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Coronavirus: ‘Stop coming to parliament’ – Majority leader begs infected MPs, staff

The Majority leader has cautioned MPs and staff who have tested positive for coronavirus to stay away from parliament.

Osei Kyei Mensa-Bonsu expressed worry that infected officials still come to work in disregard of the protocols adopted by parliament.

“Please don’t come and endanger the lives of people,” the Suame MP pleaded while presenting the business statement Friday.

Two MPs test positive for COVID-19

Parliament had earlier publicly denied reports that two MP and 13 parliamentary staff had been infected.

All MPs and staffers have been tested and their results were to be communicated to them privately.

Parliament refused to reveal identities of the infected politicians and parliamentary staff, fearing stigma and politicisation of the pandemic.

Ghanaian culture does not encourage coronavirus status disclosure – Majority leader

But in parliament Friday, the Majority leader suggested the decision of parliament to keep the identities private is being abused.

He said the leadership and coronavirus testing team is “getting frustrated” about non-compliance of some MPs, journalists and staff of parliament.

Osei Kyei Mensa-Bonsu said parliament “may be forced to reveal the identities of these persons.”

“We want to appeal to honourable members to the staff and to journalists who have been contacted behind the curtain” he said to ‘stay away from parliament’.

Audio: Majority leader Osei Kyei Mensa-Bonsu

The Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, also stressed the need to keep the identities of infected MPs, staff and journalists private.

“Medical records remain medical records. Confidential,” he said.

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye stressed compliance to his directives to get tested and also cooperate with the covid-19 team in parliament.

“If a person wants to endanger his or her life, you have no right as a human rights issue to extend it to others” he warned.

The only politician publicly known to have been infected with coronavirus is Ghana’s High Commissioner to the UK, Papa Owusu Ankomah.

He spent some days in intensive care last April in the UK and has since recovered.

 

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1 Comment
  1. Anonymous says

    Where is the stigmatization in this? This is a disease caused by a virus which the country is trying to contain; it is spread through droplets which can float in the air and enter another person through close contact. The person who has tested positive for COVID-19 needs to self quarantine for at least 14 days to break the spread cycle, for his own sake and for the sake of others. There is no shame in this: it is not a STD, or anything like that – anyone can catch it, easily and unknowingly. Notable and important people – high ranking world government officials and celebrities, etc caught it and they did the honorable and decent thing – they stayed away from others, either in hospital or at home, thereby minimizing the spread. For Ghanaian government officials to refuse to self quarantine and declare their statuses while still attending parliamentary meetings is utterly irresponsible and incomprehensible. They are elected officials, voted in to serve their constituents and the people of Ghana, not spread COVID-19 to the populace. The President should step in here and take a stance for the protection of Ghanaians.

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