It will be difficult to determine COVID-19 status of persons who visit Parliament – Medical Services Director

The Director of Health Services in Parliament, Dr Prince Pambo says it will be tough to determine the COVID-19 status of all persons who have access to Parliament.

Ghana's Parliament

He made this comment in a response to the Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu’s concerns over the rate at which some people who have been identified as contacts of persons with COVID-19 are still mingling with others in the House.

The Suame MP said the conduct of such persons endangers others who still report to Parliament each day to work.

“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 have elected after contact has been made to them to ignore the appeal from the team and they visit Parliament and endanger the lives of all of us.”

Dr Pambo said the Majority Leader’s comment may be due to the inability to establish whether guests visiting Parliament have either tested positive or negative for COVID-19.

“It will be difficult for Parliament to know who has tested positive or negative. And probably it is coming from the backdrop that Parliament that you have media people coming in and all sorts of guests and visitors coming in and you do not necessarily have a way of establishing that every person coming to the precincts of Parliament has tested negative or positive. It is extremely difficult to say at any point in time that within the parliamentary precincts anybody walking there is negative or positive.”

The Speaker of Parliament ordered all MPs, workers in Parliament, and journalists in the house to be tested for the virus.

The Minority Chief Whip, Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka, had insisted that two of his fellow MPs and 13 parliamentary staff had tested positive.

“What happened in Parliament and what you heard [about MPs testing positive for COVID-19] is the fact. It is the truth,” Mr. Muntaka insisted.

However, Parliament rejected the claim.

Meanwhile, Dr Pambo had earlier said that the results of the tests will not be made public.

“The exercise was meant not only for Members of Parliament but the staff of Parliament as well and other support staff who have a duty in the parliamentary precinct and the results will be made known to them individually.”

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