The Supplementary budget this year was established on April 30th and the special benefit that is uniformly paid 100,000 yen to all Japanese nations has started the procedure of payment. The government requested each municipality to deliver the benefit during May but the benefits are not still paid to Japanese nations and it is really difficult to foresee when things will turn out.
Moreover, although two weeks has already passed since the emergency declaration was applied to all the prefectures on April 16th, the number of victims of Covid-19 has increased. According to the Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare, the number of infections is 14,088, the number of deaths is 430 and the number of enforced PCR tests is 273,854 as of May first.
While economic activities have been restricted for long time, there are a lot of voices that criticize the Japanese government taking too much time to take appropriate measures for coronavirus compared to other countires. But, we Japanese don’t know how other contries is like. Let’s see what the current circumstance of other countires are and what prospects after pandmic in other coutnreis are from now in terms of Italy, England, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Korea. * the following data is referred as of May first
- 1 Italy, imposing a strict curfew, the offendor of a curfew is punished with high fine
- 2 The Uited Kingdom , announcing employment compensation prior to “Lock Down”
- 3 The United States, starting online classes right after closure of school
- 4 Canada, compensating for all companies and nations
- 5 New Zealand, taking the initiative in putting infected people into quarantine in the early stage
- 6 Conclusion
Italy, imposing a strict curfew, the offendor of a curfew is punished with high fine
Italy, populated 60 millions 36 hundreds nations is the third largest coronavirus infection country in the world. The number of infected nations is 205,463 and the number of deaths is 27,967, which is the largest number of victims in Europe. The number of PCR tests which has been enforced so far are 1,900,000 cases.
The more infected people increase, the stricter the curfew and regulation become. No essential and no urgent outing has been all prohibited, including even going for a walk around the neighborhood. People can’t even take out foods from restaurants but they just go shopping within extremely limited area. There is no one outside walking around.
If you want to be outing, you need to download a certificate form from the government website and you take with a certificate on which your outing purpose is written in detail. Police will check if your outing is reasonable enough to be essential or urgent. If you violate this regulation, you are punished with high fine by the authority.
The prime Minister, Cotnte announced the medical and economic support measures that costs 25 billion Euro. He decided injecting 400 billion Euro into companies and sole proprietors which is equivalent of 4 percent of Italy’s Gross Domestic Product.
The government claims companies to freeze unemployment procedure temporarily and guarantees postponement of tax payment for maximum 2 months towards the companies that reduce revenue.
In Italy, there is a system that the government compensates for workers’ salaries when the performance of the company deteriorates. So, people who work for a certain company are not really worried about unemployment. If the company concluded employment contract on indefinite period with the employee, the company that dismisses the emoloyee without any justifiable reasons would be punished.
Sole proprietors including freelances can be paid 600 Euro for maximum 3 months from April. In addition, the government issues coupon for babysitters and extension of childr-care leave. However, some people say it is quite difficult for unemployed people to make a living with 600 Euro a month .
The government of Italy eased curfew from May second on the grounds that the mortality and the rate of infections has started reducing slightly. The government gave permission to go in to public parks and take out foods from restaurants. It shows the policy to restart economic activities step-wisely. Moving far away is regulated continuously and school will be also continuously closed until September.
People really want to be outing but they are really anxious if the second pandemic wave would come over while they run out of vaccine. Actually, there are a lot of people who insist that curfew and other restrictions should be continued until seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of pandemic. People also think skeptically that if economic activities in Italy restarted, it wouldn’t return back to normal life as before.
The Uited Kingdom , announcing employment compensation prior to “Lock Down”
The UK populated 66.65 million people, that is said to run after the situation in Italy three weeks late, has 171,253 infections and 26,771 deaths. These numbers are closing in on the situation in Italy. The number of enforced PRC tests was over 900,000.
The government of the UK initially took a strategy that it expected people to develop tolerance against coronavirus by 60 percent of nations infected by coronavirus as of March. However, the UK, by a sudden turn, started tightening the regulations against the pandemic on April 23rd ,and made an announcement of “Emergency Declaration” and has gone into “Lock Down”. All the stores except for the one selling bread-and-butter goods basically closed down. Gathering over three people in a public place is prohibited and outing for exercise is restricted once a day.
