Brief comments on Law No. 13,979 of 2020

In line with the worldwide movement to contain the advance of the world pandemic, on February 6, 2020, the Brazilian government enacted Law No. 13,979, of 2020 *, which addresses explicitly measures to deal with the public health emergency arising from the coronavirus outbreak, that started in 2019.

This norm seeks to adapt to the measures of the WHO (World Health Organization) *  and aims to protect Brazilian society as a collective that needs to avoid more significant socio-economic damage.

Therefore, in addition to providing explanations about terms that are being used these days, such as isolation, quarantine, among others, the government imposed the possibility of compulsory determination to carry out some protection procedures, as a way to contain the progress of the disease. Being confident that said procedures, if necessary, will be carried out with due respect to the right to information and the dignity of the human person. Such predictions already existed in the rules of classic Administrative Law and are now being resumed and rethought in the face of the emergence of Brazilian public health.

Other actions that can be taken, according to the norm, are the waiver of bidding for the acquisition of goods, services and health supplies destined to cope with the public health emergency of international importance resulting from the Coronavirus, as well as the exceptional and temporary authorization for the import of products subject to health surveillance without registration with ANVISA (Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency), as long as that they are registered by a foreign health authority and covered by a specific act of the Ministry of Health.

It is important to note that state governments, city halls, and other governmental entities or those linked to the Public Power are also adopting similar measures to contain the progress of the disease. What has been taking place through the creation of specific decrees aimed at local populations, such as Decree nº 46.970 of 2020*, from the Government of the State of Rio de Janeiro; Decree Rio nº 47.246 of 2020*, from the City of Rio de Janeiro; Decrees nº 64.862* and 64.864*, of the Government of the State of São Paulo, and Decree nº 59.283, of 2020*, of the Municipality of São Paulo.

Finally, each government entity is taking care, specifically, of its objects and bodies, dealing with labor issues, determining whether to operate on a rotating or telecommuting basis (home office) when possible. The recommendation is that the person inquires information directly with the agency responsible for that activity, so it’s possible to check out the operations issues of each entity.

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