COVID-19: China to Deport Australian Woman for Breaking Home Quarantine Rule

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An Australian-Chinese woman is being deported for breaking quarantine rules in Beijing, local media reported Thursday as China tightens rules for preventing Covid-19 cases from the overseas spread in big cities.

Identified as Liang, the woman is said to have flouted home quarantine rules earlier this week after returning from abroad and going out jogging without wearing a mask.

According to state-controlled, China Daily newspaper, clips shared on China’s Twitter-like Weibo on March 16, show the woman ignoring police officers’ directives to go home after being caught outside without a mask.

Liang also lost her job at the German pharmaceutical giant Bayer after the viral videos showed her confronting Beijing police while breaking home quarantine.

“Instead of staying at home for the two-week observation as required, she was found running outside without wearing a mask, and did not listen and even shouted “help” when a community staff member tried to persuade her to go home,” the newspaper reported, adding that she did not obey until the police arrived and gave her a warning.

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The Beijing municipal government announced that starting Thursday, all people entering Beijing from overseas were to be transferred to designated quarantine venues for 14 days. They must pay the bills themselves.

The directive said that even people who live alone are not allowed to take home quarantine except for some special cases such as minors, the elderly, and people with underlying conditions.

The Beijing government said it won’t accept such applications for home quarantine from Thursday, the report said.

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“As the first gateway safeguarding the capital, the Beijing Capital International Airport is facing mounting pressure from growing numbers of inbound passengers. Since February 29, 2,417 people with suspicious symptoms have been transferred to medical institutions after being screened by the airport customs, 127 per day on average. The number peaked on Wednesday with 479 people,” Beijing authorities were quoted as saying by the local media on Thursday.

An editorial in China Daily advocated “strict vigilance” against a re-seeding of the virus from abroad.

“[A] single spark can start a prairie fire,” it said.

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The new cases from outside the country highlight “the risks that loom at the gate.”

Beijing recorded 21 new cases of infections from abroad on Wednesday, most people traveling from Spain and Britain.

The Beijing infections accounted for the majority of the 34 new imported cases in mainland China.

The total number of imported cases in China stood at 189 until Wednesday midnight.

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