According to the government’s own Coronavirus guidelines, the Vice President, Pro Tempore and the 29 Senators should go into self-quarantine for the next 2 weeks
The Coronavirus has hit the Senate this week, through the Senate’s Assistant Secretary, Mrs. Jannave Verdier-Massaquoi, who has been tested positive for the virus, compelling the Senate to suspend session for one week amid fear of a presumed massive spread.
Mrs. Massaquoi, according to reports, has been seen lately reading the agendas of the Senate during sessions in the absence of Secretary Nanborlor F. Singbeh, Sr, as well as distributing documents, visiting offices of most of the Senators including Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor and President Pro Tempore Albert Chie for consultations, preparations of agendas and other clerical matters.
“Due to the Assistant Secretary of the Senate- Madam Jannave Verdier-Massaquoi having been tested positive of the Coronavirus, the Senate has suspended its sittings for this Session period for one week beginning June 16, 2020 to observe the situation. Determination to either resume session next week will be made over the weekend,” Senate Press Director Jarlawah Tonpo said.
He added: “The Assistant Secretary of the Senate is currently at the 14 Military Hospital undergoing treatment. She is lively in speech, hopeful in prayer and trusting God as a Deaconess to recover soon.”
Tonpo added: “The President of the Senate, Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, the President Pro Tempore, Albert T. Chie and Members of the Senate are in deep sorrow with her situation and have wished her speedy recovery.”
According to Tonpo, the Secretary of the Senate has closed the Secretariat for two weeks beginning June 16, 2020.
Mrs. Massaquoi-Verdier is the first infection at the Senate who has access to the Vice President, who is the President of the Senate and all the Senators.
The Daily Observer has gathered most of the Senators are claiming that had very little contact with the Secretary of the Senate. But the Ministry of Health has urged people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 to stay home and away from others who haven’t been exposed to the virus, for 14 days.
Rep. Samuel Kogar of Nimba County District #5 and Rep. Francis Dopoh self-quarantined themselves for 14 days when they were exposed.
Currently, the House’s Judiciary Chairman, Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa is also self-quarantining himself after been exposed to one of his securities, who was infected.
The coronavirus is highly contagious and may spread easily between people who aren’t showing symptoms, which is why it is critical for people to stay home when they’ve been exposed to a sick person, even if they are not feeling ill.
The Senate has a workforce of about 900 persons (including the Vice President, the Senators, Support Staff and Central Administration) who are at a much higher risk of developing some of the virus’s most severe complications, making social distancing even more critical for all of them.