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COVID-19: Your Rights in a Quarantine

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild respiratory illness and recover without the need for specialized treatment. Older people, as well as those with underlying health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer may be more susceptible to serious illnesses.[1] Coronavirus has sent 1.5 billion people into their homes and millions of people around the world are living in extremely difficult times because of the rapid global spread of the coronavirus, [2]COVID-19.

All my thoughts are on people infected with the virus, families and people around them and those who have lost loved ones. Coronavirus raises human rights issues. Limitations on individual freedom need to be clearly defined in the law and must be just and equitable. It is important to make sure that the measures do not discriminate or discriminate against any national group or minor. While mobile applications may help to facilitate the spread of this virus, we must remain vigilant about the potential use of the information gathering technology to collect private information. Human rights are important.

They are always there. But I no longer see myself at the core of this unique moment in history. In China, many patients had to be evacuated from hospitals after hours of overcrowding due to the large number of sick people. Shortages of testing and treatment have been reported. Due to the high volume of patient interventions in Italy, doctors are forced to decide whether to treat the elderly or not, or leave them to die. A photo of a nurse crushed due to a heavy load at an Italian hospital was widely circulated as a symbol of an overdose program.

There have been reports of increased racism against Asian people, especially Chinese people in Europe and America. The World Health Organization's emergency committee has issued a statement advising all countries to take note of the Article 3 of the IHR (International Health Rules), which WHO warns of "actions that promote prejudice or discrimination," when making national response to the outbreak.

A Washington Post photographer has captured the footage of US President Donald Trump's speech in which he released the word "coronavirus" and replaced it with the word "Chinese virus." [3]in different places. However, he said he did not believe his statements were racist because the virus originated from there, and that he intended to counter the Chinese propaganda that the American military brought the virus to China.

Millions of people who live from hand to mouth have already begun losing their monthly salaries (the right to livelihood), and thus will be unable to pay rent or mortgage or put food on the table (right to a standard of living). Many of those who become ill do not have paid sick leave, and for those who do, it seldom covers their actual salary.

The trillion-dollar world economy is crashed and there is no hope left for some Amnesty International reports that the Chinese government has issued several articles relating to the coronavirus epidemic in China. Nicholas Bequelin, Regional Director at Amnesty International criticized that:
Chinese authorities are risking information that could help the medical community deal with the coronavirus and help protect people from exposure to it.

India has seen numerous incidents of people from the north-eastern parts being labeled as coronavirus because of their racial resemblance to China, where the epidemic began. This is behind the existing racial problems that people from these regions continue to face. Indian Minister of State for Minority Affairs, Kiren Rijiju has made a statement in response to an increase in incidents of racial strife by north-eastern India.

The logic of executive power is straightforward: during a state of emergency, governments need flexibility to address emerging threats and to exercise all power vested in the state to alleviate the situation. While clearly the consequences of states assuming so much power varies, history teaches that emergency measures are frequently abused and at times become permanent. Indeed, they can provide fertile grounds for widespread human rights violations and may even provoke a transformation from democracy to a totalitarian regime.

Although we are still in the pandemic's early days, worrisome tendencies have begun to manifest themselves in a number of countries. From China to Israel, governments have required citizens to install smartphone apps, allowing officials to track individuals and determine whether they can leave their homes.

In the United Kingdom, local elections have been postponed by a year and the police have been given powers to arrest suspected coronavirus carriers. Meanwhile, several countries have used the coronavirus pandemic as a justification to stifle social dissent, banning assemblies and protests. And Israeli Minister of Justice  Amir Ohana decided to freeze court activities (thus postponing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's trial) before the country even experienced its first coronavirus-related death.

The fear is that the rapid adoption of such policies may well be the start of a much broader process curtailing basic political and civil rights. Where governments overreach in this way, they must be swiftly resisted. The different WhatsApp and other virtual groups currently being created within our communities to help those experiencing hardships will need to be mobilised to launch widespread opposition.

Across the globe, the multibillion-dollar tourism industry has been brought to a standstill, while schools and businesses are shutting their doors, and thousands of companies are being forced to decrease production or temporarily shut assembly and manufacturing plants. This is already disrupting global supply chains as well as demand for goods and services. In the coming days, then, we can expect to see a domino effect, which will lead to a dramatic economic collapse.

The concept of managerial power is straightforward: in an emergency, governments need to be flexible in responding to emerging threats and use all the power provided by the state to calm the situation. Although the effects of high energy sources are varied, history teaches that emergencies are often abused and sometimes permanent. Indeed, they can provide an open excuse for excessive human rights violations and may provoke a transition from democracy to a totalitarian state. Even though we are in the early days of the epidemic, bad habits have begun to manifest in many countries.

From China to Israel, governments have required citizens to install smartphone apps, allow officials to track down certain people and decide whether to leave their homes. In the United Kingdom, local elections are postponed for a year and police are empowered to arrest suspected coronavirus carriers.

Currently, many countries are using the coronavirus epidemic as an excuse to curb public conflicts, block meetings and protests and Israeli Minister of Justice Amir Ohana has decided to release the court's duties (thus postponing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's trial) before the country even received its coronavirus-related death for the first time.

Fears that the rapid adoption of such policies could be the start of a much broader process of reducing basic political and civil rights. When governments act in this way, they must act quickly. Alternative WhatsApp and other groups that are currently being formed in our communities to help those who are struggling will need to be mobilized to present increased opposition.

Across the globe, the multimillion-dollar tourism industry has been set up, with schools and businesses closed, and thousands of companies are being forced to slow down production or temporarily shut down assembly and manufacturing plants. This is already affecting the viability of supply chains and demand for goods and services. In the coming days, however, we can expect to see a domino effect, which will lead to a major economic downturn.

Millions of people living on their hands and feet have begun to lose their monthly income (the right to make a living), and as a result cannot afford to pay rent or accommodation or put food on the table (right standard of living). Most sufferers do not have sick leave, and for those who do use it, it rarely sums up their real income.

The multimillion-dollar economy has collapsed and there is no hope left in other countries, medical research is underway and all we can do is stay home safely and take steps to safety and hope for the best.

End-Notes:

  1. https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
  2. https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/in-global-fight-against-coronavirus-over-1-5-billion-told-stay-home-1658938-2020-03-24
  3. https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/newsfeed/2020/03/trump-defends-calling-coronavirus-chinese-virus-200323102618665.html

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