Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye - Speaker of Parliament
Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye - Speaker of Parliament

Covid-19 positive MPs refuse to self-isolate

The leadership of Parliament has warned persons who took the COVID-19 test and have been reached by the medical team of the National COVID-19 Taskforce to urgently heed to the directive to stay away from Parliament.

They said by visiting Parliament, those who tested positive including members and officials of Parliament and journalists would only imperil the lives of others who operated on the premises of the legislative body.

The Speaker, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye; the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, and the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, expressed these concerns after the Majority Leader had presented the business statement to the House.

Defying directive

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu had told the House that the medical team of COVID-19 was frustrated in getting those who tested positive to go into self-isolation after they had communicated the outcome of their COVID-19 test.

He, therefore, appealed to members and staff of Parliament as well as journalists who had been contacted “behind the curtain to stay away because you are imperilling the lives of others.”

“I think the COVID-19 medical team is getting frustrated and want to appeal once again to members and staff of Parliament as well as journalists that if you are contacted please do not come and imperil the lives of people,” he said after he presented the business statement to the House.

The Majority Leader told the House that on Thursday, one person who had been spoken to by the COVID-19 medical team was observed in close contact with some MPs, engaging them in a conversation.

Sounding frustrated, he advised such persons who had been reached out to, to comply with the directive, warning that “otherwise the medical team may be forced to unveil the identity of those persons and it is not good.

“They do not intend to do that but those persons know themselves and they should comply,” he warned.

Ignoring appeal

He stated the Speaker and the leadership of Parliament had arranged for everybody to be tested for COVID-19.

He said per the arrangement, anybody who unfortunately tested positive would not be openly identified and the testing team would contact them “behind the curtains and have the situation managed.”

“Unfortunately, some people have elected after contact is made with them, to ignore the appeal from the team and they visit parliament and they endanger the lives of all of us.

“The issue is, Mr Speaker, if you have submitted yourself and tested negative as some of us have, it does not mean I am out of the woods. If anybody seated and comes closes to me, the chances are that I may contract the disease and it goes for everybody,” he said.

Respect confidentiality

Reacting to threat of unveiling identities of those who defied the directive to stay after testing positive, the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrissu, said the results of such persons was confidential and such confidentiality should be respected by all.

“The fact that somebody has taken an examination in COVID-19 does not necessarily mean that we can just share the medical information or record of that person,” he stated.

Heed directive

Responding, Prof. Oquaye said those who operated in Parliament as an MP, an official and an invitee such as media personnel must heed “our directive to do a test and it is not a request now.”

He said the Parliamentary Services Board was arranging for another testing exercise to be conducted after which those who did not want to test should not “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 right issue, to extend it to others,” he said.

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