The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel has signed into law The Quarantine and Restriction Of Movement Regulations 2020. The new law which takes effect from 30th March 2020 is in full effect across the thirty one (31) Local Government Areas of the state. This law is in view of the serious and imminent threat to Public Health by the pandemic Corona Virus (COVID-19), a dangerous infectious disease within the meaning and intendment of Section 2 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The provisions of the regulations are as follows:
DECLARATION OF LOCAL AREA
1. The whole area of land mass and water that constitute Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria consisting of thirty one (31) Local Government Areas is hereby declared a Local Health Area.
DECLARATION OF DANGEROUS INFECTIOUS DISEASE
2 It is hereby declared that COVID-19 is a Dangerous Infectious Disease within the meaning and intendment of Section 2 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004, constitutes a serious and imminent threat to the public Health of the people in the Local Area.
RESTRICTION OF MOVEMENT OF PERSONS AND VEHICLES
3. (1)To control the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and and prevent the spread of the disease, the movement of persons and vehicles within the State are hereby restricted as follows-
(a) commercial tricycles shall carry not more than two passengers only;
(b) Mini buses shall carry not more than one passenger per row; and
(c) a private vehicle shall carry not more than two persons at the back seat and one on the front Seat.
(2) All public parks, shops, eateries, clubs, restaurants,markets and offices within the State shall remain closed except for the sale of foodstuffs, drugs and other essential commodities.
(3) All public burials, public weddings, and other forms of public gatherings are for the time being hereby prohibited.
(4) All places of religious worship, churches, and mosques shall strictly observe the social distancing prescription of a minimum of one metre spacing and not more than twenty persons per gathering. In addition, hand washing facility with running water,soap and sanitizer shall be made available.
CLOSURE OF BORDERS
4(i) All borders and roads leading into and out of the State shall remain closed with immediate effect
( For the avoidance of doubt, all interstate transportation and movement on land, air, water are hereby prohibited.
(5.) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 3 of this Regulations, government and recognised security personnel, fire service personnel, medical health workers and other personnel on essential duties and food supplies are hereby exempted.
INFECTED PERSONS NOT TO ACT IN A MANNER LIKELY TO SPREAD DISEASE
(6.) Any person who knows or has reason to believe that he has symptoms of, or is suffering from the Corona virus disease shall not expose other persons to risk of infection by his presence or conduct in any public place or any other place.
(INFECTED PERSONS TO SUBMIT SELF TO QUARANTINE AND TREATMENT)
(i)Any person who knows or has reason to believe that he has symptoms of, or is suffering from the Corona Virus disease shall submit himself for quarantine and treatment.
(ii) Where a person under sub paragraph (1) of Paragraph 7 of this Regulations refuses to submit himself for treatment and quarantine, security and medical personnel may use such force as may be reasonably necessary and employ such method as may be sufficient to ensure compliance with this Regulations.
ISOLATON OF CONTACTS
(8.) Where a person under Paragraph 7 has been identified, a medical officer may order all person all persons who came in contact with the Identified person to be isolated in any of the isolation Centres within the State and any person authorised by the medical officer to carry out such order may use such force as may be reasonably necessary and employ such method as may be sufficient to ensure compliance with this Regulations.
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
(9.) Nothing that is reasonably done by any authorized officer for purpose of executing this Regulations shall subject the authorized Officer personally to any action, liability, claim or demand whatsoever.
OFFENCE AND PENALTY
(i) Any person who contravenes the provision of this Regulations shall be prosecuted in accordance with the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and the Akwa Ibom State Infectious Disease (Control of Spread) Law, 2014 or any
other applicable law in that regard.
(ii) In addition to the penality provided under the relevant laws where a person contravenes the provisions of paragraphs 3 and 5 of these Regulations, his vehicle may be impounded immediately and his License suspended for a specified length of time mediately and his licence cancelled or suspended for a stipulated period of time.
(11.) Security agencies are hereby directed to enforce strict compliance with the Regulations herein contained.
CITATION AND COMMENCEMENT
(12.) This Regulation may be cited as the Quarantine and Restriction of Movement Regulations, 2020 and shall come into force on the 30th day of March 2020 and remain in force till 30th day of April 2020 or for such extended period as may be announced from time to time.
The enforcement of this Regulations will be strictly carried out by the special enforcement team, headed by the State Commissioner of Police, comprising all the service commanders and relevant government officials.
The public is enjoined to note and comply accordingly.
Charles Udoh KSJ
Ministry of Information
Image Source: twitter: @MrUdomEmmanuel