adjective, often capitalized \drā-ˈkō-nē-ən, drə-\
1: of, relating to, or characteristic of Draco or the severe code of laws held to have been framed by him
2: cruel; also : severe
It usually has a connotation of overly harsh or severe to it, more so than is strictly necessary. Usually seen in phrases such as 'draconian measures', 'draconian rules', 'draconian laws'.
The editorial criticizes the draconian measures being taken to control the spread of the disease.
Latin Dracon-, Draco, from Greek Drakōn Draco (Athenian lawgiver)
First Known Use: 1775
Draco (/ˈdreɪkoʊ/; Greek: Δράκων, Drakōn) (circa 7th century BC) was the first legislator of Athens in Ancient Greece. He replaced the prevailing system of oral law and blood feud by a written code to be enforced only by a court. Known for its harshness, draconian has come to refer to similarly unforgiving rules or laws.
You can read further here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draco_lawgiver