Associate Professor of Clinical and Health Psychology, Prof Joseph Osafo has waded into the controversies surrounding Parliament where it is alleged that some Members of Parliament who have tested positive for COVID-19 are 'hiding' and refusing to isolate themselves.
He said as role models in society, it sends out the wrong signal to their constituents and followers and can affect the fight against the virus.
Parliament has been rocked with confusion after members subjected themselves to be tested for COVID-19.
The Minority reported that a number of MPs have tested positive to the virus; however, the Majority in the House insisted that they were peddling falsehood.
Reports were rife that some MP's, parliamentary staff and Journalists who have tested positive for the virus were refusing to self-isolate and were still coming to the House.
Then President Akufo-Addo confirmed on Sunday evening in his 11th address to the nation on the coronavirus pandemic that the Health Minister, who is also a Member of Parliament for Dormaa Central, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu had tested positive and was in a stable condition.
MPs not bold
Contributing to a panel discussion on Peace FM's morning show 'Kokrokoo', Prof Osafo said the MPs are not bold enough to declare their status because “the stigmatization is deeply rooted in officialdom . . . when you have officials who are infected but are denying, their followers can emulate because they are like moral examplers; the ordinary people can also hide their status."
He further said others (MPs) might be afraid of losing their seats and so they will prefer to hide their status.
"Some of them may be subscribing to some myths and fear that as an MP and in an election year; (if they declare their status), how will they campaign; so there's that fear," he added.
Majority Leader's Caution
Presenting the business statement before the House last Friday, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader cautioned persons who have been infected with coronavirus to stop visiting the House.
The Suame MP noted that the affected persons have defied the communications from the COVID-19 team that they should stay away following their positive results.
On his part, Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu assured that the confidentiality of medical records remains of extreme paramount importance hence urged the said patients to avail themselves.
Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Aaron Oquaye said the medical team will conduct another test for MPs and staff.
He warned that any MP or Journalists who fail to conduct the test will be banned from entering the premises of Parliament.