Parliament on Tuesday resumed for business from a three-week shutdown over upsurge for Covid-19 cases, and would soon announce a rollout plan of vaccination for Members and Staff of the House, GNA reports.
The House on February 10, 2021 closed down after results of a screening test for the disease by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in the House showed that 17 Members of Parliament (MPs) and 151 Staff and ancillary workers were infected with the virus.
Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament adjourned the House until March 2, 2021, while the premises were disinfected and sanitized.
The Speaker then asked the members and staff to comply with the strict COVID-19 protocols and regulations during the shutdown period and those not tested to get tested for the virus in two weeks.
Directing the shutdown, Speaker Bagbin asked that by the end of the three weeks, the Appointments Committee of the House, which was yet to begin vetting President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s ministerial nominees should have finished and submitted their reports on the vetting to the House.
Welcoming the MPs and Staff to resume full sitting, the Speaker announced that a retesting he directed just before the House re-opened, and done by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in which 550 MPs and Staff took part showed 12 testing positive, representing 2 per cent.
The Speaker directed that all MPs that had not done the re-testing to do so and urged the House and Staff to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 safety protocols.
He said: “Let us wear our nose masks religiously.
“Let us wash our hands at the least opportunity we get while in the House
“Let sanitizers be our companions, wherever we find ourselves and maintain social distancing as much as possible.”
Speaker Bagbin assured the House and the nation that Parliament would not just adhere to COVID-19 protocols, but also would adopt proactive measures that would ensure the safety of the House and all who were required to engage with Parliament in furtherance of the development of the country.
The Speaker sadly announced the death of Mr Robert Apodolla, a former Deputy Clerk of Parliament, on Friday, February 19, 2021, during the break, at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
The House thereafter observed a minute’s silence in memory of the late Apodolla.