The Irish government getting into this deeper and deeper and the mess is getting worse and worse. The 12-day Hotel Quarantine from Level 2 countries (Countries with high-risk status because of Covid infections) is allegedly to protect Ireland from travellers who are carrying the virus into Ireland.
Oddly it was decided that no testing is enough, people from 33 countries have to quarantine even if they had negative PCR tests from before they left and from after arriving in Ireland. The 33 countries are a weird collection of mainly poorer countries with only one single European country among them. Austria seemed to get little love from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, because they found themselves on this strange list.
But it is getting worse and worse. On Thursday 01 April (allegedly not April Fool’s joke!) another 26 countries were added to the list. The countries are
Albania, Andorra, Aruba, Bahrain, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Ethiopia, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Serbia, Somalia and Wallis and Futuna Islands.
Isn’t that a strange list again? Bonaire? Sint Eustatius and Saba (I don’t even have a clue where that is!) or Wallis and Futuna Islands??
For a moment, let’s assume that they are super dangerous Covid countries. A silly idea, but let’s assume:
I am not sure if you have learned the arrivals information of Dublin airport off by heart, but I BET that you will have never seen Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba or Wallis and Futuna Islands on the arrivals screen. And if there is no direct flight then every passenger coming from there might or might not actually come from there and definitely will have to pass through some other country which is then the actual country the passenger is deemed to have come from. So without direct flights, the inclusion of these countries already doesn’t make sense.
But now let’s have a look at their population and Covid situation.
Bonaire has 20,100 inhabitants, Sint Eustatius and Saba have 3,138 and 1,933 inhabitants and the Wallis and Futuna Islands have 11,500 inhabitants.
Well, it turns out that Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba are three different islands that are together called “Caribbean Netherlands” and together they 1,462 cases and 12 deaths. That is 54,112 cases per 1 mio population and 417 deaths per 1mil population. Interestingly, the Netherlands, which are NOT on the list, have 75867 cases per 1 mio and they have 968 deaths per 1 mio. (All figures are from the start of the pandemic.) Ireland has 946 deaths per 1 mio.
So Caribbean Netherlands are on the quarantine list, but the Netherlands are not? Why would that be? Ohhh, the Netherlands are in the EU and Caribbean Netherlands not!?
And you probably guessed that Wallis and Futuna are not looking too bad either. 37,000 cases per 1 mio and 361 deaths per 1 mio. (Their total number of deaths is actually just 4.) A THIRD of the deaths per 1 mio than Ireland, but Wallis and Futuna are a danger zone!!! VERY odd!
So how do they compare with some of the European countries? In all cases, the first number is the cases per 1 mio and the second number is the deaths per 1 mio.
France 72,523 / 1,473
Italy 60,088 / 1,827
Germany 34,200 / 922
Spain 70,376 / 1,615
UK 63,878 / 1,861
and just for comparison again:
Caribbean Netherlands 54,112 / 454
Wallis and Futuna 37,000 / 361
That quarantine list makes sense, right??? NOT!!!!!!!!
There is a slight weakness in the numbers above: I used total number of cases and total number of deaths since March 2020 as provided by www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries and it is possible that the Covid activity right now appears to be a lot higher and it was averaged out over the year. But if there is a TOTAL of 4 deaths it doesn’t look MADLY dangerous.
An interesting article here www.rte.ie/news/coronavirus/2021/0401/1207372-quarantine-donnelly/ describes that Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney got France, Germany and Italy taken off the list for POLITICAL reasons.
So if anyone claims that the hotel quarantine measures are there to protect Ireland, they are wrong. IF that was the intention then every country that currently has any Covid cases should be on the list. No matter where this country is! And then country by country should be checked and taken off the list if the cases/deaths numbers are below a clearly defined and publicised threshold.
The list is a purely political list that shows even a degree of xenophobia and discrimination towards poorer countries and countries we have less contact with. The UK should DEFINITELY be on the list. The USA should be! Estonia and a few other Eastern European countries seem to struggle with Covid in a bad way right now and that would justify putting them on it.
And then the RTE article adds another component:
“Speaking on Highland Radio today, Mr Coveney said: “This is primarily about Irish people coming home … should we be putting them into a hotel and charging them for the privilege?””
Ohh, so the list is NOT to protect against a virus, but it really is just to keep foreigners out? Or rather: If it affects our own, then we can’t expect them to pay for a stupid hotel quarantine that won’t make any difference anyway. But if it is foreigners from Wallis and Futuna or from Brazil or South Africa, then we let them bleed?
And finally: The first thing that should have been done IF it was about a virus, is to close the border to Northern Ireland, because you can STILL fly into Belfast and drive to Dublin to avoid the Hotel Quarantine completely.
Smoke, screen and mirrors!!! Do not trust any politician or any NPHET member. There are hidden agendas everywhere.