Shifting all Isolation/Quarantine Facilities to a Single Air Force Base: The Need for a Critical Analysis

Monday, September 14th, 2020 | tedla55p | 3 Comments

Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker

In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks in NZ’s largest cities with large health and economic impacts. The main disadvantage would be reduced numbers of returnees that could be allowed back into NZ, with these returnees assisting with economic recovery. There is therefore a need for an integrated health and economic analysis with the NZ Government being explicit about its decision-making.

Continue reading

Using the CovidCard to enhance protection from COVID-19 at the NZ border

Friday, August 21st, 2020 | tedla55p | No Comments

Dr Tim Chambers, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker

Border controls are critical in preventing future COVID-19 outbreaks in NZ. In this blog we consider the recent announcements and cross-party support for the CovidCard’s use by border control workers and guests in quarantine and isolation facilities. We discuss how this is a promising move that should facilitate further improvements in border control protocols and efficient digital contact tracing.

Continue reading

NZ Should Prepare for a Potentially Severe Global Coronavirus Pandemic

Thursday, February 6th, 2020 | Nick Wilson | 3 Comments

Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker

In this blog we briefly summarise our assessment of the highly uncertain new coronavirus threat. Given its potential to become a severe and prolonged global pandemic, a precautionary response now means activating all components of our pandemic plan, with a particular focus on ‘keep it out’. NZ has many natural and institutional advantages in managing this major health and economic threat. Now is the time for maximum proactivity.

Continue reading

What does the novel coronavirus epidemic mean for New Zealand?

Sunday, January 26th, 2020 | Nick Wilson | No Comments

Professor Michael Baker

This blog post reproduces a Sunday Star Times opinion piece (26/1/2020) by this author on the current coronavirus situation. It also explores what New Zealand might do in response to protect both its own citizens and people living in those Pacific Island nations where the major transport links are through New Zealand airports.

Continue reading

A 100 years ago today – the likely first NZ death from the 1918 influenza pandemic

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018 | dayhi34p | No Comments

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker

The 1918 influenza pandemic began to kill New Zealanders 100 years ago today. Ultimately it killed 9000 NZ citizens and so is by far the largest natural disaster to hit this country. In this blog we reflect on this event and draw links with the present day pandemic risks (including from synthetic bioweapons). We highlight the importance of continuing to invest in public health infrastructure and pandemic preparedness and planning.

Continue reading