Ghana suspends parliament amid a surge in COVID-19 cases


ACCRA, Ghana — Ghana’s parliament has been suspended for at least three weeks following a surge in COVID-19 cases among parliament members and staff.

Speaker Alban Bagbin announced the suspension late Tuesday, saying that at least 17 members of parliament and 151 staffers have tested positive for the coronavirus. He has urged lawmakers and other parliament staffers to get tested.

Meetings, however, will continue of the parliament appointments committee to nominate ministry posts for the administration of President Nana Akufo-Addo, who was re-elected in December.

Ghana’s Health Services confirmed that there have been 73,003 cases, including 482 deaths, in the West African nation since the outbreak began last year.

At the end of January, Akufo-Addo warned that the total number of active cases of COVID-19 had more than doubled since the beginning of the year, from 1,900 to more than 5,300 at that time.

“Our hospitals have become full, and we have had to reactivate our isolation centers,” he said, adding that the daily rate of infection stood at 700.

Ghana has also recorded a number of variants, including one from the UK, he said, adding that, “we should all understand that our current situation could get very dire if efforts are not made, both on the part of government and by you, the citizenry, to help contain the virus.”

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