Morrison Government risks virus spread via international students

Via the World Health Organisation WHO:

The window of opportunity to contain wider international spread of the epidemic of the new coronavirus disease is closing, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Friday, after cases were reported in Iran and Lebanon.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, asked whether the outbreak is at a “tipping point” after new cases and deaths in Iran from COVID-19, and cases in Lebanon and Canada, said that he still believed the virus spread could be stopped.

“Although the window of opportunity is narrowing to contain the outbreak, we still have a chance to contain it,” he said.

“If we don’t, if we squander the opportunity, then there will be a serious problem on our hands,” he said.

Via The US Centre for Disease Control (CDC):

“We believe our aggressive travel precautions are working. The fact that we have been able to keep this number low [13 net cases, counting separately the 2 cases of people repatriated from Wuhan and the 18 cases of people returning from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan] is good news, especially given what we’re seeing amongst some countries in Asia that are beginning to experience community spread: this is when cases are detected in a community but it’s not known what the source of the infection was. This is being reported in Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam, as well as Hong Kong and Japan.”

“We are not seeing community spread here in the United States, yet. But it is very possible, even likely, that it may eventually happen.”

“This new virus represents a tremendous public health threat. We don’t yet have a vaccine for this novel virus nor do we have a medicine to treat it specifically.”

“We are now taking, and will continue to take, unprecedented aggressive actions to reduce the impact of this virus.”

“We are working with state local and territorial health departments to ready our public health workforce to respond to cases and the possibility that this outbreak could become pandemic.”

Via the Victorian Chief Medcial Officer:

Via the bloody-minded Morrison Government:

The travel ban has been extended for another week but federal and state chief health and medical officers have advised “there is a case for government to consider … a temporary relaxation of the travel restrictions to allow entry to a larger number of tertiary students” after February 29 if coronavirus cases in China do not blow out.

The officers cautioned that any easing of restrictions should be subject to cases levelling off in provinces outside Hubei, where the outbreak began. The advice stated there would still be a low risk of importing cases to Australia if the current characteristics of the virus were maintained.

The advice said the overall ban on foreign nationals entering Australia for 14 days after leaving China should remain in place.

“The flow of students would likely be slow, given the current number of cancelled flights and the alternative pathways into Australia already undertaken in third countries,” the committee said.

The officers advised that students allowed to return “would need to agree to self-isolation in Australia and universities would need to make arrangements to support student self-isolation”.

Coronavirus cases and deaths are continuing to increase in Hubei province but are apparently slowing elsewhere amid the Chinese government’s sweeping efforts to contain the virus’ spread.

Asked about the case for relaxing the ban, chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said it was a “risk-benefit thing that government will have to consider”.

It has already begun, via The Australian:

The federal government is relaxing travel restrictions for school students stuck in China, declaring the coronavirus is now contained in Australia.

About 760 year 11 and 12 students enrolled in Australian schools will be able to apply to get back into the country as long as they are not unwell, as as long as they have not come from the Hubei province at the centre of the outbreak. States and territories will still have the final say on whether to let students return.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said COVID-19 had been contained in Australia and the medical recommendation to the government is that the Australian Border Force continue to provide case-by-case exemptions to the travel ban from mainland China.

“In particular, that should include consideration of year 11 and 12 secondary school students from mainland China, excluding Hubei,” Mr Hunt told reporters in Melbourne on Saturday.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said it was important to get some “normality” back into the international student market.

A similar relaxation of travel restrictions will be considered for university students this week, but no decision has been made yet.

As a global pandemic shifts to centre stage, the Morrison Government is opening the border to the most badly affected country. Literally to invite in hundreds of thousands of people from the global infection epicenter, jumping the national risk exposure when the existing blockade has worked superbly.

Let’s not kid ourselves that this came from medical advice or logic. Either it is safe to open the border or it is not. You don’t experiment with kids to test the thesis. It is a political decision based upon an idea that was hatched by the Chinese Embassy, via the AFR:

A small cohort of Chinese students could soon be allowed into Australia on a test basis, as the Morrison government seeks to protect the domestic population from the coronavirus while trying to limit the damage to the education sector.

