Speaker of Parliament Prof. Mike Oquaye has ruled out any possibility of Parliament shutting down over COVID-19 arguing such a move will grind the entire country to a halt.
Many institutions including the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport(BOST) have had to halt operations as a result of staff testing positive for Covid-19.
Parliament recorded its first cases months ago prompting some MPs and health experts to call for a shutdown.
However, speaking on the floor Prof. Oquaye directed for another disinfection of the chamber to be carried out next week.
He explained the Finance Minister is expected in the House for the presentation of the mid-year budget review so if parliament should close down the country will grind to a halt.
“Parliament is not like many other places that you can easily say we’ve suspended or closed down. Very soon the Minister for Finance will be reading the supplementary budget, if Parliament doesn’t sit the country will shut down. There will be no money it’s as simple as that, so as for Parliament let us know that we are in a very peculiar situation. In fact government departments can operate in case of emergency separately and individually. So let us be very careful about how we manage protocols and matters concerning us. In fact, it looks like it may have to be the last stop…that is Parliament otherwise there’s no country.”
In a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Speaker warned that any person who has no priority business in Parliament but visits the House will be ruthlessly dealt with.