Covid testing ramped up further to address previous failings

Lack of Covid-19 testing of people arriving in New Zealand has been embarrassing for the Government and for the Ministry of Health. Military oversight and organisation of the quarantining has increased substantially, and fixit minister Megan Woods has been installed to deal with the failings of Minister of Health David Clark, and a number of more stringent testing measures have been introduced.


UPDATE: the Ministry has revealed that 51 of 55 people who left quarantine early were not tested

Of the 55, 39 have now tested negative, seven won’t be tested for medical reasons or because they are children and one was wrongly counted because their leave application was withdrawn. Of the remaining eight, four are awaiting test results and four still haven’t been tested.

And of the four that had had a test, two were tested on the day of departure so they must have been released by staff without knowing they were negative.

Auckland University medical professor Des Gorman said it was hard to imagine so much liberty was allowed at the border. While many of the early-release people might not be found to be infectious now, that did not mean they were infectious at the time.

It is alarming that this was allowed to happen but presumably under new procedures it won’t happen again.

More on the lead up to this below.


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was reported to be angry over revelations last week, and there may be good reason for that.

Richard Harman at Politik in Testing times for Bloomfield:

…the Prime Minister over the past two days has shown no hesitation in publicly revealing the Ministry’s failings. Yesterday she revealed they had failed to carry out their own testing instructions.

“At the beginning of June, my office sought to confirm the testing that was taking place at alert level 1, including high-risk areas,” she said. “

On June 5, the Ministry of Health emailed a response stating, ‘Testing of people entering New Zealand will commence in the week of June 8 2020. These people will be tested at day three and day 12 of their stay in the managed isolation facilities. Approximately 3,000 tests will be undertaken of these people, including those who are already in the facility.’

“On June 8, the same advice was provided to Cabinet in an update from the Ministry of Health.

“On June 9, the Ministry of Health released a press release which stated, “From today, everyone in managed isolation will be tested twice for COVID-19 and will require a negative test before they leave.

“Those in quarantine were already being tested as they had shown prior symptoms.”

The Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, continued to maintain this was the situation at his daily press conference at 1.00 p.m. yesterday.

“So since June the ninth, we have rolled out the testing and managed isolation facilities at around day three and around day twelve of people’s stay,” he said.

But an hour later, under questioning in Parliament from Opposition Leader, Todd Muller…

Question Time 1. Question No. 1—Prime Minister

1. TODD MULLER (Leader of the Opposition) to the Prime Minister: Does she stand by her statement, “we had an expectation that testing was happening in day 3 and day 12 at the moment we went into alert level 1”; if so, on what factual basis was that expectation formed?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN (Prime Minister): At the beginning of June, my office sought to confirm the testing that was taking place at alert level 1, including high-risk areas. On 5 June, the Ministry of Health emailed a response stating, “Testing of people entering New Zealand will commence in the week of 8 June 2020. These people will be tested at day three and day 12 of their stay in the managed isolation facilities. Approximately 3,000 tests will be undertaken of these people, including those who are already in the facility.” On 8 June, the same advice was provided to Cabinet in an update from the Ministry of Health. On 9 June, the Ministry of Health released a press release which stated, “From today, everyone in managed isolation will be tested twice for COVID-19 and will require a negative test before they leave. Those in quarantine were already being tested as they had shown prior symptoms.”

Todd Muller: Did her Government have the authority to require someone to have a COVID test in quarantine or managed isolation when the policy was announced on 8 June?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Yes.

Todd Muller: Why, then, has testing been voluntary between 8 June and the issuing of a new public health order yesterday?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: As I’ve made very clear, the instruction of the Director-General of Health was not being correctly deployed at the assisted isolation facilities.

Todd Muller: When did the Prime Minister get informed that, despite her expectations of mandatory testing in quarantine and self-isolation from 8 June, that in fact was not happening?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: The member will be aware—as the rest of New Zealand is aware—that that happened last week, at the time of the case being identified of the compassionate leave being granted without testing being deployed. So whilst I don’t want to give a precise figure, it was roughly sometime thereafter in the last seven days, but as the member can see from the reassurances we were being given directly by the Ministry of Health and also the public statements being made by the Ministry of Health, up until that point it was certainly our view that people were being tested twice and being tested before departure.