… the National Security Committee of Cabinet, acting on medical advice, agreed on Thursday to extend the ban for at least another week…But it also discussed allowing in a small number of students from China who are not from Hubei province, which is the epicentre of the outbreak.

This was alluded to in a statement released by Prime Minister Scott Morrison after Thursday’s meeting.

…Sources said the Chinese government, which is increasingly unhappy at the travel ban, has been lobbying for the option of allowing in a small number of students.

Other rentiers have chimed in. The National Union of Students has demanded the Morrison Government immediately revoke its China travel ban to enable one hundred thousand international students currently stuck in China to commence their studies in Australia:

The National Union of Students has called for the travel ban to be lifted immediately, saying it was a “heavy handed, inconsistent and discriminatory decision” that had “disproportionately affected” international students…

“The travel ban has created a situation of uncertainty, which has heightened stress and anxiety with students,” Willmott said.

“Things like their education, visa, housing and work are all affected by this travel ban and the longer it is in place the more this uncertainty grows. There are obviously already issues with international student mental health and isolation, so this situation is just exacerbating these issues.”

The largest provider of student accommodation, Scape, has also demanded the Morrison Government immediately lift the China travel ban:

Scape executive chairman Craig Carracher said he hoped the federal government would “balance the chief medical officer’s advice with economic reality” and go ahead and “open the borders, with strict rules”…

About 85 per cent of its portfolio is booked. Around a quarter of those bookings are yet to arrive, mostly due to the travel ban…

Scape generates about $1 million a week in rents across its portfolio. Were the ban to extend into March, those students would most likely not take up those rooms.

We know as well that the universities have been hammering the Government. This is a decision based upon lobbying pressure.

Even a quick glance at the Chinese data shows no medical or logical basis for opening the border. Tha statisitcs have been all over the place. The numbers obviously manipulated. MB estimates are that the pandemic is still 3x larger than reported given those with mild symptoms are systemically excluded from statistics:

The Chinese containment effort is working slowly but it has a long way yet to go before victory is clear.  Most of the country remains shut. At last count, more than fifty countries have some form of Chinese travel ban. None have been lifted. Some are still being toughened.

Maintaining public health should be the government’s number one priority, not concerns around short-term revenue losses. A few virus cases at schools and univerities and the entire education system will grind to a halt in a panic with perfectly innocent Chinese kids ostracised.

Schools and universities are petridishes for contagion. What will  be the additional costs – physical and financial – if the virus spreads into the community from there?

Aside from the risk to life and economy, it will be the Australian taxpayer picking up the enormous costs of treating the coronavirus via Medicare, not the noisy rent-seeking lobbyists demanding that Australia open its borders. A point made by Professor Salvatore Barbones over the weekend:

The coronavirus epidemic, and the travel bans it prompted, threaten to derail that particular gravy train. So it comes as no surprise that university vice-chancellors have lobbied aggressively to have Australia’s travel ban lifted for Chinese students. This, despite the fact that most have prohibited their own staff and students from travelling to China — or even to Hong Kong. And despite the fact that university studies have been suspended in China and Hong Kong themselves.

How can it be that Hong Kong and Australian vice-chancellors have come to such radically different evaluations of their ability to safely manage coronavirus exposure? In another two words: moral hazard.

Moral hazard is the expectation that organisations (and their leaders) will reap the rewards of their successes while others will bear the burdens of their failures. If the government lifts its travel ban and 100,000 Chinese students fly into Australia, university revenues will continue the robust growth that has propelled Australia up the international rankings.

But if those students introduce coronavirus into the general population, Medicare — which means taxpayers — will pick up the bill. If Australian universities were required to reimburse the government for the costs of treating any coronavirus cases that could be traced back to their Chinese students, they would probably be much less eager to lift the travel ban.

If the pandemic grows – with major outbreaks in Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy, as well as probably in Vietnam today –  the national interest response will demand policy redress for economic, national security and social fallout. Instead we have this mad notion of inviting it into the education system.

MB has chronicled the slow death of Australian public policy over the past decade. Now it may literally cost lives.

Leith van Onselen

Comments

  1. Asked about the case for relaxing the ban, chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said it was a “risk-benefit thing that government will have to consider”
    What an absolute worthless piece of crap. And this is our chief medical officer. You sellout scumbag.

