4 new Covid cases, review cites ‘extreme stress’ of isolation system

Four new cases of Covid have been announced today, all people who have recently arrived back in new Zealand (from India and Nepal) and were being managed in isolation. One man in his 30s was taken by ambulance to Auckland Hospital yesterday and is said to be in a stale condition. That is the first case in hospital for quite a while.

Of the 2,159 people who left managed isolation facilities between June 9 and June 16, after mandatory day three and day 12 testing was brought in and before compassionate leave was withdrawn:

  • test results are still pending for 342 people
  • there are still 427 people the ministry hasn’t been able to get hold of, despite repeated attempts
  • 137 people who will not be tested because of reasons such as being a child, being part of repositioning crew, currently being overseas or refusing a test
  • 79 people have refused testing.
As at 9.00 am, 28 June 2020
Total Change in last 24 hours
Number of confirmed cases in New Zealand 1,176 4
Number of probable cases 350 0
Number of confirmed and probable cases 1,526 4
Number of recovered cases 1,484 0
Number of deaths 22 0
Number of active cases 20 4
Number of cases currently in hospital 1 1


Meanwhile the Managed isolation and quarantine review has just been released.

RNZ: NZ’s managed isolation system not broken, but under ‘extreme stress’ – review

A review of the country’s managed isolation and quarantine system has found it to be under “extreme stress” and unable to respond to the increasing demands being placed on it as more New Zealanders return home.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ordered the review on June 17 on the same day she announced she was appointing Air Commodore Darryn Webb to conduct the review and oversee border management.

Air Commodore Webb, along with Housing Minister Megan Woods – who has been appointed the minister-in-charge of quarantine and isolation facilities – announced the outcome of the review at Parliament today.

While the review found the system wasn’t “broken” it revealed the increased number of people returning to New Zealand and going into managed isolation was putting pressure on accommodation facilities and staff were only able to respond to daily challenges.

The review also identified there was an absence of standardised information for those returning to New Zealand and often the first they knew of MIQ was when they had a health check on arrival at the airport.

In many cases returning passengers weren’t even aware MIQ was required.

Other issues identified in the review were flight manifestos not being received until the inbound aircraft departs its overseas origin, which makes planning ahead of flights almost impossible and leaves little time for changes, particularly for flights from Australia.

There is also limited understanding of future demand making it difficult to do any long-range planning of the system.

Managed isolation and quarantine review

The government has today released the review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine and outlined the actions that are being taken to respond to issues highlighted by the review.

Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine Air Commodore Darryn Webb says significant changes have already been introduced and work is urgently underway to address other issues raised in the review report.

Last week Air Commodore Webb announced a doubling of the on-the-ground Defence Force staff of 32, across 18 facilities. As of today, we have 168 NZDF personnel across 21 facilities providing 24/7 coverage. There are also more government and defence staff across the end-to-end system.

“This increased resourcing has had an immediate impact on the ground in terms of making sure our people are well supported to carry out their roles and ensure the safe transfer of returnees into managed isolation.

“The increase in resourcing will form the backbone of further changes that are being made to ensure the system is robust and fit-for-purpose.

“We have also increased oversight of the transfer of returnees from aircraft through to Managed Isolation and Quarantine facilities so they are escorted by government staff.”

Other improvements rolling out now include:

  • Increased security for transferring returnees to managed isolation facilities
  • The standardisation of procedures across all facilities
  • The introduction of better information for returnees – from flight boarding through to entry into New Zealand and their exit from Managed Isolation.
  • Better information to communities where those facilities are located.
  • Strengthening of demand forecasting, reporting functions and coordination between agencies.

Health responses include:

  • More staff in facilities
  • Improved model of care – including taking into account issues like mental health and addiction issues
  • More clinical oversight to ensure a consistent quality of service in facilities
  • Monitoring to ensure there is consistency across facilities

“All staff supporting this process are performing to a very high standard, and have been doing so over a long period of sustained and increasing pressure. I would like to acknowledge and thank them for their ongoing work and dedication to the job. I am committed to ensuring they have the support and structures that they need to deliver well- functioning Managed Isolation and Quarantine for all New Zealanders,” Air Commodore Webb says.

Leave a comment


  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  28th June 2020

    I am feeling in a rather stale condition too after all this scruffy weather. Getting cold and miserable after a cool, breezy sunny morning.

    • It can’t make up its blimmin mind here. It should either pee or get off the *&%#$@ pot.

