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General News of Friday, 29 May 2020

Source: GNA

Parliament must shut down over coronavirus cases - Sam George

Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Samuel Nartey George Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Samuel Nartey George

Amidst speculations that some Members and Staff of Parliament have tested positive for Covid-19, Mr Samuel Nartey George, MP for Ningo-Prampram, is calling for a two-week shut-down, and fumigation of Parliament.

“Given the way Parliament operates, if any of the two MPs found their way into the chamber, there is the possibility, they may have come into contact with some of their colleagues in the House,” the MP who went into self-abstention from the House when the disease broke down said.

Mr George made the call when he interacted with the media in Parliament, in Accra over reports that two MPs and 13 staff of the legislature have tested positive for the virus.

He criticized the Parliament’s Public Affairs Directorate for trying to hide the information that some MPs and staff of the House have tested positive for the disease.

“We must be honest, we must show integrity as a House of law makers…You see when you try to hide it and make it look like it is something that should not happen, that is when people would begin to think that when you have coronavirus there is something wrong.

Coronavirus is not a life sentence, it is not death sentence, so if people have tested positive own up to it, protect their identities and own up to the fact and don’t try to lie about it”.

Mr George also called for the operationalization of the e-parliament system, which he said has been in place since the days of late President Atta-Mills that would allow MPs to work remotely and digitally.

“Any parliament that is technologically averse cannot be said to be the true representative of the people in the 21 century” he added.

Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and Ms Kate Addo, Director of Public Affairs in Parliament, on Tuesday denied reports that some Members of Parliament and staff of the House have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu described the report as speculative journalism, but the position was disputed by Alhaji Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka, Minority Chief Whip in a media interview.

Alhaji Muntaka explained that the infected MPs and staff have been isolated while contact tracing had been initiated.