Parliament has dispelled reports suggesting that more than 200 MPs had tested Covid-19positive over the past three weeks.
According to Parliament’s director of communications and public affairs, Chris Obore, only 14 of the 160 people who tested positive for COVID-19 during recent events held at Parliament were MPs.
More than 3,000 people were tested for COVID-19 as part of the clearance to attend the different parliamentary events this month. The events included the election of the Speaker on May 24, the State of the Nation Address by President Museveni on June 4, and Budget Reading on June 10.
The tested people included MPs, staff of parliament, police, staff of the Internal Security Organization (ISO), Special Forces Command (SFC), service providers, journalists, prisons staff, and other invited guests.
The Daily Monitor on Wednesday reported that more than 200 legislators had tested positive for the virus that has so far claimed more than 700 lives. The newspaper further reported that there are fears that the 200 MPs could have infected their drivers and family members.
Obore has however told journalists that none of the 14 MPs that tested positive for COVID-19 has been hospitalized and only two members of staff are currently hospitalized while the rest are recovering from their respective homes.
“In fact, most MPs and staff who tested positive have since recovered. It is not true therefore that 200 MPs are positive and or hospitalized as reported. The closure of Parliament for two weeks is a precautionary measure taken for the safety of everyone,” Obore said.
According to Obore, 40 people tested positive ahead of the election of the Speaker on May 24, another 50 tested positive ahead of the State of the Nation address which was delivered on June 4, and a week later, another 70 got positive Covid-19 test results as Parliament prepared for the national budget reading.
He added that the move to disinfect Parliament is just precautionary because the place hosts at least 1,000 people every day.