Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony has lambasted two Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) Christopher Jones and Sherod Duncan who recently tested positive for COVID-19 and instead of being in self-isolation, they showed up at Tuesday’s sitting of the National Assembly at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
Even though the Opposition APNU+AFC claimed in a statement Tuesday night that Jones completed his 13-day isolation, the Health Minister on Wednesday clarified that from the period Jones and Duncan received their positive results, they should have still been in self-isolation.
“Now, from the information that I’ve now received, they were tested, they were advised that they should stay home for at least 13 days – the first 10 and then the three – once they were asymptomatic that they would then finish their home isolation. Both of them are still supposed to be in home isolation and at the time when they got their positive test to when Mr Jones was in Parliament and Mr Duncan was in Parliament, it is within that time frame. So both of them have breached the rules that we have,” the Health Minister said in a video statement released by the Department of Public Information.
Dr Anthony described the actions of Jones and Duncan as “highly irresponsible and reckless” noting that the Parliament made provisions for MPs to appear at the sitting virtually.
“This is actually very highly irresponsible of them to come to the Parliament and endanger their colleagues, endanger all of us who were in the dome, all the workers, the Parliamentary staff, everybody. So this is unacceptable behaviour…For them to know that they have a positive test and yet show up in the Parliament.”
According to Dr Anthony, as the Minister of Health, he has a responsibility to inform the relevant authorities when he observes the public is in danger and so he alerted the Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs of Jones’ and Duncan’s positive COVID-19 status after he saw them at Tuesday’s sitting.
“The public ought to know that these two persons behaved irresponsibly and recklessly because now they have exposed other people who unknowingly associated with them…I hope they would curb such behaviour and stop endangering the lives of other Guyanese,” the Health Minister said.
Dr Anthony reminded that it is a criminal offence to knowingly spread an infectious disease.