House speaker: Parliament still safe from Covid-19

House speaker: Parliament still safe from Covid-19

House Speaker Chuan Leekpai says parliament is safe from the Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to function. (Parliament photo)
House Speaker Chuan Leekpai says parliament is safe from the Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to function. (Parliament photo)

House Speaker Chuan Leekpai reaffirmed on Wednesday that parliament was still safe from Covid-19, with strict health measures in place, and would meet as normal.

Mr Chuan said the first group of MPs who had earlier been diagnosed with Covid-19 had  fully recovered. There were some more recent infections among other MPs, but the number was not high.  

Over the past year, about 100 parliamentary personnel, MPs and parliament officials, had tested positive for Covid-19, he said.

Parliament personnel must learn to co-exist with the disease and continue to perform their tasks as normal, he said.

Parliament meetings had not been held for two weeks because of the spread of Covid-19. The parliament had complied with measures set down by Department of Disease Control, said Chuan, who is also the parliament president.

During this period, the situation was normal even though there were some infections. In general, parliament was still safe, Mr Chuan said.

He sought to allay concerns about the spread of Covid-19 in parliament. There were some MPs who tested positive, but they did not catch the virus in parliament, he said.

Strict health measures were in place.  All assistants or aides of ministers must undergo antigen testing. Most MPs took Covid-19 tests before coming to work at parliament, he said.

He rejected reports that infected Bhumaithai Party MPs caught the virus at the parliament. His adviser Dr Sukij Atthopakorn had questioned the infected MPs and all said they caught the disease from friends, not from parliament, the House speaker said.

Asked whether he was worried there might be a cluster of infections among parliament staff and it could spread to parliament meetings, Mr Chuan said infected people were not allowed to enter the building.

Normal procedure was that those who were infected did not come to work, he added. 

The latest case was a parliament official who caught the virus while working from home, Mr Chuan said.

In response to a reporter's question, he said having a fourth Covid-19 shot to enhance immunity was voluntary for parliament staff.

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