Member of Parliament(MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has expressed his disappointment at Parliament’s handling of COVID-19 tests ran on Parliamentarians and Parliamentary staff on the instruction of the Speaker.
The Public Affairs Directorate of Ghana’s Lawmaking House yesterday denied vehemently reports that suggested that thirteen(13) of its staff and two Parliamentarians had been infected by the virus after they were tested.
But the reports were confirmed by the Minority Chief Whip Hon. Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak confirmed on Wednesday that indeed two Parliamentarians had tested positive for the virus.
Reacting to the conflicting reportage and conduct by the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Ocquaye, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who could not fathom why Parliament will want to hide results of tests conducted on Members of Parliament.
He indicated that as lawmakers, it is imperative that they handle issues regarding the tests by MPs and other Parliamentary Staff so the public will find the need not to stigmatize people who record positive when they take the test
“As I noted earlier today on the floor of Parliament though with some resistance from the Rt. Hon. Speaker which I take in stride, I am totally disappointed in how the COVID-19 testing of MPs and Staff of the House has been managed. There should be nothing to hide. Let us lead by example and in a way that avoids entrenching stigmatization which is becoming a major challenge in the national coronavirus response”
He noted that world leaders have taken the tests and have disclosed whether they recorded positive or negative and there is no need for the Parliament of Ghana to be an exception to the rule..
“Many world leaders and institutions of repute have not concealed the result of their tests, the Ghanaian Parliament shouldn’t be an unworthy exception. Even more troubling; by refusing to be transparent we shall fail to observe the urgently needed contact tracing and disinfecting protocols thereby endangering the health of those associated with Parliament including all MPs, staff, journalists, family relations, guests of Parliament and our constituents, many of whom we continue to engage very regularly.
He called on Parliament to lead by example because “COVID-19 is not a death sentence. Let the august House set a better example!”
Source: MyNewsGh.com/Ayeh Offei-Akoto/2020