China to criminalize quarantine refusals
2020-03-18 09:47     Source : GRT Radio

Individuals with infectious diseases or suspected COVID-19 patients who refuse to comply with quarantine or medical observation requirements, fail to fill out health declaration forms honestly, or supply falsified health statements at border checkpoints in China could face criminal penalties, according to a joint statement issued by five national departments on Monday. 

The statement listed six kinds of behaviors that constitute the crime of hindering frontier quarantine measures, targeting individuals that spread or are at risk of spreading infectious diseases requiring quarantine, as identified by the State Council, including the plague, cholera, yellow fever, or COVID-19. 

The measures were introduced after more than 120 cases of COVID-19 were identified among international passengers arriving in China through at least eight provinces amid the country’s efforts to strengthen quarantine measures and prevent imported COVID-19 cases from entering China. 

As of midnight, March 16, Guangdong had reported a total of 1,364 confirmed COVID-19 cases (including four imported cases), while a total of 1,307 patients had been discharged from hospitals. Eight deaths have been recorded in the province. On March 16, three new confirmed cases were recorded in the province, all imported cases to Guangzhou, among passengers from the UK, France, and the Philippines. 497 close contacts are still currently under medical observation. 

The six kinds of illegal behaviors are as follows: 

1. Refusing to fill out health declaration forms, receive temperature checks, or comply with quarantine and sanitary treatment measures in compliance with laws and regulations, such as the Frontier Health and Quarantine Law.  

2. Concealing health information by falsifying health declaration forms, or altering health declaration forms. 

3. Knowingly evading quarantine without approval, or carrying or sending organic matter, including microorganisms, human tissue samples, biological products, or blood samples without permission. 

4. Refusing to comply with quarantine measures if a fellow passenger on board a flight, train, or other forms of transport is confirmed to be infected with an infectious disease. 

5. Concealing or hiding deaths from authorities not caused by accident or injury on planes, trains, or other forms of international transport from countries and regions severely affected by epidemics. 

6. Refusing to implement quarantine measures proposed by customs authorities in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, such as the Frontier Health and Quarantine Law. 

Editor: 谭晶