An Irish government spokesman today confirmed that President Michael D Higgins will be subject to house arrest for six weeks following his return after a state visit to Africa.
We can’t afford to take chances, said Colonel Dan Transome, chief military medical officer in charge of the Biological Containment Initiative. Ebola is a major threat to Europe and therefore any individual who sets foot in Africa will have to be quarantined.
Col Transome, a veteran of many UN peacekeeping campaigns, is unfazed when challenged. Isn’t Africa bigger than the USA, China, Europe and India all combined?
That’s true, he agrees, but the things you’re quoting are facts, and facts are outside our brief. The Biological Containment Initiative is not tasked with fact-processing. Our role is to quarantine anyone who was ever in Africa, received an email from Africa or had thoughts of travelling to Africa, ever.
So there’s no alternative? President Higgins will have to be quarantined?
No choice whatsoever, Col Transome confirms.
The president of Ireland will be locked up for visiting a continent bigger than all the others put together, just because a tiny little corner of it has a dangerous disease?
Absolutely! Col Transome says without hesitation. Those are my orders and I intend to carry them out. One way or another.