Sunday, June 16, 2024

Speaker of Parliament threatens to publish names of MPs with Covid-19

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has threatened to publish the names of Members of Parliament who have tested positive for Covid-19 and have failed to self isolate for treatment.

This follows a caution by the Speaker last week to the House strongly urging all Members to take the Covid-19 test scheduled for them.

In a statement read on his behalf by the first deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, Mr Bagbin revealed that some MPs who have tested positive do not self-isolate and still come into the Chamber of Parliament.

“Some members of Parliament who have in fact tested positive to the Covid are still coming to the Chamber. Mr Speaker wishes me to inform you that if those members do not withdraw and isolate, he will be forced to publish the names of members who have tested positive in order to warn the rest of us.

He further advised all Members of the House who have tested positive for the virus to “withdraw from the precinct of Parliament”, isolate for the required duration and return to Parliament when cleared of the virus.

He also advised the remaining 50 members of Parliament and staff who have as yet not availed themselves for testing to do so.

Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu shared a similar sentiment as the Speaker of Parliament.

Expressing his concerns, he revealed that although the technical team that conducts the test was made available to the House, only 10 people obliged and “submitted themselves” for the testing.

“As the Speaker said to us, if you don’t, in all likelihood, from next week as the Speaker insisted, we will not allow people who have not submitted [themselves for testing] to be in the Chamber.

He, therefore, pleaded with “staff, Members of Parliament and journalists who have not” submitted themselves to the test to do so.

In line with the convention of the House, Minority Chief Whip Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak believes that making the statuses of their MPs known to both Whips would ensure that the MPs are kept in check (while maintaining the confidentiality of each Member’s status).

He is of the opinion that his job as Whip will help ensure that the members of the House who have tested positive for Covid-19 kept away from the premises.

“For members on my side, I need to know so I can help the House ensure that these members are not only in the Chamber but also not in their offices.”

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