PM announces new COVID-19 alert system; urges over-70s and those with compromised immunity to stay home, people to restrict movements around the country and to work differently

PM announces new COVID-19 alert system; urges over-70s and those with compromised immunity to stay home, people to restrict movements around the country and to work differently

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is asking people over 70-years-old and those with compromised immunity to stay at home.

She is urging people to limit non-essential domestic travel and workplaces to implement plans to reduce person-to-person contact, including working from home where possible.

The call comes as a four-stage COVID-19 alert system has been announced.  

Ardern said people need to be prepared to take different measures as authorities change alert levels - up or down. They can do this either nationally or regionally.

The whole country is currently at “Alert Level 2 - Reduce Contact” - Level 4 being the most severe.

Level 2 is where the disease is contained, but risks of community transmission are growing.

Only schools affected by cases of COVID-19 will be closed at this level.

Ardern urged people not to panic buy, saying supermarkets, pharmacies and essential services will remain open at all alert levels.

Community outbreak or multiple clusters of cases will take New Zealand to Alert Level 3. 

At this level, travel in areas with clusters or community transmission will be limited, some non-essential businesses should close, and non-acute (elective) services and procedures in hospitals will be deferred and healthcare staff reprioritised.

We are very close to this level, as there are at least two cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, which authorities can't confirm are linked to overseas travel. 

See this Ministry of Health document for a detailed break-down of the measures that need to be taken at the different risk levels.

Ardern said COVID-19, and the measures that need to be taken in response, will be with us for "some time", not simply a matter of weeks.

14 new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand were confirmed on Saturday.

There are now 53 confirmed and four probable cases of COVID-19.

“Most of these cases are travel-related but as yet, in at least two instances, no link to overseas travel has been ascertained and we are continuing to investigate,” the Ministry of Health said.

“At this point we cannot rule out a risk of community transmission on these cases.”

The locations of the new confirmed cases are: Wellington region 4, Taranaki 1, Auckland 3, Waikato 1, Taupo 1, Manawatu 2, Nelson 2.

Ardern said it was important to remember the vast majority of people who have COVID-19 will only experience mild to moderate symptoms. But there will be some who need more care.

"That’s why we have to focus on one simple goal – to slow down COVID-19," she said.

"Slowing it down, means not having one big tidal wave of cases, but instead, smaller waves - groups of cases that we can manage properly as they arise. That means we reduce the impact on health, on jobs and on our economy.

"Some countries have successfully managed to do this – but it does mean we have to be ready to step up our action when we need to."

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, who is over 70-years-old, won't stay home.

Here's a transcript of the live address Ardern made to the country from her office at midday Saturday:

Kia ora koutou katoa

I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19.

Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to close New Zealand’s borders to the world, and now it has been an obvious step as we fight COVID-19.

This is because we are experiencing an unprecedented event – a global pandemic that in New Zealand, we have moved to fight by going hard, and going early.

I understand that all of this rapid change creates anxiety, and uncertainty. Especially when it means changing how we live. That’s why today I am going to set out for you as clearly as possible, what you can expect as we continue to fight the virus together.

The first really important thing to remember, is that the vast majority of people who will ever have COVID 19 will only experience mild to moderate symptoms. But there will be some who need more care.

That’s why we have to focus on one simple goal – to slow down Covid 19.

Slowing it down, means not having one big tidal wave of cases, but instead, smaller waves - groups of cases that we can manage properly as they arise. That means we reduce the impact on health, on jobs and on our economy. Some countries have successfully managed to do this –but it does mean we have to be ready to step up our action when we need to.

Here’s how we will know what to do and when.

Already in New Zealand we have warning systems to try and get ahead of problems and hazards. We all know and recognise signs that tell us when we have fire risk Or when to reduce our water use.

Today I am announcing an alert system for COVID-19. That alert system can apply to the whole country, but sometimes, it may only apply to certain towns or cities.

There are four levels to the alert system. At each level there are things we need you to do, to keep you safe. And there are things the government will do too.

Alert Level One is where COVID-19 is here, but contained. In this phase we prepare. The basics, like border measures, contact tracing, and cancelling mass gatherings are activated. You’ll see that this is where we have been when COVID first arrived in New Zealand.

Alert Level Two is where the disease is contained but the risks are growing because we have more cases. This is when we move to reduce our contact with one another. We increase our border measures, and we cancel events. This is also the level where we ask people to work differently if they can, and cancel unnecessary travel.

Alert Level Three is where the disease is increasingly difficult to contain. This is where we restrict our contact by stepping things up again. We close public venues and ask non-essential businesses to close.

Alert Level Four is where we have sustained transmission. This is where we eliminate contact with each other altogether. We keep essential services going but ask everyone to stay at home until COVID-19 is back under control.

