OrderPaperToday – The Senate on Wednesday considered and passed the controversial infectious diseases bill.

The bill, which was read for the first time at plenary in June 2020 is titled: “Bill for an Act to Provide for an Effective National Framework for the Control of Outbreaks of Infectious Diseases and Other Events Endangering Public Health and Requiring Public Health Emergency Measures and For Other Related Matters (SB. 413).”

It is sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu North).

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Recall that the House passed the controversial bill last July shortly before its recess.

While presenting a report on the bill, Sen. Utazi noted that the bill seeks to provide the frame work that will necessitate a declaration by the appropriate authority of a public health emergency and to provide a sound basis for the measures and actions of the appropriate authorities during the period of the public health emergencies to control and contain the spread of infectious or contagious diseases or public health.

According to the lawmaker, the bill also seeks to establish an up-dated and comprehensive legislative framework providing for the norms, basis for the making of regulations, rules and guidelines and measures to be applied in the event of any outbreak of infectious and contagious diseases or public health event within or outside Nigeria.

“The bill if signed into law, would ensure a timely response, control and management of public health emergencies coupled with necessary checks and balances, accountability and control”, Utazi said.

The bill contains draconian clauses which infringes on human rights and has been stiffly resisted by civil society and citizens across board.

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