Friday, 30 October 2020

Covid-19: A tale of two islands


“Taiwan continues to outperform New Zealand in its Covid-19 response,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“While Taiwan allows new arrivals to isolate at home, our Government has done such a poor job of running managed isolation and quarantine that it’s directed Air New Zealand to stop flying.

“A tiny island with high population density, and deeply integrated with China, Taiwan should have been a Covid-19 disaster. But it’s achieved the astonishing record of only seven deaths without any lockdowns and while allowing people arriving in the country to isolate at home.

“A group of top epidemiologists has echoed ACT’s call for government to be a referee not a player and has said we should allow some travellers to isolate at home.

“ACT would recognise the role of government as a referee, not a player, in maximising wellbeing in the face of Covid-19. The role of government should be to set clear rules of the game rather than to be a player itself.

“MIQ is a good example of where the Government has failed to uphold the rules while trying to provide the service itself. While the Government was operating isolation facilities, nobody was responsible for checking dangerously exposed staff were being tested.

“In Taiwan, new arrivals can isolate at alternative facilities. However, they are strictly and electronically monitored. If you breach the rules, you will be severely punished. The Government should be setting the rules for safety and ensuring people meet them rather than trying to do everything itself. It should be focused on enforcing rules that minimise transmission rates so that contact tracing can isolate an outbreak with minimal disruption to people’s overall wellbeing.

“We need to get Taiwan-smart on Covid-19. The virus isn’t going anywhere and the goal must be to achieve elimination with no more lockdowns.”