MONROVIA, Montserrado – The office of the speaker of the House of Representatives has denied speculations that the House plans to suspend future sessions due to COVID-19.
George Watkins, who is responsible for communications and political affairs within the speaker’s office, said the House of Representatives and its leadership has not yet considered suspending any of its activities, although the House was aware of a confirmed COVID-19 case within the Senate.
There were speculations that the House of Representatives was contemplating shutting down and suspending all activities for two weeks due to unconfirmed reports that Rep. Fonati Koffa of Grand Kru’s second district had tested positive for the virus.
Watkins noted that the House had not been informed officially by health authorities that any of its members had contracted the virus.
The secretary of the Senate recently closed the secretariat after its deputy secretary, Jannave Verdier-Massaquoi, tested positive for COVID-19.
Verdier-Massaquoi is currently being treated at the 14 Military Hospital and the incident has led the Senate to suspend sessions for two weeks.
Senate Communications Director Jarlawah Tonpo later announced that Senate sittings would be suspended until June 28.
“The Senate will reopen on Monday, June 29, 2020 while plenary sittings will resume on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at 11 a.m.,” Tonpo said.
Prior to coming down with the virus, Verdier-Massaquoi was seen visiting the offices of Senate leaders, including Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor and Senate president pro tempore Albert Chie.
As of June 20, the National Public Health Institute of Liberia reported that there were 626 confirmed cases, with 34 deaths and 254 recoveries.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah