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Tension In Ghana, Parliament Shuts Down As 168 Lawmakers, Officials Contract Covid-19

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Ghanaian authorities have shut down its parliament for at least, three weeks after 17 members of parliament and 151 supporting staff tested positive for COVID-19.The Speaker of the House, Alban Bagbin, announced that the legislature will be in recess immediately and will resume March 2 to make way for “disinfection and sanitisation of the premises.”Bagbin, while addressing the House stated that, “I have, in consultation with leadership, decided that sitting of the house be adjourned for three weeks.”A surge in cases had forced the parliament to limit its sittings to Tuesdays and Thursdays with entry permitted to only MPs and staff needed for those days.Bagbin said the appointments committee of the parliament will continue to meet to consider the ministerial nominees of President Nana Akufo-Addo who was re-elected in December. Last Monday, the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) lamented that seven of its proactive doctors have died of COVID-19 in the country.Five of the doctors reportedly died in 2020 causing a large vacuum in the health ministry of the black country.Frank Ankobea, its president, had said the association would recommend “extra restrictions” to Akufo-Addo if the rate of infection continues to rise.The country currently has 73,003 confirmed cases of the viral disease with 482 deaths recorded so far.Akufo-Addo had early said new strains of the virus not seen in the country before had been detected and it is threatening to overwhelm the health sector of the country.“Our COVID-19 treatment centres have gone from having zero patients to now being full because of the upsurge in infections. At this current rate, our healthcare infrastructure will be overwhelmed,” the president lamented.Across Africa, a second COVID-19 wave is infecting twice as many people per day than at the height of last year’s first wave and has yet to peak, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

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