Obiano Signs Anambra COVID-19 Bill

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David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has signed into law the state COVID-19 and other Dangerous Diseases Prevention and Eradication bill.

The bill, which was recently passed by the state House of Assembly, Obiano said, would became necessary in order to legitimise measures taken by the state government to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accenting to the bill, Obiano emphasised the need for Anambra people and everyone residing in the state to comply with the hygiene protocols established by relevant health organisations and the state government.

He said: “The protocols and other healthcare advisories are now backed by law and would attract penalties if contravened.”

Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Uche Okafor, who was at the signing ceremony, affirmed that COVID-19 law was germane to the effectiveness of the battle against the contagion and other pandemics that might arise in the future.

He noted that the law was necessary to strengthen, validate and legalise the state government’s policies on COVID-19 pandemic and other related health matters.

Okafor said: “Certain rights of individual, including the rights to movement and association as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, are restricted.

“Some aspects of our culture like contact salutation; traditional, social and religious festivities have been stopped.

“Even though the advisories are already in the public domain, with commensurate compliance by Anambra people, there is need to legitimise them for effective enforcement.’’

He added that the law has 15 sections, and that it provides for the protection of medical professionals, healthcare providers and other frontline workers in an epidemic or pandemic.