PR&MB 2020 – Declaration of a Pandemic by the President

The Bill is only to apply during a pandemic. It is therefore particularly important that the Bill defines what a pandemic is. The Bill defines it as “an infectious disease occurring across international boundaries.” In order for the measures stipulated in the Bill to gain effect the President must declare the pandemic. The Bill provides that the President shall make a declaration of a pandemic upon recommendation by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and after undertaking consultations with the National Security Council. The President may, in consultation with the National Pandemic Response Committee and by notice in the Gazette, declare that a pandemic is no longer a threat to the social, economic or political stability of the country.

As it stands now, even though the government has treated Covid-19 as a pandemic, the President is yet to make an official declaration of the same.