Quarantine bill scales second reading in Senate

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Sunday Aborisade, Abuja

THE Senate on Wednesday considered a bill enacted to repeal the obsolete Quarantine Act enacted in 1926.

The proposed legislation was also aimed at helping Nigeria to deal with any impending outbreak of infectious and contagious diseases in the future.

Tagged ‘The Health Emergency Bill, 2021’, the bill scaled second reading on the floor of the Senate at plenary.

The proposed legislation did not make it mandatory for any Nigerian to be subjected to forced immunisation

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Sponsor of the bill, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, said the piece of legislation under consideration was informed by the challenges that confronted the nation regarding the coordination of national response measures to combat the dreadful coronavirus crisis.

Utazi said that the Health Emergency Bill, when passed and signed into law, would establish an updated comprehensive legal and administrative framework for handling outbreaks of infectious and contagious diseases in the country.

He said the Bill provides the legal and institutional framework for imposition and implementation of mandatory self-isolation and quarantine of infected persons.

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He added that it introduced movement restrictions and adoption of appropriate safety and welfare measures at or during the outbreak of dangerous contagious diseases.

Utazi said, “It provides statutory recognition for power of the President, and in appropriate circumstances, the governor, to declare any place or area “an infected area.”

He also said the bill would provide appropriate regulations or directives to prevent the spread of such infections in Nigeria, and the transmission from Nigeria to any other part of the world.

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