MY MUM AND DAD HAVE GONE
... now no-one wants to come near me
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
He needs you to cuddle him but you can’t. He doesn’t understand that ‘dead’ means gone forever and why only people wearing white rain coats and masks without smiles dare approach him... this is the real tragedy of Ebola.
It has the world spooked, searching for solutions and wary of helping. I know many disagree with me, but the thought of placing travel bans on affected African countries is frightening and could have horrific consequences.
Place a travel ban on one country and those at risk will simply move to another country and they will keep moving until all of Africa is travel-banned.
Then a bus trip north and it’s a smuggler’s row-boat to Europe where you can travel anywhere. Spain has already notified one case of Ebola
Liberia is surrounded by almost 50 borderless African countries and the virus has already crossed into neighbouring Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast. The first thing we should do is isolate those affected and help them before it spreads further.
People will travel by any means to anywhere to avoid death. Note the three million refugees who have fled from Syria and Iraq.
There are thousands of Westerners already helping in Liberia including four thousand US troops and a dozen aid agencies. Those good people are more at risk than anyone! Are they to be travel-banned also?
Relying on a passport to say where a traveller has been is pointless if he/she has more than one passport. Nigeria will supply a handful of passports within 24 hours, if you have the money, and visas can be applied for at a point of departure where no travel ban is imposed.
The reason the death rate is so high in west Africa is that sufferers are unable to be treated, or afraid to seek treatment, and no-one is capable of imposing effective quarantine procedures anyway, Liberia simply doesn’t have the facilities. The West does!
Abbott has this difficult one exactly right and Plibersek appears a naive fool. We cannot send people there because we cannot get them out and we can’t expect other closer countries to risk infection on our behalf.
A travel ban should not be imposed. We should financially assist and be prepared to help in any regional outbreak. If people do arrive here with suspected symptoms we need them to freely disclose it so we can know the source, confine it and deal with it, we have the facilities!
We need to know if they have departed from exposed countries, not have it obscured from us.
For a travel ban to be effective, we would need to ban travel from every country because people can arrive here from anywhere in the world with or without Ebola symptoms, not only from west Africa, and we would also need to ban all Australians leaving Australia.
Now that’d work!
No responsible nation will impose a travel ban as it will only drive Ebola underground encouraging non-disclosure of the virus, how and where it was contracted and invite apparently unaffected travellers to lie about where they departed from.
And those things are exactly what we need to know now more than ever.