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Auckland to move to Level 2 and rest of NZ Level 1 at 6am Sunday; Alert levels to be reviewed at the end of next week

Auckland to move to Level 2 and rest of NZ Level 1 at 6am Sunday; Alert levels to be reviewed at the end of next week

The whole country will move down alert levels at 6am on Sunday.

Auckland will move to Level 2 and the rest of the country Level 1.

The alert level settings will be reviewed at the end of next week. The aim is to get Auckland to Level 1 by next weekend.

There have been no new cases of COVID-19 in the community for five days in a row.

About 6000 people connected to the February 14 cluster that sent Auckland into Level 3 on Sunday have been contacted and tested.

More than 69,000 tests have been processed in the past week. The seven-day rolling daily average up to yesterday was 9,903.

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58 Comments

Hopefully no further botch ups by the government not ensuring people were isolating / getting tested when they needed to.

Agreed but unfortunately, just like any other nation, NZ has those that will transgress ignorantly and wilfully too. The history of that is there for all to see and there is nothing to say such behaviour will not recur. The importance of the vaccination being implemented at all points of international transit therefore remains essential, the first priority for those involved and close contacts, family. Especially important as the indications that vaccination reduces transmission are starting to look relatively positive. Has the government issued any specifics on the progress in this sector?

The history of that is there for all to see and there is nothing to say such behaviour will not recur.

Which is why the government needs to do better. They didn't send anyone to visit the homes of people from Papatoetoe school that they weren't able to contact until the weekend of 20-21st Feb at the earliest, despite lowering Auckland to level 2 on Thursday Feb 18th. It should have been a priority to ensure contact was made with all families if they were going to level 2. This could have prevented Case L from going to work at KFC on Feb 22nd and 23rd, and the other exposures at Dark Vapes and KMart.

It may not have avoided this latest lockdown, since case N walked with case F during level 3 lockdown and that is what has caused the latest issue. However without having the cases from I, J, K and L, the contact tracing system would have been under less pressure and the government may not have felt it as necessary to move to level 3 immediately upon discovering case N, although since case N has a sibling who is a student of Papatoetoe highschool if the government had insisted that all family members isolate, case N wouldn't have gone to the gym or MIT.

I think the learning is that if there's a wide initial group that needs monitoring, they should be moving to get all of the families into isolation (their own level 4 bubbles) for 14 days, rather than inflict level 3 lockdown on the entire city.

Agreed. They just HAVE to divert resource urgently and accordingly. No doubt it's labour intensive, but the benefits massively outweigh the costs.
I assume they liaise intensively with community leaders.

Some of those people made willful choices to ignore advice given.

Some will be starting to ask, why when COVID is such a transmissible virus that there appears to be no spread in the community from a person who was infectious for a week? The problem will then become complacency in the population.

It's been known for a while that many people pass the virus on to 0 or 1 others, and only a few people pass it on to more than that. Shaun Hendy (statistical modeller) says it's 4/5 don't pass it on much or at all, and the 5th person spreads it to several or many people. We don't really know why; some individuals may simply 'shed' more of the virus than others, and some people may have different symptoms (muscle aches vs coughs) or different progression of symptoms (you may self-isolate upon the first symptom and if it isn't coughing/sneezing then you're less likely to spread to others), and of course there's just random chance.

Averaged out, it gives an R0 of about 2.5 without any mitigations, or ~3.5 for the M1.1.7 (UK) variant.

Thanks, I agree with your statement. The problem now is we have a hell of a lot of businesses now being effectively bankrupted and they and many others are asking the question why the hell are we in lockdown when there appears to be no problem.

CNN covid vaccine tracker as at 4am 5 March NZT.
New Zealand 13 days since first vaccine, 9 000 administered.
South Korea 7 days, 154 000 admin.
Malaysia 9 days 80 000
South Africa 16 days, 70 000
Hong Kong 7 days, 51 000
Senegal 10 days 40 000
Australia 11 days, 50 000
Zimbabwe 15 days, 28 000

I have not heard any clarification about the targets that we set in regard to how many doses per day we would administer. So far we have managed to do about 700 per day. I wonder how that compares to the targets they no doubt set months ago? Why are our numbers so far behind almost every other country who received vaccinations at a comparable time to NZ? It seems from the figures that we are between 5 and 10 times slower than the majority of other countries. If we are behind our original targets what are the specific reasons for this and what are the daily targets for the next 14 days?
And God forbid, if we did not even set targets relating to the speed of administering the vaccine, then why the hell not? I cannot think of any reason why this information cannot be fully and openly disclosed in the public domain; except embarrassment of course.

1. As you have been told many many many times, we don't have COVID rampaging around our community, so a very hasty distribution is not required here.

2. Many of these countries are likely to be following a 1-dose-first approach where they try to vaccinate as many people with their first dose as possible (see #1 as to why). NZ however is explicitly following a 2-dose approach, so that immediately halves the number of people that we will be seeking to vaccinate up-front because we're reserving doses to give them their followup in 21-28 days time.

3. Many of those other countries will be prioritizing to large segments of the population, eg critical care workers and adults over 65. These are very large cohorts. In NZ we are exclusively targeting border and MIQ workers (and families starts next week). This is simply a smaller cohort of people to vaccinate, and we're ensuring that they all get vaccinated before moving on to other groups. I suspect we're probably being a little too conservative in how fast we start moving to vaccinate the other demographic groups, however see #1 above - we simply don't have a big rush. Come October when at least 1-2m people have been vaccinated, it won't really matter whether we had 20,000 people vaccinated by mid-March or 30,000 people.

4. The numbers probably look a lot better per capita, which you've neglected to show because it likely doesn't help your crusade. As of Wednesday our per capita rate was ahead of Australia, despite receiving them on the same day.

5. The vaccines arrived in NZ 1 month ahead of schedule, which is unlikely to have made the actual distribution phase faster.

Lanthanide... Thank you for responding and trying to clarify things (for the first time) for me. You points:-
1. "a hasty distribution is not required". I strongly and completely disagree and believe the majority of others do too.
2. as far as I know almost every other country is also using a one dose first approach. Refer to the CNN website showing vaccines administered compared to numbers fully vaccinated for clarification.
3. as far as I know other countries who received vaccines at a similar time to NZ prioritized the roll out in similar ways to NZ. Come October we should be celebrating 90 or 100 days of full vaccinations in NZ. Try to tell a business owner who went bankrupt in June 2021, a family member who lost a loved one to a covid outbreak in July 2021 or a kiwi wanting to travel abroad to see their children in August 2021 that it did not matter how many we vaccinated in the first months of the roll out.
4. The numbers per capita place NZ at less than 1% of population so no it does not look better. It still looks how it is, woeful. Not a crusade, more just trying to hold people accountable. After all we do pay their wages and believe in open communication.
5, Everything regarding the vaccine roll out should surely have been planned months and months before we received the vaccinations. And it is noted that you have not tried to answer my questions on what numbers they planned to jab each day, week month etc, plans and targets which clearly should have been done some time last year.
You are welcome. Enjoy your weekend.
PS: full disclosure..are you a public servant or employed by the Govt in any capacity??

Hi Karl, great summary 100% agreement.

Thx. Also I believe that because we do not have community spread our roll out should be faster not slower. Nobody knows what might happen in the future and if our healthcare resources and healthcare workers are not having to use time and resources dealing with community cases they should be able to administer the doses much faster than countries whose health systems are already stretched.
I would still like to hear the media ask to see some kind of specific roll-out plan, including the date it was done and specific daily and weekly targets. Considering there are many countries with two months of roll-out experience I would also like the media to ask about which countries the Govt collaborated with (before we got the vaccinations) about issues that caused delays in their roll-outs so that we could (try to) avoid similar issues. Dates of collaboration, people they communicated with and names of countries please.

The end of October is 237 days from now. 1 Million vaccinations will require 4200 per day. 2 million 8400 per day. That would be either roughly 1/4 or 1/2 of the adult population vaccinated by then.Not enough for herd immunity. No mention anywhere of how we will achieve even those numbers. Other countries will be fully vaccinated by October. They will begin to allow travel between each other. Will we allow vaccinated people to travel to NZ without MIQ stay? Shorter MIQ stay? Saliva test and release? What is the plan? Is summer 2021 going to be a non starter for tourism? What level of risk are we going to accept?