It’s important to note, that at every alert level supermarkets and essential services, like access to pharmaceuticals will continue. Shop normally. If we do that, our supermarkets will have time to restock their shelves.

We will use this alert system every time we update our cases, so you’ll know if the status in your area has gone up, or down, or stayed the same. And what you’ll need to do.

Today I am confirming that New Zealand is at alert level two.

That means the risk of community transmission is growing, and so to stay ahead and reduce the chances of the wave growing, we need to step things up.

We already have many of the measures for level two in place. But there are some that are new.

Here are the things that we need from you:

Today we are asking people over 70 years of age, or people who have compromised immunity or have underlying respiratory conditions to stay at home as much as they can.

That means we need friends, family and neighbours to support our older New Zealanders and people who may be in this group by doing simple things like keeping in contact and dropping off food or other supplies. And when you do, make sure you are not sick, that you are using good handwashing practices, and keeping your distance.

We also need everyone to start working differently. Many offices have plans for workers to work from home. Others have staggered meal breaks or shift based working. We are now asking you to implement these plans.

We know not everyone can do this. We need and will continue to have health and emergency professionals, transport and delivery staff, supermarket and food production workers, and other essential people continuing on at their place of work. And there are some sectors where work from home is impossible. There are steps these workplaces should take all the same, like additional cleaning, and physical distancing as much as possible.

And finally, we are asking that you limit your movement around the country. This will help us track and contain any spread of COVID-19. That means cutting non-essential domestic travel.

Every unnecessary movement gives COVID-19 a chance to spread.

For those of you who are parents or caregivers, you will have questions about schools and education facilities. At alert level two, schools will be closed if there is a case that effects a school, as we have been doing to date. That may change if we move into higher alert levels. Sending children home at this stage though, doesn’t necessarily reduce transmission in the community, but I can assure you we are constantly monitoring these settings to keep children safe. As a mum, I can assure you that is my key consideration.

Finally, this is a time when I know people will want as much information as possible. It’s also a time when there is plenty of mis-information. All the advice from the government about COVID-19 and how it affects you is available at www.covid19.govt.nz including more detailed guidance on this announcement.

Till then, I know this current situations is causing huge disruption and uncertainty. And right now I cannot tell you when that will end. This alert system is designed to help us through that – so please do stay tuned as we share daily updates – especially as alert levels can move from one level to the next in a short space of time, as we have seen elsewhere in the world.

For now, I ask that New Zealand does what we do so well. We are a country that is creative, practical, and community minded. We may not have experienced anything like this in our lifetimes, but we know how to rally and we know how to look after one another, and right now what could be more important than that. So thank you for all that you’re about to do.

Please be strong, be kind, and unite against COVID-19.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

139 Comments

Comment Filter

Highlight new comments in the last hr(s).

Prudent measures indeed. The community must itself now step up independently, intelligently and responsibly. That might mean certain immature and selfish individuals, such as those two dumb Highlander players, might need to be spanked for their own good.

They should be shot for treason! This is serious, we don't need this scum in our NZ society! Highlander's management get rid of them.
We're not Singapore, we have some really dumb people in our society. I would suggest that in future you only select players with an IQ over 70.

We can be sure that the two cases that are apparently not linked to travel, must have had some brush with a recent arrival; it would be important to trace where exactly they have been over the past few days.

The 2006 MOH pandemic action plan
https://www.moh.govt.nz/notebook/nbbooks.nsf/0/169AB7A29950D0E6CC2572240...$file/nzpap2006.pdf
2017 health.govt.nz/publication/new-zealand-influenza-pandemic-plan-framework-action
2020 https://www.bopdhb.govt.nz/media/63025/bopdhb_pandemic_response_plan_feb...

Yes, 70+ quarantine very sensible - but she should have used the term quarantine, just to be a bit more forceful in impression on the elderly. I'd have gone to 60+, but that might be difficult as many education/health and corporate decision-makers are in that age bracket.

I wonder whether Winston Peters will go into quarantine? It would be a really good gesture as he has so many of the demographic who respect his position/actions.

Be better to just say all economically inactive people to stay home - minimal impact on economy.

"stay home" means don't go shopping or to public places such as cafes, restaurants and libraries etc, basically.

So what you're trying to say is "people who don't work should stay home", but those people who don't work do actually need to go shopping and thus asking this would affect the economy. Restricting this request to people over 70 and those with compromised health is therefore a sensible compromise.

Just got off the phone to Mum & Dad (over 80's) to reinforce that this means "Stay at home. Period." If they need supplies I will drop them off from a safe distance.

Anyone know if there is anything in place to look after the elderly who do not have family nearby, like the old meals on wheels system I remember as a kid? I'll put my hand up to help if there is.