    • Allowing entry again will be worse for the economy even more because people here in Aust will stop going out to dinner shopping centres, fly less etc

      • 100% I will not go to any Asian shops now, and many others will follow the same line. Parents of local students may even keep there kids from going to those schools. It’s also going to cause more extreme anger towards Asians in general and if just one case of infection happens it’s going to be game over for the Morrison government. If someone dies because they let these kids in I wouldn’t be surprised to see protests in the streets. I would hate to be an Asian in Australia now and I would hate as an Asian to own a business as even less will go.

    • I am frankly astounded by this guy Murphy.
      Pretty much everything he has said him so far has been wide of the mark.

      • He is a medical administration muppet, nothing more. Apparently a renal physician a long time ago, but has clearly lost complete touch with any clinical judgement. The Victorian CMO is much more trustworthy. PS. I’m a doctor myself.

        • So am I. He still astounds me. I expect dry clinical science from the Chief Medical Officer. Not social commentary and inaccurate prognostications.

    • Elastic, perhaps the CMO was threatened with another Secret Gaetjens Report, if he told the truth.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      We need a R2M style murder list, to distribute to the family members of those who die from this Virus, so that they may identity who to hold responsible and act accordingly.

    • Can you sue the government for wilful endangerment or wrongful death ??????
      A friend wants to know.

    • We must let Scrotovirus , and Greg hunt and Albo know thet we disagree with their opening of our borders to carriers of the Virus
      Here are their phone contacts.
      Morrison parliament office; 02 62777700
      Electoral Office.; 02 95230339
      Greg Hunt ; Parliament Off; 02 62777220
      Electoral Office; 03 59779082
      Albanese ; Parliament Office; 02 62774022
      Electoral Office. ; 02 95643588

  2. “The National Union of Students has called for the travel ban to be lifted”, I wonder what nation(al) they are referring to? Because wouldn’t an Australian organisation want what’s best for Australian students?

    • Evidently virtue signalling is more important. Even if it means imperiling your own health and the health of your family. Grandpa might get knocked off by ScoVid-19 but that’s a small price to pay for being seen as sufficiently WOKE.

        • Correct. Shows you why Big Australia will never stop.
          The Left would literally rather die than suffer a hint of a racist thought or action.
          The right will happily kill the fungible masses for profit.

    • They are Chinese nationals. The CCP has pushed for Chinese students to take over the student councils (SRCs) at most Australian unis. They have been largely successful, largely because local students are too woke to protect.

      Perhaps hundreds of their friends dying will un-woke the Aussie student body, perhaps they deserve to die?

    • I’m confused – my understanding is that many Asians here actually don’t want their fellow mainlanders coming over and infecting them.

  3. Why would the Federal Liberal Government go down this path and burn the last shred of political capital they have left. If Australian school children start dying as a result of this appallingly shortsighted decision, it will be far more than just their political careers on the line.

  4. The northern hemisphere is in lock-down coming into summer.

    Why would Scummo open the floodgates here, coming into winter?

    Mad.

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      Doing his god’s work, plus a bit of collateral damage is just the price for not being a fellow believer as him.

  5. The Australian Chief Medical Officer is compromised and is merely a CCP marionette.

    Everything he has said publicly about the virus has been primarily about anti-chineez xenophobia. He is concerned only with the interests of the Chineze students and continues to spout CCP propaganda. He is not concerned about the the health and wellbeing of Australian citizens.

    “Australia’s chief medical officer Brendan Murphy says the discrimination is unacceptable.

    On the measures put in place for travelers from China:

    “We are very concerned about xenophobia and and any sort of racial profiling which is completely abhorrent,” Murphy said. “There is no community transmission of this virus in Australia. There is no reason for people to be wearing masks, there is no reason for people to avoid anybody.”

    • Not sure why the Chief Medical Officer is proffering opinions on societal attitudes.
      His only concern should be the science.

      • Except his only actual concern is maintaining his employment and the salary that comes with it. This usually involves telling your boss what he wants to hear.

    • Murphy is a medical administration muppet, nothing more. Apparently a renal physician a long time ago, but has clearly lost complete touch with any clinical judgement. The Victorian CMO is much more trustworthy. PS. I’m a doctor myself.