Divide by population. NZ compares OK with Australia, S Africa and Zimbabwe. There are another 200 countries not listed. It doesn't seem like a significant failure. I reserve the right to cancel that statement if I catch Covid-19 in NZ.

So on that basis, using the UK for instance, you are saying that it is acceptable for the vaccinations in say Leicester, to be rolled out slower than in say Manchester just because the population in the former is lesser.

Lapun... the small size of our country and our first rate transportation systems provide us with significant advantages to the rest of the world. It depends on your definition of compares OK. With one of the biggest land masses and in about 20% less time than NZ, Australia has managed to do (slightly) more jabs per capita than NZ.
The country on my list most similar to NZ in population is Hong Kong. They have had around half the time NZ has had to administer jabs and yet in half the time have done a whopping 50 000 shots. Numbers do not lie. And both are in similar situations to us in regard to current covid cases.

dp

This is a critical issue for our nation, all of us. It is acknowledged an outbreak would still annihilate our health system. That is why level 3 has been necessary at the drop of a hat in Auckland. Why then is NZ at a dawdle with its vaccinations. Hells bells there has been plenty of time on hand to do the preparatory requirements, logistics etc. This must therefore be under the ownership of the MOH because we are seeing a repeat of the cross legged, vague and haphazard management that was to the fore when this whole damn pandemic broke loose in our country 12 months ago.

RE: ".....an outbreak would still annihilate our health system" - Yes and a reason why it could do so is that very high levels of obesity in NZ. A report found that "Nine out of 10 deaths from coronavirus have occurred in countries with high obesity levels, according to World Health Organization-backed research that sets out the stark correlation between excessive weight and lives lost to the disease". https://www.ft.com/content/7db2b641-c831-4876-ba0c-0f815a42c8f0 (paywall) Given that NZ has the 4th highest obesity rates in the world (according to the OECD), https://www.oecd.org/health/obesity-update.htm our health system is more vulnerable to a large scale outbreak.

An unprepared health system is no excuse to vaccinate all and sundry who are at almost zero risk ... and with a rushed vaccine with very limited testing.

Get with the program Karl, this is like Kiwibuild, promise 100,000 and deliver a couple of hundred. Is anyone truly surprised that our government has no idea how to get its hands on a significant number of vaccine ? indications are that other countries will have stockpiles of it before we even start to get anywhere near enough.

I think it is simply too early to criticize ( or praise ) this Govt actions on vaccine rollout .

paashaas....true, they have only had a short time. Here is hoping it is only a slow start and soon the numbers start to show that we are actually organised and the roll-out is being done at a similar speed to other countries. Time will tell.

Here's a thought provoking interview with retired UK supreme court justice Lord Sumption. He's talking about the sinister erosion of our civil liberties and consolidation of governmental power in the wake of a vastly overstated threat to human health. It's all very relevant to New Zealand. https://youtu.be/5lXAA7ZOROc

Pat. More of your denial and Covid isn't a threat rubbish. Stop it.

Thank you for highlighting a point made by Lord Sumption. That there are two types of solidarity, the solidarity of mutual sympathy and support, and the solidarity of intolerant conformism. It is the latter that we are seeing...

Countries that didn't lock down have suffered huge economic impacts, death tolls, strain on medical services and seen multiple strains mutate to cause even more havoc. Uk, USA, Brazil are clear examples of this.

Lord Sumption is a known anti lockdown proponent. His beliefs have no scientific merit and have been completely disproven in the failure of Sweden's approach. He has also declared some peoples lives are less valuable than others.

What you're saying is inconsistent with reality. Sweden didn't implement any draconian measures and they're doing better than most European countries right now. The excess death rates across the whole of Europe are dropping and they're heading into summer. This basically proves that NZ has made a huge mistake by fortressing itself. NZ would have done just fine if we'd focused on mitigating the risks by improving general health, taking Vitamin D, Zinc, reducing obesity, getting proper sleep, and ivermectin for prophylaxis in high risk individuals. The country could have been open for business with tourists paying money for stays instead of the government funding quarantine hotels.

You're welcome to your opinion Pat. I'm sticking with science, medicine and fact. Have a great weekend.

ditto - I'm also sticking with science. You have a great weekend too.

