MPs observe ‘social distance’ in chamber

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, has directed further measures to be implemented within the Chamber of the House to safeguard the health of Members of Parliament against the COVID-19.

He said in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) directives of distance between persons, the proximity of the sitting arrangements of Parliamentarians were too close for comfort, so the Parliamentarians would sit with a gap of one empty sit between them.

He said because of the sitting arrangements coupled with lack of space within the Chamber, both the Clerk and Marshall of Parliament should take charge of what needed to be done to ensure compliance.

In addition, the Speaker said the Public Gallery which had not received visitors since Monday, the Press Gallery and the Chamber were expected to be fumigated after Parliament adjourned.

“You will realise that when we visited the Jubilee House this week, the issue of sitting distance away from each other was already in place”, he said.

He said as lawmakers who needed to continue to work for the state to function, there was the need to take precautionary measures to protect Parliamentarians at this critical time.

Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, Minority Chief Whip in supporting the directives said there was the need to overlook the arrangement of Minority and Majority side and space out to occupy empty sits of absent Members to make the directive work well.

He said he was in total support of the closure of the Public Gallery since news coming from Burkina Faso had it that one of their colleagues in their Parliament died from COVID19, “so we must take this very serious.”

Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader expressed his dismay over the way people emptied the hand sanitisers placed at vantage points on the premise of Parliament House for their private use.

“Mr Speaker, you will see a full hand sanitisers only to see an empty container few moments later,” he said. 

He said in order to stop that malpractice, there was the need to activate all the CCTV Cameras so that anyone found culpable would be named, shamed, and sanctioned.

By Lawrence Markwei

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