases of the disease in the country.
According to a communication relayed on the Floor of Parliament on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 on behalf of the Speaker by the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, some MPs who have tested positive for the virus are still attending to business in Parliament even though they have received test results that confirm they are positive.
The Deputy Speaker said,” he will be forced to publish the names of Members who have tested positive in order to warn the rest of us. Please, let’s take these protocols seriously and let all Members who have been informed of their test results that they have tested positive, withdrew from the precincts of Parliament. Not just the Chamber; Stay home and self-isolate; go through the protocols; and recover before they return to the House.”
In addition to the Speaker’s concern, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, informed the House that some of MPs are not being cooperative and have still decided not to subject themselves to the screening exercise.
As at the time he was relaying the information on the Floor with just about 45 minutes for the screening exercise to end, he said about 52 Members of Parliament had still not submitted themselves for the test.
“Mr. Speaker, yesterday only three people submitted themselves. Today, only five people have submitted themselves. It means that, out of the 60 that had not submitted themselves, 52 have still not submitted. That is dangerous,” the Majority Leader said.
He added that, from next week onwards they were not going to allow those who have not submitted themselves to the screening exercise to enter the Chamber.
On his part, the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohamed Muntaka, expressed the concern that the Leadership of the House is somehow handicapped in determining exactly which of the MPs have tested positive or not because of the mode of transmission of the test results directly to individual MPs.
In order to avoid stigmatization of people who could possibly test positive for the virus, the arrangement was for the communication of the results to only be between the medical officers who conducted the screening and the specific individuals.
However, the Minority Chief Whip is of the view that the current situation demands that the policy is reviewed for the names of these persons who have tested positive to be released to at least the Chief Whips of both sides for them to ensure that those infected people do not come anywhere near the precinct of Parliament to spread the virus among the MPs.
Source: Clement Akoloh: parliamentnews360.com