Actually lockdown isn't scientific in any sense, in fact it is quite anti science. But it is nice catch phrase for the undiscerning. What Lord Sumption does is critical thinking, that is what is required of a judge, you on the other hand are just spouting your opinion.

"For the greater good" is the principle used and is consequetionalist in nature. It is also a condition that can not be be proven by science, there is no definition of what good is and it can't be quantified. You could say it is open ended, so defies scientific analysis.

So you have a good weekend in your fantasy land. (did you actually watch the video?).

dcnbwz... the great thing about science is that it is true, whether you believe in it or not. Religion, on the other hand........

the great thing about science is that it is true, whether you believe in it or not.

Science is only true until it is proven otherwise. I would argue that we should consider "scientific truth"on a scale of certainty. For example, we are 99.99% certain the earth is an oblique spheroid. We are much less certain about say, gravitons. Some of the greatest minds of science took decades to formulate quantum mechanics, for example. Not all of those people believed the others version was correct. And to this day, a hundred years or so later, we still have debate around the so-called "measurement problem". Science is littered with "truths" that turned out to be "false" in the end. I've seen a QI episode where they go over the "facts" that were correct in previous series that are no longer "facts" today.

It would be unscientific as well as dangerous to not continue to question our assumptions or truths that are currently "scientific fact". Science is done by people and people have all sorts of motivations and biases, as well as being capable of making mistakes. We should not forget this.

As critical thinkers, it is our job to analyze the material and determine whether it makes logical sense. If we can't do this, and most of us don't have the in-depth knowledge of many areas of science, then we need to find people that do and discuss the issue with them. I keep banging on about this, but everybody should be listening to the DarkHorse Podcast with Drs. Bret Weinstien and Heather Haying because they both have the expertise to and actively do, critique scientific literature (particularly Covid related papers). From there, you can make up your own minds.

theoutlawtorn... what an intelligent post. It seems you are a sceptic, as am I. I will check out the podcast for sure. My original post was actually meant as more of a negative comment on religion (than a positive one on science) as I am a died in the wool atheist.

Agree 100%. So what are your thoughts on the current spread of denialism, regressive thinking and conspiracy theories?

Good quesion. Most of these ideas aren't all mine - they have been gleaned from other sources. I personally believe that the primary root cause of the below stems from Neo-liberism (which has been abused by both the left and right) and corruption. Most of this can be seen in the USA but unfortunately we can relate in New Zealand.

1. Distrust in the government/establishment. Stems back to Vietnam war and has only gotten worse. Other good examples are the "food pyramid", which was more about getting people to eat grains the government was holding (as part of proving to the world that capitalism was far better than communism) as opposed to looking after peoples health.

2. Failure to provide high quality education at all levels, this includes universities, which are no longer doing what they were originally designed to do.

3. Cultural issues - be it patriotism or cultural racism from the days of slavery.

4. Media and social media creating tribalism through the use of algorithms that keep people hooked in to a platform.

5. People are locked downed and looking for things to distract them/purpose.

But ultimately, the issue comes down to the middle/lower classes happiness. I don't think there is much of that left in the U.S. They were sold on an idea that is a complete con and they (personally) are paying the price. People are angry and they know something about how we are living isn't right. They just don't know exactly who to blame, who caused it or how to fix it.

Neo-liberalism and globalisation have taken away peoples financial stability. There is no social backstop i.e. medical and welfare. Education has become prohibitively expensive. Corrupt government is unable to regulate big business and the pursuit of money at the expense of all else. The drive of individualism of community. I could go on. Ultimately the US system has allowed itself to be corrupted beyond repair and now people have had enough. The biggest problem though is education. An educated society would be able to work through these problems or identify the problem and come up with a solution.

Have a listen to this podcast with Daniel Schmachtenberger & Bret Weinstein

Agree fully, you've probably articulated a reply I made further down this thread better. Thanks for commenting.

Covid. The claytons virus. Killer of elderly and obese yet they want to vaccinate the world. Bonkers.

Big pharmas iatrogenic business model. The vaccine is the gift that keeps on giving

Can you explain what you intend to say here clearly and with facts? Otherwise you sound like a conspiracy theorist. Which I believe is your intent.

As a flip side do you have any proof that it is not true. Just asking......

