MPs directed to wear face masks in Parliament over Coronavirus scare

The Speaker of Parliament Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye has directed all Members of Parliament to wear face masks while working.

This forms part of measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus as the country’s confirmed cases has increased to 16.

Prof. Oquaye himself was seen wearing a face mask in the House today, Friday, March 20, 2020.

MPs asked to self-quarantine

Some two Members of Parliament and five parliamentary service staff who travelled outside the country recently, have been ordered to be in self-quarantine for the mandatory 14-day period before returning to work.

The MPs involved are Binduri legislator, Dr. Robert Baba Kuganab-Lem and Ayawaso East lawmaker, Mahama Nasser Toure.

They recently returned to the country from Japan and India respectively.

Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu announced in Parliament on Thursday that the persons concerned are to observe the necessary protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in case they got infected when they travelled outside the country.

Other measures

Also forming part of the House’s measures to stop the spread of the novel virus, Parliament closed down its Public Gallery on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

Citi News’ Parliamentary correspondent, Duke Mensah Opoku said the closure will be in place “until further notice.”

The Speaker of Parliament also ordered the immediate fumigation of the precincts of the House during sittings.

He had earlier on advised MPs to shun greeting by handshaking and physical contact.

Imposition of Restrictions Bill

Meanwhile, Parliament has agreed to a request from the government for the House to consider the Imposition of Restrictions Bill under a certificate of urgency.

The Bill is aimed at giving the President the powers to impose restrictions on the movement of people in the event of a disaster or emergency.

The Minority side in Parliament had earlier argued that there was nothing urgent about the Bill to warrant the government’s request.

They insisted that the Bill will give the President access to unlimited power.

But the Majority side insisted that the Bill must be passed to back measures put in place by the government to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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