Todd Muller: Why, then, has testing been voluntary between 8 June and the announcement of the public health order yesterday?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: The clear point is that it shouldn’t have been. The order was an enabler, and enabled testing to take place. The clear view of—

SPEAKER: Order! Order! I think all of us know that this is important, and I want to be able to hear the response.

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: And, as I’ve clearly stated, there’s multiple points at which the Ministry of Health itself was issuing statements claiming that was what was happening in managed isolation facilities. So, clearly, what was meant to be happening wasn’t, and that is something that we’ve been very open about and have worked decisively to correct.

Hon Dr Megan Woods: Is it the Prime Minister’s understanding that nobody has left a managed isolation facility since this weekend, despite the health order not coming into play until yesterday?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: That’s exactly correct. The point that the Minister is making there is that the order clearly always created the environment where that mandatory testing could take place. It wasn’t happening; that has nothing to do with the order. It was very clear from the Director-General two tests were meant to be taking place, and certainly one before exit.

Todd Muller: Why did a person in managed isolation on 18 June receive a Ministry of Health form saying that they had the right to refuse a COVID test, with a stapled overlay saying that testing was now compulsory?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: And it always was.

Hon Chris Hipkins: Does the Prime Minister believe that devolving the management of quarantine arrangements to individual tertiary education providers, as advocated by the Opposition, would increase or decrease the risk of non-compliance with quarantine measures?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Increase. In fact, I have heard countless members, including the Leader of the Opposition, talk about opening up the borders. I absolutely stand by the position of this Government that the border is an area that we must be absolutely cautious around. That has not been the position of the Opposition.

Todd Muller: Could the Prime Minister please explain how it is possible to announce alert level 1, saying testing now will be occurring in day three and day 12, yet emails from the Ministry of Health on 19 June state “consent is required before a test is taken”?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: That is not what the order states, so that is incorrect.

Todd Muller: Sorry, I’d just ask the Prime Minister again: is she disputing the Ministry of Health email on 19 June stating—and I quote—”consent is required before a test is taken”?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: The order at that time: “I require all persons arriving in New Zealand to report and submit themselves as soon as practical after their arrival for testing and for medical examination.”

Todd Muller: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can I repeat the question to the Prime Minister: is she disputing that I have an email from the Ministry of Health from 19 June stating—and I quote—”consent is required before a test is taken”?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Again, I point to the language of the order. I point to the three different times at which the Director-General and the Ministry of Health have said that everyone would require a negative test before they were able to leave. Though the wider point that I also wish to make: there are two countries in the world—in the world—comparable to New Zealand that are requiring this form of quarantine. We are one of the few in the world that I can find that are also requiring compulsion of testing. I stand by the stringency of our border measures. I see the member has only recently decided that the border matters.

Harman:

…the Prime Minister said: “What was meant to be happening wasn’t, and that is something that we’ve been very open about and have worked decisively to correct.” That working “decisively” was centred around a Health Order issued on Monday which, in the words of the Prime Minister, was intended to make it “crystal clear” that people would be tested on day three after their arrival in New Zealand; again on day 12 and not released from isolation or quarantine until that final test was found to be negative.

The Order was a tacit acknowledgment that, despite what Bloomfield kept repeating,  the testing had not been taking place.

Hence Ardern’s anger and her rapid actions to put other people in charge of managing quarantines and testing.

More from Megan Woods in 4. Question No. 4—Housing.

And:

David Clark is still involved, releasing this yesterday: New COVID-19 testing strategy to keep New Zealand safe

The Government is stepping up New Zealand’s COVID-19 testing system at the border as more New Zealanders arrive from overseas, Health Minister Dr David Clark says.

  • Regular health check and asymptomatic testing of all border facing workers
  • Regular testing of quarantine exempt people such as New Zealand based air crew
  • Testing available for anyone presenting to primary or secondary care with any type of COVID-19 symptom
  • DHBs required to regularly review and take actions to increase testing in population groups if there is significant variation to the national average in their region

“Under our enhanced strategy, priority for testing will be given to those who are most likely to have been exposed to COVID-19 which is our border and airline staff and those arriving back in New Zealand.

These workers include:

  • Border workers in customs, biosecurity, immigration and aviation security at airports, and the people who clean at international airports or maritime ports in areas/conveniences visited by international arrivals
  • Staff who work in managed isolation and quarantine facilities, including those who drive people entering the country from the airport to the facilities
  • International air and maritime crew.

“Across the wider community, we will continue to test all close contacts of confirmed or probable cases.

