Government try compromise level 2.5

The Government seems to be in two minds between the appropriate Covid level for Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has just announce the shift to level 2 planned for tonight is going to be a sort of level 2.5.

There is growing business and social and political pressure to lower the level, but health experts are concerned about lowering the level with ongoing community transmission of Covid.

RNZ: Auckland moving to ‘alert level 2.5’ tomorrow – PM

Health Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed this morning that Auckland will move to alert level 2 from tomorrow.

At today’s briefing, at which it was revealed there were two new cases in the country today, Jacinda Ardern said the government would step up levels again “if we need to”.

But she said the system to combat Covid-19 was working well.

“It is designed to keep us on track with our elimination strategy at level 2 in the scenario we now have, but it will only work if people follow the guidance, I understand it is easy to become complacent.

“For Auckland you are at a form of level 2 that I am going to call level 2.5.

Seems like a bob each way level.

This meant social gatherings were limited to 10, and there was a limit of 50 people for authorised funerals and tangihanga.

“Much of this cluster has stemmed from social gatherings, if we want to stop this spread we have to stop socialising for a time.”

Earlier today, Covid-19 data modelling expert Shaun Hendy said moving to alert level 2 made him nervous when cases were still being uncovered with no link to the Auckland outbreak.

“Given just we’ve got these cases that we haven’t picked by contact tracing, these are people that have been picked up via [community testing], that’s certainly something the government should be considering – an extension to level 3.”

Prof Hendy said easing the travel restrictions means people could spread the infection to other parts of the country.

He said the virus can be contained at alert level 2 but it will require vigilance.

Epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker said the move to alert level 2 could see a growth in the case rate.

“It does suggest if we reduce the controls starting tomorrow that that transmission will not go away and it may actually drift up, or track up, over the next few weeks.

Prof Baker said requiring masks use in all indoor environments is one of the few ways left to keep a lid on the spread.

Time will tell how this works out.

Meanwhile the rest of New Zealand is being kept at alert Level 2 as well, which seems to be trying to appease those in Auckland rather than protect the rest of the country.

Leave a comment

10 Comments

  1. John J Harrison

     /  30th August 2020

    Pete, exactly what I said 4 hours ago.
    Hendy and others pontificating in the media have frightened the horses and ensured the continued carnage for hospitality and other businesses in AKL.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  30th August 2020

      “This meant social gatherings were limited to 10, and there was a limit of 50 people for authorised funerals and tangihanga.
      Much of this cluster has stemmed from social gatherings, if we want to stop this spread we have to stop socialising for a time.”
      Thats the only change from level 2 and seems reasonable based on the evidence of social gatherings .

      Reply
  2. Duker

     /  30th August 2020

    “Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she is “incredibly angry” that a wrong message was posted by the Government’s Covid-response unit, saying all south and west Aucklanders should be tested, regardless of whether they have symptoms.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12360610

    Even then it was a qualified ‘all persons’
    “if you have a greater risk of poor health outcomes if you were to get COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms, please have a test,”

    Reply
  3. NOEL

     /  30th August 2020

    Reply
  4. Jacinda “we know masks work” Ardern.
    If “they know” masks work. why have lock-downs?

    I doubt the jumble sale of masks on display do anything, other than make the wearers look like obedient idiots.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  30th August 2020

      Masks help a bit sometimes in some places but mostly they don’t. Unfortunately there is no way of knowing when and where they help a bit.

      Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  30th August 2020

      If masks don’t work why do they use them in hospitals during surgery etc.

      Reply
      • MaureenW

         /  30th August 2020

        Well, we’re not performing surgery. If masks work, how come we don’t wear them for normal flu season?

        Let me guess .. they’ve just discovered “masks work”

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  31st August 2020

        Because surgery exposes the patient to infection abnormally so is the exception where we know high quality masks are necessary and effective.

        Reply
  5. Harry

     /  1st September 2020

    Hendy and Baker have demonstrated with their alarmist nonsense that they should be ignored and returned to the obscurity they once enjoyed.

    Reply

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