The House is on a three-week recess after two more MPs got infected with COVID-19 increasing the number to 17
Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has suspended sitting for three weeks as 17 MPs and 151 staff test positive for COVID-19.
The directive will not affect the work of the Appointments Committee which will begin vetting ministers-designate from Wednesday 9 February 2021.
Bagbin said: “Having regard to the upsurge of the coronavirus infection in the House viz 17 MPs and 151 staff and ancillary workers in the precincts of Parliament… I have, in consultation with leadership, decided that sitting of the House be adjourned for three weeks.
“During that period, members are to comply with the strict COVID-19 protocols and regulations. Members and staff should re-submit themselves to the parliament medical centre for re-testing after two weeks from tomorrow to ascertain their status before the resumption of the House.”
Last week, Bagbin announced the House will sit only twice a week – Tuesdays and Thursdays – when parliamentarians and staff tested positive for the viral disease.
“In consultation with leadership and the clerk, I have decided to implement the following measures to curb the spread of the virus; the House will from next week sit twice in a week – Tuesdays and Thursdays. Only MPs and members of staff who are needed for the business of the House on those days will be allowed on the precinct of Parliament. This excludes members of staff who have tested positive and those who are yet to provide their results,” he said last week.
However, as a result of two additional infections among MPs the House is going on a three-week break.
When news of positive cases became public in Parliament, Prof Ransford Gyampo, a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana, backed calls for the closure of parliament.
Speaking on The Asaase Breakfast Show with Benjamin Offei-Addo, Prof Gyampo said the call for the shut down of parliament by opposition MP for Builsa South, Clement Apaak, is in the right direction.
“If those who are expected to know better are refusing to comply with some of these basics, then I think the battle against COVID-19 has been fought and we have lost it,” he said.
Gyampo added: “I have heard somebody saying close down the entire parliament, let it be so, about three weeks ago I advocated for a two-week close down, let us close down the entire nation, two weeks and let us be hungry.”