BY: Mary Quartey
Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon SK Alban Bagbin on Thursday 4, February 2021, has stated that parliament will begin sitting twice in a week; Tuesdays and Thursdays having 15 MPs including 56 parliamentary staffs tested positive for the covid-19 disease following the mandatory screening.
According to the Speaker, the affected individuals have subsequently been asked to self-isolate with medication prescribed for them. He further explains that aside the house sitting on twice every week, only members of parliament and parliamentary staffs needed in the precincts of parliament on these days would be allowed into the premises.
Below is the Full Statement:
I make this statement today to formally inform honourable members of the Covid-19 situation in parliament and to update you of the results received so far from the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research on the testing of members and staff which ended yesterday.
The Institute has generously accepted to do a mop-up tomorrow Friday 5th February 2021. I want to urge members who haven’t taken the opportunity to do so to kindly do it tomorrow. Reports from parliament’s medical centre reveal that 227 members submitted themselves for the test while others conducted their own tests at private medical facilities.
I want to urge those who conducted their own tests at private medical facilities to submit the results of these tests to the director of the parliamentary medical centre. Out of those who submitted themselves for the test in parliament, fifteen members of parliament tested positive for the virus. All the fifteen members have been conducted and advised to self-isolate. They have also been given prescriptions to facilitate their recovery.
Results of 193 staff received so far reveal that 56 of them tested positive for the virus. All the 56 staff have been contacted and advised to self-isolate. They have also been given prescriptions to facilitate their recovery. Parliament is therefore taking steps to test the households of the thirteen members of staff and the 356 staff in order to avert re-infection upon their return from self-isolation and treatment.
In consultation with leadership and the clerk, I have decided to implement the following measures to curb the further spread of the virus. The house will from text week sit twice a week. That is on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 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 precincts of parliament from next week. This excluded members and staff who have tested positive.