Covid big in the news again

wee had a bit of a lull in Covid-19 related reporting as we went over three weeks with no new cases, but last week’s slow moving train wreck of bad news over the mishandling of quarantine/isolation continues into this week.

RNZ:  Auckland hotel put into lockdown after report of new Covid-19 case

A New Zealander in isolation at the Auckland Airport Novotel says they have all been put into lockdown after being told of a new case of Covid-19 at the hotel.

That brings the total number of current cases in the country to eight, with Ministry of Health officially announcing another two new cases (yesterday).

Former RNZ reporter Alexa Cook who arrived in the country from the UK on 13 June, said they were rung on their hotel room’s phone by a member of the Defence Force around 8.30pm this evening, and told to stay in their rooms until receiving further instructions.

The Defence Force did not tell her how many people had been tested today but said the new case is in one bubble.

She says around 300 people staying in the hotel are all confined to their rooms.

Maybe we will find out whether this is a new way of dealing with isolation facilities when new cases are discovered, or if someone has been circulating in isolation for days before testing positive.

Also from RNZ: Special exemptions requests to enter NZ on the rise

The number of people wanting to travel to New Zealand under special exemptions is on the rise, but there’s no vacancy at isolation hotels in Auckland.

Thousands of people are being managed at 20 hotels across the country and almost 900 more are expected to arrive in the coming days.

According to officials, the number of daily arrivals has doubled in the past month, and the flurry has them searching for accommodation away from major centres.

With quarantine hotels in Auckland at full capacity, Woods said the government was speaking to airlines about the number of flights to New Zealand and where they land, to manage the rush of people coming home.

“Returning New Zealand citizens and permanent residents, they do have a right to re-enter New Zealand, but we are looking at a range of measures we might be able to do to manage the flow so that we can do that with our daily ins and outs, so we know when capacity comes on board,” Woods said.

While the border is closed to non-New Zealanders, there are special exemptions.

People can apply to travel here on humanitarian grounds or if they are the partner or child of a New Zealand citizen or resident. Employers can apply to bring in critical workers.

Air Commodore Digby Webb said the number of these applications was on the rise as well.

“We are seeing a slight increase in new border exemption restriction requests and those two things will be managed very carefully, hand in hand.

NZ Herald: Auckland quarantine hotels full, travellers taken to Rotorua

New arrivals into the country are now being put into managed isolation in hotels outside Auckland because the city’s quarantine sites are full.

New quarantine facilities outside Auckland would be required, she said.

“Covid is growing, not slowing,” Woods said in reference to the global pandemic.

Webb said Auckland’s quarantine facilities were now full. Three planeloads of travellers from Australia were yesterday taken by buses to Rotorua.

Angry travellers says they arrived in New Zealand yesterday and were put on buses to Rotorua with no warning.

Webb conceded that communication to those travellers could have been better.

A total of 4272 people were now in managed isolation and with more flights expected this week so the Government was now approaching capacity in Auckland.

Today’s two new Covid-19 cases proves the Government’s isolation and quarantine system is working, the heads of the operation say.

To an extent it does seem to be working, now detecting new cases before they are allowed out of quarantine, but the system seems to be under severe strain.

One News: Covid-19 contact moved facilities three times without being tested

A contact of one of our seven new positive cases is in quarantine after being moved between three separate isolation facilities in his first week, without being tested.

Mr Ealam was on the same packed flight from Melbourne as this week’s third new case – the man in his 60’s who originally flew from Pakistan and transited via the Australian city as well as Doha.

He’s been in New Zealand for eight days, but still hasn’t been tested for Covid-19, despite being identified as a contact.

Mr Ealam spent his first six days in isolation at Auckland’s Four Points Sheraton, but when he was offered a transfer flight to Christchurch, he jumped at the chance to be closer to home when his isolation ended.

He was signed out by health officials without a test, and was put on a transfer bus along with guests from other hotels to Auckland Airport.

He says he was minutes from boarding when he received a call from the Ministry of Health saying he couldn’t board because he was a contact and hadn’t been tested.

He was escorted by police to the airport Novotel, where he stayed for a night before being moved again to Jet Park today, which is exclusively for people with symptoms and positive Covid-19 cases. He was transported alone in full PPE.

NZ Herald: Massey police shooting: Slain officer Matthew Hunt’s mum’s frustration: Relatives isolated in Rotorua

The grieving family of slain policeman Matthew Hunt face a heartbreaking wait for his funeral, with overseas relatives required to spend 14 days in isolation.

Hunt’s devastated mother Diane was further upset by the fact her brother and sister-in-law have been sent to managed isolation in Rotorua – 220km from Auckland, the Herald can reveal.

Stuff: 73 businesses fail after claiming wage subsidy

Stuff investigation found 73 companies which received support through the Government-funded scheme have gone into receivership or liquidation since its launch on March 17.

According to the Ministry of Social Development, the companies were paid a total of $7,714,311 to support 1164 employees.

Payments ranged from $17,574 to a Foxton refrigeration manufacturer to more than $3.1m paid to homeware retailer Smiths City.


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  1. John J Harrison

     /  22nd June 2020

    Get used to it.
    Like measles, dengue fever etc Covid will never be eliminated.
    We all have to learn to live with it.
    Our PM telling us in March that our team of 5 million will eradicate and eliminate this virus was nothing more than political humbug and headline grabbing.
    Due to the government’s ineptitude our economy is sunk, livelihoods are destroyed and medical interventions have been delayed by up to 6 months which will prove fatal for many.
    Accountability, forget about it !

    • duperez

       /  22nd June 2020

      That’s why Michael Woodhouse should be the Minister of Health. He’s onto it.

      He suspected someone with Covid-19 was on the loose in New Zealand. Since we don’t have any community transmission of the virus he apparently was prepared to risk running a test to see how it would work if we did.

      Rather than immediately notifying officials that there may be a serious problem he would deploy his own verification people. Seemingly accepting that there was no need to have more ‘feet on the ground’ and time not being of absolute essence in tracking down the source of potential calamity, he free-wheeled it

      In the hours one of the people of interest could have infected someone who could have infected someone who would go the Hurricanes v Crusaders rugby in Wellington on Saturday night.

      Sunk economy, livelihoods destroyed, medical interventions delayed which may prove fatal for many? Times like that are when we need a Michael Woodhouse, thinking about the bigger picture.

      • Gezza

         /  22nd June 2020

        What in god’s name are you raving on about?

        • duperez

           /  22nd June 2020

          It’s no rave. Michael Woodhouse will do what’s best for the country. He wouldn’t delay and stuff around with something that he depicts as serious and the material for a crisis situation.

          If he found out there are a problem he would do what was right and sensible not play politics. I’m surprised you didn’t understand.

          • Gezza

             /  22nd June 2020

            5 people so far think it’s a rave, 6 if you count me. You’re still raving.

            Just get to your bloody point.

            Why do we have to read all the way through the strange workings inventions & sarcastic meanderings of your thought processes?

            None of us is taking bloody LSD.

            • duperez

               /  22nd June 2020

              You’re one who doesn’t like or want Jacinda Ardern talking to you like you’re a child, a simple one at that.

              However if something is not said in a blindingly simple way, as if being addressed to an under six year old whose ability for abstract thought hasn’t developed you become discombobulated.

              I’ll translate. Michael Woodhouse was given information that people were out of quarantine who could have Covid-19. One person could spread it far and wide very simply, very quickly. It could have ended in lockdowns and so on, and had the sort of terrible impacts people have talked about on here.

              So, did he immediately ring the fire bell, bang the tsunami button or get in touch wth the Ministry of Health and say, “Shit, there’s a problem, here’s what I know, you need to get onto it! ow can help?”

              Or did he wait for Parliament was in action a couple of days later? To make it simple again: This is a guy who’s running around using every opportunity to say the Government and the Ministry are doing a crap job.
              What’s the result of a crap job? People and the economy being at risk I suppose. The sort of risk that sees you sit on critical information for a couple of days?

              As for you counting those who think it’s a rave. Esoteric ways might be beyond you but your perspicacity sees you able to judge what the intent of the downticks were? Maybe they did that realising that Woodhouse acted like a pillock and they didn’t like hearing the truth.

            • Corky

               /  22nd June 2020

              Duperez, it’s good to see posters beating each other up. Usually it’s open season on me…not that I mind. However, I’m with Gezza on this. We have to go through a maize of back roads to get onto the highway of your argument. I think we would all prefer to take the off ramp and get onto the correct highway straight away.

              Below is an example of less being more. Look, learn and apply.


            • Gezza

               /  22nd June 2020

              Christ. Back inside the concrete mixer.

              Michael Woodhouse was told one of 2 women given compassionate leave from Quarantine had tested positive for Covid 19.
              He should have immediately rung the Health Ministry & dobbed them in.
              He didn’t.
              He is therefore in your opinion personally to blame for putting the whole country at risk of another outbreak.

              Is that what you’re attempting to say in amongst all that shite, duperez?

            • Gezza

               /  22nd June 2020

              However if something is not said in a blindingly simple way, as if being addressed to an under six year old whose ability for abstract thought hasn’t developed you become discombobulated.

              Abstract thinking is one thing. Garbled & waffly rambling is another. Yours is the latter.

            • Maggy Wassilieff

               /  22nd June 2020

              Have you considered that perhaps it was someone in the MoHealth that informed Woodhouse that the 2 women had tested positive and had met with others.?

              In other words, the MoH and Bloomfield already knew that the 2 women had been left to drive through the country whilst positive.
              They were sitting on the information.

            • Maggy, I wonder if one of the women guessed that she had it.

              I have asthma and was quite ill with it earlier this year…but I couldn’t have mistaken the flu-like Covid for asthma, even when it’s really bad, and I have been really bad at times.

              My impression was that the hitherto unsupecting and probably now former friend told Michael Woodhouse.

          • duperez

             /  22nd June 2020

            Corky, see if you can understand this. You may have seen it in the news.

            Michael Woodhouse, whose main intent is to play politics and pretend he’s the only one taking things seriously, gets all upset about housing those in isolation. Of course there are enough willing to help him play his silly games.


            Some of the reality. Woodhouse helps start an unnecessary fire because of which people could lose their jobs.


            It is clear the myriad factors are causing logistical problems. How do you fix them? Get some cowboy like Woodhouse playing fast and loose? I don’t see how lowlife behaviour can be used to claim some moral high ground.

            • Gezza

               /  22nd June 2020

              Gawd I had to google backtrack to find out exactly what Woodhouse did. The whole thing’s been such an evolving omnishambles.

              Woodhouse pointed out at Parliament the two women granted compassionate release from quarantine claimed to have had no contact with anyone until they got to Wellington & got tested there. They had.

              He also said that day that over the past 24 hours people had been getting in touch with him to say they hadn’t been tested during quarantine. This contradicted what the PM & Bloomfield were telling the public.

              Woodhouse & journos already reporting on the cockups got the growing reports of managed isolation issues finally addressed properly & smartly. Of course he’s making political capital at the same time. That’s what Oppositions do.

            • Corky

               /  22nd June 2020

              ”Of course he’s making political capital at the same time. That’s what Oppositions do.”

              Bingo…in 14 words.

            • Gezza, I don’t believe that that was his main motivation, but it made political capital of itself without any help from him.

      • FarmerPete

         /  22nd June 2020

        Already debunked. Take a breather!

        • Duker

           /  22nd June 2020

          Not debunked, as you have no evidence nor have you the ability to understand what evidence means

          “”That’s a long-standing public health practice, and it’s called ‘traveler’s quarantine,’ ” explains Lindsay Wiley, a professor at American University’s Washington College of Law. “Fourteen days is not a made-up number here — it’s based on what we know so far about COVID-19, and it’s possible that over time we’ll see that number change as we learn more [about the virus].”

          Measles is 21 days to compare or in terms so called Farmer pete can understand .
          M Bovis quarantine for cows is 7 days ( which was screwed by farmers ignoring the cattle tracing system)

          • Pink David

             /  22nd June 2020

            “M Bovis quarantine for cows is 7 days ( which was screwed by farmers ignoring the cattle tracing system)”

            So, how successful do you think the rules around Covid are going to be? What you need is more enforcement and more rules, that will make it better…..

            • Duker

               /  22nd June 2020

              Covid rules worked, get over it.
              The current disquiet over the testing slip ups indicates the public has no appetite for new arrivals having any leniency as they , and me, want to protect our freedom of movement and meet whom we like…unlike the rest of the world.
              Seen any crowds at german soccer games ?

            • Pink David

               /  22nd June 2020

              “The current disquiet over the testing slip ups indicates the public has no appetite for new arrivals having any leniency as they , and me, want to protect our freedom of movement and meet whom we like…unlike the rest of the world.”

