Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament Prof Mike Oquaye has directed all 275 Members of Parliament (MPs) and the parliamentary staff to undergo testing for COVID-19, starting from today.
The directive is part of measures instituted by the Parliamentary Service Board to prevent an outbreak of the pandemic in the legislature.
Prof Oquaye issued the order in his welcome remarks when the House resumed sitting yesterday after recess.
He indicated that as representatives of the people, it has become imperative the lawmakers set a good example amidst the growing count of infections.
The Speaker urged the Clerk and Parliament’s Medical officers to liaise with the appropriate institution to immediately conduct the testing for MPs and staff of the Parliamentary Service Board.
He noted that as MPs become participants in public education on the pandemic, it is important they are seen doing their part in halting the transmission of the coronavirus.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is still with us and as the rate of infections continue to grow steadily while there is no scientifically approved cure or vaccine, we should continue to comply with the laid down protocols to abate the spread.
“These include washing hands with soap under running water, cleaning the hands with fresh disposable paper and using the approved sanitizers, wearing of approved masks in public and observing social distancing, which are requisite for keeping us safe.
“In addition to observing the established protocols, I have directed, on the authority of the Parliamentary Service Board, the clerk and Parliament’s medical officers to liaise with the appropriate institutions to immediately conduct testing for all MPs and staff of the Parliamentary service board for COVID 19,” he added.
He called for the support of all MPs and the staff of the legislature to make the exercise successful.
“I request your cooperation in this enterprise,” Prof Oquaye pleaded.
He expressed Parliament’s admiration to all frontline staff of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for their efforts and their continued commitment in the fight against the COVID-19 disease.
The Speaker entreated MPs to give their best and be punctual to all official engagements of the House as they continue working during the meeting.
Before the house went on recess, 10 MPs and five members of staff were ordered to go into mandatory quarantine after arriving in the country from trips abroad before borders were shut.
Meanwhile, Ghana has recorded 183 more cases of COVID-19, taking the country’s case count to 5,918, according to latest figures released by the GHS.
Two more people have succumbed to the deadly virus, taking the death toll to 31.
However, there were no new recoveries as the number still stood at 1,754 as of yesterday.