      Have you heard of Lord Eden throwing a barometer out the window into pouring rain, shouting ‘See for yourself, you bloody thing !’ ?

  2. NOEL

     /  28th June 2020

    Large number refusing testing citing Human Rights Act. Consequences should be two cycles of isolation and fine to recover the cost extra isolation. I wonder how many would change their mind when confronted with those consequences?

    • I understand this is now the option – take two tests (3 days and 12 days) or stay in isolation 28 days.

      The ones refusing had already been let out of isolation before these rules were implemented, so the stable door was closed after they bolted.

    • Gezza

       /  28th June 2020

      Do they have the legal ability to fine for non-compliance with this directive of the DG’s or just enforcement of the 28 days of those already in MI or Q?

      Duker might know.

      • Duker

         /  28th June 2020

        Human Rights Act has loophole for government in emergencies along with a vast number of other specific situations. Medical testing isnt a specific thing you cant refuse under the HRA but the HRC seems to think so under other provisions, which seem to be a UN thing, but who knows ?

        One arriving women passenger was held in jail until she did test, so not sure why they are allowing some to refuse..seems to be confusion from some medical staff that the ‘in community’ rules are the same as those in isolation hotels
        as it says in Health Act
        70 Special powers of medical officer of health
        (e) require persons to report themselves or submit themselves for medical examination at specified times and places:
        (ea) if the spread of the disease would be a significant risk to the public, require people to report, or submit themselves for medical testing, at stated times and places:
        (f) require persons, places, buildings, ships, vehicles, aircraft, animals, or things to be isolated, quarantined, or disinfected as he thinks fit:
        (fa) if the spread of the disease would be a significant risk to the public, require people, places, buildings, ships, vehicles, aircraft, animals, or things to be tested as he or she thinks fit:

        Its also an offence to fail to , refuse to comply or delay doing a requirement of the MoH.

        Require people to be tested as MoH sees fit seems to cover it.

        • I can’t imagine not wanting the test so much that I’d spend 14 more days in solitary, ghastly as the test sounds.

  3. Conspiratoor

     /  28th June 2020

    Stop the pretense, the obsession with tests and cases, and wake up to the new reality. Death rates in countries with soft lockdowns have plateaued and are falling. We are going to be late to the party but join it we will …and it wont be pretty

    • Duker

       /  28th June 2020

      So why is Texas re-indroducing lockdowns. The change in death rates is because covid is a seasonal disease spread more easily in cold winter.
      We are no different in incoming isolation than Australia and even Sweden is shut out from its neighbors because of its soft lockdowns and higher infection/death rate.

      UK has NZ on its list of few countries visitors can arrive from with no isolation…why is that

      • Conspiratoor

         /  28th June 2020

        If texas is reintroducing their lockdown, they are yet to work it out
        There is a seasonal influence but not enough to explain the dramatic falls in my view. Whatever time of year our borders reopen we are still going to see a spike in deaths
        In sweden the no of cases are rising at the same time the death rates are plunging. What does that tell you
        The uk are happy to take kiwis. So what?

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  28th June 2020

    Seems a sensible review of MIQ and the military getting stuff-ups sorted. Bizarre they were trying to run it without knowing arrival numbers.

  5. Fight4nz

     /  28th June 2020

    Require a negative test from approved provider no more than say 3 days (whatever period experts determine) before allowed to board. Keep spread out of the planes, reduce stress in lockdown and costs to our medical system.

  6. NOEL

     /  28th June 2020

    When a vaccine arrives I guess we will return to the International Vaccination Certificate before boarding. Anti vaxxers response will be interesting.

  7. David

     /  28th June 2020

    Wonder how many positive cases have been missed by not testing, everyday there are a few more and a few more.
    We should slow down the imports from India until there is a more robust regime there that stops infected people departing. There should be a part charge now perhaps 100 a day and if you dont have the cash you can pay it off, its getting ridiculously costly with 7000 people in isolation at any one time its costing 100s of millions a year and is not fair or sustainable.

    • The PM has borrowed so much already that a few hundred million don’t seem like much.

      The only good thing is that it’s keeping hotels, caterers and food providers going, I suppose.

      The people coming from India can’t be kept out; no country can keep its own citizens out.

  8. John J Harrison

     /  28th June 2020

    Face facts.
    This is akin to measles and gangue fever, we must learn to live with it.
    Eradication and extermination is nothing but Labour hype to please the masses.
    Will never, ever happen, get used to it.


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