The Minority Chief Whip, Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka, has insisted that two of his fellow Members of Parliament (MPs) and 13 parliamentary staff have tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease also known as COVID-19.
“What happened in Parliament and what you heard [about reports of MPs testing positive] is the fact. It is the truth,” Mr. Muntaka said insisted.
On Tuesday, May 26, 2020, there were media reports that some MPs and parliamentary staff had tested positive for COVID-19, a claim denied by Parliament.
Mr. Muntaka insisted that there was a communication failure on the part of Parliament when the news was made public on Tuesday.
Mr. Muntaka said Parliament failed to handle the issue properly.
To him, when the publication was made, instead of denying it, Parliament should have told the media that: “We are not done with the testing so please don’t create panic. Give us time to complete the testing and when it becomes necessary to communicate to you on anything that has happened, we will do that.”
In his view, the position adopted by Parliament was “endangering the life of the rest of the MPs… endangering the lives of the rest of the staff and the life of the general Ghanaian population.”
The Asawasi MP made the remarks on Joy Prime’s morning show on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.
When asked how he was sure some MPs had tested positive for the disease, he explained: “This is what happened. When they finished the testing, initially they were calling one on one and they had this discussion with us… that the numbers are huge so this is what we want to do: can you put on your platform that all those who do not receive calls from us but have tested on Wednesday and by Saturday have not received a call from us should assume they are negative and we will only call those who are positive. So when they have tested Wednesday and Thursday and on Wednesday one MP and one staff tested positive and on Thursday one MP and 12 staff tested positive for COVID-19.”
“They have to do contact tracing. They have to isolate these persons, and as far as I am concerned, that has also been done,” he added.
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, ordered the immediate mass testing of Members of Parliament and the parliamentary staff for COVID-19.
The directive formed part of measures instituted by the Parliamentary Service Board to prevent an outbreak of the pandemic in the House.
As a result of that directive, the samples of some 690 persons in Parliament were taken.
MPs’ results not yet known, ignore ‘false’ claims of positive tests – Parliament on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, rejected claims that some legislators have tested positive for COVID-19.
A statement signed by Parliament’s Director of Public Affairs, Kate Addo said: “Parliament would like to state categorically that the results of the tests are not yet known and so the report by Starrfmonline is not true.”
The House, in denying the report, urged starrfm.com.gh to retract and apologise for the public.
“Parliament would, therefore, like to urge Starrfmonline to withdraw the said report and update its audience with the relevant information to the effect that the results from the tests are unknown to Parliament.”