Test for COVID-19 or be sanctioned – Speaker to MPs

The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, says it is mandatory for all the 275 lawmakers and staff of the Parliamentary Service as well as members of the Parliamentary Press Corps to avail themselves for the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) test.

Anyone who fails to avail himself or herself for the COVID-19 test, according to the Speaker, will be sanctioned.

He has therefore urged all those working in Parliament as well as the lawmakers not to wait till the House gets to the stage of applying sanctions before they would avail themselves for the COVID-19 test.

The directive by the Speaker follows suspicion that some MPs and staff of the Parliamentary Service have tested positive for the virus during the voluntary testing exercise carried out last week.

Addressing Members at the plenary on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, the Speaker implored on all to take the matter very serious, stressing that the test will be carried out from Thursday, May 28 to Friday, May 29, 2020.

“It is mandatory for every Member of Parliament, for every staff of Parliament, to test for COVID-19. The press corps must also submit themselves to test for COVID-19. Hon. Members, further to the test, it is imperative to inform you that we should take this matter very seriously. In this connection, on Thursday and on Friday, the team has been recalled by Parliament to come right here to test Members, staff, media etc. Please, the decision is that in our collective interest, it is mandatorily. Please don’t wait till we get to the stage of applying sanctions. Elaborate measures are being taken to ensure the observation of all appropriate protocols in the light of results. Absolute confidentiality and professionalism in handling all cases negative and positive”, he noted.

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