The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has described as unfortunate the revelation that some Members of Parliament, staff and journalists in the legislature are refusing to abstain from work despite testing positive for COVID-19.
Majority leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu who made the disclosure on Friday, June 12, 2020 during the presentation of the business statement lamented that the situation is endangering the lives of other persons in the house
“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.
“The arrangement was that anybody who, unfortunately, tested positive will not be openly identified, but that the testing team will have the arrangement to contact them behind the curtain and have the situation managed. Mr. Speaker, that has been the arrangement but unfortunately, some people after contact has been made to them visit Parliament and endanger the lives of all of us.”
Reacting to the development on Starr Today, Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association Dr. Titus Beyuo described the situation as worrying.
“That will be very unfortunate. If the persons indeed know that they are positive, their statuses have been confirmed to them and they continue to mingle and work with other people then it is unfortunate. We know that this disease spreads fast, the attack rate is really high and the last thing we want is to have people who have tested positive transmitting the disease deliberately or inadvertently to other people. And so at least if for nothing at all, just for the respect for the next person you are working with, I think it is just fair that you self-isolate so you can help curb the disease”.
Dr. Beyuo further called for those refusing to self-isolate despite appeals to them to be compelled to so in accordance with the law.
“Because we have seen in the general community where people who tested positive and were refusing to go into isolation or who demonstrated that they could not be isolated were compelled to go into isolation and the law permitted that. So I think whoever these persons are (they) should be advised accordingly to do the needful because by the law (Public Health Law) passed by parliament itself, people whose activities pose danger to the rest of the population can be compelled by law to isolate. So I think it should go beyond appeals. If the appeals are going and the people are not acting, just as we do to anybody else, we should make sure the law is applied,” Dr. Beyuo told Starr News Naa Dedei Tettey.
Meanwhile, the Minority in parliament has reiterated its calls for the House to shut down in the wake of the latest development.
Speaking to Starr News’ Parliamentary Correspondent Ibrahim Alhassan, Minority spokesperson on health Kwabena Mintah Akandoh accused the Majority leader of deliberately denying earlier reports of Covid-19 cases in the legislature to save the EC’s controversial CI for the compilation of a new voters’ register.
“And I keep telling you people that this government keeps playing politics with our health, you know why? As of the time the Minority Chief Whip stated that we should not cover up, the CI 126 had not matured, so the Majority Leader was of the opinion that if it becomes worse parliament will shut down and the CI 126 will not mature. Now he has waited until the CI 126 has matured and he is coming back to tell us that now he is privy to those who have contracted the virus. I am ashamed! And for me the speaker must be firm. As a matter of urgency Parliament must be closed with immediate effect”