That's funny. Gerry Brownlee said the same thing.

So I'll take that as a no.

Another common tactic of conspiracy theorist/denialism is to actively propagate misinformation and outright lies, then when challenged and unable to present any kind of fact or evidence - and a definition of fact is it exists independently of you and I - is to then say "You prove this isn't true".

I'm not your research monkey. You obviously have some idea so go do your own research. Or take the jab like a good sheep. I don't mind either way

Well, you clearly don't have any research to back up what is equally clearly conspiracy driven comments. I thought you might like to provide proof. As for sheep? Who are you blindly following? Would you have done so if the internet hadn't allowed individuals to create cults around themselves? I'll stick to science and medicine thanks.

ditto, well said!

By your own estimation even doctors are conspiracy theorists for recognising that medicines can do more harm than good. So the GP who points out potential side effects, or for example takes an elderly client off statins because they can see its causing short term memory loss in the patient, would be a conspiracy theorist? Some medicines do more harm than good. This is a known fact. Some pharmaceutical companies do 'conspire' to push their products and make more money, and some are quite ruthless. If you can't bring yourself to put your typing skills to use to find some things out for yourself instead of automatically parroting 'conspiracy theorist' every time you come across a thinker, then I don't know how to help you

Statins are a nightmare I would agree with that. I just changed my diet at the cholesterol went from 8.3 to 4.7 job done. No way I was taking that medication even if my numbers had not improved. Taking the Covid vaccine will be personal choice if and when it finally arrives as an option. Pretty sure Jacinda has gone on record as saying it will not be forced on people. Its your choice, weigh up your own risks. Clearly the risk is primarily based on age and underlying pre existing health issues and obesity is a major as it indicates poor cardiovascular health.

So many people that jump up and automatically say "conspiracy theorist" like trained budgies. It tells me they have never watched anything but mainstream media, sport and Shorland Street, and rarely pick up a book. I suggest sitting down one day and watching some documentaries. Start with Enron:The Smartest Guys in the room. This is a good intro into how some American Corporations do not always work in the interest of the consumer. I know this is a terriblely shocking concept for some to digest and hard to accept

Dago, I have a broad range of informed factual sources. Including agreement with your statement American corporations do not always work in the interest of the consumer. But lines are now so blurred with misinformation, and this mainstream you speak of seem to be the ones falling for qanon and other conspiracies. In fact, it's the so called mainstream that stem from what we call the right, who's core roots are bigoted and ridden with conspiracy theorists and what might be termed home grown terrorism.

Books are fantastic. At least two a month is my recommendation.

All of this misinformation had to come from somewhere. It's been coopted and used as a tool in America for Trump's purposes, and he is backed by some particularly nasty billionaires. That group dictates a narrative that has flipped everything on it's head.

So great question to ask - who benefits?

Equally, who benefits from discrediting science, fact and medicine? I can guarantee it's not the general population.

It's neoliberalism that got us here, where the mainstream have been left behind - neoliberalism being a favoured tool of the right. And as such, they're now trying very hard to get us to look elsewhere. My informed opinion of course.

Dago, I love Smartest Guy in the Room, but I don't think it provides any insight into big pharma. Its a different culture, and the jabs are highly regulated. And by the time we get any of the vaccines tens or hundreds or millions of people overseas will have had them, which will be ample to identify if there are any real problems with them.

UK grandkids had their covid tests before returning to school yesterday. They were negative. Would be interesting to know how many cases they are picking up by testing school kids.
https://www.bbc.com/news/education-51643556

Ahhh, the endless emergency.

Its a politicians wet dream, housing cris... COVID... child povert.... COVID mental he.... COVID

Interesting piece by Tim Harford on the BBC's More or Less show, titled: Why are US Covid cases falling?

The most poignant statement that came from this episode was from one of the guests, Professor Jennifer Dowd, who said:

"I think we should be a little more humble in the face of these pandemic dynamics and admit that we can't perfectly predict or explain...you know, the pandemic really is a force of nature that we don't fully understand and on top of that it is interacting, in very complex ways, with human behaviour, which we know we are terrible at modeling."

Food for thought.

theoutlaw....same case could be made for the NZ property market, although with so many on this site who feel certain they know exactly where the market is headed, in this forum that view would be disputed.