  6. Id love to know what Chinese intelligence has got on various Australian politicians and medical officers

    They’ve almost certainly got something on various WHO leaders

    • That is what intelligence agencies do. The Chinese have extensive dirt files. This is how they coerce people into serving them … carrots and sticks..

    • The Corona virus outbreak is fantastically exposing just how corrupted all our organisations have become.

      Under the previous Director General of the WHO the organisation incorporated support for “traditional” Chinese Medicine. Even though there is nothing traditional about TCM and it’s responsible for the slaughter of thousands of endangered animals every year. TCM is all just made up nonsense invented to compete with the billions spent on “Western” medicine. And it was just coincidence this decision by the WHO happened when run by a Chinese Director I’m sure.

      It’s all just greed, money, and corruption as far as the eye can see.

      As always the cover was inclusiveness and diversity, and objections will be shut down by accusations of racism. Just like we are seeing here

      It’s fascinating to watch just how far our government, health, and educational institutions are willing to push up against the people’s logic and common sense!

    • Someone on this blog, a couple of days ago, actually defended the inept/corrupt Tedros. True story.

      Must have been a CCP troll

  7. Student “market” – tells you everything you need to know. Nothing to do with kids’ learning. Using the school students is an attempt to make this less obvious

    This is astonishingly stupid

    Reckon a legacy parents at these schools are going to get cranky

    “Risk benefit thing” – chortle , deary me

    • What is good for the “she’ll be right” goose is good for the “she’ll be right” gander.

      Either:
      A) the “markets” and the public health will muddle through together, or
      B) they’ll both crash and burn.

      sensible double or nothing bet by the cynical LNP. In scenario A they are heroes. In Scenario B, they wouldn’t want to govern anyway.

          • You’re overestimating the number of fcks given by the rich comfortable people in government and their even-richer backers about some toothless campaign of Facebook at twitter posts by millennials (who somehow think that this is an effective form of protest…. might as well be writing letters to Santa Claus and the tooth fairy).

            Also, is Millenials Harbor like Pearl Harbor, hence they lack of a “u”?

    • I’m generally not a prepper or prone to panic but I actually think it might be worth doing some his time. Significant supply chain disruption can cause problems very quickly.

      • this
        how often does the local supermarket restock, every 2 days, maybe 3? so 3 days maybe 5-7, until shelves empty of key stuff

        i see an opportunity for a cook book “WUFLU: how to cook amazing family meals using only kewpie mayonnaise, bamboo shoots and corn flour – you won’t believe the results!”

        • kewpie mayonnaise is the best, mix it with thai sweet chilli sauce on a chicken wrap and you’ll be in heaven.

          • or else leave off the chicken and sweet chili (blergh garlic) and stick it on haloumi, avo and other delicacies

      • Me too.
        New freezer for rice, mung bens, flour.
        Cartons of Baked beans etc.
        Seeds , fertilizer, chookfeed.

  8. the key here is to get corona virus early while there is still free spots in ICUs
    remember we have very few ICUs per capita and no ability to built anything in a year

    • Societal immunity.

      Remember that it’s the lack of societal immunity that prevented the native Americans (north and south flavours, both) from successfully holding back the European invasion.

  9. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Ok, if Ima gonna be a prepper I’d love some advice on long lasting food stuff besides just baked beans. Please advise!

    • I hear whipped cream in a can is good.
      Long lasting and provides entertainment as well as nutritional value.

    • lentils, chickpeas , pulses
      pasta
      rice – sealed
      salt
      sugar, flour, plastic sealed or in screw tops. broken into smaller containers in case one gets spoiled
      matches, lighters
      gas/lpg cans, gas stove
      torches, batteries, small solar panel for recharging
      medical supplies
      uht milk – gentlemen prefer vitasoy
      porridge: steel cut and normal oats
      stuff to make bread, bread maker
      dried fruit
      canned fruit, canned veg
      canned fish if that’s your thang
      chooks, now
      if you have a firearms license, ammo, I spose. The veneer of civility is thin

      that would be my starter list but there are some here way more betterer prepared.

