A friend from the USA was concerned after reading that Mauritius is now under a draconian “Level 4” CDC warning to American citizens not to travel to Mauritius due to Covid danger here. This is not the first time the USA has given out ludicrous warnings about Covid in Mauritius. In fact, the warning was perhaps more ridiculous still, last time. ** It was never retracted or justified, but remains a howler.
In reply to the friend, I attached the cartoon by POV in L’Express of 15 January to help him understand where the “US travel advisory” may have come from, so to speak. Before Covid, I told him, there was another factually defective health warning about not visiting Mauritius because of “malaria” that had been eradicated half a century earlier! When the CDC was confronted about the lie, it put out a “correction”, blaming a typo, “Mauritius” for “Mauritania”. Any lame excuse would do. Once the harm intended to Mauritian tourism was done. It was intended as a warning at the time, I explained to my friend, to the Mauritian State not to go ahead with the international court cases for redress on the military occupation of Diego Garcia. But the Mauritian government did anyway, and won, and the occupation has duly been declared illegal. But the US is still sore.
I translated the text of the cartoon (attached on our Facebook page) from yesterday’s newspaper - quite a pro-USA newspaper I told him, its editor even being a former Pentagon and then AfriCom employee. But as I told him, cartoonists, like the “Clowns” in Shakespearian theatre, benefit from a certain freedom to tell the truth. I told him that the Mauritian fisherman in the cartoon is saying to the US armed forces soldier on Diego Garcia: “PSST! Get out of here: your Administration advises you against being here.”
So, the USA, like the UK, is imprisoned in its own fury that the Mauritian government inflicted a humiliating defeat on it at the ICJ and the UN General Assembly, and now in January at ITLOS, where the judgement is binding. This I explained is a particularly sharp thorn in the US’s side at a time when it is speechifying so loudly about China needing to “respect international law”. This is a case of “labu monk lamar”.*
Then I went on to set the picture straight, comparing the Covid situation in Mauritius with what Americans would face in the USA on their way to the Airport to get out of the USA:
No of Covid CASES per 1 million population
This is 12 times higher in the USA than in Mauritius.
Covid Deaths per 1 million pop
This is well over 50 times higher in the USA than in Mauritius.
I explained that part of this difference is indeed because Mauritian people gained total control of the epidemic, containing it during the first wave (by public health methods, literally eradicating it temporarily) and thus skewing the overall figures for the present. But even with that being true, look at active cases as percentage of population, as compared between the two countries:
Active Cases as % of population
For Americans, it would be three times more dangerous, I explained to my friend, just to get to the airport in the USA on the way out here than it would be once an American actually arrived in Mauritius. So much for the CDC’s Level 4 warnings! Does the CDC realize the degree of its ridiculousness? I asked my friend this, genuinely interested. Is the CDC so arrogant as to think the truth does not count? Mauritius or Mauritania? True or false? It makes no difference? All that counts is that might is right? Hard to fathom.
I explained that vaccination statistics don’t help the CDC explain anything either. Mauritius’ vaccination statistics are not too bad:
Total of fully vaccinated people as % of total population, as on 15 September 2021:
USA 54% (Mayo clinic figure).
Total % of those eligible in Mauritius, who are vaccinated = 80% -- Mauritius has not yet started vaccinating the under 18s, though the USA has. Mauritius is due to start next month.
I told my friend he was right, though, to be worried about Mauritius – especially in the medium term – even though the CDC warning is a bizarre figment. The pandemic is not yet over. It is in the transition to becoming endemic, kept within manageable limits only by vaccination, combined with social distancing, masking up, and a lot of through draft indoors.
* Literally: Mud mocking marshland.
** On 2 January 2021 on our website we wrote: ‘With the USA being the country with the most cases and the most deaths (20% of world Covid deaths with 4% of world population), its CDC has warned Americans recently as follows: “Travelers at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid all nonessential travel to Mauritius (sic).” On the date this warning was put up, 2 December 2020, Mauritius had had ONE SINGLE case of local transmission over the past SEVEN months. And it is now 8 months since the last Covid case (excluding the one case). The USA has a third of a million deaths. The USA has 92 deaths per 100,000 population. Mauritius has less than ONE per 100,000 population. So, this absurd American communiqué can have only three possible explanations: either the CDC is the most incompetent organization imaginable (not true), or it has very different standards for “travel to Mauritius” or “travel to any US airport from your home to catch a plane anywhere” (ridiculous), or it is revenge for the Mauritian State, which relies on tourism (even though Mauritian borders are closed right now, unless you go into residential quarantine for two weeks upon arrival). But, why revenge? Obviously because Mauritius took the UK to the ICJ and UN General Assembly and won twice. Because of this, the UK has to get out of Chagos, including Diego Garcia, so the American military base is in jeopardy. The thief of Chagos, the UK, leased part of Chagos, Diego Garcia, to the receiver of stolen goods, the USA. For all to see. And for all (except Israel, Australia, Maldives and Hungary) to agree with.’