Parliament’s Judiciary Committee has voted to grant president the power to declare state of public health emergency by amending the Public Health Act of the Maldives.
The Judiciary Committee passed the amendments on Wednesday, it was then sent to the Parliament.
The current Public Health Act grants the power to the Director-General of Public Health. However, with the amendment, the Director-General is to advise Health Minister who is then to advise the President with sufficient proof for such a declaration. The President can then declare public health emergency for a maximum of 30 days, and it must be submitted for Parliament approval within 48 hours. Moreover, the President would require approval from the Parliament to extend any such declaration.
The bill also includes detailing the Parliament if the government spending during public health emergency exceeds the budget.