Aussie kicked out of China over quarantine jog
An Australian woman has reportedly been ordered to leave China after she broke the country's strict quarantine laws by going for a jog.
The 47-year-old woman, only identified as Ms Liang, entered the country through Beijing Capital International Airport on March 14 and spent just one day there before her run-in with the law, according to Asia Wire.
A video of the incident has since gone viral after it was shared on Twitter by a CNN reporter.
Ms Liang is seen at the front door of her rental residence arguing with authorities who explained she was required to stay at home.
Beijing law states arrivals must self-isolate under infection control rules amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 3000 people and infected another 80,000 more in China.
"I need to go running. I need to work out. If I fall sick, who will take care of me? Will you come?," the woman shouts as she tries to open her apartment door, according to a translation by CNN.
In a second video, Ms Liang tells two police officers at her door that she has an Australian passport after they explain that she needs to comply with quarantine laws.
"I tell you, no matter [if] you're Chinese or a foreigner, you have to comply with the law of the People's Republic of China," one of the officers told her, according to the report. "This is to protect yourself and to protect others."
On Wednesday, Beijing's Exit and Entry Admission revoked Ms Liang's work-type residence permit and ordered her to leave the country, but did not specify an exact deadline, according to the New York Post.
It also emerged that the woman was an employee of pharmaceutical giant Bayer, and had been fired after the video emerged.
"According to relevant rules, the company has decided to dismiss the employee, effective immediately," the company's Chinese subsidiary said in a statement translated by CNN.
"All employees of Bayer China should strictly obey the various measures imposed by local governments to fight the COVID-19 epidemic, as well as local law and regulations."
THE LESSONS TO LEARN FROM WUHAN
China has installed health tracking apps on mobiles, employed neighbours to spy on each other to stop people breaking quarantine and locked down Wuhan for 51 days (January 23 to March 14) to fight coronavirus.
The epicentre of the outbreak in the Hubei province became a bio-prison on January 23, but there are some signs that they have managed to reduce the spread of the virus.
New infections have slowed, and 11 of 16 makeshift hospitals set up for the outbreak have closed.
China's president Xi Jinping visited Wuhan this week (Tuesday) in a sign of how confident the country was that its response was working.
But the draconian methods, including making frontline health staff wear adult nappies to save them the time changing out of their biohazard suits to go to the toilet, were unlikely to work in Australia.
Sophia Gaston, director of the British Foreign Policy Group, said China was to blame for the outbreak, and should not be lauded for its response.
"Obviously they have been able to get this under control because of their authoritarian approach, but the reason we got into this crisis in the first place was because of those same measures," she said.
Ms Gaston said that the treatment of Dr Li Wenliang, who was reprimanded by police for warning of the virus before he died of the illness, was a sign of the country's failure.
"China under reacted and tried to hide the coronavirus crisis in a Chernobyl-esque way," Matthew Lesh, head of research at the London-based think tank the Adam Smith Institute, said.
"They tried to downplay the issue and now they are trying to overcompensate with a level of authoritarianism that would not be acceptable in a liberal democracy like Australia."
Reports from inside the lockdown in the Wuhan province paint a grim picture of life under the Communist Party's quarantine.
And there are questions about how much China knew before it locked down Wuhan, described as China's answer to Chicago because of its transport links.
Reports suggest more than 5 million people had left Wuhan in the weeks leading up to the lockdown, which was declared just before the Chinese New Year, where traditionally hundreds of millions of locals travel.
Pharmacies were banned from selling painkillers in some regions to force people to attend hospitals to track the virus.
The Communist Party's control methods kicked into gear, with neighbourhood committees kicking into action to monitor people's movements.
Those who tried to break quarantine were reported to local officials.
The control methods have also gone digital, with a team of experts working day and night to develop a Health Code app that Chinese people were forced to download.
The app gives users a green, yellow or red QR code that police can demand to see.
It also tracks their movements and changes the status of people if they have come into contact with the coronavirus.
Australia has a relative advantage over China with only 3.3 people per square kilometre, compared to 153 people per square kilometre in the country home to almost 1.5 billion.
Cleaners in Wuhan, who are only paid $670 AUD per month, are at breaking point, often left without access to face masks and other equipment reserved for medical professionals.
Before the outbreak, they were being docked pay for minor problems and given a watch that alerted them to "add oil" if they had not moved for 20 minutes. Now they are struggling to cope as they desperately try to disinfect the region of 11 million people.
Wang Xiuying said from inside the quarantined zone that there were concerns about how the money raised through the Red Cross in China was being spent.
And she said that the number of cases skyrocketed 1638 to 14,840 once a governor from Shanghai had visited, shortly before the lockdown, saying that the rise was impossible.
"Frontline medics are working under extreme physical and mental pressure," she said.
"They wear adult nappies so they don't have to waste time taking their biohazard suits on and off when they go to the loo.
"Volunteer drivers are delivering medical necessities while normal transport networks remain suspended," according to her article in the London Review of Books.
Chinese students remain at home from school, although they have been asked to sign in to an app, DingTalk, to continue their work at home.
"Somehow the little brats worked out that if enough users gave the app a one-star review it would get booted off the App Store," Ms Xiuying said.
"The app has had to beg for mercy on social media: 'I'm only five years old myself, please don't kill me.'"
As Australia braces for its coronavirus peak, there are questions over whether taking the medicine of China's response will need more than a spoonful of sugar.
Originally published as Aussie kicked out of China over quarantine jog