Looking to the model for beating the coronavirus

Are we willing to trade public health for greater surveillance and intrusion into our private lives?

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An excellent piece from Channel Four News last night pointed to where we should be looking for a way out of our current predicament:

How South Korea became the ‘model’ for beating the coronavirus | channel4.com

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The VGS news pages have looked at the South East Asian democracies and how they have dealt with the coronavirus – which meant thorough testing and control of the movement of the population:

The West Country tells tourists to ‘Stay at Home’

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While there has indeed been alarm at the movement of people from towns into the relative safety of rural areas – whether Lombardy or Devon – it is probable that in the West we would not tolerate the level of state surveillance which is allowed in the likes of South Korea:

Privacy activists fear the UK might spy on its own citizens to tackle COVID-19. Here’s what we know. | businessinsider.com

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Some six years ago, there was considerable outcry at government proposals to allow the sharing of medical records both locally and nationally:

Futures Forum: The pros and cons of sharing medical information

Futures Forum: NHS Care.data >>> How much data should be shared? >>> And who with?

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And yet the UK has more CCTVs per head of population than China – despite a decrease in crime over the past decade:

Futures Forum: CCTV and crime in Sidmouth

Futures Forum: CCTV ‘to catch criminals and protect vulnerable citizens’ … And yet, ‘Sidmouth has the lowest figures of actual crime, but the highest fear of crime anywhere in the UK.’

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So, are we willing to trade public health for greater surveillance and intrusion into our private lives?

Meanwhile, the US President has asked the South Koreans for the emergency provision of test kits. However, “there’s no Number Ten on the call log:”

Jonathan Miller, Foreign Affairs Correspondent at Channel Four, put together an excellent report yesterday:

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How South Korea became the ‘model’ for beating the coronavirus

A month ago, South Korea suffered what was far-and-away the biggest coronavirus outbreak outside China.

The government adopted what it called a “maximum action” policy to curb the spread and it looks like it has worked. South Korea has been hailed by the World Health Organisation as a model for others to emulate.

How South Korea became the ‘model’ for beating the coronavirus | channel4.com

   
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