A lot of Facebook groups set up to do just that. Lots of young folks volunteering and lots of old folks taking advantage of it. They order and pay for their groceries on line and the volunteers collect it for them. Need to get the word out that old folks should not give cash or cards and pins away though!

Where my son lives in the US - groceries are all ordered online and you are then given a time to collect. You drive up to the supermarket, pop the boot of your car and your groceries get loaded without you even needing to open your door or roll down your window.

Just remember all the delivered supplies are not sterile and need washing or wiping.

Why is the government dragging their feet on this? Now is not the time to be slow playing things. Lock it down already.

Can't believe she didn't say we were already at alert level 3. Madness.

Can't believe non essential staff >60 and "immuno compromised" have not been told to stay home. For example, why on earth are teachers >60 still required to go in to school? Unnecessary risk - school will function without them. Jacinda says she follows the science - just doesn't act on it. Closes China border but continued to let businessmen in.

"Clearly, the impact on elderly and immuno compromised individuals is severe, with nearly 90% of total deaths coming from individuals 60 and over. But these data do not call for shutting down all public and private facilities given the extraordinarily low rates of death in the population under 50."
https://www.hoover.org/research/coronavirus-isnt-pandemic

So that means invisible man Winston will be gone for the foreseeable future? A silver lining. Assume he'll have to step down then?

No Jacinda has announced on TV a short while ago, Winston has an exception.

Well that's dumb. Certainly not good for his own health and definitely not good for the impression that gives to others. He can do most of his deputy PM/Cabinet stuff via video link. And he could shelter in an apt. in WGN in the event he needs direct contact with people in govt. currently asymptomatic.

Yes Winston an exception based on level 2 status as considered as essential (don’t laugh).
I think I heard that Cabinet will be taking measures not to physically meet - likely video conferencing.

On the other hand, a high profile case of Winston getting admitted to ICU might be the wakeup call some dumbasses need to take this seriously.

Just to be clear. A Princess Lines cruise ship arrived at Wellington port. On Saturday 14th morning. The same day that the government was about to announce wide-ranging travel restrictions including a ban on cruise ships for 3 months. Onboard the vessel was 5 people with flu-like symptoms. That a doctor deemed serious enough to test for CV19. Those test results would have been available at the very best case the next day. Meanwhile, all of the guests were allowed to leave the vessel for shore excursions, shopping etc around Wellington. Then the next day they were all allowed to go ashore in Napier as well. Were the MOH even aware there were sick people on board that had been tested? Then the ship arrives in Sydney with CV19 positive cases on board.

Just to be clear, all of those people tested negative, in case someone is reading your story and gets alarmed.

Although no mention by MoH about false negative rate of these tests.

I was speaking to someone in the medical profession on Thursday - apparently nasal and throat swabs are only around 60-70% acurate, you literally have to swab the inside of the lungs to be sure however that's not how swabs are usually done - hence presumptive cases like the early one in Northshore hospital.

Just to be clear. The ship seemed to be left to manage it's own health care arrangements. If passengers reported to the crew that they were feeling sick they could be tested and then would be held onboard the ship and isolated in their cabin. 5 People were sensible enough to come forward. Meanwhile, as their test results were pending it was thought prudent by whoever was in charge to let all of the other passengers venture out into the Wellington region to hang out with the locals. If you were a little bit sick. Would you come forward and risk missing out on a selfie with the bucket fountain? Or would you say nothing and enjoy your holiday? I am sure they had fun in Napier as well. The ship departed Napier on Sunday and by the time it was back in Sydney on Thursday. At least 4 people on board were displaying symptoms and had CV19. One so serious they needed immediate hospitalisation. Were any of those 4 people ashore in Wellington or Napier last weekend. Are any of them the same people that were tested in Wellington and found to be negative? There was community transmission onboard that ship!!

Now they are telling anyone who was at Te Papa last Saturday to self-isolate. I bet that Te Papa will retrospectively have their greatest ever day of patronage. But who could blame those people who want to stay home now?

It's person to person now, a cluster then boom. What's the bet we get travel restrictions tomorrow.

Once again to little to late. Look after your loved ones don't rely on Government.

We already do have advice not to travel internally - which saddens me a bit. Was planning to take the grandchildren on a farm stay up your way over the school hols - provided none of us had any type of cold/flu at the time. That's $1,500 in revenue over a two day stay lost for that family. I'm in two minds whether to cancel the plan or not. We'd travel directly there by car with all our own groceries for the stay.

https://www.bookabach.co.nz/holiday-accommodation/p20029996?adultsCount=...

my wife is trying to cancel flights but AirNZ will only give a credit.

Yeah, not sure it was the right call/advice at this stage by the govt.

What would change your mind, what do you need to see.

As an aside. Several businesses are using the Community Transmission (seems now here) as the trigger to move all to WFH.

