Monday, 9 November 2020

Govt’s Covid-19 response like Mickey Mouse playing Russian roulette blindfolded

“The Government’s Covid-19 response is like Mickey Mouse playing Russian roulette blindfolded,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Continued basic errors in MIQ facilities, poor contact tracing, and a lack of coordination between health agencies mean we risk another community outbreak.

A person who was in the same row as a Covid-19 case on an Air New Zealand flight last week has been given four different sets of instructions by three different parts of the health system on the same day.

“We have the luckiest government on the planet. The fact we achieved elimination given the Government’s many failings on testing, contact tracing and managed isolation is extraordinary.

“This latest case is yet another reason why we need a coordinated response to Covid-19, led by a multi-disciplinary group like Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre.

“The Ministry of Health has a charismatic leader but it doesn’t have the ability to do PPE manufacturing and distribution, testing, software development of a contact tracing app, and managed isolation and quarantine.

“Our current system doesn’t even have the capacity to provide consistent information to the public.

“The Ministry of Health has enough trouble doing its normal job.

“ACT would establish an Epidemic Response Unit and choose the best people without fear or favour. It would involve key leaders in the public sector but also bring in private sector leaders on an equal footing. It would have a transparent relationship with government, which would publicly set policy targets for the unit. The overall goal must be to achieve elimination without lockdowns, while maximising overall wellbeing.”