      Someone made the point though, these exemptions are going to see only a few small numbers through, we think…are people going to self isolate? All sounds like a lot of what ifs to me, and trusting peeps to do the right thing

  10. And just for a laugh(!?)…

    Virologists from Boston to Britain via France and Singapore categorically asserted that Covid19 is a twice-mutated 65-year-old virus that did not originate in Wuhan….although they admitted that some elements of easy transmission were odd, in that the RNA bears resemblances in parts to the AIDS virus….the clear possibility that the virus was … a deliberate plant by another power or powers seems to have passed everyone by….The White House wants better trade terms with China. The Pentagon and NATO would like to see China castigated and weakened. Globalist energy interests and the White House would like to see Chinese output fall, thus reducing oil demand, weakening Beijing’s trade bargaining hand….Covid19 could’ve been tailor made for all those needs and desires….No nation on Earth has done more research into the AIDS virus than the US.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      65-year old virus? Well that explains it all then. The virus is a boomer!! No good can come of that.

        • Mining BoganMEMBER

          Stands to reason. Boomers have long considered gens X and Y as mutants. Wait now for the Millenial mutation to kick in…

  11. JUSTIN CARSLAKEMEMBER

    Our government couldn’t run a bath
    The cattle live export industry was shutdown for longer and that was not going to kill anyone
    The figures out of China not to be trusted when compared to the spread of the virus outside of China
    The idea of a “Temporary ” relaxation is bull dust, once the virus is wild in the population the economy is wiped out
    Or is that the whole point?

      • You can see the conundrum here: who would you rather share the country with – smug, rich boomers or young vibrants?

        Tough one

        • Mining BoganMEMBER

          Hmmm…well, I’m a smug, rich boomer who is insufferable and struggles with self-hate. I did though avoid the young Chinamen kiddies (newly arrived students?) at the koala lookout thingy yesterday.

          Can we vote for neither?

          • You can vote all you like but your voice is likely to be ignored by those nice people in Canberra who know better than you

      • Could be a fascinating subject for a PHD. Replacing 10,000 deceased with how many individuals depending on the infection rate of those imported, where they’re from and where they’ll be located the in relation to locally infected populations. Then consider the effect of export from these petri dishes back to source countries thereby increasing the infection rate of those. The only prudent action for the government is to raise immigration to at least double the current level. No need to worry about housing. Every family will be issued with a tarp, a spade and two buckets.

    • your analogy is a bit anodyne i feel

      our government couldn’t get a r00t in a br0thel sounds heaps radder, but, not so pithy

      hrrrrm

  12. Apparently around 1500 Chinese uni students entered late last week, after spending 14 days in a third country. More will arrive every day now. With the incubation period still unknown and potentially up to a month, this is it guys. All hell will break loose.

    • so this 14 days, was it in self isolation or hanging out in the bangkok ping pong clubs?

      Was there any quarantine value to this 14 days? Did any student stop coming due to symptoms?

      • There is some value in the quarantine in another country. Despite the potential 14+days incubation period, the average is only 5 days before symptoms shows up. Even if not 100% effective, if it is 95%+ on the small numbers incoming and it’ll be good enough.

        Opening up the numbers to 100k however means Australia will definitely get it.

      • Hasn’t worked out too badly for them really – hanging out in a Bangkok ping pong club for 14 days. And no one likes ping pong more than they do.

    • It seems to me this loophole in the Govt travel ban is worse than letting in 1000 high school students. After 14 days you might get some very mild symptoms, just take a dose of painkillers and any fever you might have will be low enough to pass the airport scanners. Or you could catch it in Thailand while waiting your 14 days. There were about 100k Chinese uni stuck in China by our travel ban. And apparently this 3rd country 14 day trick is very popular with them.

  13. Arthur Schopenhauer

    You got to wonder what the shut-ins on Easter Island said when their leaders chopped down the last tree?

    (Their economy needed trees to build canoes, so they could catch fish and feed the population.)

    • They were probably too busy dying of smallpox and the other wonderful diseases brought by european contact to be concerned at all with trees and such.

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        Population collapse happened before European contact. When the europeans arrived, the population was around 2000 and was further reduced by disease to 111.

  14. Display NameMEMBER

    QUESTION:

    What are your thoughts on the Chinese travel ban being used for students?

