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New Bills constitute modern and appropriate legal framework for Mauritius to deal with future pandemic

Date: May 13, 2020
Domain:Health; Judiciary
Persona: Business; Citizen; Government; Non-Citizen
 

GIS  – 13 May, 2020: The presentation of the COVID-19 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill and the Quarantine Bill is an eloquent testimony of the unflinching determination with which this Government has been waging the war against the COVID-19. The aim is to ensure that Mauritius has a modern and appropriate legal framework to deal with any future pandemic, stated the Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, today, at the National Assembly in Port Louis.

 

The two Bills, introduced in the National Assembly by the Prime Minister, constitute an important component of the legislative response of the Government in its efforts not only to contain the spread of the COVID-19 but also to better prepare our country to face, and recover from, a COVID-like situation in the future, he emphasised.

 

Speaking about the COVID-19 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, he stated that it has as objective to amend a number of enactments to cater for the impact of Covid-19 in various sectors, mitigate the hardship on the population and facilitate recovery.  The Bill is proposing to amend 56 enactments including the Bank of Mauritius Act, the Central Electricity Board Act and the Central Water Authority Act, the Civil Status Act, the Companies Act, the Consumer Protection (Price and Supplies Control) Act, the Courts Act, the Criminal Code, the Customs Act, the Education Act, the Employment Relations Act, the Finance and Audit Act, the Immigration Act, the Income Tax Act, the Police Act, the Public Debt Management Act, and the Public Health Act.

 

As regards the Quarantine Bill, the Prime Minister stated that quarantine is an important aspect of control of the outbreak of infectious diseases. Besides, following the outbreak of the COVID-19, the World Health Organization recommended the implementation of quarantine as part of a comprehensive package of public health response and containment measures, he added.

 

The Government accordingly implemented quarantine measures very rapidly and this has contributed significantly to contain the spread of the disease in Mauritius. However, the existing Quarantine Act dates as far back as 1954, he observed. There is therefore a need for a modern and more effective quarantine legislation which will enhance the level of preparedness and response of our health authorities to communicable diseases and pandemics such as the COVID-19, Mr Jugnauth highlighted.

 

The Quarantine Bill, he pointed out, is respectful of the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and is also in line with International Health Regulations 2005.

 

According to the Prime Minister, the Bills introduced illustrate the pragmatism and foresight of the Government, and together they aim at ensuring that, while disappearing from our Republic, COVID-19 neither returns and causes more damages, nor lingers on while disappearing and thus delaying our gradual but sure return to normalcy.

 

#ResOuLakaz     #BeSafeMoris

Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov​

 
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