“Lock Down” made all the restaurants close down and two major supermarkets shorten the opening time.
The prime minister, Johnson, declared that the government would invest 350 billion pounds which is equivalent of 15 percent of GDP of the UK prior to enforcement of “Lock Down”. The government announced the maintaining employment system that will compensate labors absent from work temporarily for maximum 2500 pounds, which is 80 percent of their salary, for maximum 3 months. This system will be also applied to sole proprietors including freelances.
Moreover, the UK has the special benefit system for low income people, called “Universal Credit” which is combined unemployment insurance and life support funds. From the day of “Lock down” to April fourth, there were already a million people who applied for this special benefit system.
Others, there are insufficient medical protective clothes in the UK. Public health centers and hospitals in the UK call for checking people’S symptom with interview sheets online if they are suspected of having infection right before making a call to a hospital.
One of the major supermarkets in the UK attempts to support medical worker’s shopping necessaries of life like it treats only NHS staff and old people to preferentially do their shopping for 1 hour in the morning time and also deliver foods and necessaries to them.
Charity organizations keeps supporting to homeless and similar low income people whom the government support doesn’t reach out to and the government of the UK pays some benefits to this kind of organization. Free medical care and compensation can be applied to all the people living in the UK regardless of the nationality.
On the other hand, salary compensation which was announced before the enforcement of “Lock Down” has just started accepting application on April 20th, some people are concerned if some company will go bankruptcy before the benefit is paid. Foreigners working in the UK with a work visa will be turned adrift in the streets if the company goes bankruptcy.
The UK announced extension of Lock Down period for additional 3 weeks on the grounds that the infection rate hasn’t reduced as of April 13th. The government suggested rushing to ease the restrictions has the risk of incurring the second pandemic wave. It manifested 5 conditions that is necessary to ease the restrictions. It has a policy to judge if more extension of Lock Down needs to be enforced under the consideration with scientific data.
The United States, starting online classes right after closure of school
The USA, populated 328.2 million people, has the largest number of deaths and infections by Covid-19 in the world. The number of infected people is 1,069,242 and deaths is 62,996. The number of enforced PCR tests was 6,231,182.
The city in the USA having the largest number of deaths is NYC, which has exceeded 18,000.
The president, Tramp declared “National Emergency” on March 13th. However, a curfew and business suspension request is restricted based on the judgement of each state.
With announcement school closure as a start, people freaked out and some were cornering the market. Some states put curfew on April third.
School has started online classes right after a curfew was imposed by the government. Households without internet environment are delivered papers used in classes.
Classes in school weigh more importance on speed than quality. There is a mood that “we start from what we can do”.
The president, Tramp, announced he allotted 50 billion dollars to expansion of medical examination and treatment on March third. He arranged that American nations could receive medical treatments and PCR tests of coronavirus for free even without medical insurance.
Moreover, 2 trillion dollars scale economic measures were enacted on March 27th. It was announced that 1,200 dollars per person whose income is less than the 75,000 dollars a year and 500 dollars per child was paid. In addition, freelances and gig economy labors who undertook a one-off job from Uber and other internet companies are also subject to receiving unemployment insurance.
The benefit is automatically transferred to people’s savings accounts based on the information of tax return last year so people don’t need to apply for receiving the benefit. For those who don’t have savings account, a check for 1,200 dollars will be sent.
Tramp administration has been adopting the strict policy against immigrants. Immigrants were naturally concerned about the risk of deportation and exposure of illegal immigration by CPR tests. There are also people who think skeptically if the CPR test proved positive, it might interfere getting permanent status. With fear of these risks, immigrants don’t positively undergo the CPR test and this situation is increasing the cases of spread of infection and mortality. Moreover, especially, because the mortality of African Americans has enhanced, there is an indication that the structural problem of the American society is directly connected to race discrimination in terms of life and death.
Canada, compensating for all companies and nations
Canada, populated 37.59 million people, has 54,457 infections and 3310 deaths. The number of enforced PCR tests in Canada was 779,613. Half the number of deaths concentrates the state of Quebec.
