Germans who repeatedly violate COVID-19 quarantine rules will be held in detention centers and possibly under police guard, according to new reports.
Officials in the state of Saxony, which includes Leipzig and Dresden and is currently seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases, have approved plans to hold quarantine-breakers in a fenced-in area of a refugee camp, the The Telegraph reported. Another state, Brandenburg, also plans to use a refugee camp to hold quarantine breakers. Meanwhile, in Schleswig-Holstein, repeat offenders will be held in a juvenile detention center, the report said, citing Germany’s Welt newspaper.
The state of Baden-Württemberg, meanwhile, would hold the violators in two hospitals, which will be guarded by police, the report said.
Citing Dr. Christoph Degenhart, an expert in administrative law, Die Welt reported that German states have been granted powers to do so under the Disease Protection Act, an emergency law passed in March.
The plan has been widely criticized, with one lawmaker, Joana Cotar, accusing the Saxony government of “reading too much Orwell.”
“German authorities have come under fire for their management of the pandemic, with proposals to impose national vaccine mandates in a bid to control the virus branded ‘social dynamite’ by opposition figures,” the Daily Mail reported. “It comes as Chancellor Angela Merkel considers imposing a ‘mega-lockdown’ and suspending public transport after sparking a public backlash in the UK by calling ‘mutant’ Covid the ‘British virus.'”
Mass-selling newspaper Bild reported Ms Merkel wants to effectively shut down the country almost totally, amid a general fear of the fast=spreading variant of coronavirus first detected in southern England. Countries in Europe are bracing themselves for the impact of the new variant of Covid-19, which has caused daily cases to drastically increase in the UK, driving up the number of hospitalisations, and ultimately deaths. In neighbouring France, the government is expected to announce new restrictions on Thursday, also amid fears of the UK variant, but unlike some of its neighbours a full lockdown appears off the agenda for now
According to Johns Hopkins University, Germany has seen more than 2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nearly 47,000 deaths.
Late last month, a new strain of COVID-19 was found in Britain that reportedly spreads more easily and is causing some alarm — though it’s not clear if the morphed strain is more deadly or causes more severe symptoms. New strains of COVID-19, a virus first discovered in China, have been seen since the virus emerged approximately a year ago in Wuhan.
But the fact that the virus is changing — just as vaccines to target it are being distributed — has some concerned. “Health experts in the U.K. and U.S. said the strain seems to infect more easily than others, but there is no evidence yet it is more deadly,” The Associated Press reported.
Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday warned that there are “more ominous” strains of COVID-19 that are emerging in South Africa and Brazil.
Fauci, an immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who served on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said U.S. researchers are “very carefully” examining the two new mutant strains, as well as another first detected in the United Kingdom that is reportedly far more contagious.
“People need to realize there’s more than one mutant strain,” Fauci said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
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