Ghana’s parliament to run twice a week as COVID infects 15 MPs

Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament

At least 15 members of Ghana’s parliament have been infected with COVID-19, its Speaker Alban Bagbin confirmed during Thursday’s sitting.

The lawmakers were screened just weeks after a scuffle broke out during an election of a new Speaker of the eighth parliament on January 7 which saw many of them disregarding social protection etiquettes.

“Out of those who submitted themselves for the test in parliament, 15 members tested positive for the virus”, Alban Bagbin said adding: “All 15 members have been contacted and advised to self isolate”.

Fifty-six out of 193 parliamentary staff also tested positive for the virus. They have since been contacted to self isolate and given prescriptions to facilitate their recoveries.

The Speaker, in consultation with leadership of parliament have also announced new measures to curb a spread of the virus.

“The House will from next week sit twice in a week;. that is on Tuesdays and Thursdays”, Mr Bagbin declared.

He added: “Only members of parliament and members of staff who are needed for the business of the House on those days will be allowed in the presence of parliament from next week”.

In addition, an orientation and induction workshop scheduled for tomorrow will only have new MPs in attendance.

Parliament will also be testing the households fo the 15 MPs and the 56 members of staff.

After complaints that some MPs were dodging the COVID-19 testing, Mr. Bagbin noted that 227 MPs had submitted themselves for testing whilst some other MPs conducted their own tests at private medical facilities.

The leadership of Parliament had been complaining that some MPs who had tested were still coming to Parliament instead of isolating.

Mr. Bagbin warned he will be compelled to name members running away from the test if the situation persists.

Parliament has already altered its normal proceedings by conducting its business in a tent situated at the forecourt of the house.

This arrangement is to allow for the observance of social distancing protocols in line with preventing COVID-19.

Source: Daily Mail GH

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