Soldiers around the world get a new mission: Enforcing coronavirus lockdowns

By Kevin Sieff | The Washington Post |

Pakistani soldiers in masks stand guard Monday on a deserted street in Sindh province, where authorities ordered the closing of markets and public spaces and banned large gatherings. (Rizwan Tabassum/Afp Via Getty Images)

Around the world, as a consensus has formed around the need for quarantine and social distancing to fight the coronavirus, a more delicate question has emerged: How do you enforce those new rules?

In every region, under all kinds of political systems, governments are turning to increasingly stringent measures — and deploying their armed forces to back them up.

Countries as varied as China, Jordan, El Salvador and Italy have sent service members into the streets. Guatemala has detained more than 1,000 people. In Peru, those who flout government restrictions can be jailed for up to three years. In Saudi Arabia, it’s five.

Much of Europe is now on lockdown. But can authorities actually enforce those rules?

At no time since World War II have so many nations wrestled with what it means to be in a state of emergency and how to impose fundamental and sudden changes in human behavior.

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About Cholo Brooks 14019 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.