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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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.

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Upgrade of NZ’s COVID-19 Alert Levels Needed to Help Regain NZ’s Elimination Status

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020 | tedla55p | No Comments

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker

In this blog we comment on the current COVID-19 situation globally and in NZ. We focus on potential revisions to NZ’s Alert Level system that involve improved use of mass masking, targeted internal travel restrictions, and gathering/event limits. These interventions could all help accelerate rapid progress back to elimination status for NZ while minimising disruption of economic activity and education.

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Using a fun “Mask Day” at school to promote pandemic protection in the NZ community

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020 | tedla55p | 2 Comments

Dr Ling Chan, Dr Sophie Febery, Prof Michael Baker, Dr Amanda Klasvig, Prof Nick Wilson

Whilst the New Zealand Government has recently recommended using face coverings or fabric masks as a strategy to contain COVID-19 pandemic virus transmission, the uptake of mask use in the public has been suboptimal. In this blog, we explore using “Mask Day” at school to promote positive public messages on masks, which may lead to increased public engagement of mask use within the wider community.

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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.

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