Questions on Covid announcement and lockdowns

So we are back in Covid-19 level 3 lockdown in Auckland and level 2 everywhere else.

I get that the Government and Ministry of Health are committed to try to stop any community spread of Covid and are erring on the side of caution, but there are questions I think we deserve answers to.

Jacinda Ardern said we must take a “precautionary” approach as no origin had been found, or link to isolation facilities or people who work at the border.

But how much caution is appropriate, given the substantial disruption the alert level increases impose?

An ‘urgent’ media conference was called last night at 9:15 pm, but when was the positive Covid test first known about? One person was tested twice, and then their family was tested. the first test result at least must have been known by yesterday’s daily report at 1 pm.

The first case was a person is in their 50s who lives in South Auckland. They have returned two positive results. They have no history of international travel.

Six family members who reside in the same household have been tested. Three returned positive results, three negative.

Ardern says she was first notified at 4pm yesterday. The first positive test result at least must have been known well before then. So why was she only notified then (if she is being honest with us)?

It looks like the public testing of Ashley Bloomfield at 1 pm may have been priming the population for an increase in testing. I suspect he must have known at that stage that there were new cases, or at least one new case.

if urgent action was justified why was the urgent announcement not until 9:15 (actually about 9:25) last night?

if urgent action was justified why have the lockdowns been delayed until midday today? The horse could have already bolted by then.

Auckland going to level 3 for two and a half days may be fair enough. But why does the rest of the country have to be affected? I wonder if this is being used as a sort of a drill.

Pretty much no one wants Covcid spreading here again, so drastic action may be justified to try to contain it, but I think the Government may find it harder to get public support and compliance if the announcements look to be too PR staged.

Overreactions and claiming urgency when news has been delayed to suit packaged announcements run the risk of annoying people.

I don’t want Covid to spread here, but I don’t want to be played by the authorities.

And Ardern will have to be very careful with how she manages this through the election campaign. her first priority is to keep the country as safe as reasonably possible but also as unrestricted as possible.

It would suit Labour if Ardern keeps in the media spotlight with Covid announcements while other parties are restricted from campaigning. She isn’t the only one involved in decision making, the non-political Ministry of Health are presumably making recommendations at least.

It will be challenging for Ardern to manage perceptions. If she oversteps there could be a public and voter backlashes.

But there are also challenges for her political opponents.

There have been a range of reactions to that. During what has been labelled ‘the Covid campaign’ this is also very political.

Why is the Auckland lockdown only for two and a half days? A 14 day minimum has been standard until now to make sure that Covid has been detected.

Leave a comment

71 Comments

  1. John J Harrison

     /  12th August 2020

    Pete, lets be honest the government has an appalling record regarding the health of the people it purports to represent.
    I refer to the fact that , thanks to an extensive independent report, that we were willfully lied to by both Ashley Bloomfield and Ardern in respect of the availability of PP gear, testing and availability of flu jabs.
    Our reliable and honest GP’s were vociferous in their condemnation of the so- called “ facts” given to us daily by Bloomfield.
    Who do you believe, your local GP or the government?
    Clearly, we were fed copious amounts of bovine manure and deliberately kept in the dark.
    Utterly disgusting!
    Like many, I have zero faith in the public promises and announcements of the “ be kind “ government.
    This is nothing less than a systematic failure by government.

    Reply
    • Fight4nz

       /  12th August 2020

      What’s utterly disgusting is your zeal for complete distortion of reality to suit your own political ends.
      Let’s be honest, from a purely health perspective, NZ have by far the best results globally. Whether the economic impacts undermine this in future I will leave Pink David to harp on about.
      There was acknowledgment of distribution issues of PPE, etc during lockdown. Short term low stock levels have not been publicised – good, no value in generating panic.
      Improvement needed obviously, no surprise in a situation never before encountered.
      In the context of opting for an eradication strategy, this has been a systematic success by this Government.

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  12th August 2020

        “Let’s be honest, from a purely health perspective, NZ have by far the best results globally. ”

        This is demonstrably untrue. There are 12 countries with no Covid deaths at all. By your measure, that is more successful than NZ.

