Posted in Legislative Research on Mar 18, 2020
This bill was posted on the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw website on the 10th of February 2020 and aimed to replace The Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases Law (1995).
Current Status (18.03.2020) - awaiting submission to Hluttaw for debate
The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 (Reovked in 1995)
The Vaccination Act, 1909 (Revoked in 1995)
The Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases Law (1995) (Will be revoked by this legislation)
The Law Amending the Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases Law (2011) (Will be revoked by this legislation)
(2) Bill Summary
The bill includes provisions relating to prevention, surveillance and responding to communicable diseases, reporting disease outbreaks, quarantine, and the prevention and control of disease at international ports of entry.
Its objectives are:
- to protect people from the outbreak of communicable disease and pandemics
- to ensure effective control of disease
- to bring Myanmar in to line with principles issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
The Union Government will form a Central Committee for the Prevention and Control of Communicable Disease and International Public Health Emergency, which the Minister for Health and Sports will chair, with the director of the Public Health Department as secretary and others from various ministries and departments as members. If necessary, the committee can include external experts. Its duties are to set communicable disease policy, to administer the Department, to coordinate with other organisations and to establish regional working committees.
The Department must carry out the following tasks – immunisation of children and adults by injection or orally, disease awareness raising, environmental sanitation, and disease monitoring at entertainment venues, restaurants, tourist centres and in displaced people camps. If the disease is spread between countries or threatens public health, measures taken must be in line with the principles of the WHO.
The health officer is responsible for examining the communicable disease, managing epidemics, notifiable diseases or pandemics, ordering temporary closures, and testing those affected / suspected cases. Partners, community-based charities and private organisations must cooperate in these actions. The cause of the epidemic or pandemic outbreak must be reported to the relevant department and ministry as quickly as possible.
The head/members of household, employers or the “person in charge” have to immediately report to the nearest administrators, government health department, and Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Departments under MoALI about mass animal death, rat danger, epidemic outbreak/suspicion and notifiable disease outbreak. Private health staff must also quickly report to the nearest government health department if notifiable disease is found.
The organisation delegated by the MoHS or health officer can issue restrictive/ prohibitive orders on to-and-fro movements in a specific area, festival/event holding, and movement of suspected animals or their vehicles, negotiating with the relevant government department/organisation. Progress with such activities must be reported to the MoHS through the Department.
The health officer responsible for international airports/ports and land border crossings must carry out:
- examination of travelers’ immunisation record
- immunisation by injection or orally
- examination of disease on vehicles and goods
- determination of specific area to land for the vehicle carrying the affected/suspected persons or animals
The person in charge of the vehicle has to report to the health officer in advance if persons/ animals affected by or suspected of notifiable disease are in the vehicle.
The organisation delegated by the MoHS or Health Officer can restrict information and reporting in newspapers which might stir fear among the public. If violated, there are penalties. Other penalties are also included in the bill and described as cognisable offences.
Animal Health and Development Law (1993)
National Food Law (1997)
Protection of Biodiversity and Protected Area Law (2018)
Moe Aung, The Ananda, email@example.com