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Another Covid-19 case at House of Assembly

The House of Assembly has been hit by another COVID-19 case.

A second Parliamentary staff member tested positive for the virus days after a female employee learned she was infected.

Employees and members of parliament were encouraged to get tested after they learned of the first COVID case. House Speaker Halson Moultrie revealed on Wednesday that his test results were negative.

Staff members are upset because they had to pay for their own COVID tests despite being exposed to the virus on the job. Those who could not afford the pricy test were not tested at all.

“Not a word from the Clerk or the Speaker regarding the staff and some staff members who were exposed cannot afford to pay for the test,” said one parliamentary staff member.

The Minnis Administration has been heavily criticized by members of parliament, including FNM MPs, for failing to lead by example and cancelling Wednesday’s House sitting after learning of the positive case by an employee who came into contact with nearly every MP present last week after she began feeling ill.

FNM MP Brent Symonette was highly critical of the decision to meet on Wednesday.

“I think the issue is that it’s badly handled and sends the wrong message to the people of The Bahamas when you’re trying to enforce social distancing,” Symonette said.

He added, “I’m sure the House can meet two weeks from now and pass the resolution and resolve the problem. I think the world would understand. Parliament shouldn’t meet during these circumstances.”

Pineridge MP was also against meeting in those circumstances and didn’t show up at the House of Assembly on Wednesday. Neither did Opposition members of parliament.

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