The prime minister, Trudeau announced the government would contribute 82 billion dollars for corovirus measures which is more than 3 percent of Canada’s GDP. On April 25th, eventually, it decided increasing the supplementary budget from the initial budget to 107 billion dollars.
The government compensates workers of all the companies and NPOs whose revenue decreased by 30 percents for 75 percents of their salaries for 3 months. Moreover, it pays 2,000 dollars to all sole proprietors including freelances losing income for maximum 4 months. The government started accepting online application for the benefits on April 6th. The benefits were given to 7,550,000 people for 10 days. Child benefits were initially 300 to 400 dollars per child but it increased by twice.
In spite of extended compensation and rapid response to the crisis, unemployment rate has been already going up. Especially, there are a lot of foreign residents with working holiday visa, dismissed by the companies they worked for in Vancouver. Their main job for their living in Canada is restaurant’s waiter and waitress. Because they are not in stable regular full-time position, they are the target of dismissal at the very beginning of financial difficulties.
Of course, compensation can be also applied to foreigners coming to Canada by working holiday visa but so many of working holiday makers went back to their countries because there were no jobs
Canadian government also makes other measures fulfill as related to Covid 19
- Moratorium of repayments for student loan for 6 months
- Payment of emergency student benefits
- Preparation of homeless care programs
- Support for sufferers of domestic and sexual violence
- Setting consultation window for children
- Support of Canadian native’s communities
In Canada, mortality by Covid-19 has weakened after April 20th. The state of Ontario announced it would ease restriction step-wisely by dividing easing level into 3 stages. It sets observation period to each stage of easing levels for 2 to 4 weeks in order to aim for completely restarting economic activities.
New Zealand, taking the initiative in putting infected people into quarantine in the early stage
New Zealand is the only country that took the initiative in putting infected people into quarantine in the very early stage when the number of infected people was less than 10.
New Zealand, populated 4,950,000, has 1,479 infections and 19 deaths. Half of the deaths was brought by mass infection at one old people’s welfare facility. The number of enforced PCR tests was 139,898.
New Zealand government has started putting entrants in quarantine for two weeks since March 15 when the number of infected people was less than 10. The prime minister, Ardern announced 4 pandemic alart level and she explained the details. The pandemic alert level then was 2.
New Zealand, one of the greatest tourism-oriented countries, revealed 12.1 billion NZ dollar-scale economic support measures prior to immigration restrictions on March 19th
The government compensates companies, whose revenue decreased by 30 percent, compared with the same month of the last year for worker’s 3-month salary, supports airline industry, raises the benefits to socially vulnerable and supports school expenses as student can continue studying.
If you are applicable to one of these supports, you have the right to receive it regardless of your nationality and types of visa status.
On March 23rd, the pandemic alert level was raised to 3 and on March 25th, the pandemic alert level was raised to 4 which is the highest level. Work visa and tourist visa are automatically extended for 6 months to avoid them from being expired. The special website established by the New Zealand government provides news related to Covid-19 in 28 languages including sign language.
The prime minister, Ardern often streams live on Facebook to answer the question from citizens and children. She is also positively trying to reflect requests from them on political measures of coronavirus.
The prime minister, Ardern, having two-year-old daughter, joined “bear hunt”. This is an activity to display a Teddy bear by the window for children to be able to enjoy going out for a walk. The prime Minister always appeals to citizens that “don’t turn aversion to anyone but always be kind to people. ”
The government revealed the results of enforcement of random PCR tests in major cities, which showed no new infected people were newly discovered. Currently NZ keeps the number of infections in low single digit every day and the government lowered the pandemic alert level to 3. Restaurants has restarted take-out business partially and school has also started on a reduced scale.
The prime minister, Ardern said, “we are about to restart economic activities but we don’t restart social meeting.”
She repeatedly called for citizens not to get out of “household bubble” (people you live with).
The contents of political measures taken by each country for coronavirus pandemic can’t be easily comparable between countries because of different social backgrounds there. However, the whole world confront coronavirus pandemic .
If people hope the coronavirus situation goes away as early as possible, sharing information between countries to find the best solution will be a must.