Over a dozen people have been forcibly taken to government isolation centers in Germany, while hundreds are being held in similar centers in Australia as Western countries continue to use mandatory COVID quarantine centers all in the name putting an end to COVID-19.
Germany has started including prisons as quarantine centers and Australia has taken a similar measure by using isolated camps under 24-hour surveillance for the same.
A recent survey by the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag shows that at least 15 people in 10 major German cities have been transferred to quarantine centers since the beginning of the year.
Welt am Sonntag reports that 15 people were violating the COVID-19 requirements for house isolation, 11 in Munich, two in Stuttgart and one in Düsseldorf and Frankfurt.
The full number is likely to be higher because officials in Berlin and Leipzig have not submitted any figures to the paper.
Some of the quarantine facilities were located within prisons, according to Welt. “Most of the federal states have closed areas in hospitals or prisons for quarantine breakers,” the outlet noted.
“In Eisenhüttenstadt, Brandenburg, refusals were last housed in a former deportation detention center, in North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, in a Solingen clinic.”
Germany has long allowed compulsory quarantine for people suspected of having infectious diseases who refuse to adhere to further isolation measures.
The German Infection Protection Act of 2000 explicitly allows “placement in a locked hospital” or “locked facility” for this purpose. The law states that “The fundamental right to freedom of the person can be restricted in this respect”.
According to the Welt, because hundreds of thousands of Germans are subject to domestic quarantine orders at any point, city officials usually “check” residents for “if there is a specific suspicion.”
In Stuttgart, officials rely on “special tipsters,” which included “neighbors, acquaintances and relatives.”
“A city spokesman emphasized that contact with alleged quarantine breakers took place immediately.”
The newspaper found that ten major German cities have submitted more than 250 fines for violating the quarantine. The fines ranged from 250 to 1,000 euros, but they could go up to 25,000 euros.
Australia’s COVID Camp Crackdown
The Australian government has taken mandatory quarantine a step further. This summer, Australian authorities began building COVID-19 quarantine camps across the country, including in Victoria and the Northern Territory (NT).
Some centers are already open, such as NT, which has transferred hundreds of people who have tested positive for the virus or have been in close contact with someone who did, as well as thousands of international travelers have been relocated for a minimum stay of two weeks.
Earlier this week, according to The Independent, three teenagers were arrested by police after escaping from a quarantine center near the city of Darwin in the NT. The 15, 16, and 17 year-old boys were taken to the Howard Springs Center on suspicion of close contact.
They climbed the walls of the facility on Wednesday morning but were arrested later in the day after police launched a chase and set up a checkpoint in the area.
According to Chief Minister Michael Gunner, each of the three boys, who come from a small indigenous community in Binjari, tested negative for Covid-19 before fleeing.
Despite admitting that teenagers held “very low” health risks, Gunner briefly criticized them on Wednesday, saying, there was “absolutely no excuse” for their actions.
“Absconding from Howard Springs isn’t just dangerous — it is incredibly stupid, because we will catch you and there will be consequences,” he promised. The boys might potentially be fined more than $ 5,000 each.
Army Enforced Quarantine
Gunner, a member of the Left-Wing Labor Party, imposed a full quarantine on Binjari and the surrounding Rockhole community last month after reporting only nine positive cases to prevent people from leaving their homes except in emergencies. NT reported no deaths from COVID at the time, and several hundred cases out of a population of 246,000.
However, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison dispatched about a dozen Australian troops to the area in late November, who began to establish close contact with indigenous communities and put them in quarantine camps.
“We have already identified 38 close contacts from Binjari, but that number will go up,” Gunner announced in a November 21 press briefing. “Those 38 are being transferred now.”
Hundreds of families and acquaintances have since been flown to Howard Springs while more than 1,300 international migrants have completed the “mandatory supervised quarantine” at the facility since October, ABC News Australia reported. The center, which is still monitored 24 hours a day, houses around 3,000 people.
The rules for detainees in the camp are strict and require that they always stay in their room or on a small balcony attached to the rooms unless the officer allows them to leave.
It is important to wear a mask and maintain social distance outside the cabins, regardless of the COVID status.
Detainees must also “comply with any directions given by an authorized officer to avoid people congregating in a quarantine zone,” according to guidance from the NT government.
“You are not able to share or hand over physical objects to residents who are not your family members.”
“Quarantine facility staff will remind you about wearing your mask, staying on your veranda and physically distancing through information in your resident booklet, by sending you sms reminder texts and verbally in person if we see you are not following the Direction.”
“All residents in quarantine, including all children, are tested three times during their stay on day 1, 5 and 12. These tests are a nose and throat swabs,” the guidance noted. “If you do not undergo a test, you will be required to remain in quarantine a further 10 days at your own expense.”
Quarantine isn’t cheap in Australia. A two-week NT detainment is $ 2,500 per person and a family of two or more people is $ 5,000.