Covid-19 Scare: Parliament Won’t Be Shut Down – Deputy Majority Whip
The Deputy Majority Whip, Matthew Nyindam has rubbished suggestions that Parliament will have to shut down because of coronavirus.
“The House will not shut down. Business will have to continue,” Mr. Nyindam insisted to the media.
He suggested that observing the safety protocols would be enough to ensure MPs and staffers are safe.
Addressing the media, the Kpandai MP said: “The protocols that they have given us are protocols that we all must observe. Members of Parliament, we are not superhuman.”
As the government eases restrictions on public gatherings, the Minority Spokesperson on Health, Kwabena Mintah Akandor, renewed calls for a partial shutdown of Parliament because of the novel coronavirus.
Amid unconfirmed reports that two legislators and 13 Parliamentary staffers have tested positive for the virus, Mr. Akandor believes Parliament should only sit on emergency issues.
Though the MP admits he “will not be able to give names specifically” of persons purported to be infected with the virus, he was adamant Parliament ought not to operate as normal.
“I am not saying we should close Parliament entirely but I think we should be called in where necessary to attend to emergency issues and we can also be monitoring issues. As and when the virus slows down, we can be called back to Parliament to run fully,” he said on Eyewitness News.
On the status of the MPs and staffers, Parliament’s official position is that the test results are not yet known .
Parliament completed the mass testing of MPs and staffers last week following an order by the Speaker of the House.
The Member of Parliament for the North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has however called for the full disclosure on the results.
“I am totally disappointed in how the COVID-19 testing of MPs and Staff of the House has been managed. There should be nothing to hide,” he said.
Ghana's novel coronavirus case count currently stands at 8,297.