MPs Test Positive For Covid

Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has disclosed that some Members of Parliament (MPs) have tested positive to the coronavirus (COVID-19), indicating that all the people working in the Chamber are not safe.

He said he would be compelled to mention the names of those MPs who are refusing to go for the COVID-19 test.

He has consequently asked MPs, who are yet to comply with his directive to undergo tests for COVID-19, to do so by Tuesday when sitting of the House resumes.

“This is the last call I want to make on members because the team from the Noguchi Institute will be available on Monday and Tuesday. They are attending basically to the staff (both parliamentary and support staff),” the Speaker said during last Friday sitting.

He added, “You should take advantage of the three days and get tested not just for your good but for the good of all members of your family, friends and your colleagues here in the House.

“Please that should be the last call I will make. If I see that members are not complying, I will be compelled to read out the names of those who have not yet undergone the process of testing,” he warned.

Speaker Bagbin noted that his directive that all Members of Parliament to subject themselves to the test had not yet been complied with by over 60 MPs, stressing that “it is true, as the Majority has just stated, that we are not all safe. In-house, some members are afflicted by COVID-19.

“We may not know who the person is because of the protocols and issues of confidentiality.  We are not [supposed] to disclose those who are now COVID-19 positive but we have some of us in that category. And so members should take the protocols seriously.

“In fact when I was entering, I myself had to signal some members to respect the physical distancing protocol and I saw them immediately move apart. So members should take it seriously,” he intimated.

According to him, the numbers started slowly and it is rising, and therefore does not want to be compelled this week to read out the names of those who have not complied with the directive.

The Speaker thanked members for drawing his attention to the state of affairs at the washrooms and offices, including the Chamber block, where the lawmakers complained of lack of water and other accessories which they said were making it difficult for them to comply with the safety protocols of COVID-19.

“I think the Parliamentary Service will take a serious view of it and make them available,” Speaker Bagbin said.

On the issue of orientation and induction programme for the MPs, the Speaker indicated that they would take place in two phases because of the COVID-19.

“Finally, I have directed that the first which is starting on February 5 and ending on February 8 after lunch will be for the freshers (123) together with leadership. The senior members will have theirs next weekend,” he asserted.

BY Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House