As I understand it, if a city/region goes into lockdown (level 4) there will be a confirmed community cluster(s) or widespread community transmission and infection. I figure we might well get there soon enough, but feel before we get there businesses reliant on tourism ought to be able to generate what little additional cashflow they might get in the meantime.

I bet we are there already

The tradeoff with money for hospo people is faster transmission of virus because of more and sooner contacts..
How do you think about deaths, is it better to have deaths sooner rather than later?

That's why isolating the vulnerable and elderly is the way to go - as it hopefully reduces our death rate as our in-patient care requirements go down. Once a 70+ yo requires hospital care/ventilation it's a near forgone conclusion that death will result - perhaps not directly from the virus but from the generally weaker immune system. So, better to have deaths under control - meaning folks not requiring critical care.

I'm sure the station would survive without your booking Kate, if you cancelled.

Yes, I'm sure it will too.

was it at Horseshoe lake?

Yep, that was the place - been there?

oh yeah, just down the road Greg is a great guy, (although he still has my pipe bender) Fantastic place to visit and you drive right past me on the way, so when you get there drop in for coffee with us. He is off Elsthorpe rd and so are we. He is into regenerative farming and I'm playing around the edges too.
I am looking at solar capture. I think this guy is really onto something. You may find it interesting too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S1hRzBuMz4&t=2225s

Cool! Yes, I've read a lot about regenerative farming and discuss it in a couple of lectures on sustainability. I had chosen it as I wanted to take the farm tour with the grandkids and add some of my own photos to those lectures. I've gone ahead and booked - fingers crossed we're all in good health at the time.

Grandparents being urged not to look after grandchildren in some countries. Going to make it hard if schools close.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thelocal.de/20200312/coronavirus-in-ger...

Kate, what evidence do you have that 70 + yo in hospital with the virus will definitely die. As an active 72 yo I would like you to support your claim with actual facts and figures by medical professionals, otherwise your statements are irresponsible scaremongering.

Those that are older and require ventilation will definitely be in a very serious fight for their life. You just need to listen to the reports coming out of Italy to know that. https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-everyone-dies-alone-heartbreak-at...

From Italy, 1 in 2 patients in ICU on mechanical ventilation don't make it;

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-italy-ethics-speci...

Hi Kate its confusing, how do you propose both faster and quicker virus transmission and control of death rates?

We cancelled flights for Monday as we were quite happy with a credit as we had decided a few days ago not to go even if it meant loosing the money.

The credit should come with the benefit that AirNZ would hold the same fare for a similar trip in the future, within 12 months. I don't think that is the case now. They are just looking to reduce the cash flow out for now.

This is the problem.
The presentation of this is poor.
Many down here in Canterbury region have already moved to the outlined measures, worksites contact reduced, rest homes in lock down.

And then to use the go early go hard, this is the second time this phrase has been shown as untrue.

We need now convince / meaningfully communicate to the 18 to 30 year olds.
People living in university suburbs are still being notified of student flat parties for this weekend and next.
As if the 150 close contacts from Otago uni St P's day wasn't enough.

I agree, Henry. The issues are deadly serious, and the presentation is atrocious. Ardern's 'dippy aunty' style doesn't meet the need. New Zealand is a whisker away from hundreds dying in hospital car-parks.

It's time to act local. We and our neighbours are putting together a Messenger group to look after each other and the one or two elderly on our street: for shopping, jobs, etc. Seems good advice.

On ya mate

Hey Oz, your Bondi Beach is closed

https://youtu.be/7gNQkUFmwrk

Amazing - it was only a few months ago that we thought the Chinese government was over the top locking down Wuhan’s 11 million people and that only an authoritarian communist government would do.
It looks like the Chinese government with the passing of the peak and possible semi-containment has handled this well. Exceptionally well compared to Trump’s bumbling, confused and contradictory statements.

It's not over yet.

The Spanish flu came in 3 waves.

That is an inherent trait of the Free Markets ( and Society). We all get to do what we want, and no one can tell otherwise.
Under normal circumstances, that the way to be. But these aren't normal circumstance; they are ones that a Free Society isn't geared up to face.
Trump hasn't been bumbling, confused and contradictory - he's just a product of The System that he (we) operate under.
China may or may not have handled this any better - time will tell - but 'locking down' countries and telling people what to do is anathema to Free Markets/Society. If there is going to be one lasting casualty from all of this, it's going to be them.

I didnt think it was over the top. Xi called the virus a devil. That was enough for me.

are you the same person that called him stupid and ignorant when he reacted first and closed borders -- long before france spain italu UK or the wonderful Jacinda ? he may not be entirely with it -- but he went early and released all the federal and government aid and agencies to assist -- long before other countries did -- or have --

We would not be here - if the chinese had not hidden this from teh world and their own people for a coupe of months - if they had fessed up -- it could have been contained in chine only -- so please dont lecture us on what a wonderful job they have done

A full lockdown is imminent. Today is about making sure the elderly are ok and then tomorrow I suspect we will go to Level 3 and Level 4 during the week. A full lockdown is needed if we are really to get on top of this.

