Lagos State Government has released Lagos State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020 (the Regulation). The Regulation aims to prevent and lower the spread of COVID-19 in Lagos State. COVID-19, also referred to as Coronavirus, is a Dangerous Infectious Disease under Section 2 of the Quarantine Act Cap Q2 LFN 2004. The Emergency Prevention Regulations 2020 contains the powers of the Governor to flatten the curve of COVID-19 in Lagos State. Six key topics covered are the screening of persons, public gathering, movement of persons and goods as well as penalty.
1. Screening and assessment
Specific individuals in Lagos State will be screened for possible traces of infection. Where a person refuses to be assessed, the State can transfer an individual to a screening center. The Governor can isolate a person for an initial period of fourteen (14) days. However, where the person is a Child, the parent or guardian of the Child will be consulted. An individual will bear the costs of removal and isolation to a center. In the case of a child, the parent or guardian will bear the cost. The State Government will take proper care of people in an isolation center.
Where an infected person passes on, the State will dispose of the remains of an infected person in line with health standards.
2. Movement of persons
- restrict the movement of persons and all means of transportation into and outside Lagos State except for the movement of essential goods and services.
- order the temporary closure of markets except for providers of essential items.
It is illegal to transmit false information on COVID-19.
3. Distribution of food, drugs and other essential items
Artificial inflation of the price of foods, drugs and other essential goods and services is an offence. Also, it is an offense to hoard foods, drugs, and other essential goods and services. Penalty for non-compliance is the confiscation of the goods.
4. Public gathering
- prohibit the gathering of persons in social and religious events, except the Governor grants prior approval in writing. Penalty for non-compliance is the temporary closure of the public place.
- specify the maximum number of persons that can attend a public event
- instruct the relevant security agencies to disrupt the illegal gathering of people as well as perform a medical test on attendees for possible infection.
- limit all or part of trade and commercial activities
- close public educational and vocational institutions
5. Additional powers
(a) order any person to stay at home for a specific period
(b) deploy law enforcement officers to restrict movement or access to public spaces;
(c) construct and allocate spaces as isolation centers.
(d) temporarily use a property as isolation centers or to store medical supplies and equipment; subject to payment of sufficient compensation.
Furthermore, the Governor may exercise these powers directly or delegate powers.
Any person who fails to comply with the provisions of this Regulation and any other existing law shall be liable to ﬁne or imprisonment or both ﬁne and imprisonment.
7. Effective date of Lagos State Infectious Diseases Regulations 2020
Lagos State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020 takes effect from 27 March 2020.
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