“Confusion is reigning after patrons at a pub may have been exposed to COVID, and the problem is a total failure of the Government’s NZ COVID Tracer app,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“The Prime Minister’s ‘team of 5 million’ used the Government’s COVID Tracer app only 675,092 times on Friday. If the average adult went to five places that day, there should have been 20 million scans. In reality, only 2.3 million people have downloaded the app. Even if everyone who has downloaded the app is scanning five times a day, there should be over 11 million scans. The fact is, the app is less than 5 percent effective.
“The question that needs to be asked is: How useful has the NZ COVID Tracer app been for tracing patrons of The Malt Greenhithe last Friday? How many scans were done at that location on that day? How many people have been traced thanks to using the app?
“We have to hope the pub and its patrons were more diligent than the rest of New Zealand, but on average you’d have to expect one-in-twenty used it.
“If the app has not been effective for tracing a potential outbreak, then what is the point of it, and what will the Government do to replace it?
“The purpose of contact tracing is to ensure outbreaks can be traced and isolated without the need for deadening lockdowns. It appears with the NZ COVID Tracer app, we are relying on manual contact tracing, and luck.
“ACT has proposed a Taiwan-esque approach to COVID, including better contact tracing through better absorption of technology with a Taiwan-style Epidemic Response Unit. An article published in the Lancet last night has endorsed Taiwan’s, and ACT’s, approach.”