Parliament is in turmoil after concerted attempts to deny the presence of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the House.
Spirited denial that two MPs and 13 staff have tested positive for the novel coronavirus has turned out to be a fat lie.
Parliament organized testing for MPs, staff, and members of the Press Corps last week and the results trickling in has set the leadership on collusion course.
Majority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu addressed the media after reports of the confirmed cases and indicated he could not confirm or deny the report.
He explained, however, that the results of the test are not yet known and therefore any report on it is false.
He indicated that the confidentiality protocol is that those who test positive will be called directly by the testing team.
“Officially, Parliament is unaware of any such call and therefore there hasn’t been any official figures giving by the National COVID-19 response team,” he stated.
However, Minority Chief Whip Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka has confirmed that indeed two MPs and 13 staff have tested positive for the deadly virus.
According to him, an MP and a staff member tested positive on Wednesday while another MP and 12 staff tested positive on Thursday.
He expressed shock at attempts to deny the affliction and warned denial would only worsen the situation.
This, he said, could give credence to stigmatisation that the House has been speaking against since the pandemic was confirmed in Ghana.
He condemned the handling of the situation and stressed that leadership could even have addressed the matter without confirming or denying the veracity of the media report.
He noted that flatly denying the incident is not in the national interest in respect of the fact that MPs interact with a wide range of people.
“You don’t know how many people have come into contact with this person. So when you conceal it, you are not helping with the fight and containing the spread.”
“This is not the right thing to do in my view. Let’s admit and explain the steps being taken to assure the public that everything is under control but not to lie and attempt to conceal it.”
The confirmed cases, he said, are from the testing on Wednesday and Thursday with result of the Friday test yet to be available.
“We are hoping that those who have not tested will take the necessary steps to do so this Thursday and Friday”
“Let’s not lie to the people because that will not help the fight against stigmatisation.”
“We need to be bold and admit that this has happened and that these are the steps we are taking and hope to keep this under control,” he stated.
He noted that as the Parliament of Ghana, being open to the taxpayer is important because that is best for national interest.