Virus fortress economy cannot allow immigration or foreign students

It’s bleedin’ obvious, at the ABC:

Victoria has requested logistical support from the Australian Defence Force and help from other states as it tries to tackle an increasing number of coronavirus infections in the community.

Overnight the state recorded 20 new cases of COVID-19, following a week of increased community transmission that left health officials “worried”.

The ABC understands the Victorian Government has requested 300 ADF personnel, mainly medicos, for logistical support like helping with hotel quarantine and working in hotspot areas.

New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland have accepted Victoria’s requests for support, although the full details of what resources were being sent by each state were not clear.

“Victoria has requested the assistance of other states as we continue to ramp up testing and community awareness in key coronavirus hot spots,” a Victorian Government spokesperson said.

“This support will mean we can get even more tests done and results back quickly — and a stronger effort to remind Victorians if you are sick, stay home and get tested.”

Victoria’s requests for resources come as health authorities roll out more testing sites in six local government areas identified as coronavirus hotspots, and try to engage with multicultural communities in those areas.

Breaking down the latest news and research to understand how the world is living through an epidemic, this is the ABC’s Coronacast podcast.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said ADF personnel were already on the ground in Victoria, and there were talks about whether more could be deployed.

“The Prime Minister has been in regular discussions with Premier Andrews and the Minister for Defence about the possible further deployment of Commonwealth resources, including the ADF and their expertise, to assist Victoria to manage the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

“The Commonwealth Departments of Defence and Health are working with Emergency Management Australia to expedite a request for assistance from Victoria after the Victorian State Control Team determines what support it requires.”

There have been two separate coronavirus clusters linked to quarantine hotels in Melbourne — the Stamford Plaza Hotel and Rydges on Swanston Hotel.

Late last week Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer Annaliese van Diemen said possible social distancing breaches by security guards working at the Stamford Plaza Hotel, which housed returned travellers in mandatory quarantine, could have contributed to the outbreak.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the nation’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy had taken the issue of hotel quarantine to the medical expert panel in recent days.

The Victorian outbreak is clearly being driven in large part by quarantine failures. Can the army change that? I doubt it. In part it’s just that people cannot be trusted, via Bloomie:

People infected with coronavirus were allowed to board aircraft and travel to Hong Kong in recent days, highlighting the challenge of controlling the pandemic while governments seek the safest ways to reopen borders.

Hong Kong’s health authority said one infected passenger arrived Sunday from Manila on a Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. flight, and another was on a Cathay Dragon flight from Kuala Lumpur. Both were diagnosed with Covid-19 before they traveled. It also said 45 passengers on Emirates flights from Dubai over the weekend either were confirmed or probable cases. The airline only restarted flights to Hong Kong this month.

The infections underscore the risk of peeling back restrictions when the global pace of infections keeps accelerating. Airlines worldwide, largely propped up by government bailouts, have been lobbying to get their planes back in the air as they face more than $84 billion in losses this year.

If immigration and international students are blocked for a few years then we’ll see deflating house prices, a lower AUD and recoveries in (ex-tourism) tradeable sectors but also stronger consumption given the virus will be contained.

If immigration and international students are allowed back in the best case is constant outbreaks of the virus, lower consumption, probably still lower house prices plus a higher dollar. And there’s a very high-risk case that we’d see rolling shutdowns and domestic demand cratering.

The Australian economy can get through this reasonably well if there is no second wave of virus. But if there is a second wave it will be calamitous.

Thus, bringing in foreign students and immigrants is an asymmetric bet the wrong way.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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  1. looks like we became hostages of the virus … just like predicted

    just wait for virus to get in via freight transport, terrorism, …

      • well, it may come as a surprise to many these days, but we all die at the end and luckily average covid19 death age is not from the expected death age anyway

        • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

          Waiting for a vacinne is cargo cult thinking – the only reason I support the continued quarantine at our borders is that the short term economic harm it is doing is, imho, far outweighed by the long term social and economic benefit of have the immigration fire hose turned off.

          Ultimately the US and Sweden is where we’ll end up anyway, but given the upending of the selling citizenship economic model that has been the centre piece of all Australian economic policy for the past two decades, the quarantine is well worth maintaining.

          • I don’t really object quarantine much as long as the internal measures are removed – including internal borders.
            International tourism would stay dead anyway even if we open borders now but domestic tourism could almost offset that if internal borders get open.

