Saturday, 20 June 2020

Mixing new arrivals an insane policy


“Feedback from those in managed isolation has brought forward an idea so simple and effective, only the current Government could have missed it,” according to ACT Leader David Seymour.

“There should be no mixing of arrival cohorts at the same managed isolation facility. Keeping travellers who arrived today with people who arrived 13 days ago is an insane policy.

“Instead of letting people arrive day by day, inevitably mixing new arrivals with old, why not fill each hotel with a ‘bubble’ of people who arrived over one or two days, sealing each arrival cohort as their own bubble?
 
“With eight million known Covid-19 cases and eight billion people in the world, there is roughly a one-in-a-thousand chance that a person arriving in New Zealand actually has Covid-19. However, if such a person did arrive, our Government’s policy would help spread it.

“It’s difficult to imagine a worse system of putting potentially infected people in a hotel with hundreds of others who are checking in, checking out, then relocating around the country each day. The Government has actually made the situation worse.

“Of course, the Government will claim that bubbles exist within hotels. It’s become clear that is not the case. Given the widespread stories of people intermingling at hotels, the Government has created the perfect conditions for an ongoing chain of transmission amongst people coming and going from each hotel on a daily basis.

“ACT has a simple suggestion. If the Government is operating, say, seven hotels, it should fill just one up for two days, seal the bubble, and let nobody out until everyone has been there for 14 days. This way, if an infection is found, the Government doesn’t need to worry about all the people who have come and gone from that hotel previously.
 
“Such a minor change in organisation would take the Government’s managed isolation facilities from a disaster waiting to happen to an effective public health intervention.”