        North Korea is one of them, and handily enough for them, they were already in lockdown when Covid showed up.

        Reply
        • John J Harrison

           /  12th August 2020

          Pink, you should be aware that some here sing from the Ardern song sheet.
          Facts — do not matter, just push the party line.

          Reply
        • duperez

           /  12th August 2020

          We know that North Korea is a wonderful country with a wonderful record of openness and trustworthiness. Its government and control of any information is a model for the rest of the world to copy as is its record of human rights and caring for its people.

          Expecting us to swallow some story the government of North Korea puts out about North Korea’s success in handling the coronavirus? You are kidding aren’t you?

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  12th August 2020

            It’s Fight4nz who has created the measure, not me.

            People dying of Covid is the thing that matters. Nothing else.

            The remaining countries in that list of zero Covid deaths are mostly small, isolated islands of little importance, so not comparable to New Zealand.

            Reply
          • Rachael Bean

             /  12th August 2020

            I was thinking there was a remote tiny possibility North Korea might for once be telling the truth. After all they have a really tight border and would hesitate in being ruthless eradicating potential carriers. Like the little boy who cried wolf no one believes them the one and only time they are honest.

            Reply
    • Blazer

       /  12th August 2020

      Your glee at the news of another lockdown ,and unashamed schadenfreude is…reprehensible.

      Reply
      • John J Harrison

         /  12th August 2020

        Blazer, perhaps I missed it, but where is “ my glee at the news of another lockdown.”
        Your comment is an outright lie.
        If you had read and understand what I said you would know that like innumerable GP’s I have zero faith in the government’s mishandling of this crisis and simply pointed out the fact that they have willfully lied to us on a number of occasions on a number of issues.
        Is that a fact or not ?

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  12th August 2020

          ‘This is nothing less than a systematic failure by government.’

          What do you think this means!

          You want someone who lies but relies on you interpreting her body language.

          Btw what happened to being busted flat in 86…and by sheer grit and determination….blah,blah..!
          Look in the mirror.

          Reply
        • It is evidently a fact that John J ‘Citizen’ has zero faith in the government.

          The rest of his pearl-clutching ideological claptrap is fact-free and driven by toxic identity politics, something which John J became notorious for during his time on the Napier Council

          Reply
      • Your accusation of glee and schadenfreude is hollow; who keeps sneering at ‘today’s sob story’ about another family being kept apart by border restrictions ?

        Reply
  2. Ray

     /  12th August 2020

    Good points but don’t expect the very compliant media to ask.
    Interestingly my phone finally gave me alert this morning, Vodafone did seem to do last nights alert, cockup after cockup.
    We noticed our local testing station was open yesterday for the very first time, coincidence, maybe.
    Hopefully this will knock all that smugness out of our system and I am ever hopeful a proper look at our now failed policy if keeping it out.
    The death rate amongst those hospitalised is now under 2% in the US, pretty good odds.

    Reply
  3. I’m happy with the Govt reaction so far. I didn’t get the first emergency alert but had heard the news via internet.
    It’s all a bit of a bugger but not really surprising it has happenedand will test the systems. I feel reasonable safe in Dunedin but I do live in the University area and one person in our house works at Uni – there have been a lot of Aucklanders down here this week.

    Reply
    • artcroft

       /  12th August 2020

      Safe from corona maybe, but your future (and everyone else’s) is very much up in the air. Big change is coming and night is falling.

      Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  12th August 2020

    Truth is the first casualty of politics. In this case it has clearly been suppressed. Seems Brownlee got s sniff of it a day or two ago.

    The electorate won’t react well to being played.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  12th August 2020

      That was because of the new advertising , going a bout a week, and the mentions of possible more cases.

      The Korean tourist who returned home to Korea AND TESTED POSITIVE ON ARRIVAL was the first inkling about 2 1/2 weeks ago . he had been here since early march, and the transmission while he was in transit at Singapore wasnt likely ( but not impossible)
      Thats when we had a flurry of new Testing around Queenstown and other places he had visited while here.
      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/08/new-travel-details-revealed-about-man-who-tested-covid-19-positive-in-south-korea.html
      AUGUST 1

      Testing across the city is being ramped up as a result with Auckland Regional Public Health (ARPHS) detailing the 22-year-old’s movements in the week before he left New Zealand.

