Saturday, October 31, 2020

Lekan Shobowale

The first confirmed case of the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 in Nigeria
was announced on 27 February 2020, when an Italian citizen in Lagos tested
positive for the virus, caused by SARS-CoV-2 while On 9 March 2020, a second
case of the virus was reported in Ewekoro , Ogun State, a Nigerian citizen who
had contact with the Italian citizen.

On 28 January 2020, the Federal government of Nigeria assured citizens of the
country of its readiness to strengthen surveillance at five international airports in
the country to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The government announced
the airports as Enugu, Lagos, Rivers, Kano and the FCT .

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control also announced same day that they had already set up coronavirus group and was ready to activate its incident system if any case emerged in Nigeria.

On 31 January 2020, following the developments of COVID-19 pandemic in
mainland China and other countries worldwide, the federal government of Nigeria
set up a Coronavirus Preparedness Group to mitigate the impact of the virus if it
eventually spreads to the country.

On the same day, the World Health Organization listed Nigeria among other 13 African countries identified as high-risk for the spread of the virus.

On 26 February 2020, a Chinese citizen presented himself to the Lagos State
government on suspicion of being infected with coronavirus. He was admitted at
Reddington Hospital and was released the following day after testing negative.

On 9 March, the second case was confirmed, a Nigerian citizen in Ewekoro , Ogun
State who had contact with the Italian citizen. On 13 March, Nigeria confirmed that the second case no longer had the virus in his system and thus tested negative.

On 17 March, Nigeria confirmed the third case in Lagos State, A 30-year-old
Nigerian female citizen that returned on 13 March from the United Kingdom.

On 18 March, there were five new cases of the virus: four of the new cases
were discovered in Lagos State, while one was discovered in Ekiti State.
On 19 March, there were four new cases of the virus in Lagos State.Nigerian government also announced that the Italian citizen who brought coronavirus to Nigeria has tested negative and was discharged the following day.

On 21 March, there were ten new cases: seven in Lagos State, three in the
FCT .

As at 1st of May 2020, there were two hundred and thirty eight new cases: ninety two in Kano State, thirty six in the FCT, thirty in Lagos State, sixteen in Gombe State, ten in Bauchi State, eight in Delta State, six in Oyo State, five in Zamfara State, five in Sokoto Kwara, four in Ondo State, four in Nasarawa State, three in Kwara State, three in Edo State, three in Ekiti State, three in Borno State, three in Yobe State, two in Adamawa State, one in Niger State, one in Imo State, one in Ebonyi State, one in Rivers State, and one in Enugu State.

On the 1st of May 2020, 238 new confirmed cases and ten deaths were recorded in Nigeria. No new state has reported a case in the last 24 hours. Nigeria has samples tested 16,588.

Till date, 2170 cases have been confirmed, 351 cases have been discharged and 68 deaths have been recorded in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The 238 new cases are reported from twenty-two states- Kano (92), FCT (36), Lagos (30), Gombe (16), Bauchi (10), Delta (8), Oyo (6), Zamfara (5), Sokoto (5), Ondo (4), Nasarawa (4), Kwara (3), Edo (3), Ekiti (3), Borno (3), Yobe (3), Adamawa (2), Niger (1), Imo (1), Ebonyi (1), Rivers (1), Enugu (1).

Since the first index case in Nigeria, various measures have been put in place by the federal government with minute by minute advice from the Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC) and some of these measures includes total lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and FCT, closure of Nigerian airports, ban on public gathering and religious activities, social distance, borders closure and many others.

The National Assembly And COVID 19

On the 24th of March, the National Assembly was shutdown because of the fear of COVID 19 spreading in the FCT, the Senate spokesman Godiya Akwashiki has said the Red Chamber would not hesitate to suspend all activities “for a little time” if the situation got worse, and so the legislative house was shutdown.

The lawmakes on resumption Tuesday maintained social distance inside the chamber by giving a space of two seats between themselves with all of them on face masks.

Shortly after the proceedings began, the Senate went into a closed-door session. Similarly, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, led the lawmakers into the chamber of the House for plenary.

At the plenary was the controversial bill sponsored by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, and two of his colleagues, seeking to empower the Federal Government to convert any property in the country, including private properties, to isolation centres which seriously generated serious controversies.

Apart from members of the House who protested that they were not served
copies while it was read at plenary on Tuesday, before it hurriedly passed first
and second readings on the same day, many Nigerians have described the bill as another dull and insensitive act of the lawmakers.

In some quarters, there were accusations that the sponsors plagiarised the law on disease control in Singapore and that over 90 per cent of the content was plagiarised from Singapore’s law.

The bill was described as, ‘A bill for an act to repeal the Quarantine Act (1926) and enact the Control of Infectious Disease Act, make provisions relating to quarantine and make regulations for preventing the introduction into and spread in Nigeria of
dangerous infectious diseases, and for other related matters.’

Issues In The Proposed Bill, The Plagiarized Singapore Law (INTRO)

INFECTIOUS DISEASES ACT

(CHAPTER 137)

(Original Enactment: Act 21 of 1976)

REVISED EDITION 2003

(31st July 2003)

An Act relating to quarantine and the prevention of infectious
diseases.
[1st August 1977]
PART I
PRELIMINARY

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Infectious Diseases Act. Interpretation

2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires — “Agency” means the National Environment Agency established under the National Environment Agency Act (Cap. 195);

[Deleted by Act 5 of 2019 wef 25/03/2019 ]
“appropriate Minister” means —

(a ) in the following cases, the Minister charged with the responsibility for health and sanitary measures in relation to vessels, aircraft, vehicles and persons entering or leaving Singapore:

(i) the establishment of any advisory committee for the purpose of giving advice to the Director‑General or the Director-General, Food Administration under section 5;
[Act 11 of 2019 wef 01/04/2019]

(ii) any purpose relating to sections 28, 29 and 33 to 45, including the making of
subsidiary legislation in relation to any of those sections; or

(b ) in any other case, the Minister charged with the responsibility for regulation of diseases and disease control; [Act 5 of 2019 wef 25/03/2019]

“baggage” means the personal effects of a traveller or of a crew member of a vessel;

“Board” means the Health Promotion Board establishedundermine r the Health Promotion Board Act (Cap. 122B);“building” means any house, hut, shed or roofed enclosure, whether intended for the purpose of human habitation or otherwise, and any wall, gate, post, pillar, paling, frame, hoarding, slip, dock, wharf, pier, jetty, landing-stage or bridge;

“carrier”, in relation to any infectious disease, means any person who is harbouring or is likely to or is suspected to harbour the agents of that disease; “contact”, in relation to any infectious disease, means any person who has been exposed to the risk of infection from that disease;

“contact tracing measure” means any measure to facilitate the tracing of contacts of an infectious disease;

(To Be Continued)

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