Opposition Chief Whip David Lee has written to House Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George asking about the safety protocols for today’s sitting of the House of Representatives to protect members of Parliament and staff in the light of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley testing positive for Covid-19.
“Not only did the Prime Minister attend the parliamentary sitting of March 26 where he interacted with those members seated close to him, but he has been seen in public with his other colleagues such as with the Minister of Health at the press conference on March 27, at a function with the Minister of Energy on March 24, as well as a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs on March 25,” Lee said in his letter to the Speaker yesterday.
He said all these interactions fall within the 14-day incubation period of the Covid-19 virus.
“These events place all Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff in a conundrum as we may not be fully aware of how many other members of the Lower House would have come into contact with the Prime Minister as primary contacts or as secondary contacts,” he said.
Lee said there was an “urgent need for assurance that all steps are being taken to ensure that members who may have come into contact with the Prime Minister, either primary or secondary, will adhere to the health regulations to prevent any outbreak within our Parliament”.
“We in the Opposition implore you to examine all avenues and possibilities to protect the well-being of those required to be in Parliament on Friday April 9, 2021 (today),” Lee stated.
Yesterday, a senior Parliament source said: “One of the strictest offices or agencies in relation to Covid-19 protocols is the Parliament. Before others were requiring hand sanitisation on entry, the Office of the Parliament made this a requirement for all persons, including members of Parliament and staff.
“The Parliament was one of the first places to require the wearing of masks all the time, and we even said black masks. The Parliament very early imposed social distancing, restricting access to members of the media and reducing the numbers of Members of Parliament in the Chamber.
“The Prime Minister has his own office, his own washroom and his own desk so his use of the building is restrictive. The measures we have in place to keep people away from each other in the event that somebody is Covid-positive, we are quite comfortable with them,” the source stated.