      On Thursday July 16 at 9:30am he visited Dress Smart in Onehunga before moving on to second-hand store Savemart between 10 and 10:30am. He also went to the food court of Sylvia Park shopping centre between 11am and 1pm and then the King Club Pool Hall in Botany between 1:30pm and 2:30pm.

      He also visited Spicy House on Dominion Road between 7pm and 9pm on Monday July 6.

      No ones being played , these things have been all in public . Have you not heard the Covid alert ads on TV…been running a week now. Has Gerry just woken up to them playing

      Reply
  5. Gerrit

     /  12th August 2020

    Unless the South Auckland family sent their child to Auckland Central’s Mt Albert Primary, the spread may be wider than Ardern is letting on.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/122417493/coronavirus-aucklands-mt-albert-primary-linked-to-confirmed-covid19-cases

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  12th August 2020

      The story says one child from family did go to school in MT Albert
      The question you are asking is in your link ….there are NO cases at Mt Alber primary any way..they are checking

      Do you even read your own links ?

      Reply
  6. Reply
  7. David

     /  12th August 2020

    The one consistent about Arderns leadership is shw is always the last to know, except when its good news.

    Reply
    • John J Harrison

       /  12th August 2020

      David, spot on.
      We now know of the innumerable lies we were fed regarding flu shots, availability of PP gear etc, so why should we believe anything either she or Ashley tell us ?

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  12th August 2020

        We had plenty of toilet paper too but demand varied and supply WASNT EVERY SINGLE DAY able to make sure everyone had what they wanted on that day

        Reply
  8. Covid-19 restrictions may stay in place longer, scientists say

    Professor Shaun Hendy, a physicist from Auckland University, said people should prepare themselves for the possibility restrictions will stay in longer than three days.

    “This initial period is to try to give us a handle on how big the outbreak might be,” he told Morning Report.

    “We haven’t identified the links or the chain of transmission back to the border which is the most likely route of entry for these new cases.

    “If we can identify that, then that possibly gives us the chance of a more localised and shorter lockdown.

    “If we’re unable to do that people should be preparing themselves for a longer lockdown period.”

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/423323/covid-19-restrictions-may-stay-in-place-longer-scientists-say

    That’s stating an obvious outcome, but why didn’t Ardern and Bloomfield say this last night?

    Reply
    • John J Harrison

       /  12th August 2020

      Pete, why would they ?
      This is the same individual who stated, as a fact, that if we did not immediately go into level 4 in March we would have have 88,000 deaths.
      This man has ZERO credibility and the country knows it.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  12th August 2020

        No .
        This man is admired and respected for the way he has handled a crisis.

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  12th August 2020

          “This man is admired and respected for the way he has handled a crisis.”

          Really? What did he do?

          Reply
      • duperez

         /  12th August 2020

        The country does not know it – you do. Hendy is just a scientist who sees things through the lenses of research, training and his particular bent.

        Your lenses are different than his. What do you bring to the table that suggests your views should be taken and his discarded? In March how many knocked on your door asking your considered opinion? And if they did and you said you didn’t know but you could send them on to someone better to ask, how would you ha known it was someone ‘better’?

        Reply
      • Duker

         /  12th August 2020

        Hendy never used that 88,000 number at all.
        That was the Heralds ‘Interpretation” of what they wrote…..click baiting

        They had a range of possibilities and the worst effect ( no numbers given) were for uncontrolled transmission and hospital system collapses under the massive demand for medical acre

        Reply
        • duperez

           /  12th August 2020

          The way the media uses numbers and headlines is rich fodder for ‘worst case scenario’ merchants and conspirationists. It’s funny when the same ones who wallow in the half truths and insinuations and use them to their advantage bitch about being treated as children or idiots and how rubbishy the media is. 🙃

          Reply
      • Duker

         /  12th August 2020

        John J was doing the same scaremonger at Napier City Council …all for didly squat

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503462&objectid=11900119

        and again another ’tilt at windmills’
        https://www.mediacouncil.org.nz/rulings/j-j-harrison-against-the-napier-daily-telegraph

        A human storm in a teacup

        Reply
        • duperez

           /  12th August 2020

          I’m still waiting for him to explain how he has more credibility than Shaun Hendy. Or those who didn’t like my rubbishing of the notion.

