Coronavirus diaries: Man fined $33,000 for breaking quarantine in Taiwan
The man was supposed to be in self-isolation at home after returning from Southeast Asia, but he went clubbing. Those in quarantine in Taiwan are monitored via GPS on phones and messaging systems, with police alerted to those who leave their apartments.
A man in Taiwan had a particularly expensive night out after authorities fined him $33,000 (£28,480) for violating his quarantine to go clubbing. The unnamed man was supposed to be self-isolating at home for two weeks after returning from Southeast Asia, according to the Asia Times news site. The coronavirus pandemic has so far claimed more than 14,500 lives and infected almost 340,000 people across the globe.
But he was caught partying in the capital, Taipei, on Sunday. Officials called his behaviour “malicious” and charged him with the maximum fine possible.
In Taiwan, those in quarantine are monitored via GPS on phones and messaging systems, with police alerted to those who leave their apartments.
“Those who are caught going out to places that have big crowds and are not well ventilated will be sent to a centralised epidemic prevention facility and fined NT$1 million,” New Taipei city mayor Hou Yu-ih said.
“I will not be soft-handed,” he added.
Taiwan has been praised for keeping its confirmed cases low, despite its proximity to China. It has reported 195 cases so far and two deaths. But despite having contained the virus, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong are now facing a second coronavirus wave, fuelled by people entering their borders.
This has prompted Taiwan to ban foreigners from entering and making it mandatory for its nationals returning to the country to self-quarantine for 14 days.