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The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has commended the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Bagbin, for his “exemplary” leadership in the fight against COVID-19 within the house of Parliament.
This follows an announcement by the Speaker on Thursday, 4 February 2020 that Parliament will, from next week, sit twice a week to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
“Only MPs and staff who are needed for the business of the house on those days will be allowed in the precincts of Parliament”, the Speaker announced.
In a post on Facebook, the opposition MP said: “Rt. Hon. Speaker Alban Bagbin deserves commendation for the leadership he has exhibited in fighting COVID-19 within the precincts of Parliament since assuming office. As I said on the floor today, his courage and transparency in putting out the numbers of MPs and staff infected will go a long way to address the challenge with stigma.”
According to the North Tongu MP, “Cracking the whip on personal responsibility and obligations to self-isolate is another positive step. His decision to reduce the number of meetings of the plenary and to pursue for testing, all the household and other contacts of those infected is another refreshing development.”
Mr Ablakwa further hoped for a future where Ghanaian politicians and public office holders will be more transparent about their COVID-19 status.
“Hoping we shall soon get to the next level whereas, in other jurisdictions, Ghanaian politicians and other notable public personalities, will be more open about their personal experiences with the corona”.
“Let us all in our little corners show greater responsibility, courage, respect for data and may we put the safety of the public ahead of other selfish considerations.”
A total of 227 MPs submitted themselves for COVID-19 tests in Parliament while the remainder of the 275 lawmakers did their own private tests at medical facilities outside the precincts of the lawmaking chamber, the Speaker of Parliament revealed.
Out of the 227 MPs, 15 tested positive.
Those who did their private tests are yet to submit their results to the leadership of the house.
Additionally, 56 staff of Parliament have tested positive.
All the affected MPs and staff have been contacted and advised to self-isolate.
They have also been given prescription drugs to facilitate their recovery.
Parliament has made arrangements to test all the households of the 15 MPs and 56 staff to curb reinfection.
On Wednesday, the Speaker threatened to expose MPs who tested positive but were still coming to the house if they did not stay away.