Five Potential Enhancements of Covid-19 Outbreak Control in Aotearoa NZ

Friday, August 20th, 2021 | Nick Wilson | No Comments

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Leah Grout, Prof Michael Baker*

Successful control of the current Covid-19 outbreak in NZ is looking feasible but many challenges remain. Therefore to maximise the chances of returning to elimination status and improve our resilience to future outbreaks, we propose the following potential enhancements: (i) develop a robust system to allow for region-specific Alert Levels; (ii) mandate QR code scanning; (iii) expand mask use requirements to all essential workers; (iv) greatly prioritise vaccination of essential workers; and (v) consider the suspension or minimisation of all incoming international passenger flights during the outbreak.

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Five lessons for Aotearoa NZ from the current COVID-19 outbreak in New South Wales

Friday, August 13th, 2021 | Nick Wilson | 2 Comments

Dr Leah Grout, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson*

Australia has generally succeeded in eliminating community transmission of the pandemic virus SARS-CoV-2, but the Greater Sydney region is currently facing a large COVID-19 outbreak, driven by the Delta variant. The New South Wales Government is struggling to control the outbreak and the grim situation holds a number of lessons for NZ.

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Staying Safe from COVID-19 over Summer and Beyond: The Need for More NZ Government Action

Monday, December 21st, 2020 | Nick Wilson | 1 Comment

Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker

Aotearoa/NZ has responded very successfully to the COVID-19 pandemic by achieving elimination and the lowest death rate in the OECD. But there are ongoing risks – which may even be increasing with larger numbers of infected returnees in border facilities. In this final blog of the year we detail the critical actions needed to lower the risk further, with these measures being largely the responsibility of the NZ Government. We also highlight the importance of ensuring the huge investment in the COVID-19 response generates lasting benefits for NZ.

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Time to Stop Dodging Bullets? NZ’s Eight Recent Border Control Failures

Monday, November 16th, 2020 | Nick Wilson | 1 Comment

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Leah Grout, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker

There have been eight distinct border control failures in Aotearoa/NZ relating to the pandemic virus that causes COVID-19, since early August 2020, equivalent to one every two weeks. In this blog we briefly detail these failures and argue the case for an urgent review and upgrading of the country’s defences against this highly infectious pandemic virus, including: shifting to a risk-based approach to border management (a traffic light system), fine-tuning the Alert Level system to incorporate mask use, and enhancing contact tracing.

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The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy

Thursday, September 24th, 2020 | Nick Wilson | 2 Comments

Prof John D. Potter*

This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for Aotearoa/New Zealand to persist with its successful COVID-19 elimination strategy.

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