Over 100 Covid cases linked to Parliamentarians Identified

Britain's PM Boris Johnson is seen on screen as he takes questions virtually from his country residence at Chequers after Britain's Health Secretary Sajid Javid tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), during the weekly question time debate in Parliament, in London, Britain July 21, 2021. UK Parliament/Reuters TV via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS USE ONLY, CANNOT BE USED FOR LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT OR SATIRICAL PURPOSES, PARTY POLITICAL BROADCAST USAGE MUST BE CLEARED WITH PBU

MPs have always been encouraged to wear masks by health authorities, but despite this recommendation, over 120 cases of Covid were reported in the Houses of Parliament.

The prime minister himself Boris Johnson has come under Fire for not wearing a mask a few months ago. Dr, David Nabarro Covid adviser from the World Health Organisation in conjunction with other MPs had asked Johnson and other ministers from the Conservative party to wear masks as the number of covid cases in the UK were rapidly rising. MPs had also been asked to take other precautions such as postponing non-parliamentary business trips such as touring or attending banquets to reduce the risk of the spreading coronavirus.

Using the test and trace process several people who had tested positive for coronavirus were identified as having visited Westminster within these same months when masks were not being worn. This information was released by the House of Commons to the press on request, following implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.

There was a sharp increase in the number of covid cases recorded with hi the Houses of Parliament which was highlighted by parliamentary authorities. Sir Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the House of Commons had urged peers to ‘pull together’ and take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

Boris Johnson and other MPs then began to wear face coverings by the end of last year, however the damage had already been done. Data shows that 129 cases of Covid have been linked to linked to the Houses of Parliament.

Ben Bradshaw Labour MP said, “These figures aren’t at all surprising, given the refusal of most Conservative MPs to respect basic public health guidance in Parliament until very recently. The example was set, I’m afraid, by their leader, who has shown scant regard for the rules or for others during the whole of this pandemic.”

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed that the national increases in the number of Covid cases in the public during November were also “also being reflected in Parliament”.

Any passholder entering the Houses of Parliament is asked to alert the Parliamentary Test and Trace Team if they have Covid, or if they have been in contact with anyone with Covid such as another member of their household is. This information is then shared with the NHS Test and Trace team.

Despite the seriousness of Covid and the reminders from Dr Navarro to take precautions in statements such as, “the virus is unforgiving, and we need to do everything possible to prevent it” there are still MPs who refuse to wear a mask.

Jacob Rees-Mogg Conservative MP refused to wear a mask last month, saying he would not be “spewing Covid around this chamber” as he had tested negative. This was said as cases in the UK were on the rise and the wearing of masks for the general public in ships and on public transport were re-introduced as the Omicron variant had emerged in the UK.

Faizah Haider

Faizah Haider, MSc, is King’s College, University of London graduate and
is an emerging author. She covers daily news from the UK and across the world. Her work appeared in many news websites.