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COVID-19: PTF seeks legislative framework for future outbreak of diseases

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, has urged the House of Representatives to create a legal framework to address future outbreak of diseases in the country.

Chairman of the Presidential Task Force for the control of COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha. [Twitter/@DigiCommsNG]

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said that there was also a need for a legislative framework for economic growth through local manufacturing.

He said that there was need to deepen the legislative oversight during this pandemic and beyond for effectiveness and accountability.

The SGF called on the House to pass legislations that would further ease the ability of the executive arm of government to cushion the economic impact on the citizens.

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“President Muhammadu Buhari exercised his powers under sections 3 and 4 of the Quarantine Act, to restrict movement of persons and goods in Lagos, Ogun and FCT.

“This intervention generated heated debate in the legal circles, with insinuations that it may be in direct conflict with section 44(1) of the Constitution and article 14 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ratification and enforcement) Act, the legal basis of the intervention is not debatable.

“However, the Act needs to be adaptable to the changing nature of human behaviour and interaction,’’ he said.

According to Mustapha, our nation is at war against a very dangerous, unseen and ubiquitous enemy and all hands must be on deck to successfully prosecute the war.

Mustapha recalled that COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic on Jan. 20, and there were 7818 cases globally at the time.

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According to him, out of this number, China had 7,736, while the rest of the world had 82 cases spread over 18 countries.

He said that as at May 4, the global figure had risen to 3, 640,473 cases worldwide, 1,192,909 recovered and 251,817 fatalities across 212 countries.

Mustapha said that Nigeria’s index case was recorded on Feb. 27, and that as at May 4, Nigeria had recorded 2,802 cases, 417 recovered and 93 fatalities.

He said that the numbers underscored the deadliness of the pandemic and showed the aptness of its description as the most important public health challenge of our generation.

“The virus has come to disrupt and destroy health and wealth,” he said.

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