By Tinkerbel Mwila and Leah Ngoma
Political parties have joined calls by other stakeholders on the national assembly of Zambia to immediately suspend parliamentary settings to avoid the further spread of covid-19 at the premises.
This follows revelations that three members of parliament and 10 national assembly of Zambia staff tested positive for covid-19, bringing the number of cases at the national assembly clinic to 19, including six non-staff, who tested positive.
Democratic Party-DP- Spokesperson Judith Kabemba says there is need to protect the lives of members of parliament, national assembly staff and Zambians at large by suspending parliamentary sittings as soon as possible.
Ms Kabemba states some of the MPS frequent their constituencies where they interact with people and this will continue putting the lives of many Zambians at risk.
And UPND media director Ruth Dante has wondered why the national assembly is insisting on keeping the house open to business despite reports indicating that three people at the institution have so far died while several others including parliamentarians have tested positive to the disease.
Ms Dante has said in a statement that the right thing for the national assembly to do is to quarantine all mps and staff and close the institution immediately in order to save lives and protect family members and friends.
Meanwhile, Forum for Democracy and Development FDD Spokesperson Yotam Mtayachalo says the situation is getting serious hence the need to enhance covid-19 preventive measures because the majority of the people have taken the pandemic lightly.
He says unnecessary gathering in large numbers must be discouraged until the situation is brought under control and advised politicians to restrain themselves.
And all peoples congress leader Nason Msoni is of the view that in the wake of the spiralling numbers of covid-19 cases countrywide, it is prudent to seriously reflect on the viability of continuing the current session and sitting of parliament.