“Given the current low levels of influenza in the community rigorous monitoring of testing rates across DHBs will be required to ensure we have confidence in equity of access to testing and also to ensure an adequate level of community testing continues.

“Anyone presenting to primary or secondary care with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be offered testing even if they have no history of international travel or contact with travellers. This is important for surveillance purposes.

“To ensure our surveillance testing is appropriate and equitable, the Ministry of Health will rigorously monitor testing rates across DHBs and population groups and will conduct a weekly review of testing by each DHB and by ethnic group.

“If you have symptoms and you’re not sure what to do, either call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or call your doctor.

“We are confident this is the best possible approach, and the one we will be moving ahead with into the future. However, we will continue to review our elimination strategy to ensure it remains as effective as possible in the changing environment,” David Clark said.

It would have been far better that this approach was put in place weeks ago but at least we have it now.

But information has been hard to get out of the Ministry of Health. RNZ yesterday: Seven days and counting and still no answer from Bloomfield

“I will get you that number – I’m sorry I haven’t got it – I’d like to have it as well.”

It’s been a week and counting since the Director-General of Health was first asked how many people have left managed isolation without being tested for Covid-19.

Today Dr Ashley Bloomfield again fronted media without an answer, and repeatedly apologised for not being able to provide it.

The question was prompted by the case of two women being given compassionate leave to travel down the North Island on 13 June to be with a dying parent.

Late last night the number was released. NZ Herald: 51 of 55 people who left quarantine early were not tested

RNZ: Rigorous border system ‘matter of life or death’, public health expert says

A leading public health expert is backing the Opposition’s attack on Covid-19 border controls saying a rigorous system is a matter of life or death.

Epidemiologist Michael Baker said the measures in place are reassuring but he warns there’s a long road ahead.

“We have thousands of people now in quarantine at many different locations, and we have to make sure these protocols are now being applied, very systematically to all those groups,” Baker said.


Yesterday Bloomfield said that there was no evidence supporting the  homeless man story raised by Michael Woodhouse and suggested it could be ‘an urban myth’ and the Government has formally requested information:

But Woodhouse sticks with homeless man claim:

Woodhouse, who hadn’t seen the letter when he spoke to the New Zealand Herald, said he would faithfully relay the request to his source but doubted they would want to reveal who they are.

He said the fact so much resource to investigating the allegation showed the Government doubted their systems and believed it could be true.

“They’ve decided it was possible which is why they didn’t dismiss it as an urban myth.”

Woodhouse called his source reliable and said he’d been careful to say the information was unverified.

This is a bit of a sideshow but there seems to be some political point scoring at stake.

Leave a comment

57 Comments

  1. John J Harrison

     /  24th June 2020

    Pete, your are wrong.
    This is not embarrassing, it is utterly scandalous, totally reprehensible and traitorous.
    At a time when the 5 million were locked up, unable to say goodbye to loved ones, businesses and livelihoods destroyed the COL is found unable to run a bath , let along our country.
    Our economy has been destroyed— and for what ?
    Contemptuous, is too kind a word for how I feel about this disgraceful government.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  24th June 2020

      I see melo drama is your forte John.

      Why do you think the NZGovts handling of this pandemic has been lauded globally by objective commentators?

      Reply
      • John J Harrison

         /  24th June 2020

        Blazer, wrong !
        But you are correct regarding the fawning overseas media.
        If you kept up with the global newspapers as I do you would know that Ardern et al have gone from preening peacock to feather duster in 2 weeks.
        Their total ineptitude and shallowness has been exposed not only nationally but internationally.
        Good !

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  24th June 2020

          I expect you can offer up some relevant examples of other countries that have handled C19 in a way that you approve of.

          I am interested to know how they have managed to maintain their economy at pre C19 levels and also have minimal impact on the daily lives of their citizens.

          Thanks in advance.

          Reply
          • John J Harrison

             /  24th June 2020

            Blazer, ever heard of Taiwan ?

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  24th June 2020

              Yes I have…have you ever herd of…sheep?

              There are over 200 sovereign nations in the world.
              Please tell me how we can be like Taiwan?
              And feel free to mention all the developed nations that have followed the Taiwanese model.

            • Have you ever heard of Kerala and Vietnam ?

              John, Blazer is the self-appointed Resident Troll. He deprived us of his presence for some time, but is now back.

