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Opposition to boycott Wednesday’s House sitting due to COVID case

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

Opposition Parliamentarians have decided to not attend the next sitting of the House, according to Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Assembly Picewell Forbes.

“The public is advised that in light of a reported positive COVID-19 test result by a House staff, Opposition House members have taken the decision not to attend the next sitting of the House scheduled for Wednesday, 16th September 2020,” Forbes said in a statement.

“The Leader of the Opposition tried unsuccessfully to reach the Prime Minister about the resumption of parliament tomorrow because we believe that in the circumstance, Parliamentarians would be sending the wrong message to the Bahamian people and potentially expose House members to an unnecessary risk.”

“The Opposition Leader also sent a note to the Prime Minister on this matter at the time of this release but got no response,” according to Forbes.

A parliamentary staffer tested positive for COVID-19 this week after feeling unwell over a week ago. House Speaker Halson Moultrie has said he plans to get tested for COVID-19 and urged other MPs who attended the House sitting last Wednesday to do the same.

Cabinet Office said in a statement today that the House of Assembly will be deep cleaned and sanitized today but a reduced number of members of parliament will meet for a short session on Wednesday.

However, Forbes questioned why those who were exposed to the clerk are not in quarantine.

“All who would have come into contact with the infected person would be asked to quarantine for fourteen days and perhaps secure a COVID-19 test,” he said.

“I note that the House Speaker confirmed the positive COVID-19 test to the media and advised that as a precaution, he would get tested and advise House members to do the same.

In light of the foregoing, I urge the government to revisit this decision,” said Forbes.

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