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PM to introduce Covid-19 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill and Quarantine Bill in National Assembly

Date: May 10, 2020
Domain:Health; Judiciary
Persona: Business; Citizen; Government; Non-Citizen
 

GIS – 10 May, 2020: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the COVID-19 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill and the Quarantine Bill will be introduced into the National Assembly, this Wednesday, by the Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, to amend a number of enactments to cater for the impact of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The Attorney-General, Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Maneesh Gobin, elaborated on the two Bills, this evening, during the press briefing of the National Communication Committee of Covid-19, and recalled that strict lockdown measures were put in place in the country with a view of ensuring the safety of the population and preventing the spread of the virus.

With reference to the Quarantine Bill, he recalled that it will repeal the Quarantine Act, which dates back to the year 1954, and re-enact a reformed and modern appropriate legislative framework so as to provide more measures for the prevention and spread of communicable diseases.

The new legislation has been rendered necessary on account of the impact of the novel coronavirus, pointed out the Minister, adding that the Ministry of Health and Wellness is the Quarantine Authority in Mauritius.

According to Mr Gobin, both Bills will include strict sanitary measures that will be enforced in public transport, schools, metro, offices, elevators, taxis and other public places. These sanitary measures will also be applicable at the airport with the arrival of repatriated Mauritians from other countries, he added.

The Minister highlighted that any person who refuses to answer or knowingly gives a misleading answer when questioned by a quarantine officer, will be committing an offence and may be liable to a fine not exceeding Rs 500,000 and to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years. The Bill also makes provision, in certain cases, to authorise persons to follow medical treatment in private hospitals at their own costs, he stated.

With regard to the Court of Justice, he said that there will be amendments that will help the Chief of Justice to issue directives for Courts to operate under strict conditions.

The Minister cautioned the population that individuals who are not abiding by rules will be subjected to penalties.  He called for solidarity and sacrifice from all citizens to help the country shore up its economic activities in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. 

#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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