Russia and Indonesia should be on the red list, says data expert

Russia and Indonesia should be on the red list, says data expert
The two vast countries are in the same risk category as the Greek islands of Santorini and Zakynthos

A leading data analyst has told an online event organised by The Independent that he finds it “astonishing” that Russia and Indonesia are not yet on the UK’s “red list”.

Currently 56 nations are in the highest-risk category, from which arrivals must go into hotel quarantine for 10 days. The “traffic light” categories are decided by ministers based on analysis from the Joint Biosecurity Centre of the coronavirus risks.

Russia and Indonesia are currently on the “amber list,” along with the majority of countries worldwide.

Speaking at The Independent’s Race to the Sun event this week, Tim White said: “It’s astonishing to me that Russia and Indonesia are not on the red list. What is the committee doing?

“For a start, Russia is falsifying its data. Look at the excess deaths. That’s not even controversial.

“It’s just as safe to go there, apparently, as it is to the Greek island of Zante.

At the start of the week, Mr White warned: “Indonesia  has the highest death toll for a while, and new Covid 19 cases are up 42 per cent; 20,694 new cases and 423 new deaths, but still rated the same risk as caseless Santorini.”

He told the online event: “It’s a dereliction of duty not to have Russia and Indonesia on the red list now.”

Mr White added: “I would certainly put out a warning about Cuba and Mexico, they could be added to the red list in the fairly near future. Probably another four weeks or so before Mexico gets to the danger point.

“Cuba has had records in three of the past five days, and it’s got really high infection rates.”

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, insists all decisions are informed by the Joint Biosecurity Centre’s analysis.

“There’s no circumstance in which there is not a scientific basis,” he said last week.

Mr White has been analysing coronavirus data for over a year and tweets his findings at @TWMCLtd.