    PROFESSOR BRENDAN MURPHY:

    I think that’s a risk-benefit thing that Government will have to consider. At the moment our advice is that it should be maintained and reviewed in the next seven days. As I said, the rate of rise of cases in other provinces of China is not as great as it was before, the new case numbers seem to be growing less aggressively. So, the risk of importation from provinces other than Hubei is probably not as- not quite as great as it was before, but we need to watch that and check. So we’re reviewing that all the time to make sure that we have measures that are proportionate.

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————–

    The great hand washing begins. Does anyone believe the counts coming out of China? A week ago Xi sacked the top brass managing the pandemic in Wuhan and you can only assume that was because it was not working out well. In the last three days there have been a bunch of videos coming out of officials in Wuhan apparently welding shut apartment doors and a bunch of mobile crematoria have been trucked in. All going really well in China. FoxConn are putting out bonuses to lure workers back to work this week. Yep all good in China

    • Hey – very interesting snippet on FoxConn bonuses. THAT is what a real labour shortage looks like.

      Wouldn’t want that to take hold. TPTB will need to take steps to make sure that this disease thing doesn’t upset the status quo in terms of labour’s share of profit.

  15. When Will We Admit Covid-19 Is Unstoppable and Global Depression Is Inevitable?
    These are the characteristics of our precarious global economy – dependent on rising debt, vast speculative bubbles, vulnerable supply chains and marginal consumers and producers.
    It doesn’t take much to break a system dependent on ever-rising debt and speculation…when debt loads, speculative bets and expenses are all at nosebleed levels, the slightest decline triggers collapse.
    Put another way: the global system has been stripped of redundancy and buffers. A little push is all that’s needed to send it over the edge.

    http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/

  16. Dr John Campbell is a highly regarded authority on the COVID-19 virus. https://www.youtube.com/user/Campbellteaching/videos
    In countries where the virus becomes endemic, he expects that up to 60% of the population could become infected within a year. Up to 5% of those infected could require ICU treatment to survive. In Australia, that could be 500,000 people.
    I’m sure Scotty from Marketing is aware of this and has it covered?

  17. Is there am unlocked subset of this article I could post to facebook. The MSM is effectively totally silent – no reaction to the govt’s insanity whatsoever.

    • They know this is not popular. So they are once again protecting the government by keeping it quiet…. the did the same thing with Scummo’s Hawaiian holiday.

      • When this appeared on the Age website over the weekend there were over 100 comments. 95% were strongly opposed to the move. Not sure how long it went on until they shut down the comments.

    • The media has been told to put this on the backburner so as to:
      – not spook the horses
      – not ‘talk ourselves into recession’
      – not create a toxic xenophobic environment

      And they’ve swallowed the bait. Personally, I think the gubmint is sh*tting a brick over this. Things couldn’t be more precarious – with straya’s gargantuan debt-berg, unemployment cannot afford to tick up much, or the property market topples.

      • Too right. And to think, any other country and it would have been OK, but our largest source of filthy cash …

        This ponzi economy had to burn sooner or later, better now I say.

        But it’s not all bad – the tsunami of Indian migration hasn’t been affected. Just think of all the extra employment we are creating for the doctors and nurses looking after the Indian grandparents streaming in on family reunion visas and collecting shiny new Medicare cards as they hobble out of the immigration hall at Mascot and Tullamarine.

    • They’ve unlocked this and the other Covid 19 article below. I’m not a member and I can read and have commented on both. Feel free to post both articles.

  18. Will you still go to work in Melb or Syd CBD traveling by train if there was an out break in those cities?
    Would you still send your kids to school?

    Not sure I would. I might have to make that decision soon they way things are going.

  19. made a coronavirus joke at work as I had my Dees scarf on and was asked if I was sick
    “yeah feel cold, hope I don’t have coronavirus [yuk yuk yuk]”
    “have you been to asia”

    wait what? people still think you need to have been to asia?

    so much complacency about

  20. Caught up with a good friend over weekend who works quite high up in the medical emergency response sector (in Victoria).
    No need to identify specifically.

    Apparently they are preparing for a worst case scenario in Aus of 400,000 infections of COVID-19.

