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Reckless Greed: Our Universities driving coronavirus to Thailand and Australia. Israel has banned flights to Thailand. Are we next?

Trainwreck in process

Watch this interview. Write to your MP. Send letters to the Editor. Stop the flights at least for a few weeks. 

80% of Australians think closing the border was right so why is Scott Morrison undoing that?

Join these dots. Our universities took a huge bet on Chinese students that is falling apart. They’ve creamed the profits, but taken no insurance and stand to lose billions if they can’t get students to Australia — An extraordinary 65,000 of whom got caught in China by the quarantine. In China, travel agents are marketing 14 day holiday stopovers in Thailand to students, who are then flying on to Australia to get around the ban. But this is not quarantine. Thailand is open to China, and considered so risky that Israel has already banned flights from Thailand. What’s next? Australia imports the virus, tens of thousands may die, and all so the ivory tower smug academics can make their profits, while weak politicians sell out the nations citizens — especially the senior, longest serving ones?

How long before Israel bans Australian planes? We could be one the highest value clean nations in the world, waiting out our first winter of this pandemic until there is a treatment. We could be a place that wealthy tourists come to stay safe (after a two week real quarantine) and spend months of money. Perhaps we still can? Some students in Wuhan are offering to pay for a Charter Flight to Christmas Island if we’ll let them.

Martin North interviews Salvatore Babones and he is eloquently savage about the “mindbogglingly illogical” move of Australia to allow Chinese students to come in without proper quarantine. h.t David E.

Is Scott Morrison selling out the nations health for arrogant academic investors?

Read Australia’s glorious preparedness plan for Coronavirus it’s as Babones said — “56 pages of platitudes” — the plan Scott Morrison and Greg Hunt waved so passionately today is a recycled seasonal flu plan. It lacks almost all useful details barring advising people in Aged Care to get their Wills in order. (h.t Bill H)

Where are the Labor Party? Whining about sports allocations (minor junk pork barrelling). They could be scoring major points for senior citizens, the sick, the vulnerable. Or are they under the thrall of the Big-Government-loving universities  even more than the Liberals are?

His reports:


Salvatore Babones is an expert on the academic sector and points out how extreme the gamble has been by Australian universities. The most “Chinese” university in the US is Uni of Illinois, with 5,700 students. Uni of Sydney has four times as many students as this. The Uni of Illinois were so worried about that exposure they took out insurance with Lloyds of London against exactly this kind of event. He warned Uni of Sydney six months ago, but they didn’t buy the insurance. And there are many universities in Australia in a similar position. They took the taxpayer dollar, and took the profits but now that trouble has come, they want the government and the people to bail them out and foot the bill — with their health, even their lives.

$6b is at risk in Mining Tourism and Education, but it’s Education that is desperate for a bail out and to open those borders:

The mineral sector is not putting public health at risk…

The Tourism sector was highly dependent on China, but no one is talking of rerouting tourists through secondary nations to keep that alive.

The people pushing hardest on the politicians to risk Australians health are the smug ivory tower academics who recklessly bet too much on this.

The two week unsupervised holiday in Thailand is not a quarantine. Thailand is not wealthy, but is one of the only countries still allowing Chinese flights. It’s only kept its border open because of pressure from China. Australian universities are exploiting that “loophole”.

 Coronavirus’ sickening consequences

Tim Dodd, The Australian

Chinese travel agents are marketing bespoke “14-day, 13-night” packages to third-country transit destinations to help Chinese ­students enrolled at Australian universities get around the federal government’s coronavirus ban for as little as $2700 each.

Agents said the packages, which are being micro-targeted on Chinese social media, are selling well, as almost 65,000 Chinese students look for ways to get around the federal government’s travel ban on all non-Australian citizens and non-permanent ­residents coming from mainland China. “Thailand and Malaysia are the top two choices. Next is Cambodia,” said an education agent in Beijing.

Scott Morrison imposed the travel ban on February 1, when ­almost two-thirds of the 109,000 Chinese students enrolled in ­Australia were in China for the Lunar New Year break. Estimates suggest the ban could cost universities up to $2bn in deferred fees.

Stopping flights for a few more weeks — and from other locations too — will buy us time to find out more about this virus before we decide what to do for winter. Singapore and Hong Kong appear to be managing the virus, and we were containing it, perhaps with some help from summer — which ends today.

Do the maths

Look behind the marketing — for most people it’s like a cold. True – but for 5 – 10% it’s a hospital stay, and for 70 – 79 year old people in China it’s an 8% case fatality rate. In the 80 plus cohort 15% passed away. The death rate will be lower — the Chinese didn’t test the non serious cases who stayed home. The air is polluted in Wuhan and rates of smoking are high. But the rate of hospitalization for health workers was 15% too. Even  a few young healthy nurses and doctors have died (which happens with the flu sometimes too). Does this virus leave lasting lung damage or scarring? We don’t know. Can people develop immunity to it?  Another mystery. Is the Iranian version more deadly?

Flu kills 0.1% but we have antivirals, vaccines, and partial immunity thanks to other strains. This is not the flu.

If this was blight on wheat, would we let it in?

Winter is coming.

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