Parliament to sit twice a week after 71 MPs and staff test positive for COVID-19
About 15 Members of Parliament have tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after a recent round of testing at the house.
56 staff of the parliamentary service have also tested positive for the virus.
Following this, as part of the measures to curb the spread of the virus, Parliament from next week will sit only twice a week, the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, announced on Thursday.
The sittings will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“Only members of Parliament and members of staff who are needed for the business of the House on those days will be allowed in the presence of Parliament from next week,” Mr Bagbin said.
In addition, an orientation and induction workshop scheduled for tomorrow will only have new MPs in attendance.
For the infected MPs, he said “all the 15 members have been contacted and advised to self-isolate. They have also been given prescriptions to facilitate their recovery.”
Parliament would also be testing the households for the 15 MPs and the 56 members of staff.
After complaints that some MPs were not availing themselves to test for the virus, Mr Bagbin noted that 227 MPs had submitted themselves for testing whilst some other MPs conducted their own tests at private medical facilities.
The leadership of Parliament had been complaining that some MPs who had tested were still coming to Parliament instead of isolating.
Mr Bagbin warned them to have the test done or he would be compelled to publish names of members running away from the test and also failed to isolate.
Parliament has already altered its normal proceedings by conducting its business in a tent situated at the forecourt of the house.
This arrangement is to allow for the observance of social distancing protocols in line with COVID-19 safety protocols.