          I guess it is the way the world works. A person spending a career in specialist scientific fields has opinions only worth that of some online political malcontent.

          Reply
        • Worse than Wilkinson – just a bloviating drone full of sound and fury, signifying nothing – and like wrestling with a pig, I see no value in engaging with him: he likes a fight and we end up covered in his ‘porcine excrement’

          Reply
    • artcroft

       /  12th August 2020

      More to the point, suppose we eradicate the virus within three days. How long before there is another outbreak, one that could last much longer. How does business cope with this? If Auckland reopens in three days time but shuts down again in ten? Do you bother to reopen your cafe or just pull the plug and walk away?

      Reply
    • David

       /  12th August 2020

      Liars. I would put a million bucks on bars not being open in auckland this weekend. Its spin as per usual rather than the truth.
      The delayed announcement is either Ardern needed hours and hours to compose herself or she wanted to get her announcement properly written.

      Reply
      • Obviously their speeches had been carefully written in advance.

        I think we should be given the news as it becomes known – and there must have been at least one known positive test by 1 pm yesterday – and they can still signal more detail coming later once their speech writers have done their jobs.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  12th August 2020

          “and there must have been at least one known positive test by 1 pm yesterday –”

          Ardern wasnt told until before 4Pm when she was in Whanganui , she then returned to Wellington by car

          “”The first I heard of this was between 3pm and 3.30pm yesterday,” Hipkins said. “The director general [of health] was the first person who notified me.”
          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12355783

          As you often call for – a plan- the formal announcement wasnt made till later in evening WITH A PLAN .
          So Plans are great when Labour doenst have one right away but not so good when they do have one ?

          Reply
          • Of course there should be a plan. Ardern has said they had already planned for a new outbreak, as they should have. So they should have had a plan ready to go.

            With any outbreak I think the public should be informed as soon as possible to alert people to possible dangers. Announcing it 6 hours after the Minister of Health was informed could mean significant people movement around the country has occurred.

            The 9:15 announcement was promoted as urgent, but I think it was not treated with urgency.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  12th August 2020

              What would have changed for you say from 6pm to 9:15pm……..?
              I cant see how a few hours made any difference to people in the South like you and others.
              In Auckland there was a bit of panic buying after 9pm… not something you would want to be widespread

              Just dropping in a ‘4 people tested postive’ announcemnt at say 5pm with no plan announced would just cause confusion.
              After all the plan had to have detail…. it wasnt just a level 2 for whole country, but level 3 for Auckland only which was a surprise to me.
              There seems to be many layers to the system including arranging extra staff for testing stations, no point people wanting tests today and the staff hadnt had time to prepare.
              Its like the alert message going out twice, which you said was overkill…when it was a bug with Vodafones system.
              Human error is always present in any arrangements

            • duperez

               /  12th August 2020

              You reckon there’ll be those who are panicking about a time delay who so very recently happily extolled the virtues of Michael Woodhouse who didn’t let anyone know of a situation for a couple of days to suit his purposes?

            • He did NOT do this.

              He had confirmation of the contact that the two women had in the morning, and spoke about it in the house that afternoon; a few hours later. What difference would it have made had he announced it as soon as he’d heard it ? It was over by then.

              Should he have broadcast the story before it was confirmed ?

            • Duker

               /  12th August 2020

              “confirmation of the contact ”
              Spin designed to cover his waiting till question time in parliament for most impact
              he deleted the emails from Boag quick smart though once the jig was up
              The homeless man story was another Woodhouse special…
              They did have person arrive from Australia – with no fixed abode- who may have looked like a street bum but was legit in quarantine.

          • What are YOU talking about ?

            I meant the two women who were let out when they were infectious with the only test being a question ‘Are you okay ?’ and who travelled the length of the North Island, stopping to see people on the way.