            I seriously think that NSW and VIC should reconsider federation is QLD and other states keep rejecting opening borders. What’s the point of the country if not even free travel is benefit of it?

  2. But they’re just itching to open those border floodgates!
    What a dilemma, thinking SFM approval ratings, good atm, but let the virus come in and watch those ratings fall along with the infected…..then again, getting alot of pressure from his masters to open it all up and get that money moving into their pockets again……

  3. Sad to see the job cuts at the ABC, but hopefully a few of the “w0ke” employees have been fired and they can see what reality is like, having v1brants taken all their jobz.

    • NoodlesRomanovMEMBER

      Unlikely. The true believers are in charge, anyone who challenges the ‘Status Quoke’ will be the first to go. They will evolve into a more ideologically pure organisation and take another step towards being utterly insufferable.

  4. Like I said, kinda loving this virus right now for exposing bvllsh1t economies and demanding discipline instead. The govts all over the world will eventually get there… after they have exhausted all other options..

  5. BoomToBustMEMBER

    There was a news article a couple of days ago where they checked on 174 people who should have been in self isolation, yet only 13 were at home. If you are an Australian resident they should place you in a quarantine hotel and charge you for the costs. If you are not a resident they should deport you.

    Dont get me started on the musilms’s hosting gatherings for eid that are turning out to be hot spots.

  6. The defence forces have been brought to Victoria largely for their expertise in infection control. Hotels and suppliers/contractors have no clue in this regard (nor do most). The underlying problem of leakage/exemptions to closed borders is most critical – but in a corrupted political system can this be rectified?

  7. “bringing in foreign students and immigrants is an asymmetric bet the wrong way.”

    The people demanding that the govt place that bet don’t see it that way. It has always been asymmetric with a massive positive skew for them. The distribution has shifted but they still see it is a good bet for them, regardless of the impact of others. Who care’s about the medium term economic impacts if I can get another development or 2 off the books before hand? Who cares if I can still justify my $1m Chancellor salary for another 12-18 months?

    It’s like panic buying for the 1%ers, I’ll get what I need to top up my wealth and survive (i.e maintain my current relative lifestyle), F*&k everyone else.

  8. NoodlesRomanovMEMBER

    Oh boy, to see the universities return to providing education predominantly to Australian citizens. VC’s pay might have to come down a bit, and the diversity office might need a bit of a trim as well.

    • The universities would have to develop a dedicated mental health program and new safe space just to deal with the fallout from the mere examination of your suggestions (let alone implementation)!

  9. Note Affable Albo’s adorable unity offer, on energy and climate. Migration can’t be far behind.

  10. The FallMEMBER

    It’s pretty clear that elimination of the virus in Australia is the only option that is acceptable to the public. We are close to having the country split into a NSW/Vic plague zone and a Qld/WA/SA/Tas healthy zone. If NSW were smart they would be closing the border and trying to join the others leaving us in Vic to wallow in our own self-induced filth. This new outbreak is growing so fast it is very clear that we will not be able to function as a society while there is any trace of it here. Shut down, eliminate and then seal the borders as tight as we can. The Australian public will not tolerate reintroduction if we achieve elimination (which we can).

  11. Shades of MessinaMEMBER

    What a basket case of a state we live in. On so many levels.

    Perhaps as part of the OBOR agreement Chairperson Dan can get 10,000 public health workers from China to enforce the law.

    • Sad that most Victorians don’t get that. The worlds most liveable city has made you a deluded bunch.


    Seems like many folks equate the staged loosening of restrictions means the danger is getting smaller in our collective rear view mirror.
    It’s not!

    “The CDC’s most recent data, published on June 19, shows that nearly 70% of people in the U.S. who tested positive as of May 30 were younger than 60. The median age of U.S. COVID-19 patients during that time was 48, and it’s even lower in the country’s newer hotspots like Florida and Arizona, where case counts are surging.”

    Increased testing suggests a large cohort of asymptomatics who’ll continue to be ‘spreaders’ for a long, long time.
    We really should be masking up for everyone’s sake!

  13. Old Truckie mate from Goulburn is Utterly Ropable. Since the start of all this his driving day has grown over 15% because there’s so many Caravans from all over the country cluttering up the Hume Hwy on their Government Sponsored Holiday while he’s stuck in his cab. Worse than Christmas time he reckons & even less road manners. Judging by what I’m seeing on the South Coast I’d concur – we just can’t pull as a team anymore. FU – It’s all about Me, Me, Me……. That’s the only trickle down in evidence.