Prof. Mike Oquaye
THE 275 Members of Parliament (MPs) will undergo mandatory testing for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) alongside staff of the Parliamentary Service, beginning today.
The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, who issued the directive, accordingly asked the Clerk and Parliament’s Medical Office to liaise with the appropriate institution to “immediately conduct the testing.”
Addressing the first sitting of the second meeting of Parliament yesterday, the Speaker requested the cooperation of MPs “in this enterprise” and added that this would be done in addition to observing the established protocols.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is still with us as the rate of infection is steadily rising. While there is no scientifically approved cure or vaccine, we should adhere to all laid-down hygiene protocols to abate the spread,” he stressed.
The protocols, he indicated, included washing of hands with soap under clean running water, cleaning the hands with clean disposable paper, application of approved hand sanitizers, wearing of approved masks while in public and observing social distancing, adding “they are requisites for keeping us safe.”
“Leaders should ensure that there is one space one chair apart in our sitting. When there is an overflow, the Whips would decide what to do,” he said.
The Speaker, on behalf of Parliament, expressed the admiration of the House to all frontline staff of the Ghana Health Service “who have demonstrated and continue to demonstrate unwavering commitment in the fight against Covid-19 in our dear country.”
“As we commence work for the meeting, may I request of members to continue to give up their utmost best and be punctual to all official engagements of the House. I fervently pray the Great Provider will generously endow us with divine direction, good health, fraternal love and above all, peace of mind to go about our work,” he entreated.
“Let’s demonstrate in every way that we are ready to work like soldiers at war for mother Ghana. We shall face every emergency. We shall respond to every call to duty. We shall never draw back as we support the Executive in its work for Ghana,” he concluded.
By Ernest Kofi Adu