    • nice how it will stop at 400k. imagine the number of shut ins there’ll be at that point. people withdrawing from uni, schools closed. all of that.

      • I can’t see it stopping at 400k, once that many are infected how do you stop them infecting more?
        A complete lockdown of almost everyone in their homes. I really can’t see that happening in australia.

        • Well they wouldn’t want to say 4m out loud, would they? For fear of being called nutty and the consequences that follow. Easier to sell with an understated number.

  21. 20% of cases are critical/acute. This is not pneumonia. With other corona viruses, such as SARS and MERs, those that were critical, but survived were left with permanent and often debilitating organ damage. ‘Recovered’ is in fact just not dead, yet.

    • Do we know of any VCs anywhere who might be taking long service leave at the start of this year? Bet there’s a few.

  22. Luca BiasonMEMBER

    Universities have spent gazibillions in campus and student accommodation upgrades, and the projection was to recover the costs and make a profit out of their cash cows, aka international students – chiefly recruited from the geographical area where the biggest amount of hard cash is readily available. Now that it is badly backfiring, they are willing to put the entire country at risk of a pandemic – with the health and economic impact that comes with it – for the sake of their most immediate returns.
    Corporatization of higher education has dissolved whatever little was left of their integrity.
    What’s coming to the surface is the following: longer incubation periods, asymptomatic carriers, inadequate detection tools, “with almost 78,000 cases of Covid-19 now confirmed across the globe, experts say the situation will soon reach a critical threshold”; “some virus clusters have shown no obvious link to China, leaving experts struggling to determine where they started” (source: Guardian Australia) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/23/world-is-approaching-coronavirus-tipping-point-experts-say.
    Yet people like the CEO of Universities Australia are lobbying the government to arbitrarily lift the travel ban (and am sure their own links with the Australia China Business Council are totally coincidental…)

    • Unis are too big to fail in Straya that has hollowed out its economy. Anyways, I’ve got a ‘solution’ for the unis;

      ‘All the travelers from overseas are required to travel by boats. Any itinerary that is shorter than 30 days will be rejected.’

  23. i sent the below e-mail to [email protected]

    Hi Health/Government team,

    This is the first time I have felt the need to write such an e-mail. I feel that the health and safety of Australian Citizens should be the PRIMARY consideration of my elected government and health officials. I fear that this announcement, as well as possible future announcements in admitting international tertiary students are putting international relations and revenue ahead of the health and well-being of Citizens. Whatever has been said, this decision is irrefutably increasing the risk of virus infections to Australian Citizens, given that:

    – The virus has now been widely reported (including Washington Post) of having cases of incubation period of 24 days+.
    – Asymptomatic transmission of the virus is widely reported.
    – Multiple outbreaks now occurring across the globe including multiple experts warning of global pandemic being inevitable.
    – Documented “cured” cases showing signs of the virus/reinfection.
    – The death rate of the virus being over 10-20 that of the flu, especially in the elderly and those with medical pre-conditions.
    – A Vaccine is still probably 12+ months away but the virus could mutate and render the vaccine obsolete.

    Australia’s travel restrictions have done well to limit spread (Italy, Hong Kong, South Korea and Iran did not put in place restrictions as quickly as Australia, and now may be too late).

    Relaxing restrictions and accepting ANY additional people from infected regions is increasing the risk to Australian Citizens, that is certain. The HEALTH and safety of Australian Citizens should be the PRIMARY consideration. Furthermore, any basic financial/risk analysis will show that the $$$ impact to Australia if an outbreak occurs (even taking into account the slight probability increase), will be immensely greater than not admitting a few hundred students 11/12 students or a few thousand tertiary students.

    I urge the our health officials and the Australian government to reconsider this advice and announcement.

    • Luca BiasonMEMBER

      Yes all the key points are there. I would send it to all senior cabinet ministers.
      Let’s assume the ban is unduly lifted courtesy of the university sector’s petty interest, and the virus starts spreading here: aside from what you have outlined above, I wonder who will then be willing to take the responsibility for the wave of Sinophobia that is bound to follow. I am by no means advocating for it, to be crystal clear, but I don’t think it’s a far fetched scenario in this day and age.

