Two new Covid cases, border controls seem to have failed

Two people who came to New Zealand and then were allowed to break their quarantine and travel from Auckland to Wellington to see a dying relative have tested positive for Covid.

Why the hell isn’t everyone coming into the country not tested for Covid before allowed to break quarantine?

New Zealand has been very lucky in containing Covid, but people coming into the country have been the biggest risk and border controls have always seemed to be inadequate.

RNZ:  Two new Covid-19 cases in NZ visited dying parent – Bloomfield

In a statement released this afternoon, the Ministry of Health said the two new cases were related to the border as a result of recent travel from the UK.

The ministry said both cases were connected, but offered little further information, leaving questions for Dr Bloomfield’s media briefing.

Dr Bloomfield said they were both women aged in their 30s and 40s respectively, and were from the same family. They arrived in New Zealand from the UK on 7 June.

“A new case is something we hoped we wouldn’t get, but it’s also something we expected and have planned for.”

They traveled from the UK via Doha and then Brisbane. Australian authorities were contacted to trace people in Australia, Dr Bloomfield said. It was uncertain where they became infected.

As part of their agreed plan under the compassionate circumstances agreement, they were tested in Wellington. Both have since gone into self-isolation in the Wellington region.

Again, why the hell weren’t they tested as soon as they arrived in the country? Or at least before they were allowed to leave quarantine?

Compassionate exemptions temporarily suspended

Health Minister Dr David Clark says he has required the Director General of Health to suspend compassionate exemptions from managed isolation, in order to ensure the system is working as intended.

It can’t have been working as intended, unless the intentions were badly flawed.

Leave a comment

26 Comments

  1. Geoffrey

     /  16th June 2020

    The lack of effective border control is at the heart of ALL of our confirmed cases. What is so hard about requiring all persons entering the country to be tested at the border and isolated until demonstrably clear. Without being unkind to immigrants surely our niceness should be targeted at our residents?

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  16th June 2020

      As I said at the start and often since they should be required to produce a clear test immediately before boarding and be tested again on arrival and isolating.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  16th June 2020

      Not immigrants…NZ citizens returning for sick mother
      As to your other questions, false negative tests where people have the virus but the test is negative ,has happened a number of times before.
      In the early days quarantining all persons arriving from overseas wasn’t feasible for a number of reasons , the main one was the Ruby Princess experience where a hotel like quarantine turned into an explosive outbreak…from one or two cases to over 700 in 2 weeks.
      Yet still people live this fantasy that this was possible back in March…improved sanitation and better understanding about how the disease spreads in hotel like situations.

      Reply
      • David

         /  16th June 2020

        They werent tested at all, one had symptoms but the media have demanded compassion and the media get what the media want.
        I am over the whole thing, just throw open the borders the virus hasnt got much oomph in it anymore.

        Reply
      • Duker

         /  16th June 2020

        Reading further , it seems the test wasn’t offered before leaving for Wellington- the mother died very soon and they may just made it in time.
        Other lapses are the symptom check protocol hasn’t been followed other than asking ‘are you OK’.
        This wouldn’t have changed the result of 2 arrivals having Covid , which even Australia has happening this week.

        Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  16th June 2020

    People coming into the country are not just the biggest risk, they are the only risk. They must be managed properly.

    Reply
  3. David

     /  16th June 2020

    Did Ardern not front that press conference, that’s a surprise.

    Reply
  4. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  16th June 2020

    If countries like Taiwan and S.Korea have been managing to check folks at their borders since January, why can’t we manage these basics?

    Who the heck is in charge of overseeing these basic quarantine and testing matters?

    Reply
    • David

       /  16th June 2020

      Cabinet Supremo David Clark, given he breached 3 time its an odd choice for who is in charge.

      Reply
      • And Kerala with 40,000,000 people. Their leader had the sense to see that border control and testing were the way to go and their covid rate has been minuscule. She deserves every kind of prize.

        Reply
  5. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  16th June 2020

    Oh Dear..
    our PM expectations weren’t met….
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/121851190/coronavirus-our-expectations-have-not-been-met-says-pm

    The buck stops at her desk….
    PATHETIC!

    Reply
    • Fairly typical politician – take credit for what goes ok, blame others for problems.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  16th June 2020

      Gawd luvva duck. Every time I hear those words “our” or “my expectations” I wince.

      Reply
    • duperez

       /  17th June 2020

      Do you think Ardern should resign? The Government should resign? What do you want her to do?

      Reply
  6. Geoffrey

     /  16th June 2020

    I have identified all who cross the border as immigrant, whether they be returnees or new entrants. Undue recourse to semantics can constrain one’s thought process. If in our desire to show compassion for an immigrant’s circumstances it becomes desirable to allow a possible carrier (any entrant who has not tested negative) to travel into the hinterland, a “bubble” needs to travel with that person to their destination. The cost of managing that process needs to be weighed against the degree of compassion that we are prepared to countenance.
    This is not new. That the issue has not lead to explicit direction to our border authorities invites one to wonder who or what could benefit by such neglect.

    Reply
  7. Brian Johnston

     /  16th June 2020

    Testing positive does not mean having it.

    The whole plandemic is a scamdemic.

    Reply
  8. Geoffrey

     /  16th June 2020

    Ya see, now we are getting into semantics. What is at issue is the lack of testing.

    Reply
    • Perhaps the people could be called ‘in-comers’. Immigrants does make one think of non-natives coming to live here.

      Reply
      • Geoffrey

         /  17th June 2020

        If that helps the border to be properly managed, fine.

        Reply
        • It’s not semantics or nitpicking, it’s just that immigrants does have a specific meaning to most people. In fact, some people think that the women were English.

          Reply
  9. Pink David

     /  17th June 2020

    Can anyone actually read this without some churn?

    “The Prime Minister of New Zealand is famous for her empathy and leadership skills.”

    https://www.penguin.co.nz/articles/2566-five-things-you-didnt-know-about-jacinda-ardern

    Reply

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