Military deployed to enforce quarantine orders

The military have been called in. Photo: ABD

The Australian military is now gearing up to enter the COVID-19 ‘war’, in what could be a sign that tougher restrictions are on the way — confirming suspicions about the possibility of martial law.

From today, all those returning to Australia will be placed in “supervised self-isolation, in a hotel or other government-approved facility”, with the army deployed across all states and territories to assist governments with enforcement measures.

On Friday evening, it was reported that top personnel had issued a military-wide edict, effectively putting the army on notice to soon be deployed on coronavirus duties.

Defence have already established “contact tracing teams” to work with governments across the country to limit the number of new infections from “identified patients”.

Personnel have also began providing logistics, communications and medic support at three new restricted border control locations on highways across the country.

About 3000 people expected to arrive in Sydney today, and will be ‘assessed’ by health officials before being taken to hotels by border authorities. Family members advised to not pick them up.

Interestingly, with little fanfare, military personnel this week formally ended their bushfire operations that had begun months before the peak of Australia’s devastating summer.

At present, some state police have the power to issue fines of $1000 to individuals and $5000 to businesses that breach public health orders, including selective powers to arrest and detain citizens.

Australia’s military force is 30,000 strong with another 13,000 reserves. The Prime Minister assured citizens the army will not have the power to prosecute or arrest individuals — just yet.

Despite this, on the ground reports paint an uncomfortable picture of what could soon become an indefinite normality in the life of Australians moving forward.

Australians who have returned from overseas today have been forced on to buses, under the watch of police and the ADF, and sent for quarantine at a Sydney hotel. They say they are living in “prison-like conditions”.

Military watches over in Sydney. Photo: Edwina Pickles
Photo: Edwina Pickles

Currently, 300 Australians who were stranded on the Norwegian Jewel cruise ship and are now in strict quarantine.

42-year-old Amber Hammond described the conditions inside as “abysmal”, saying she and fellow passengers are being treated like “criminals”:

“We are not allowed out of our rooms, even with masks and keeping a 1.5 metre distance. We are not allowed to open our doors except to get food. We are not allowed to get any fresh air and the windows do not open.”

The passengers are quarantined and locked in their hotel rooms, without any access to fresh air. 

Others say they have attempted to order food for delivery, only to be told they are not permitted to have meals in the hotel. They have been told it is deemed a ‘health risk’ by the medic team.

Another man shared a photo of a pile of rubbish, including food scraps, that he left outside the door of his room two days ago, but are yet to be cleared. 

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian urged returning Australians to be patient as officials rolled out the new measures:

“We draw a line in the sand from midnight. The police are in charge of managing the operations, along with the ADF and border force. And we want to make sure that we keep our community safe by making sure the people adhere to strict isolation measures.”

Once this restriction is implemented, family and friends of arriving international passengers have been advised they should not attempt to greet them or pick them up.

Although enforcement measures currently only apply to international returnees, many are asking the question: How long before these new rules are expanded and applied to the greater population?

Martial law is defined as “the imposition of direct military control of normal civilian functions by a government, especially in response to a temporary emergency, such as invasion or major disaster, or in an occupied territory”.

Does this type of scenario sound at all familiar to you?

Armed forces are already being used around the world to help health officials with lockdowns and public order compliance during the COVID-19 ‘crisis’, including in the UK, US and Italy.

Articles have emerged in the US suggesting the military will be deployed to stop ‘civil disturbances’ amid the COVID-19 lockdown, and this has already been done in countries such as Malaysia.

In Australia, informed citizens are beginning to question how this country’s path will continue to mirror with ongoing sequences of events in the international community.

So far, we have seen a state of emergency declared in multiple states, allowing each respective Health Minister to do ‘whatever is necessary’ to ‘contain the spread’. This includes activation of the highly controversial biosecurity laws passed in 2015.

Since early March, one of the country’s senior military leaders, Lieutenant-General John Frewen, has headed up a new COVID-19 taskforce created by Defence to ‘manage pandemic response’.

Defence taskforce personnel have been wargaming all possible scenarios, including potential circumstances were the military may be asked to help control law and order during the pandemic.

The Australia Defence Association has noted that since Federation, the military has only been called on to help police three times, and the situation remains ‘manageable’ at the current stage.

Suburb-by-suburb lockdowns are expected next, including increased monitoring of suspected “red zones”, which will not only intensify further restrictions against those who question the chain of events, but also continue build the unfolding grand narrative of the ‘invisible enemy’.

The world could be seeing the unfolding of an unprecedented evolution of human life as we know it.

We will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Forced coronavirus quarantine for all people returning to Australia | ABC News

Australian Army Reservists asked to prepare for coronavirus battle | 7 News Australia

Australians in quarantine at Sydney hotel describe ‘prison-like’ conditions | SBS News

Martial Law: Enforcing the COVID-19 Narrative | TOTT News

Top Australian Army general to head military taskforce to manage coronavirus outbreak | ABC News

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