            • Fight4nz

               /  25th June 2020

              “ Blazer is the self-appointed Resident Troll. ”
              Correction, Blazer is the self-appointed foil to the hysterical rwnj’s that regularly post here. Thankfully. Kiwiblog, etc, already fill that role.
              In deference to the site policy not to make personal attacks, also in contrast to the poster of that baseless liable, I will not name any names.

          • Pink David

             /  24th June 2020

            “I expect you can offer up some relevant examples of other countries that have handled C19 in a way that you approve of.”

            Did you know the Norwegian Prime Minster has been on TV and apologized to the country about the lockdown as being total unnecessary and pointless?

            Reply
    • Pink David

       /  24th June 2020

      I posted this manual months back. The WHO handbook on managing endemics of respiratory illnesses is very clear on the science. Last updated in November.

      Contact tracing is useless. Not a scrap of evidence supports it.
      Same with lockdowns. No science to support it. Lockdowns are the creation of a 14yo high school project from 2006.

      Reply
  2. Ray

     /  24th June 2020

    So despite the Prime Minister trumpeting for months ” we went early and we have the most stringent borders” and the the DG of Health talking up the numbers tested we have not had air crew not being tested plus the omnishambles taking place for quarantined travellers.
    They believed but hadn’t done any checks !
    A bit worrying eh.

    Interesting how many people who don’t seem to have been political are appearing on Twitter supporting Labour’s handling of this mess, blind or a dirty tricks brigade?

    Reply
  3. Gezza

     /  24th June 2020

    Clark:

    “Anyone presenting to primary or secondary care with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be offered testing even if they have no history of international travel or contact with travellers. This is important for surveillance purposes.”

    *Offered* testing? And if they decline or don’t take up the offer, what then?

    Woodhouse:

    I posted this last night.

    “Gezza / 23rd June 2020
    Woods has called on Woodhouse to put up or shut up (or words to that general effect):

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/121923893/housing-minister-megan-woods-hits-back-at-national-party-over-alleged-homeless-man-isolation-breach

    Fair enuf too. Time for Woodhouse to produce the evidence.”

    Woodhouse can’t play cat & mouse any more. If he can’t provide concrete evidence from his source he deserves a smack. Smug comments like

    “He said the fact so much resource to investigating the allegation showed the Government doubted their systems and believed it could be true. They’ve decided it was possible which is why they didn’t dismiss it as an urban myth.”

    Bullshit. That doesn’t justify the amount of time & expense wasted on investigating what might actually be fake news.

    “Woodhouse called his source reliable and said he’d been careful to say the information was unverified.”

    That doesn’t give him an out or an excuse if he’s willingly allowed himself to be the mouthpiece for a malcious liar.

    Reply
    • David

       /  24th June 2020

      Woodhouse said the claim wasnt verified and he didnt exactly go hard on the accusation but the Megan Woods effect is coming to the fore with her “look over here” focus hoping people will stop talking about her failures.
      Good politics but it would be remiss of us to take the focus off what really matters and that is making sure the government finally do their job.
      Foreign crew on container ships have been getting off boats and getting out and about in the community for the last 4 weeks as well. I know that as a fact the wife works in the industry and oversees the payment of their local expenses, these are ships that come straight from Australia so are only on the water for a couple of days.

      Reply
    • Ray

       /  24th June 2020

      Come on Gezza , Winston has been pulling this stunt for 20+ years, it still works for him on much more flimsy evidence, just a variation of the “pig fxxxing” LBJ claim.
      Thing is it is working this time and judging by the last two weeks believable.
      And even better, good on the homeless guy on seeing an opportunity, no moaning from him on being shut up in a 4 star hotel!

      Reply
      • It may or may not be true, but there was one case yesterday admitted where a man go into the wrong queue at the airport and went to the wrong hotel (Jet Park) where he was tested and found to have Covid. So this was a fortunate mistake. But it suggests their management of putting people into isolation hasn’t been dependable.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  24th June 2020

        “Come on Gezza , Winston has been pulling this stunt for 20+ years, it still works for him on much more flimsy evidence…”

        Bullshit. No it doesn’t. Although the media report it most people don’t believe him, in my experience. Not until he produces the evidence. Because he’s got a long track record of failing to do that.

        Reply
    • Richard Palmer

       /  24th June 2020

      It doesn’t matter… it’s a side show!

