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Port Moresby
August 8, 2020
Emergency News Papua New Guinea

2020 National Pandemic Bill Passed

Parliament has passed the 2020 National Pandemic Bill with a 70 to 14 vote today.

The Bill, now an ACT will be used for the purpose of responding to a Public Health Emergency.

Amongst those who voted against the Bill included East Sepik Governor Allan Bird and most members from the Opposition side.

The idea of a National Pandemic Bill initiated by Prime Minister James Marape when Parliament resumed for the June Sitting last week comes three months after a positive COVID-19 case was reported in Papua New Guinea.

The Act now provides laws within the Constitution that outlines administrative powers for the State of Emergency Controller and Deputy Controller that will be enforced during a public health crisis.

During the debate in Parliament today, East Sepik Governor Allan Bird who voted against the Bill said the rights of people will be suppressed.

His comments were supported by Rabaul MP Dr. Allan Marat a lawyer by profession saying sections of the laws needed to be discussed more before the Bill is passed.

The passing of this Bill makes it the second Law to be passed by Parliament in the June Sitting.

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