Prime News Ghana

ACEPA backs Bagbin's threat to publish names of MPs with Covid-19

By Mutala Yakubu
Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin
Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin
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The Executive Director of Africa Center for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) Dr. Rashid Draman has backed the threat by the leadership of Parliament to publish names of members who tested positive for the virus.

First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, on February 3, 2021, said the leadership of the house will be forced to publish names of Members who have tested positive for Covid-19 but still attending to the business of the House.

READ ALSO: Leadership has no right to publish names of MPs who tested positive for Covid - Dafeamekpor

Mr Draman speaking on Citi News said the MPs are subject to the laws set to punish people who flout the COVID-19 protocols hence must be made to face the law.

“This is a public health emergency, and I’m sure that we have laws in this country about how to deal with a situation such as this one. Anybody who has COVID-19 and is moving around simply means that the person is spreading death. This is not very honourable behaviours we’re seeing being exhibited by the Members of Parliament. I seriously support publishing the names and serious sanctions and those sanctions must be consistent with what our public health rules say in terms of dealing with people who flout the protocols,”

However, MP for South Dayi Rockson-Nelson Este Dafeamekpor says he disagrees with the Speaker because this is a medical issue and must be kept confidential.

"I am negative, some members were not available for the test, some too decided to do a private test and submit the report to Parliament. Some tested positive and were told to stay away from Parliament even though they are asymptomatic but the leadership have a list and know the status of the members so I understand the stance of the Speaker. Medical issues are confidential matters and I am not in favour of the decision to publish the names".

A medical team has been screening MPs over the last few days but according to the Speaker, over 60 MPs have not subjected themselves to the test.

Mr. Bagbin had earlier said he will be compelled to name members running away from the test if the situation persists.

He had already expressed displeasure at the reluctance of some MPs to get tested.

He gave those who hadn’t tested a one-day ultimatum on January 26.

Parliament has already altered its normal proceedings by conducting its business in a tent situated at the forecourt of the house.

This arrangement is to allow for the observance of social distancing protocols in line with preventing COVID-19.