Two days ago, 30th March, 2020, a Senior Minister of Germany, Mr. Thomas Shaeffer, 54 years old, committed suicide because he was reported to be feeling helpless and deeply sad over the impact of Covid 19. Germany has more than 63,000 cases confirmed positive and deaths of more than 540 and rising. Today President of United States in his televised speech spoke of the inevitable increase in suicides in United Sates and alongside it rising number of mental depression and drug addictions. All sprung from the seemingly uncontrollable Covid 19 spreading like wild fire in the United States. Confirmed positive case rose to 182,000 and 5097 and climbing. President trump said the death toll has surpassed the ground zero tragedy 9/11 in New York.
The enforcement of movement control order seems harsh to people who enjoy nothing more than to be able to move around freely outside their homes. Seems like over-reaction way and above the needful by those in authorities when they impose on others in "non-war" times. Seems cruel to many who believe they have better and important things to do than being cooped up and confined in walled up spaces called homes.
But when you look at the number of cases affected by Covid 19 waiting to die and confirmed number of deaths piling before us in almost every country of the globe, this is War. Its war perpetrated by invisible enemy on a massive global scale. The enemy is known as deadly virus Covid 19. When we are at war, we have no choice, no "but" and no "maybe". Only one way forward and that is to take harsh war time measures and decisive precautionary treatments to protect the countries and to save the people. Be cruel in order to be kind, so to speak.
Many countries of the world this week have begun to resort to measures of various kinds from almost no punishment to mild deterrence and severe punishments. Here are some samplings of the types of punishments meted out by several world governments to the battened voilaters of movement control order.
Singapore - 6 months jail sentence and fine of Singapore 10,000 dollars,
India - From beating offenders on the spot in the street and jailing them,
Malaysia - I month jail and Rm1000 fine.
France - Eu35 to Eu375 fine,
United Kingdom - 30 Stirling pound fine,
Spain Eu100 fine and 1 year jail,
Serbia 3 years jail,
Russia 7 years jail
Pakistan death sentence to incorrigible offenders.
The United States considers movement control violators as "misdemeanour offence'.
Australia Premier, Scott Morrison, merely refers to the punishment to violators as "Harsh".
The countries which are serious of enforcing the order are mostly countries serious and understand the dire consequences of the deadly danger to their people in the event their governments are lukewarm in their resolve to impose effective and deterrent punishments. Would you not wonder if the death tolls in United States and Italy could be lower if severe measures and punishments were taken seriously before they become too late?