Isolation and quarantine in South Africa during COVID-19 : draconian measures or proportional response

Moodley, K. ; Obasa, A. E. ; London, L. (2020-04-23)

CITATION: Moodley, K. & Obasa, A. E. 2020. Isolation and quarantine in South Africa during COVID-19 : draconian measures or proportional response? South African Medical Journal, 110(6), doi:10.7196/SAMJ.2020v110i6.14842.

The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za

Article

In the midst of an unprecedented public health crisis, extraordinary containment measures must be implemented. These include both isolation and quarantine, either on a voluntary basis or enforced. In the transition from voluntary to mandatory isolation, conflicts arise at the intersection of ethics, human rights and the law. The Siracusa Principles adopted by the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 1985 and enshrined in international human rights legislation and guidelines specify conditions under which civil liberties may be infringed. In order for isolation processes in South Africa to claim legitimacy, it is important that these principles as well as national laws and constitutional rights are embedded in state action.

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