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 but these were denied by the House.
In handling these reports, Mr. Muntaka intimated that there was a communication failure from Parliament.
If given the chance to respond to the reports, Mr. Muntaka said he would have told the media that: “We are not done with the testing. Please don’t create panic. Let us finish the testing by Saturday and when it becomes necessary to communicate to you on anything that has happened, we will do that, and leave it at that.”
In his view, the official stance from 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.