A paper published in the Lancet vindicates ACT’s Wellbeing Approach to COVID-19,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The authors observe what ACT has been saying for a long time. The Government should be comparing its response with the best rather than scaring the population with worst-case comparisons. (Point 5 in ACT’s approach).

“They point out that ‘Taiwan currently has one of lowest mortality burdens amongst high-income jurisdictions and achieved elimination by April 2020 (no confirmed cases in the community) without a lockdown.’

“The article endorses ACT’s call for a specialised, multi-disciplinary Epidemic Response Unit that can work well with the private sector, saying ‘Establish or strengthen a dedicated national public health agency to manage both prevention and control of pandemics.’ (Point 1.)

“The authors call for New Zealand and other countries to ‘develop both conventional and digital solutions to contact tracing, and isolation/quarantine monitoring. Unlike Taiwan, New Zealand did not have these solutions substantially in place.’ This echoes ACT’s call for better adoption of new technologies to augment our response. (Point 4.)

“The article also calls for the Government to ‘Develop systems for evaluating and auditing pandemic responses, and exercising emerging infectious disease response capabilities’, another idea ACT has promoted.

“ACT has been a leading voice for a smarter response to COVID. As Auckland teeters on the brink of another outbreak, the Government must get Taiwan-smart about COVID.”