Parliament to conduct virtual sittings amidst fears of positive COVID-19 cases

The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has directed Members of Parliament (MPs) to observe proceedings from their offices in the State Tower Block, popularly known as Job 600, when the House resumes sitting next week.

The directive means that unlike Members’ usual gathering in the Chamber to conduct business, they will from next week do a virtual sitting.

However, only one-third out of the 275 MPs will be admitted in the Chamber will business resumes next week.

This virtual meeting, according to the Speaker, is to ensure strict adherence of social distancing as a COVID-19 protocol.

“There is a lot of work to be done next week. Because of the COVID, we have put in some measures. We will be needing about 1/3 of members on the floor. The rest will have to do virtual parliament. You have to be in your offices to observe proceedings and as and when necessary appear to contribute. We are not going to allow this kind of sittings again”, he ordered in his remarks last Friday, January 22, 2021, over how business in the House will be conducted when they resume sittings next week.

He added “We are also making preparations if possible next to make use of the new tent that is provided down there where we used to swear in His Excellency the President whilst we use this place for fumigation and thorough scrutiny and also the installation of other measures that will make the environment better for the work of Parliament. At least making it more difficult for the virus to survive or be transmitted to another person”.

He went on to direct the leadership of the Parliamentary Service to “get things done”.

The directives of the Speaker come amidst reports of positive COVID-19 cases among some staff of the Parliamentary Service and MPs after a three-day testing exercise.

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