The irony: while Australia blocks fruit flies, China blocks deadly viruses
How long before China bans flights from the US, UK and Australia? Count the days…
[BBC] Travellers from countries with severe coronavirus outbreaks who arrive in some parts of China will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine, state media say.
Travellers from the virus hotspots of South Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy arriving in the capital will have to be isolated, a Beijing official has said.
Shanghai and Guangdong announced similar restrictions earlier.
Authorities are worried the virus might be imported back into the country.
Although most virus deaths have been in China, Monday saw nine times more new infections outside China than in.
Shanghai said it would require new arrivals from countries with “relatively serious virus conditions” to be isolated, without naming the countries.
Chinese official statistics suggest they are getting the outbreak under control, which is hard to believe, but they are acting like they do. If most of their population is still at risk of further outbreaks, then they would care about risky incoming flights.
Meanwhile our health ministers tell us it’s too late to stop the planes.
Cost of importing viruses *might* be more than cost of closing borders x 1000
Has the Prime Minister done the right cost-benefit calculations?
Forget the tens of thousands of deaths, pretend those lives are worthless, and add up the cost of shutting down schools, factories, public transport, sports events, conferences, concerts and everything else, because that’s not the cost of closing flights, its the cost of keeping them open. Factor in $5,000 a day for intensive care beds, plus workers staying home to look after kids, plus job losses. Include the costs of putting off most elective surgery for six months. Don’t forget people who will get sick of something else this year but will have to wait longer for help, so add some cancer patient deaths to the tally.
Ponder how much cheaper it is to live in a country free of this scourge? If Australian domestic tourists knew travel in NSW was safe, and if people in Sydney weren’t afraid to eat at Chinese restaurants, then Australian citizens could enjoy those holidays and dinners and thousands of tourist-related businesses might not go bust. If we let in risky flights then we earn two more weeks of tourism cash but maybe wipe out the small mum and dad businesses who can’t survive the cash crunch.
Australian universities are paying $7,500 to fly in students from China, who don’t even need to go through proper quarantine.
We can build holiday homes or extra hospitals. Don’t close the borders, just insist on a proper 2 week quarantine.
I can’t believe I’m hoping we can do infection control as well as China does…