The second round of mass testing of Members of Parliament and staff of the Parliamentary Service has kicked off in earnest.
This window of opportunity was afforded members of the legislature as the House moves to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Already fear has engulfed MPs and staff alike with some demanding the shutdown of Parliament after the first round of mandatory testing yielded some positive cases.
Checks by ABC News revealed that several MPs failed to take part in the original three-day exercise which began on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, and ended on Friday, May 22, 2020.
This development is said to have incurred the wrath of the Speaker who gave MPs and staff, the last chance to undergo the mandatory testing on Thursday, May 28, 2020, and Friday, May 29, 2020.
“It is mandatory for every member of Parliament, every staff of Parliament to test for COVID-19. The press corps must also submit themselves to the test. It is imperative that we take this matter very seriously. In this connection, on Thursday and Friday, the teams have been recalled to Parliament to test MPs, staff, media, etc.”
“The decision is that, in our collective interest, it is mandatory, don’t wait till we get to the stage of applying sanctions. Elaborate steps are being taken to ensure the observation of all appropriate protocols in the light of results. Absolute confidentiality and professionalism will be applied in handling all cases, negative and positive,” the Speaker said during proceedings on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.
ABC News was in Parliament today to observe how MPs and staff have taken advantage of the second opportunity.