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  24th June 2020

        Well it does, if he can’t substantiate it. Because they can mock him with it with anything else he says & imply that he’s got form for telling porkies. And that’s what they did to him today at Question Time.

        Of course, if he then fronts up with hard evidence, then he’s scored a real bullseye. But if he hasn’t got proof, they’ve got ammo.

        Reply
  4. NOEL

     /  24th June 2020

    Ok so before the new order testing had an informed consent copout.
    Now it’s mandatory.
    We established that yesterday.
    The untested 55 will no doubt be tested and contract tracing has been initiated.
    On the invisible man the ball is in Woodhouse’s court. Given his comments that ball ain’t leaving.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  24th June 2020

      On the evidence, as detailed by Woods, he didn’t exist. Woodhouse either has to prove he did, or accept that the Government can say that after a thorough investigation, there’s no reliable evidence to substantiate his allegation.

      Reply
      • Ray

         /  24th June 2020

        The same Government that told us that everything was sweet but obviously have not been on top of this and even worse were not checking.
        NZ has been lucky…so far, rather than the perfect management as trumpeted by the Government and it is showing.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  24th June 2020

          Stick with the topic of this subthread.

          If you’ve got evidence this so far phantom homeless man did as Woodhouse alleges, produce it. This particular allegation that has been investigated in detail & no proof has emerged nor been produced by Woodhouse, who admits he has no idea whether his allegation is true or not.

          If this individual was the typical homeless man we’ve seen on tv or in the newspapers from time to time when tvnz or msm decide it’s time to do another story on the homeless, he’d have stuck out like a sore thumb on CCTV & to the hotel staff.

          Reply
          • David

             /  24th June 2020

            Gezza do you not find it coincidental that Woods is doing a look over here at something no one was really talking about at exactly the same time it is released after a week of asking how many people were let out early without being tested post the tightening of procedures.

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  24th June 2020

            No. The unsubstantiated homeless man allegation was made by Woodhouse at or around the same time as his (subsequently substantiated) allegations about the two compassionate release women having had contact with others.

            It’s absurd & disingenuous of you to claim that no one is interested in that allegation. It was widely reported & commentated on as a contemporaneous criticism & supposed proof of the quarantine shambles. It’s completely understandable why Woods is publcly following up on this by calling him out, after what appears to have been thorough attempts to locate this phantom.

            Do you not find it suspicious that he so has failed to provide any proof? If not, why not?

            Reply
            • David

               /  24th June 2020

              Not really, Woodhouse said someone had told him, someone with some credibility and he said he hadnt verified it and would seek further info. Woodhouse hasnt been banging on about it day in day out since and has only mentioned it when asked about it. Woods knows the playbook you find what might be a chink and you go hard on the chink in an attempt to knock over the whole narrative. Its like when someone makes an allegation you go after that persons history to see what you can drag up if you have no defence.
              The timing is spot on with Bloomfield releasing some truly appalling numbers at the same time. Its politics but unlike you I aint fooled by the Blazer/Duker style tactics from the minister.
              Ardern has royally stuffed up, the country is damned angry at her and given her track record maybe there was someone homeless who tagged along from the airport. But he might have been a returnee with nowhere fixed to go now he has returned from his global adventurism and self labelled as homeless after his quarantine.

            • Gezza

               /  24th June 2020

              Ardern has royally stuffed up

              No she hasn’t. But her officials in this amorphous All Government Response Team team have.

              the country is damned angry at her

              No they’re not. Her popularity will have taken a bit of a hit hit but we don’t have current community transmission, & even if we did, it’s quite clear that what she & Cabinet were assured was happening wasn’t.

              “The country” blames the officials, not her. National supporters and the Opposition itself blame her, but this line of attack has a limited shelf life. And she can dodge out of that quite easily on the paper trail, & because it’s evident already that the machinery has been tightened up very quickly.

              She won’t even go there when asked in the House if she accepts that she was misled by officials (which obviously she was). She simply repeats what the DG’s instructions were & repeats that they weren’t being followed.

              Rat cunning, like Key. But meantime “the country” is still grateful that we don’t have community transmission, & now reasonably hope & expect that the isolation/quarantine balls ups have been fixed.

          • Well, he has said that it’s alleged that a homeless man….

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  24th June 2020

              He came off looking both irresponsible AND silly at Question Time. Government MP’s openly mocked his claim because he hasn’t produced a shred of evidence to prove it was anything other than a mischievous fiction.

