from HANSLEY NABAB in Port Louis, Mauritius
PORT LOUIS, (CAJ News) – A HUMAN rights organisation has raised concern at the Mauritian government’s position to introduce compulsory coronavirus vaccinations, as well as criminal sanctions imposed against workers that do not comply.
New regulations under the Quarantine Act published in the Government Gazette in June require workers in certain sectors to be vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or risk a fine of Rs 500,000 (approximately US$11 700) and a prison sentence of not more than five years.
Amnesty International is also concerned with reports that workers in some sectors, such as the hospitality industry, had been required to show that their entire households are vaccinated as a condition of their employment.
“The Mauritian authorities must not impose blanket mandatory vaccine policies and should seek to ensure that vaccination is voluntary for several reasons,” Amnesty stated.
First, states must guarantee that all individuals have the right to prior, free and informed consent for any medical procedure including vaccination,” the organisation added.
“Second, blanket mandates do not take into account specific contexts and the circumstances faced by particular populations.”
Amnesty said in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations, governments should focus on voluntary uptake and that public awareness campaigns must be at the forefront of these efforts.
Thus, the scientific benefits of vaccines should be explained and disseminated in a manner that is understandable in a range of social and cultural contexts.
“This is a crucial component of the right to health because individuals and communities can only make informed decisions about their health when they are given accurate, timely and accessible information,” Amnesty stated.
Mauritius has one of the lowest incidences of COVID-19 in Africa.
It has recorded 10 676 and 31 deaths.
– CAJ News