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July 16, 2020
Front Page Ghana

COVID-19: Staff call for closure of Parliament amidst fear

Fear and panic is running through Parliament House like wildfire after a voluntary COVID-19 testing organized for legislators and staff reportedly yielded 15 positive cases.

The voluntary testing has subsequently been upgraded to mandatory.

The testing team has been summoned back to the House to ensure those who failed to undergo the process last week do so.

Reports that two Members of Parliament and 13 staff of the Parliamentary Service Board have tested positive has put many on edge who are suggestion a lockdown of the legislature.

Some groups of staff who spoke to Frontpageghana.com argued if it is confirmed the testing has yielded positive cases, the entire premises should be shut down for some time.

They cited the story of the fish factory where one person affected 500 people as an example and stressed that Parliament would have to close down for massive disinfection.

“This is so scary because nobody can identify the infected person, which puts the entire staff at risk,”

“It also makes matters worse to learn the virus could stay in the air up to eight hours. This makes working in Parliament’s indoor environment very dangerous,” they claimed.

Speaker of the House, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, on Tuesday issued an order for a second round of testing.

The new directive, he said, has become imperative and urged those who have not tested not to wait till the House starts applying sanctions for failure to undergo the process.

Addressing the House before the commencement of business, Speaker Mike Oquaye insisted it is now mandatory for every MP, every staff of Parliament and the Press Corps to test for COVID-19.

He said, “Further to the test taken last week it is imperative to inform that we should take this matter very seriously. In this connection on Thursday and on Friday, the team has been recalled to parliament.

“They will come back right here to test members, staff and the media, etc.”

“The decision is that in our collective interest it is mandatory. Don’t wait to the state of applying sanctions,” he warned.

The Speaker explained that elaborate steps are being taken to ensure the observation of all appropriate protocols in the light of results.

He assured there will be absolute confidentiality and professionalism in handling all cases both negative and positive.



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