Liberia: House of Reps Not Shutting Down Despite COVID-19 Concerns at Legislature
Capitol Hill, Monrovia – The office of House Speaker, Bhofal Chambers has debunked speculations that the House of Representatives is suspending sessions amid report of a first COVID-19 case at the Liberian Legislature.
The Senate’s Assistant Secretary, Jannave Verdier-Massaquoi was tested positive COVID-19 and is currently seeking treatment at the 14 Military Hospital in Margibi County.
The incident led the Senate to suspend of sessions for a week to prevent amid fear of the spread of the virus.
On the opposite wing of the Building, there have been nonstop speculations that the House of Representatives is also shutting down all of its activities.
However, the head of Communications and Political Affairs in the office of Speaker Chambers, George D. Watkins said, though the House is cognizant of the situation at the Liberian senate, it has not considered any decision to suspend sessions.
“The leadership of the House of Representatives has not reached any decision for closure,” Watkins said.
Watkins, also responding to rumors that Rep. J Fonati Koffa (District #2, Grand Kru County), the House Judiciary Committee Chairman has also been tested positive for COVID-19 said: “The House of Representatives has had no official notice, confirmation or communication from any person of its membership of being affected by the virus.”
While, there has been no official confirmation, FrontPage has gathered that the Grand Kru County District #2 lawmaker is in self-isolation after been exposed to one of his securities who was tested positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, at the upper House, the Senate’s Press Director Jarlawah Tonpo in a statement issued said: “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.”
Mr. Tonpo revealed that Mrs. Massaquoi 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. 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 reports, Mrs. Massaquoi 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.