GIS - 13 May, 2020: The COVID-19
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill and the Quarantine Bill constitute two
important pieces of legislations that will help the country get back on track,
help it pursue its economic objectives and guarantee the safety of the
This statement was made by the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr KaileshJagutpal,
in the National Assembly, this afternoon, while he was intervening on the two
Bills. He recalled how the world is bearing the impacts the novel coronavirus and Government
acted quickly and boldly in the absence of definite legislations in
order to guarantee the safety and security of all of the citizens. Hence,
the need to consolidate the legislative framework to addressallemerging issues
around COVID-19, he highlighted.
Speaking about the Quarantine Bill, Dr Jagutpal stated
that provisions will confer powers to the Prime Minister to take such bold but
deemed necessary decisions to ensure the prevention and containment of
communicable diseases, and for the overall safety of the population.
The Bill also provides for private
premises to be mobilised for quarantine centres. The Minister recalled
that in the Quarantine Act of 1954 there was no designation of a quarantine
facility adding that during the outbreak of COVID-19 in Mauritius, 37
quarantine centres were set up overnight in the country.
Another issue being addressed
in the Quarantine Bill concern medical examination and information. Dr Jagutpalexplained
that in a scenario where the country is at risk of a viral outbreak, there is
the need to ascertain that the medical information required and gathered are
exact and precise. He recalled how in the COVID-19 situation, some people
did not disclose data that would have greatly helped Government in its efforts
to contain the novel coronavirus and others who refused to undergo medical
treatment and examination. The Quarantine Bill, he underpinned, will allow
Government to better its sanitary surveillance and provide the population with
appropriate health care for its own security.
As regards the COVID-19
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, Dr Jagutpal stated that this piece of
legislation will allow Government to pursue its Action Plan towards strengthening its preparedness for and response to the
novel coronavirus and to any future pandemic. Such measures, he added, are
being proposed to make sure that all guidelines given to the public aimed at
preventing the propagation of a communicable disease are respected.
Commenting the amendments at Section (40)
referring to the Pharmacy Act, the Minister underlined that they will enable
the country to cater more for its own needs with regards to medicine supplies.
These amendments will lead to faster access to products for the Mauritian
territory, he added.
He underlined that as of now,
98% of the medicinal needs of the country are being imported,hence, the need to
have a timely delivery and availability of medicines, even in complicated
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