Parliament is threatening to expose the identity of lawmakers and staff who have tested positive for the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) during the recently conducted testing in the Legislature.
Some of those who tested positive are reportedly defying directives to self-isolate, and have been visiting the House and engaging Members of Parliament (MPs) and other people.
Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu who disclosed this warned the medical team may be compelled to divulge their identities.
“They don’t intend to do that but those persons know themselves and they should comply,” he cautioned.
The Majority leader, during presentation of the Business Statement for this week, recalled that the Speaker arranged for members, staff and journalists to be tested for the Coronavirus disease that has unfortunately engulfed the country.
“The arrangement was that anybody who unfortunately tested positive would not be openly be identified but the testing team would have an arrangement to contact them behind the curtain and have the situation managed.
“That has been the arrangement but unfortunately some people have elected after contact was made with them to ignore the appeal from the team and they visit Parliament and endanger the lives of all of us.
“So we want to appeal to members, the staff and to journalists who have been contacted behind the curtain and those who are not submitting themselves to the testing team, you are imperilling the lives of us all,” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu stated.
He indicated the team is getting frustrated with the behaviour of these persons and appealed to all those who have been contacted to stay away from Parliament in order not to imperil the lives of others.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu observed that he has, on two occasions, submitted myself and tested negative but stressed that does not mean he is out of the woods.
He argued if anybody tested positive and gets close to him chances are that he may contract the disease, which also applies to everybody.
“So please, let’s be on the watch out for another. We need to be protective of one another,” he added.
The majority leader warned that the directive for non-essential service providers to stay away from Parliament is still in force.
He disclosed that the Speaker intends to have an arrangement with the testing team so that those who failed to undergo the earlier exercise would have the opportunity to submit themselves to ensure everyone within the precinct of the House is secured.
Addressing the matter, Speaker Mike Oquaye, warned all research personnel to stay away from the House else the Marshall’s office will deal with them.
He ordered that every person who operates from Parliament as MP, official or as an invitee must heed directive of the House to do a test.
“We are arranging for the relevant personnel to come to your door step after that those who don’t want to test don’t want to enter our premises, and that is also a directive.
“If a person wants to endanger his or her life, you have no right as a human rights issue to extend it to other people and that is very clear,” Prof Oquaye reiterated.
The Speaker, after resumption of sittings last month directed voluntary testing for all those within Parliament.
This directive was subsequently upgraded to mandatory after the results of the testing indicated some MPs, staff and journalists have tested positive for the virus.
The disclosure of the results in the media generated furore and Parliament denied the reports and insisted the House had not even received the results yet.
However, appeals of the Majority leader last Friday and the Speaker’s warning indicate MPs and staff indeed tested positive, which the House probably concealed leading to the present predicament.