The government would not plan to announce level 2 and then the next day (or within 2-3 days) plan to go to level 3.

unless they got a cluster of community spread, and they realised they were a week behind the game, like the Uk which is two week behind.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh5mnLhdrCI

VAT holiday

Yes, which is not "planning". That's laying out a plan, then responding with that plan when events occur.

This isn't about what they plan to do but more what they have to do. If there is a verified community transmission then the level will go up.

and bang, here it is in Carterton, community spread.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120467000/coronaviru...

Yep Bang! Not just a rifle bullet, but a bloody big blunderbuss full of potential shot has just been sounded off. Blown the fourteen day isolation criteria full of holes. The border should have been closed there and then.

Yep and guess where I live. I actually know the person who has contracted the virus as many others in the community do. I posted in A previous debate on Interest just yesterday that my husband and I had decided to physically self isolate because we are both over 70 with minor health issues. What I didn’t say in that post was that the Bush telegraph in Carterton was already alive from around Tuesday this week with the fact that someone had tested positive. We just needed reliable confirmation. The person who has it in the community is young, under 40 and to the best of everyone’s knowledge had not been overseas. Carterton is a town of mixed age groups with a large number of superannuitants. We are doing our best, the community will all come together and help each other which is what happens in small communities.

I suggest a solution for the Wairarapa - stop all incoming visitors from the Remutakas in the South and from Eketahuna in the North. I believe this is what Coromandel did during the Spanish Flu pandemic and apparently it worked!

I would expect an announcement tomorrow.

Hi Gin. Yes we exchanged views here yesterday and do believe “prescient” a very good word to describe your measures. All of New Zealand take note.

Thanks Fg, my thoughts are you can’t change the world but you can do everything in your power to try and mitigate your particular situation. Doesn’t make any difference to being at times utterly shit scared about what is happening. Especially worried about my grandkids! So we’re hunkering down tonight with a great home made beef and vegetable stew, mashed potatoes on top with grilled cheese. Oh and a nice Ngatarawa Rose to wash it down. Forever grateful sometimes to my Depression reared mother and grandmothers who taught our generation how to cook, sew and make do!

Take care and look after each other.

And to you too!

Have you time for a laugh, not about your lovely menu though. Spike Milligan at Bexhill military camp prior to embarking for the ME. Being served boiled potatoes, boiled peas, boiled sausages. The Medical Officer walking around the tables asked “has anyone got any complaints?” One private said “yes sir, i’ve got piles.” Said the MO “that’s bloody strange, every one else has got sausages.” There it is.

Don't worry about grandkids they will be fine (0% mortality). Worry about yourself and your children.

They would not and are not planning that .
Rather they will be forced by the events to do it - after a day or two of their habitual procrastination and dithering .

events are overrunning them.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_S9VFLoL8U

That's not true. That call is based on evidence of community transmission. They went from banning >500 to >100 gatherings in like 24 hours.

My bad. 500 outside, 100 inside

Lanthanide, if you really believe that, then I can only assume you have no awareness whatsoever of Behavioural Psychology or Communication Theory.

This is EXACTLY what the science on communication in crisis and population management would suggest. These theories are based on a vast amounts of research.

They are just giving people time to process the tremendous shock and change of all this in an attempt to lesson the risk of panic. The evidence shows the capacity of the human brain to process trauma, stress and fear. We all vary to a degree but governments of the world, do need to be mindful of population control in a potentially tinderbox environment.

I assure you that the risk of civil disobedience and mass panic are every bit as much of a risk to our lives, as the virus at its current underestimated level. Because if, at this stage, a government triggers change too quickly or unleashes panic, people are liable to turn on each other, to loot, riot and cease to respect the rule of law or authority and guidance of the government. In that situation would we lose any hope of containing the virus.

Have you been watching how the UK are managing this? We already know that the the UK Tory party have a world leading team of behavioural experts who are guiding this and Jacinda is very clearly taking pages out of that play book. Jacinda is creating a bespoke approach for NZ and rightly so, we have a different culture. But it is very clear to me, that she is taking advise on Behavioural Psychology and how best to bring the people a long with her.

Yes, she was brilliant in today's press conference. I really like the risk level system introduced - we are so used to fire risk levels, land moisture levels, water conservation levels etc. It was a good targeted method for the specific NZ psyche.

she has a great team under her, one of mine is now on board.

Wow - congrats to her!!!!!!

She got moved a few times I'm not sure who she is with now but working 7 days. She was on Arbor virus before all this.