              Sure. That is something I am agreeing with you about. I’ going to be fascinated how you get out of that situation, but you are happy, so I guess that is all that matters.

              “Seen any crowds at german soccer games ?”

              I never watch soccer, so I would not notice. A friend of mine is big into the Belarusian league and that never stopped.

          • FarmerPete

             /  23rd June 2020

            Personal abuse is the last refuge of those who have no logical argument.

      • The people who let the ill women out would know without Michael Woodhouse telling them.

        What he told was that they did, in fact, have contact with unsuspecting people on the way. The people knew this by then, they had told him. The two women were in isolation. He raised it in the house.

        They were irresponsible and he raised the issue of them being let out. The one/s they touched lived in Auckland, the virus couldn’t have spread to Wellington and infected someone who infected someone who….

        That’s what if…..?

        As the Jewish saying goes, what if my aunt had balls ? She’d be my uncle..

    • Duker

       /  22nd June 2020

      Measles isnt eliminated but a vaccine against is highly effective when there is over 90% usage. No doubt when we have a vaccine or preventer or both you will have more to make uninformed complaints
      get over it.

      Back in March the goal wasnt elimination of covid but was flattening curve and the 4 week lockdown at level 4 was supported by Bridges and Seymour in speeches in parliament.
      Get over it
      So get over the lockdown having worked , and was such a sucess we then could see elimination ( of community transmission) was achievable. In actual terms that meant contact tracing of cases AND widespread community testing of those without symptoms.

      • Pink David

         /  22nd June 2020

        “So get over the lockdown having worked , and was such a sucess we then could see elimination ( of community transmission) was achievable. In actual terms that meant contact tracing of cases AND widespread community testing of those without symptoms.”

        To a degree you are right on this. If you believe the lockdown was effective, NZ must remain isolated from the world. Every traveler is a significant risk at destroying the entire premise of the lockdown. You must stay in your bubble.

        Of course, that is also the insanity of it. NZ has become something of a prison.

        “Get over it”

        Good advice. NZ has blown more money on the lockdown than any other single event in history, and will rack up a generations worth of debt just to become prisoners in their own country. Just get over it. Move on. No debate to be had.

        • Duker

           /  22nd June 2020

          ” NZ must remain isolated from the world”
          really ? So why are we having issues with so many arrivals

          Non citizen or non residents cant get into the US or Australia either ( even to leave Australia requires federal government permission)
          Canadian provinces have restrictions requiring isolation from other provinces>, same with Queensland in Australia

          So what was your point again , that we are like many other countries that restrict ‘foreigners’ arrivals, however we dont , unlike some, have internal restrictions.

          Oh that wasnt your point, rather just some prattle that is uninformed and pathetic

          • Pink David

             /  22nd June 2020

            “really ? So why are we having issues with so many arrivals”

            You are having issues with a very few arrivals. NZ is getting a few hundred a day, down from 50,000ish. That is where you will stay for an indeterminate period of time. It is the natural outcome of the elimination strategy.

            “Oh that wasnt your point, rather just some prattle that is uninformed and pathetic”

            Very simple. You cannot un-isolate until covid is gone from the world. Your instability to see the consequence of this is amusing.

            • Duker

               /  22nd June 2020

              50k per day ….are you on fantasy planet again.
              International travel is dead around the globe
              Get used to it

              Tell us why NZ is the same as other countries in restricting ‘foreigners’ arriving.
              Even a 9 yr old would understand quarantining 14 days will put a lot of ‘visitors’ off , especially when they find out it will cost them say $4500 each.
              Your ignorance used to astound me, but its clearly got to the level below bovine to ovine

            • Pink David

               /  22nd June 2020

              “50k per day ….are you on fantasy planet again.
              International travel is dead around the globe
              Get used to it”

              I wonder what it is you actually read. NZ has gone from ~50,000 per day, which was fairly typical pre-covid to 300-500 per day. So your demand to ‘get used to it’ means you agree with me, a few hundred a day is NZ’s new norm. NZ is isolated. Again, you are agreeing.

              “Tell us why NZ is the same as other countries in restricting ‘foreigners’ arriving.”

              It is the same as some countries, and difference from others. The elimination strategy means this cannot be relaxed the way many other countries are doing. That is not a difficult concept.

