Covid-19: Ghana’s Parliament goes on a 3-week suspension as more MPs and Staff test positive

The Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has suspended sittings of the House for the next three weeks beginning today Tuesday, February 9, 2021.

The move follows a reported surge in covid-19 cases among Members and Staff of Parliament over the last three weeks.

In a communication to the Honourable Members on Tuesday afternoon, the Speaker announced that some 17 MPs have tested positive for COVID-19 while 151 staff have also had their results return back as positive.

He said the Appointments Committee of Parliament should still conduct its vetting of the ministerial nominees which has been scheduled to commence on Wednesday, February 10, 2021.

Per the communication from the Speaker, the House is expected to resume sitting on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

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Below is the formal communication from the Speaker:

FORMAL COMMUNICATION BY THE SPEAKER

As Hon. Members would recall, at the last adjourned date on 5th February, 2021, the House, pursuant to the adoption of the Business Statement, decided that Parliament sits on Tuesdays and Thursdays until otherwise decided.

The House further decided that not more than one-third of Hon. Members would attend Sittings of the House in the Chamber at any given time.

These decisions were in furtherance of the directive of His Excellency the President in his update (Update No. 23) on the COVID-19 situation on 31st January, 2021, announcing new measures to contain the pandemic.

Hon. Members, 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, and the fact that the Appointments Committee is yet to commence consideration of His Excellency the President’s ministerial nominees, I have, in consultation with Leadership, decided
that Sitting of the House be adjourned for three (3) weeks.

It is hoped that within this period of adjournment, the Appointments
Committee would commence consideration and public hearing of the President’s nominees for Ministerial appointments. By the end of the three weeks, the Appointments Committee would have submitted reports on the referral for the consideration of the House.

Accordingly, with the exception of Hon. Members of the Appointments
Committee, the Clerk to the Committee and other supporting staff who will be engaged in the task of considering the President’s nominees for ministerial appointments, the House will take a break as from tomorrow,
Wednesday, 10 February 2021 to Tuesday, 2 March, 2021.

During that period, Hon 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.

Meanwhile Parliament will continue with the weekly disinfection and sanitization of the premises and precincts of Parliament.

The House is accordingly adjourned till Tuesday, 2nd March, 2021 at 14 hours in the afternoon.

I thank you for the attention.

By Jeorge Wilson Kingson || ghananewsonline.com.gh

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