Risk system = conditioning the population

Hi Kate, it's good you are engaged, the risk level system is not as novel to many others as it is to you. Ypu will have seen practical reference to business continuity plans. And looking at the thread it seems some folk could be confusing a risk management approach with comms theory.

I hope you are right in that the PM is taking advice, I have been seeing the strong hand of the Australians in prompting her in the last week. Because the determination shown to press on with last Sundays memorial was epic.

From a the comms of influencing, and persuasion her performances are weak, still weak. You need think about the crisis mgt part - transparency trust. The position we are in is not as strong as it could be and part of that is performance of her and her team to date (resourcing, testing test data, kit - ventilators, ICU beds disconnect with 18 to 30s).

Here is something for you to study
https://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/104193/notion-new-zealand-running-ahe...

I think the government and their health experts are looking at it from the wrong perspective. Like we are not an isolated bunch of islands. Jacinda in her press conference said they didnt want to go too early because it could go on a long time. Waiting for community spread is crazy....why? Why do that?
If we go early we could scrub it out completely seeing we are now totally isolated from the world (ok I have just remembered nzers coming home still)
They are actually being defeatest by not going full quarantine right now.

It all seems very straightforward considering how quickly things change. This is confirmed by what we have seen taking place all over the world. We need a full lockdown that is enforced with extra care being taken with the returning NZers at the airports. We haven't got that many (confirmed) cases. "Let's do this!" better safe than sorry!

No, we cannot scrub it out completely, as long as it exists in the world, we are in the firing line, unless you plan for us to stay isolated forever.

And by not testing, testing, testing. Although one suspects that the Great Plan for doing so got locked in a dusty archive box somewhere and they're still looking fer it.....Test kits are being rationed: that's from several independent medical professionals. And because testing early is likely to generate false negatives, testing again at (say) 3-4 day intervals should be in that Plan. We await with bated breath (2 m from all others).

Everywhere that has set up public testing facilities (e.g,, drive through) sees ridiculously long lines of folks wanting to be tested. One needs to manage that demand. You really don't want people going out just to be tested. Think of the thousands of staff that would need to subject themselves to exposure to the virus. Referrals from Healthline are really the way to go - and that's exactly what we are doing.

Although I hear that staff at those facilities don't have the necessary PPE, nor the number of isolation rooms needed for those turning up.

So, as I said, the government needs to manage that demand - and indeed limit it to necessity.

Except for the inconvenient truth that asymptomatic carriers (who by definition won't pass the screening tests) are - er - Carrying the thing and just possibly Spreading it. So testing much more widely and without screening is literally the only way to find and isolate such vectors. Only other way is the France solution: curfews, ruthless enforcement and this too would happen only when the thing has jumped the shark.

Yes, sampling/testing of asymptomatic people chosen at random and by region would be good, should we have the capacity to do that.

The. Prime Minister and her cabinet should be sacked. The poor handling misinformation and constant lies. NZ is one of the easiest countries to stop the virus being an island country. She has not only allowed the virus to spread in the country but also exported it
Just like her Chinese comrades.

It will be because of self interest from business leaders. that includes Universities who are close with Labour.

True, Kainga Ora is now bailed out failed Chinese developers and paying above market price for the finished units. One wonders why ,is it for indirect party donations or to various organisations such as universities, to support labours policies.

Massey cancelled all block courses a week or so ago and all physical lectures this week. All courses are now delivered online.

I understand AKL Uni closed all lectures last week as well. They don't have the distance learning capability that Massey has.

I am certain whatever Uni's have done (and they have obviously moved ahead of the government) each of their VCs have done it in collaboration with the COVID Cabinet team.

My point being, I am working for a University and have been extremely impressed all the way along with the ethics of their actions - starting with o/seas student ban/switch to online courses before the semester started - through to last week ending in all students going online.

I sense 3 more years of the Labour-led government.

And Jacinda's comrades destroying the values and ethics we hold as a nation

25
up

Ah, yes.
Like selling your house for $20 million; and over market expectations, when you've done your bit as PM, in consideration of services rendered?!
Those values and ethics...

3 day old account... are you the latest re-spawn of a previous poster that got banned by chance?

There's been a real surge in anti labour sentiment on here recently. I've never voted for labour (and probably never will) and I think this government has been pretty underwhelming (not that I was surprised) but some commenters seem to feel that Jacinda is the devil and to blame for all the world's problems.

Not the devil, she's by all accounts a pleasant person. But her indecision during those vital few days may yet cost our community dearly.

I agree that they’ve been slightly, just a crucial few days, behind the ball all through this crisis. I’m quite confident that National would have been worse though.