  5. david in aus

     /  24th June 2020

    When there is asymptomatic carriage and spread of covid19, this is very bad news. If just one case was missed, which is likely, there is likely community transmission. It is only a matter of time to show, probably in the next 3-4 weeks.

    I don’t think NZ has the competence to run a sophisticated track and trace scheme. When the most basic measures of testing 50 odd people at the airport is beyond them. That is really shameful.

    NZ has been lucky, how long will it last?

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  24th June 2020

      “I don’t think NZ has the competence to run a sophisticated track and trace scheme.”

      France have abandoned theirs. The UK one is still born. It’s almost entirely pointless.

      Reply
      • Well, yes, it is.

        On Monday, I was close to

        A man with two enchanting pitbull puppies

        Three busdrivers

        People opposite and behind me on the bus

        The girls in the chemist

        A woman I spoke to in the chemist

        Other people in the aisles

        The people in the cafe

        A woman at the bus stop….

        and so on and so on……

        Should we all have exchanged contact details ???

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  24th June 2020

          ‘On Monday, I was close to

          A man with two enchanting pitbull puppies

          Three busdrivers

          People opposite and behind me on the bus

          The girls in the chemist

          A woman I spoke to in the chemist

          Other people in the aisles

          The people in the cafe

          A woman at the bus stop….

          and a partridge in a pear…tree. 😦

          Reply
          • I thought that you had gone. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted….

            If you can’t see the point of this – that contact tracing can’t work because no one will swap details with every person with whom they are closer than 2m – you must be a bit dim.

            Why the ellipse between pear and tree ? It’s pointless. If you must use these, use them correctly. It would have been better between a and pear. Otherwise it’s meaningless.

            And melodrama is one word, not two.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  24th June 2020

              mello yello is 2 words and has 2 l’s.

            • Melo- is a prefix, derived from the Greek melos, a song, and cannot stand alone.

              L is found four times in mello yello, and it has nothing to do with the prefic melo-.

            • Mello Yello, I mean; it’s a proper name and was invented for the product, as were Fanta and Coca Cola.

            • Va baiser ma fesse, PDT.

  6. NOEL

     /  24th June 2020

    https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/national/microbiologist-defends-govts-decision-not-to-test-travellers-at-border/ar-BB15SKYR?li=BBqdg4K&ocid=mailsignout

    I wouldn’t object to a heat camera at the airport. If you look around the controlled area cctvs are everywhere.

    Reply
  7. MaureenW

     /  24th June 2020

    Apparently there’s no need to panic.
    I’m not panicking, just gob-smacked at the gross incompetence. The Government had one job to do after locking the country down, bankrupting businesses and god knows what else, all to find that the one area requiring stringent control has failed dismally. Forget the spin Souxie,

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018751981/no-reason-to-panic-over-recent-covid-19-cases-wiles

    Reply
    • Didn’t she want lockdown to go on more or less indefinitely and say so ?

      I was so annoyed by her about face when I saw this that I just said some rude words and didn’t finish the article.

      ‘Expert’ Siouxie Wiles, my foot. Being an expert in one thing doesn’t mean that the person is one in all fields.

      Reply
  8. NOEL

     /  24th June 2020

    OK Maureen where are the community cases?
    The 55 have been loose for some time.

    Reply
    • MaureenW

       /  24th June 2020

      I said I wasn’t panicking Noel. Typically I only believe about 10% of what governments tell me anyway. My point was, that the only thing government had to do after we all dutifully locked down to where NZ had no cases, was manage testing around border control. They have failed miserably.
      We now have 10 active cases due to government mismanagement. Could be 20 next week.

      Reply
      • NOEL

         /  24th June 2020

        We actually have eleven. But hey what’s one extra case.
        Interestingly all were imported so there is a tiny bit of evidence to suggest they originated outside the border and would be here regardless of the mismanagement of isolation.

        Reply
        • MaureenW

           /  24th June 2020

          You can be sure it’ll be 13 or more tomorrow.

          Reply
          • NOEL

             /  24th June 2020

            Well that depends if the incoming flights after the India one had carriers on board.

            Reply
  9. Gezza

     /  24th June 2020

    Stuff:

    People in managed quarantine at Rotorua’s Ibis Hotel have been ordered to remain in their rooms until further notice.