              A lot of the world do not have 14 day restrictions, many countries in Europe do not require this on a negative test. Greece for example, simply has random testing on arrival from a long list of countries.

              Week-by-week these restrictions are easing. They cannot for NZ for the foreseeable future.

              “Even a 9 yr old would understand quarantining 14 days will put a lot of ‘visitors’ off , especially when they find out it will cost them say $4500 each.”

              A lot? I expect it means there will be almost no visitors except those with critical need. As I have said, this is part of the isolation that NZ is now locked into.

              How do you get out? You keep saying ‘get used to it’, so you accept this is NZ remaining in isolation perpetually, you are again agreeing I was agreeing with you. We agree.

              “Your ignorance used to astound me, but its clearly got to the level below bovine to ovine”

              I still wonder what it is you do for a living.

            • Duker

               /  22nd June 2020

              NZ international arrivals across border , all types from Stats NZ
              22 jun 2019 was 17500 arrivals
              never been 50k even on peak days in january

            • Pink David

               /  22nd June 2020

              Right you are. I was looking at the weekly numbers.

              So NZ is currently receiving less than a hundred people a day. Isolation indeed. 80 people a day last week.

              How do you get out of that isolation?

        • I think that the lockdown MUST be debated to see where it went so wrong.

          The Opposition who supported the initial premise didn’t see (but perhaps they should have) that the PM’s whim, sorry, instinct, would continue to override ‘science and evidence’ and keep extending it.

          We need to examine the alternatives (as Kerala’s leader did) and avoid another debacle.

      • Gerrit

         /  22nd June 2020

        Problem is that not that the lockdown was successful or not.

        That is past history, and whilst gloating about it could make one feel good, the follow up as is happening right NOW and is being judged.

        The call on the post lock down leadership and actualisation of plans is a messy failure.

        With state servants on full pay during the lockdown, surely a better leadership plan of action could have been expected?

        • Duker

           /  22nd June 2020

          Any plan only lasts until its shown to be unworkable or needs updating.
          How was the ‘leadership’ to know that the testing before exiting was missing ‘ a few people’
          The litany of complaints from Day 1 is familiar, as that flip flopper Hosking showed
          1) Lockdown too late but must be done
          2) Lockdown lasted to long
          3) Lockdown wasnt necessary and is illegal
          4) Level one waited too long
          5) One bubble with Australia should happen immediately
          6) Isolation to strict for arrivals
          7) Isolation too loose for arrivals
          8) We dont have enough isolation rooms
          9)Why are we opening new isolation hotels without ‘consultation’

          Right at the begiining it was predicted the complaints would mostly as above with added twists for NZ – Ardern is getting too much publicity, it should stop……Where is Ardern we arent hearing from her daily.


          • duperez

             /  22nd June 2020

            No time for yawning with working out how we handled 50,000 coming in to the country each day! And how it’s madness to put everyone in to quarantine while it’s not madness to not put put everyone into quarantine.

            It’s fun contemplating that ‘so many’ arrivals for one are ‘so very few’ arrivals for someone else, and the cumulative effect which sees the few very quickly turn into so many not being appreciated.

    • Covid may well vanish as the plague and other diseases have in the past. SARS and MERS did. It seems (fingers crossed) to be weakening in its effect as the plague did; I hope this is true.

      • Duker

         /  22nd June 2020

        Plague hasnt vanished… its still found in areas it originated from.
        Difference is it isnt spread human- human.
        Plague isnt the only very nasty disease around , amoung many others hanta virus pops up now again in mice in US

        • I know it’s still around and even found in the US; I should have said ‘all but vanish’ or something like that.

          Rabies is still around too, I think.

  2. Pink David

     /  22nd June 2020

    “Difference is it isnt spread human- human.”

    A plague outbreak killed 300 in Madagascar a couple of years ago. Seems quite unlikely it wasn’t human to human don’t you think?

    • In Plague Year, the narrator describes the frantic second guessing that was going on and various theories.

      His doctor believed that smelling someone’s breath might well be a test, but as he said, he wasn’t going to try it to see if it was one or not !

      • One forgets that this is a novel although the historical facts (like the numbers of cases and deaths) are all real. I don’t know if this theory was ever tried by real doctors, but it’s feasible that it existed.

        There were many quacks (even the word is used) who claimed to have cures….many ended up disproving these when they died of plague themselves.


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