The Member of Parliament for the Banda constituency and also the Deputy Minority Whip Ahmed Ibrahim has revealed that the Minority caucus knew about the status of five of their colleagues who had tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks before the order for mandatory testing for all the 275 members of parliament.
His comment comes just a day after the Speaker of Parliament had announced that 15 members of parliament and 56 staff at the legislature had tested positive for COVID-19.
Ahmed Ibrahim who spoke on 3FM said the NDC side detected that five people from their side were infected so they were made to isolate.
Subsequently, he said, they were reported to the Majority leader Osei–Kyei Mensah-Bonsu and the Speaker who then directed for the mandatory testing.
According to the Banda lawmaker, the Majority Leader also admitted three members from their side had also tested positive and that warranted an emergency caucus meeting.
“The point so if we had not come out with ours they wouldn’t have come up with theirs we were both sitting on time bombs and let me drive this point that it was a call by the Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak who pleaded on the speaker to organize a mandatory testing for every member so even the testing came from a call from our side which was supported by the Majority Leader and the Speaker,” he stressed.
According to him, almost every member of the NDC Caucus has gone for mandatory testing.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Dr Clement Apaak, has called on the leadership of the legislature to consider closing down the lawmaking house after 15 lawmakers tested positive for the virus.
Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, announced on Thursday, February 4 that fifteen lawmakers and Fifty-six staff of the parliamentary service, have tested positive for the virus.
To that end, he has arranged that Parliament will be sitting only twice a week, as part of measures to prevent the spread of the virus in the House.
“Only members of Parliament and members of staff who are needed for the business of the House on those days will be allowed in the presence of Parliament from next week,” Mr. Bagbin said.
The sittings will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays, he stated further.
Reacting to the news in a tweet, Dr Apaak said the best option at the moment is to shut down Parliament.
He said “15 MPs and 56 staff of parliament have tested positive for COVID-19
“Best option shut down parliament We don’t know the IDs of those positive, who still attended parliament Shut down parliament, all MPs and staff, self-isolate.
“Get us tested after 14 days, then we resume if negative.”