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Police crackdown as rebellious youth defy coronavirus contagion

Police crackdown as rebellious youth defy coronavirus contagion

IN Bureau

Politicians and the police in Western countries are hot on the heels of the young and rebellious who are defying self-isolation rules imposed due to mass outbreak of the coronavirus infection. While the police is breaking up parties and clearing out the beaches, politicians are issuing appeals to the young and middle-aged people not to challenge the virus by becoming carriers and spreading it among the vulnerable.

It is not just India where we had singer Kanika Kapoor hold parties and join gatherings of people after her return from the UK. From across the globe, news is coming in about groups of people who are stepping out of their homes in misplaced rebellions. Kapoor’s misadventure led the police to identify and chase hundreds of people across various states in the country who could possibly be infected with the virus.

People have been found violating prohibitions imposed on Australian beaches, young Germans are holding corona parties, Europeans are taking their pets out for walks, people in France want to congregate while college-going Americans are partying against official advice.

Some of the most outrageous incidents have been reported from Germany where young people are coughing towards the elderly people and shouting ‘corona.’ Out of misplaced notions of freedom and socializing, many young Germans are defying etiquette and restrictions by holding parties in parks. The German police broke up one such corona party organized by young people in a Nuremberg park. In a similar action, the police had to persuade nearly 50 young people in the town of Schwabach who too were partying with music in a park.

In neighboring France, the police is entering metro stations to dissuade people from travel. It is also advising people not to rush to their holiday homes in the countryside for fear of spreading the virus to other places. The police also had to confront young people in different cities and suburbs from converging in groups, where one such group of people threatened to spit on the police.

Spain, the most severely-affected countries in Europe after Italy, is using helicopters to spot people gathering in the open and breaking up the gatherings.

In a heavily publicized incident from Australia, the police closed the famous Bondi Beach after large crowds gathered there despite an official ban on crowds. Talking about beaches, even the US state of Florida made its beaches inaccessible to people after groups of college students were found partying and mixing socially. Various states in the US including New York are imposing curbs on gatherings as the number of infections is rising fast.

This comes after President Donald Trump's initial defiance and scoffing off at the virus threat. When the coronavirus was still in its initial days of spread in the country, Trump had told reporters: "Let's put it this way: I'm not concerned." But as more and more people, including the influential began to be felled by the virus, Trump changed his stance and allotted massive funding to take on, what he calls, the "Chinese virus."

(With agency inputs).