Sunday, 14 February 2021

NZ a Sitting Duck, Hoping for COVID Luck


“News of new COVID-19 community cases show New Zealand is a sitting duck, hoping for luck. The Government should have been hardening our defences with better contact tracing, testing, and vaccination over the past year," says ACT Leader David Seymour

"It hasn’t and we are now reduced to hoping this outbreak will somehow be contained like the January case.

“This potential outbreak has occurred against a backdrop of poor testing of border workers. The person in question had not been tested since January 18, and her infection has not been discovered until now, four weeks later.

"We are fortunate that the worker in question got themselves tested outside of the MIQ testing program. Once again, the initiative of Kiwis has saved the day.

"The Government was warned about failing to test at the border last year but, having papered over that, it appears little improvement has been made.

“This potential outbreak has occurred against a mediocre effort at digital contact tracing. The NZ COVID Tracer App remains at less than one million scans per person each day. Practically ineffective. Fewer than one million people have turned on the Bluetooth tracing capability, rendering it ineffective, too.

“Instead of building defences, the Government has relied on a vaccine. Even with the vaccine arriving, unexpectedly early and in unknown quantity, New Zealand will barely be in the first 100 countries to begin its vaccination program.

"As ACT has said, not having COVID-19 last month was not a good reason to delay vaccination, it is about preventing an outbreak next month.

“Altogether the Government has left New Zealand as a sitting duck, hoping for more luck that our isolation has already afforded us. We can only hope for all those who depend on doing business without further lockdowns that our luck hasn’t run out yet.

"A better approach would have been to follow ACT's advice of emulating Taiwan. ACT's five points for a Taiwan-style approach to Public Health, released in August, remains good advice.