The Anambra State House of Assembly has passed a bill aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)and other dangerous infectious diseases in the state.
Cited as the “COVID-19 and other dangerous infectious diseases, prevention and eradication law 2020”, the bill was passed by the lawmakers during yesterday’s emergency sitting with strict observation of social distancing in their seating arrangement.
According to the Majority leader of the house, Hon Nnamdi Okafor, the Bill sustained all the directives already provided by the government to combat the disease in the State such as the closure of State boundaries, restriction of movements, comprehensive but temporary lockdown, restriction on public gatherings, social distancing as well as personal hygiene and safety health measures among others.
Under Offences and Penalties, the Bill stipulates that anybody who violates any of the provisions of five to nine directives commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one hundred thousand naira or a term of one-month imprisonment.
The Member representing Anambra East Constituency, Chief Obinna Emeneka, who described it as a welcome development, revealed that the bill empowers the Chief Judge to designate the number of magistrate courts or high courts in three Senatorial Districts of the state as he may think appropriate for the summary and expeditious hearing and determination of all matters on violation of relevant provisions of the law.
On his part, the Speaker, Right Honourable Uche Okafor, who described coronavirus as a deadly disease, said that the bill is aimed at ensuring the containment and eradication of COVID-19 and other dangerous infectious diseases in the State.
Also at plenary, the House set up a ten-man committee known as the House of Assembly COVID-19 observation Team headed by the Deputy Speaker, Dr Pascal Agbodike, to monitor the effects.