On decision of Opposition Parliamentarians to not attend the next sitting of the House

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Hon. Picewell Forbes, Leader of Opposition Business in the House

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.

We believe this decision to be in line with the current COVID-19 health protocols.

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.

Further, the established protocols in these circumstances require the closure of the venue in question, followed by deep cleaning or sanitizing of the same.

Additionally, 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.

The key is to counter any potential chain of transmission into the community.

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.