“The infrequent wastewater testing needs to be explained by the Government,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Wastewater has been tested weekly around the country. The last negative Auckland tests were taken on the 11th of August. Today we are told all wastewater results in Auckland are now positive, but there was no testing for the week in between.
“If testing had been carried out more regularly, we might have found this outbreak sooner. The Government locks down the whole country with hours’ notice because every hour counts. Well, wouldn’t it make sense to do wastewater testing more than once a week?
“Meanwhile, we don’t have recent testing back for the Coromandel. Ashley Bloomfield says wastewater testing will continue at 26 other sites nationwide, but only weekly.
“ACT is calling on the Government to start daily wastewater testing. Once we detect COVID in wastewater, it is possible to take other measures sooner, saving long lockdowns.
"Ashley Bloomfield says wastewater testing in Auckland has increased since the outbreak was identified. He must be the only health expert who needs a result to do a test.
“We want our Government to succeed at battling COVID, but it needs to explain why obvious opportunities to improve New Zealand’s defences were not taken.
“Jacinda Ardern keeps saying she’s acting with ‘an abundance of caution,’ that caution seems to extend to lockdowns but not testing and tracing.
“We should be doing everything we can to avoid further lockdowns, this is a simple step the Government should take.”