Well she lies, allows corruption within her party, has low moral Values, her association with criminals, her focus on socialism and communism, her use of tax payers money for donation by bailing failed Chinese developers. List can go on.
Not add as to what labour has achieved in the last 3 years besides success in the abortion bill and focus on the cannabis bill.

Can you name a politician who doesn't lie? Politics and lying are mutually inclusive.

it would be easier to write a list of the truthful things our politicians have said over time, you could fit 100 years worth on one A4
JK was a master of it, his favourite saying was i cant recall doing/saying/reading that

I understand Te Whanau Apanui (east coast north of Opotiki SH35) have close access to local only. Local Maori have memories of being hit really hard in 1918, except The Araroa where shotguns kept outsiders at Bay, and with large numbers of diabetics in the population they can expect the same again.
I live in Tuhoe and wouldn't be surprised to see a barricade up soon.

Smart move.

It's how the coromandel was largely spared the 1918 epidemic - local officials completely blocked roads and ports.

Definitely a good move, much of the local community is retired so they'll be at high risk.

Had 4 breakfast; and early lunch or two and read everything I normally would, twice, and it's too early for a glass of Shiraz. It'sonly 3:43 pm. Now what?
best I go and rewire that old computer and see if it still works.
Tough going this isolation.....

Here is some news not the admin frame run by the PM, that was admin stuff.

This is news, who is who, and where you're from.

https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120451679/coronavirus-...

Health Minister David Clark has announced new restrictions for the hospitality sector, in the fight against coronavirus.

These include implementing a guest register of everyone in a venue, undertaking regular head counts of people there, configuring electronic gaming machines to allow appropriate physical distancing and limiting table games at a casino to 5 people per table.

I think that over one thousand people in NZ have or have had CV19, the low number of 53 infected is only this low because so few get tested. I think it's most likely one or more of the commenters here have it or have had it, maybe me? How many of us got tested? I say this in a pragmatic way, not in a an alarmist way as I personally (I'm entitled to my view) I am not worried about CV19

South Korea has a population of 51.47M people. They are doing ~10,000 tests per day. That's 2 tests per 10,000 people.

New Zealand has a population of ~5M. We are now doing 1,500 tests per day. That's 3 tests per 10,000 people. We're rolling out testing centres this weekend, the are going to be 5 in Auckland.

We may not be targeting testing exactly where it needs to be just yet, but things are ramping up. South Korea were able to get on top of their cases, we should be able to as well, and we're starting from a lower base than they were (thanks to patient #31 there being a super spreader).

South Korea has tested more than 270,000 people, which amounts to more than 5200 tests per million inhabitants. And they ipped their testing very early. Nz, up to few days ago tested 524 cases since the outbreak. Now MOH says nz has a Capacity to test 1500. That does not mean that they have tested anywhere close to that. So you are a little ingenious to paint the situation like that

I'm not worried by it but I take it seriously. The big debate at the moment is should we lockdown or not. There's not enough people tested to know for sure.

Re : 'I am not worried about CV19'

2 cows in a paddock are having a convo :
- worried about mad cow disease ?
- Me ? Why ? Never , I am a helicopter.

They aren't worried about it in Australia even though they have 1000 confirmed cases with over 400 in Sydney. Seeing as Sydney appears to be turning into an epicentre everyone was at Bondi Beach today.

One my son's friends said people saying this is like war time..well last big war wasn't it people our age that scarficed our lives, I said yep 18 to 24 community lost a lot young men, he said why do we need scarfice our freedom again.... that's what they thinking

If there's rapid spread, hospitalisation and some fatalities they are going to be brought into reality quite quickly. I'd rather the terrible disease stories that my grandmother told me remain that way.

There are also a lot of people that lap up the bull on social media. People believe that taking some Vitamin C will protect them.

i would rather take some vitamin C which may not help but wont do any harm than these crazys
Cow urine and dung
There is a long tradition in India of promoting cow urine and dung as traditional remedies for various diseases.
And an MP from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Suman Haripriya, has suggested they could be used against the coronavirus
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-51910099
maybe there is an opportunity for Fonterra to bottle some and export to india

Evidence supports highish dose vitamin C improves recovery time for viral infections. Also athletes got fewer colds when taking vitamin C. I say take it.

Once hospitals are overwhelmed it goes up from killing young adults at a few % of rate of old people to killing at ~25% rate of old people. Young adults recover more frequently from ICU than older, but they still go into ICU at about 25% rate of old, and will die without ICU access.

Yep got three teenagers, lots friends around asked them there thoughts were, they worried about grandparents but for themselves they oblivious to this as they think this elderly issue..hard to convince teenagers at best of times...

If only the PM would deploy her communication skills to the 18 to 30 group.

I am surprised you can still hold gatherings of up to 99 people. Seems reckless to me.

