Parliament urges COVID-19 patients to stay away from house!

The leadership of Parliament has warned persons who tested positive for coronavirus in Parliament to heed the directive to stay away from the legislative body.

It argued that should those persons continue frequenting the House, they could infect their colleagues who do not have the respiratory disease.

Presenting the Business Report yesterday, the seemingly frustrated Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader said all attempts to convince those who tested positive to stay home and self-isolate had proven futile.

He has, therefore, appealed to positive cases including Members of Parliament, staff of Parliament and journalists who had been contacted “behind the curtain to stay away because you are imperiling the lives of others.”

“I think the COVID-19 medical team is getting frustrated and want to appeal once again to members and staff of Parliament as well as journalists that if you are contacted please do not come and imperil the lives of people,” he said.

He recounted how one person who had tested positive and spoken to by the COVID-19 medical team was seen on Thursday in close contact with some MPs, engaging them in conversation.

Such persons, he said, must heed to the medical advice, “otherwise the medical team may be forced to unveil the identity of those persons and it is not good.

“They do not intend to do that but those persons know themselves and they should comply,” he warned.

He said per the arrangement, persons who would have tested positive would be told of their status behind the curtain but that seems not to be the case.

“Unfortunately, some people have decided after contact is made with them, to ignore the appeal from the team and they visit parliament and they endanger the lives of all of us.

“The issue is, Mr Speaker, if you have submitted yourself and tested negative as some of us have, it does not mean I am out of the woods. If anybody seated and comes closes to me, the chances are that I may contract the disease and it goes for everybody,” he said.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, who urged such persons to stay home to save the general parliamentary population said their action was a disregard for what was agreed, cautioning any move to publicise the identities of such persons.

“The fact that somebody has taken an examination in COVID-19 does not necessarily mean that we can just share the medical information or record of that person,” he stated.

Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, the Speaker of Parliament on his part said the call for all persons within the precincts of Parliament to test for the disease was now a directive and not a request.

The Parliamentary Services Board, Prof. Oquaye said was arranging a second compulsory round of test after which those who refused to take the test would not “enter our premises and that is also a directive.”

“If a person wants to endanger his or her life, you have no right, as a human right issue, to extend it to others,” he said.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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