Where Asian countries appeared to be in control of the new coronavirus epidemic , they suddenly began closing their borders recently again, imposed strict restrictive measures fearing a new wave of outbreaks.
These moves herald unfortunate developments for Europe, the US and the rest of the planet that is still struggling with the first wave of pandemics – the worst global crisis since World War II at UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, after any successes. so far in its hold, it may turn out to be temporary and the planet may remain in lockdown indefinitely, the New York Times writes.
Even though the rate of the new coronavirus pandemic is starting to slow down in some countries, the travel ban and other restrictive measures may be prolonged until effective treatment or vaccine is discovered, otherwise there is a risk of re-introduction, high percentage of asymptomatic vectors, which may unknowingly carry the coronavirus.
Panic in Asian countries for imported cases
Following a recent increase in cases linked to the arrival of travelers from other countries, Asian countries such as China , Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong have recently closed their borders to foreigners. The Japan banned arrivals from most European countries and is considering extending the measure and to travelers from the US. South Korea imposed stricter controls calling on new arrivals to remain in state-run quarantine for two weeks.
“Countries find it difficult to implement their own home remedies, and they are ineffective in a globalized global health problem,” says University of Hawaii Professor of Studies Christie Govela. “Even countries that have managed to manage the coronavirus pandemic are as safe as the weak links in the system,” he said, adding that in the absence of co-operation between states “closing borders is one of the ways in which different governments can to control the situation. ”
Draconian measures, electronic bracelets, apps and prison sentences
Travelers returning to their countries of origin in Asia are often kept under strict surveillance while in quarantine. In Hong Kong, for example, in addition to the initial screening for the coronavirus on arrival, they are required to wear electronic bracelets while their movements are monitored through a smart-phone app. More than 200,000 people are currently quarantined in their homes, according to Hong Kong Governor Curry Lam .
Technology is a crucial tool for quarantine application. Those returning overseas to China are quarantined for 14 days at state-run hotels and send their temperatures daily via WeChat to local committees. In Taiwan, the government uses the location tracking service of mobile users, while police officers visit people in their homes to see if their mobile phones are open – in addition to the heavy fines imposed, such as in the case of a man in Taipei who broke into quarantine to go to discotheque.
Penalties for quarantine offenders can be very severe: Authorities in Singapore have canceled their 53-year-old passport, while in Japan those who defy the measure face up to six months in jail or up to 500,000 yen.
The severe impact of these measures on the economy
Experts note that in the medium term, as governments try to protect their citizens from the coronavirus pandemic, such measures make sense, but as the situation goes on, the chances of permanent damage to the global economy and the psyche of people increase.
According to Karen Angleston , director of the Health for Asia program at Stanford University’s Shorenstein Research Center , “although the first priority should be to try to contain and control coronavirus, we must also think about costs. this crisis is prolonged ”…
Source – iefimerida.gr