Urgently upgrading NZ’s Covid-19 response

Thursday, June 24th, 2021 | tedla55p | 5 Comments

Amanda Kvalsvig, Nick Wilson, and Michael Baker

Aotearoa NZ’s effective Covid-19 elimination strategy is now threatened by the global emergence of new variants with increasingly high transmissibility. We outline the upgrades that are now urgently needed to keep New Zealanders safe, particularly in the light of the current outbreak risk in Wellington. Immediate actions include upgrading the Alert Level system with a particular focus on mask use, making the Covid Tracer App compulsory for high risk indoor venues, rapidly vaccinating all remaining border and frontline health workers, ensuring that all New Zealanders are able to stay at home when required, and upgrading the Trans-Tasman Bubble settings.

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Update on Long-COVID

Tuesday, June 15th, 2021 | tedla55p | No Comments

Prof John D. Potter*

This blog post updates an earlier post on Long-COVID and reports that estimates of prevalence are still wide at about 15 to 65% of those initially infected with the pandemic virus, SARS-CoV-2. As things stand now across the world, we do not yet have systems in place to diagnose and manage the massive burden of the disease that is Long-COVID. An elimination strategy that includes, but is not limited to, widespread vaccination is not only crucial to reduce the acute case load and high mortality associated with infection with SARS-CoV-2 but is also key to minimising the damage that Long-COVID is otherwise certain to create for individuals, whanau, communities, and nations. This is a “long-read” post – and so readers short on time are welcome to jump to the Conclusions Section.

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A Smokefree Aotearoa Action Plan: Why this could eliminate smoking disparities for Māori

Friday, May 28th, 2021 | tedla55p | No Comments

Andrew Waa, Heather Gifford, Shane Bradbrook

The recent release of the Government’s “Proposals for a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan” (the  Plan) represents a significant step forward in how we think about tobacco control1. The Plan specifically references eliminating smoking related inequities, strengthening Māori governance and fulfilling government commitments to Te Tiriti o Waitangi as an essential part of achieving our Smokefree 2025 goal (SF2025). This blog considers the implications of the measures described in the plan for Māori.

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Australia’s Quarantine Systems Failures: Lessons for NZ

Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 | tedla55p | 1 Comment

Dr Leah Grout, Ameera Katar, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Nick Wilson (*Author details)

Aotearoa NZ and Australian states have successfully eliminated community transmission of COVID-19, albeit with occasional outbreaks from imported cases. Both countries have primarily used hotel-based quarantine for returning travellers, but still do not have optimal border control. In this blog we consider potential lessons from Australia’s 17 quarantine systems failures for NZ.

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Improving NZ Government Communication about COVID-19: Five Suggestions Including a Proposal for Depoliticisation

Monday, May 3rd, 2021 | tedla55p | 2 Comments

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Leah Grout, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig

The high quality communication by the NZ Government for much of the COVID-19 pandemic has been remarked on. But given that the pandemic situation is very far from over, in this blog we consider five areas in which potential improvements could be made. Potentially the most important of these would be to further depoliticise the COVID-19 response.

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