      • This is the response I received to my e-mail:

        Dear Sir/Madam,

        I refer to your email of 24 February 2020, which was received through the Department of Health’s website, regarding actions being undertaken by Australia in response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.

        Australia is very well prepared. We already have in place border, isolation, surveillance and contact tracing mechanisms. Our health emergency response arrangements are flexible and scalable. They will be tailored to respond to the situation as we learn more about the virus and how it spreads.

        Effective from 1 February 2020, the Australian Government is denying entry to Australia to any foreign national who has been in, or transited through, mainland China during the 14-day period immediately before seeking to enter Australia. Australian citizens, permanent residents, and their immediate families are still allowed to return to Australia and should isolate themselves for 14 days from the date they departed mainland China. Border arrangements remain under review.

        In addition, Australia has well-established procedures to ensure people with illnesses travelling into the country are detected at the border. Airlines must report passengers on board showing signs of an infectious disease, including fever, sweats or chills. Biosecurity officers then meet the sick travellers when they arrive in Australia so they can assess them and take necessary actions, such as isolation and referral to hospital where required. Handheld thermometers and masks have been deployed to airports for use by biosecurity officers and public health staff to screen arriving passengers for potential signs of infection.

        To keep yourself well-informed about Australia’s response, please visit the Department of Health’s website at https://www.health.gov.au/ for the most up-to-date information and news.

        Thank you for your interest in this important public health issue. We hope this answers your enquiry.

        Best wishes,
        National Incident Room (NIR)
        Office of Health Protection
        Australian Government Department of Health
        Australian National IHR Focal Point
        E: [email protected]
        T: 1800 020 080 (24 hrs)

  24. And my response (sorry – a bit of a repeat)… Please all re-use and e-mail to [email protected] as well as anywhere else to your hearts content.

    Dear Health Operations,

    This does not answer my query. In fact the statement in your e-mail response “the Australian Government is denying entry to Australia to any foreign national who has been in, or transited through, mainland China during the 14-day period immediately before seeking to enter Australia” is now incorrect given the exception announced for year 11 and 12 students.This was the issue in my e-mail. Again restating my concerns I feel that the health well being of Australian Citizens should be the PRIMARY consideration of my elected government and health officials. I fear that this announcement, as well as possible future announcements in admitting international tertiary students are putting international relations and revenue ahead of the well-being of Citizens. Whatever has been said, this decision is irrefutably increasing the risk of virus infections to Australian Citizens, given that:

    – The virus has now been widely reported (including Washington Post) of having cases of incubation period of 24 days+.
    – Asymptomatic transmission of the virus is widely reported.
    – Multiple outbreaks now occurring across the globe including multiple experts warning of global pandemic being inevitable.
    – Documented “cured” cases showing signs of the virus/reinfection.
    – The death rate of the virus being over 10-20 that of the flu, especially in the elderly and those with medical pre-conditions.
    – A Vaccine is still probably 12+ months away but the virus could mutate and render the vaccine obsolete.

    Australia’s travel restrictions have done well to limit spread (Italy, Hong Kong, South Korea and Iran did not put in place restrictions as quickly as Australia, and now may be too late).

    Relaxing restrictions and accepting ANY additional people from infected regions is increasing the risk to Australian Citizens, that is certain. The HEALTH and safety of Australian Citizens should be the PRIMARY consideration. Furthermore, any basic financial/risk analysis will show that the $$$ impact to Australia if an outbreak occurs (even taking into account the slight probability increase), will be immensely greater than not admitting a few hundred students 11/12 students or a few thousand tertiary students.

    I urge our health officials and the Australian government to reconsider this advice and announcement.

  25. China getting ready to send the hordes

    From Aljazeera
    Four Chinese provinces lower coronavirus emergency response level
    Four Chinese provinces; Yunnan, Guangdong, Shanxi and Guizhou, on Monday lowered their coronavirus emergency response measures, local health commissions said.

    Yunnan and Guizhou cut their emergency response measures from level I to level III, while Guangdong and Shanxi lowered their measures to level II.

    China has a four-tier response system for pubic health emergencies that determines what measures it will implement, with level I the most serious.

    Gansu province was the first to lower its measures on Friday, followed by Liaoning on Saturday.