            It made no sense to tell this before the House sat; a few hours made no difference.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  12th August 2020

              It was some days…..Friday to Tues in the house
              They never spoke to a single person….
              Talking to you is whack a mole with endless falsehoods popping up

            • STOP CALLING ME A LIAR. THIS IS PERSONAL ABUSE.

              YOU CONSTANTLY CALL ME A LIAR WITH NO EVIDENCE AT ALL.

              JUST STOP IT.

            • Blazer

               /  13th August 2020

              He is not the only one.

              Face facts FFS!

      • duperez

         /  12th August 2020

        Needed hours to compose herself and have a speech written? No way. Go on to some sites and you’ll see she’s known about it for weeks and has been sitting on it.
        Mind you it could be that the outbreak of mindlessness will equal or beat the outbreak of the virus.

        Reply
      • Fight4nz

         /  12th August 2020

        You would be happier to shut down the major economic centre in the country without a second thought?

        Reply
  9. duperez

     /  12th August 2020

    Is this distrust in government and health officials a new thing for you? When there were complaints over years of poor health infrastructure and a number of centres being desperately inadequate, did you say “this is nothing but a systematic failure by government.”?
    When our ‘reliable and honest’ GPS and other doctors were vociciferous with their concerns did you exclaim “utterly disgusting”?

    Reply
  10. NOEL

     /  12th August 2020

    Lot of claims this is a failure of the Government.
    Piecing from what information is available the contact tracing stopped at the index case which raised the possibility of community transmission.
    The Index case was only identified when the wife went to the doctors yet the index case had symptoms for 5 days.
    I would have thought we would all no know the symptoms that would require one to hop quickly down to the doctor to ensure it wasn’t covid before 5 days..

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  12th August 2020

      “would all no know the symptoms that would require one to hop quickly down to the doctor to ensure it wasn’t covid before 5 days”
      Respiratory illness…common in winter. People miss the onset of symptoms for everything from cancer down… a few people are hyper vigilant but most arent

      ” contact tracing stopped at the index case which raised the possibility of community transmission.”
      That doesnt make sense…. why arent you an expert on tracing !…of course you arent so dont expect others to act in text book fashion either

      Reply
  11. Covid tests at the Christchurch rest Palms home are all negative.

    Reply
    • It was all but impossible that they would be positive from the sound of it, but it’s excellent news.

      Reply
      • Three PDTs seem not to think so, but I imagine that everyone else will think it’s excellent news that those people DON’T have C19.

        Who wouldn’t be pleased that they don’t have it ?

        Reply
        • 4 people seem to be disappointed that these old people don’t have Covid. Why would they want old people to have it and probably die ? Ghouls.

          Reply
  12. Reply
    • Duker

       /  12th August 2020

      Standard virtue signalling …more information?. ( no he doesnt have any specific or useful questions) …people respond more quickly.?… just buzz words were are all expected to be ‘agile’ and move like reef fish in unison.

      Reply
  13. David

     /  12th August 2020

    Its hard not to get the feeling that the only information Ardern trusts us with is filtered to an extreme degree. She has a constant eye on the message rather than trusting NZers with unvarnished truth, if she wants us to cooperate and comply then spinning will cost her a lot of votes.
    I think its fairly clear they have known something is going on, the re appearance of the Covid adverts, the urge to stock masks and all the veiled warnings clearly have a reason behind them.

    Reply
    • Fight4nz

       /  12th August 2020

      I dunno. Perhaps what’s happening in Victoria? Or is that too obvious, simple and out of line with the ludicrous conspiracy theories being touted around here?

      Reply
  14. Reply
    • This has been clarified as being one of the four new cases.

      Ōtāhuhu Health Centre will shut for two days after a person enrolled at the clinic tested positive for Covid-19.

      It is understood the person is one of the four who were announced positive last night; a clinic spokesperson incorrectly claimed they were not earlier today.

      Both the Auckland District Health Board and Ministry of Health believe the person to be one of the four confirmed cases from last night.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12356088

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  12th August 2020

        Reality of family’s in Auckland, 4 people , 2 different medical centres, work in 2 locations, school for one in another part of Auckland. Just hope it’s recovery at home for them and not at hospital

        Reply

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