    A note was slipped under the doors of people in quarantine about 11.30am.

    The notice simply said “Lockdown Procedure. You are required to stay in your room until further notice.”

    “I think this could be a case of the system working,” a man in quarantine at the hotel said.

    “We just had our day 3 tests so maybe someone has come back positive or is showing symptoms. ”

    Previously guests were permitted to use a small outdoor area so long as they practised social distancing and this allowed a small amount of exercise to be undertaken.

    More to come”
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300041355/coronavirus-rotoruas-quarantined-passengers-confined-to-rooms

    Reply
  10. Gezza

     /  24th June 2020

    The bad press will probably continue for as long as the media can milk the confusion

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300041298/border-testing-womans-story-of-confusing-path-to-getting-a-test

    Reply
  11. Gezza

     /  24th June 2020

    From Stuff, this afternoon:
    “The reason that we aren’t testing everyone upon arrival is that by day 5 of being infected with Covid-19, people are more likely to test positive for the virus,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

    I’m baffled by this. If pax come straight off the plane & into managed isolation on day 1 – why is Bloomfield getting them tested on day 3 – why not day 5?

    Reply
    • David

       /  24th June 2020

      Why not at the airport, leave them in a room take the test the lab can have results in a couple of hours then send the well to Rotorua and the diseased (away on the next flight) to a quarantine facility. Then test day 3 then day 11.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  24th June 2020

        How much room is there at the airport (are they all only arriving via Auckland?), is it suitable, & can it accommodate the number arriving & needing isolation & testing without disrupting airport functioning?

        Reply
  12. NOEL

     /  24th June 2020

    You would have to stay over 14 days in isolation,

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  24th June 2020

      Then either 14 days is the wrong isolation period or the testing days don’t make much sense.

      Reply
      • NOEL

         /  24th June 2020

        The CDC says 10 days after a test.
        3 days plus 10 equals 13 days leave on 14.
        We have already covered why at day three and not the airport.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  24th June 2020

          Last sentence. Where? If MoH says: “The reason that we aren’t testing everyone upon arrival is that by day 5 of being infected with Covid-19, people are more likely to test positive for the virus” – and pax go straight into isolation on day 1, they would seem to be testing 1-2 days too early in managed isolation for optimal results, if the pax got infected on the flight or in transit to it.

          Reply
  13. Gezza

     /  24th June 2020

    Bloomfield, at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, said the Ministry of Health identified 1010 people who had been tested. Some 800 of these people were tested in a quarantine – or “managed self-isolation” – facility, and 210 have subsequently been tested.

    There were another 239 people referred for a Covid-19 test, and the ministry was yet to receive the results. This amounted to 449 people who had not been tested before leaving a quarantine facility.

    Another 791 people were yet to be reached by phone, Bloomfield said.

    And among the remaining 119 people were children who would not be tested, people who were now overseas, or people refusing to take a Covid-19 test.

    Bloomfield said he was unsure how many of the 119 were people refusing to take a test.

    “I don’t know that but I will find out … Given these people are now outside managed isolation, because they have to provide informed consent for that procedure, which anyone can, and we simply can’t force a procedure on them,” he said.

    “If we felt that they were presenting a risk to the community then we could, do, have a power. We don’t in this case think they present to us for community, remembering that most of them will have completed now their 14-days post, you know, coming into the country.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/121932750/coronavirus-tests-refused-as-health-officials-find-more-than-400-werent-tested

    Could get interesting, although the headline looks like click bait / media beat up. Still, it seems Bloomfield’s not keen to test whether these folk can be forced into managed isolation or something.

    Clark’s diving for cover & leaving Bloomfield to wear the flak when the questions get tricky. But unless Bloomfield can point the finger at someone above, below or alongside him in this mysterious All Of Government machine, he’s stuck with it.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  24th June 2020

      Kind of amusing to see the politicians full of empty promises getting empty promises from their bureaucrats in return.

      Except the public wear the costs of both.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  24th June 2020

        1News tonight had what I would call still negative coverage of the government & Bloomfield re the Covid-19 quarantine / testing mess – & of Woodhouse over his unsupported homeless man allegation.

        Their political editor also announced that Colmar Brunton was finishing up polling today, that results will be processed & analysed overnight, & that the results will be on 1News at 6 tomorrow night.

        So that should give a good first read of the impact of this Covid-19 mess on Ardern & Co so far.

        Reply

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