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General News of Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Source: GNA

Coronavirus: Parliament quarantines ten MPs, five members of staff


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Speaker of Parliament Aaron Michael Quaye on Monday announced that some ten Members of Parliament (MPs) and five members of staff who traveled abroad and returned recently have been asked to stay away from the House to avoid possible transmission of COVID-19.

“As we are speaking now, ten MPs who travelled abroad in these circumstances have been asked to stay in self-isolation for certain number of days. Five members of staff who also went abroad and came back have been asked to the do the same.

“This is for the protection of all the people here and unsuspecting members of the public,” the Speaker said on Monday at Parliament Houser in Accra.

In an interaction with a restricted number of members of the Parliamentary Press Corps in his office, the Speaker said, self-quarantine is a way of preventing the spread of the disease among MPs and the general public.

He said members have been asked to sit two seats from one another and ensure that enough space exists in conformity with World Health Organization regulations.

“We all have to obey the directive in the interest of the publice,” the Speaker stressed.

He announced that the premises of Parliament has been fumigated under the close supervision of the Marshall, the Doctor and relevant organizations.

The Speaker said the air conditioning system in the House has been made to run low to generate warmth which he said has been recommended by those “who know” in dealing with the diseases.

He advised that all rooms should be made as relatively as warm as possible and not have cold surroundings.

The Speaker stressed the need for the house to be emergency ready at all times and even when the House is on vacation since members could be called back for recess at any time for parliamentary work.

COVID-19 which broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan in the Hubei Province in December 2019 has since become a global pandemic and affected Ghana with 24 confirmed cases.

The Government of Ghana has announced measures including not holding a gathering of not more than 25 people, and suspended group religious activities, closed down schools, borders and entry points and suspended international flight operations.

In addition to social distancing, there is an educational campaign in the mass media, social media and other forms mass communication in educating people on the disease.

People are also being encouraged to wash hands under running water and sanitize them as well. People are also being encouraged not to not put fingers in the body’s entry organs such as the eye, nose, mouth and ear.

Government is also carrying out fumigation of some markets and where people shop in the open air.

Parliament, since last week, is taking the temperatures of members, staff and others persons who enter the premises.

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