Ghana: MPs, Staff of Parliament Undergo Testing for Coronavirus

Some members and staff of the Parliament Service on Wednesday took part in a compulsory testing exercise to ascertain their status for the novel coronavirus.

The exercise, expected to last one week, was at the behest of the Speaker of Parliament on the authority of the Parliamentary Service Board.

Speaker, Prof. Mike Oquaye at the commencement of sitting on Tuesday directed the MPs and staff of Parliament to avail themselves for the exercise.

The exercise which targets about 700 persons started at 9 am and results would be communicated to participants within 48 hours.

As part of the process, testing officers requested travel records of participants and asked if they had any underlying health conditions before throat swap kits were placed in their mouths to collect samples of their saliva for the test.

The participants were also made to wash their hands with soap under running water, sanitised their hands and had their temperatures taken.

Briefing the media after the exercise, the Medical Director of Parliament, Dr Prince Pambo, said the turnout was encouraging.

"Once the results are out, negative and positive results will be declared not to any other person but to the concerned individuals and the necessary steps will be taken to stop the spread of infection within Parliament," he said.

Some of the participants expressed appreciation to Speaker and the Parliamentary Service Board for the initiative as it would help them to know their status.

Sissala West MP, Patrick Adama, after testing encouraged everyone within the environment of Parliament to take advantage of the exercise.

Testing for the virus, he said, should be seen as the personal commitment of everyone in the quest to stop the spread of virus and urged against stigma.

"If we can carry out as many tests as possible, that is going to help us to track what is happening in the transmission rate. If you fear stigma in knowing your status, what about death itself? I do not think anyone should worry about stigma. If I test positive, I will know my condition and I can be looked after," he added.

Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga said the exercise should be seen as a golden opportunity for the participants to know their status so as to seek early treatment.

"If the disease is already in you, it is in you. So it is better you know your status so that if there is a way you can be helped, you are helped than when you do not know and you will not even seek help," Mr Ayariga said.

More From: Ghanaian Times

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