A friend lives in central Paris. They are having to go in to total lockdown for 15days. No one can leave their apartment/home. If you need groceries/supplies the army will deliver them to you. They had the support of their NZ domiciled employer to return to NZ. Said they managed to catch one of the few flights back - and it was full - all kiwis returning.

Was discussing this today.. where is the army in all this, have they not git quarantine measure they could role out for an organization that gets heaps tax payers $ you think they be first stand up

While chinese communist party had a gathering banquet of 18000 people on the 18th of January for new year celebration . And then sent them all over the world.

Not good enough. This government continues to drag its feet. It needs to take drastic steps and instead it opts for measures that won’t be too inconvenient.

Shall I start sanitizing my anal beads before use?

Um, yes, you should be doing that any way.

Not sure why you'd post such a comment here on this site though.

I don't even know what they are and happy to keep it that way.

Ask the kids, they know what it is..

is that why they walk like that?

Now that we have an alert system we should all be ok.

Watching episode of dads army... don't panic Mr Mannering don't panic...

She be alright, comrade Jacinda will watch over you.

Australia has hit 1000 cases, i suspect with will hit that within the fortnight as we were to slow to shut the borders (in hindsight)
i hate to think how many super spreaders we have wandering around nz leaving a trail behind them.
it is time to restrict movement to 25 kms from your house if in the major cities and 100 km if in the country exceptions only for trucks/vans deliveries and medical business.
anyone caught outside of that without nz police permission 10000 automatic fine
https://www.smh.com.au/national/covid-19-by-the-numbers-a-snapshot-of-th...

Nz government is all about public relations and does an excellent job there. Has so much takent and expertise there. Yet so light weight on the actual doing side.

Question for the PM,
How many Chinese national have entered the country since January,?

covid 19 convalescent plasma therapy
We run a calf rearing/dry stock farm North of Feilding, so I have some experience in transterring one animal's immunity to another; we vaccinate cattle and sheep before calving and lambing so that immunity is transferred from the cow/ewe to the calf/lamb via the colostrum. When this colostrum (serum) is ingested within a few hours of birth the gut is specially adapted to allow the antibodies to pass through into the newborns' system.
I believe a similar idea can be used to transfer immunity from people who have recovered (convalescent) from covid 19 to sick or at risk people.
The idea is that people who have had covid 19 and recovered have specific antibodies. Plasma transfusion from these convalescent patients can be used to treat seriously ill patients. It has already been done in China and annecdotally has shown good results; check out these links
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30141-9/fulltext
https://ccforum.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13054-020-2818-6
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-02/28/c_138828177.htm
https://hub.jhu.edu/2020/03/13/covid-19-antibody-sera-arturo-casadevall/
This technology has already been used in SARS and MEARS but didn't receive a lot of publicity because those outbreaks were contained. Blood transfusions were used as a treatment in the Spanish flu epidemic back in 1918- 1919.
My understanding is that NZ does have this technology available, so we need to put in place plans to identify recovering patients so as to use them as a resevoir of treatment as more people get sick. My understanding is that this treatment could also be used to help prevent key people getting the disease, giving 4-6 weeks protection against infection.
In short testing for the disease and identifying recovered patients could be crucial in minimising the effects of this disease, until vaccines become available.
Once patients are tested positive they could be given an appointment for plasma transfusion at an optimum time; when viral infection cured and immunity is still high, say 3-4 weeks after onset of symptoms. Moving forward antibody tests are being developed so convalescent patients could be tested for high levels of antibodies before transfusion. I have tried to put this idea forward to the ministry of health, to ministers of health, but they are snowed under and protected by gate keepers at this time, I also tried NZ blood transfusion service, and was met with a muted response - trust the people in charge - the problem is they are tired and are following what other countries are doing.
This is old technology, is in use and would work and is relatively safe (some increased risk of thrombosis), and would suit our kiwi liking for no8 wire fixes.
It would also mean those who get the disease early can save subsequent patirnts and get rid of this dumb on line bullying of people who test positive.
Thoughts anybody?

I'll let you go first.
If it was that 'simple' I'm pretty sure that over the last 100 years, since vaccination came in, that it would be mainstream by now.
It's not that dissimilar to what the UK tried to bring in last week? Herd Immunity - and that has been ditched for all sorts of reasons.
The big one being that people 'vaccinated' might still infect others/become reinfected themselves. No one knows....

Check out the links I posted
Scientist consesus is that once you have recovered you will be immune; check out Dr John Campbell on U tube
Plasma transfusion donors would remain immune. Plasma transfusion happens accross NZ to treat immune suppressed patients
If I was admitted to hospital with covid 19 I'd be happy to be treated with convalescent plasma before you

Your access to our unique content is free - always has been. But ad revenues are diving so we need your direct support.

Become a supporter

Thanks, I'm already a supporter.