Ghana parliament shuts down after COVID-19 outbreak

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ACCRA, GHANA - MARCH 01: A general view of the Parliament of Ghana during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit, in the capital Accra on March 01, 2016. (Photo by Okan Ozer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ACCRA, GHANA – MARCH 01: A general view of the Parliament of Ghana during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit, in the capital Accra on March 01, 2016. (Photo by Okan Ozer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Ghana’s parliament has suspended most of its activities for three weeks after at least 17 MPs and 151 staff members were infected with the coronavirus.

House Speaker Alban Bagbin, announced on Tuesday that the legislature would be in recess until March 2 to make way for “disinfection and sanitisation of the premises”.

President Nana Akufo-Addo warned last month that infection rates were skyrocketing and threatened to overwhelm Ghana’s health system, part of a second wave of the virus across Africa that has been far more serious than the first.

“Having regard to the upsurge in coronavirus cases in the House … I have, in consultation with leadership, decided that the sitting of the House be suspended for three weeks,” Speaker Alban Bagbin told parliament.

However, he said that parliament’s appointments committee would continue to meet to consider the ministerial nominees of Akufo-Addo, who was re-elected in December.

Ghana has reported 72,328 infections and 472 coronavirus-related deaths, some of the highest totals in West Africa.

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