Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Dr Julie Bennett, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Leah Grout, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson*
As much of the country moves down Alert Levels, children are returning to in-person learning with little or no protection against the potential spread of Covid-19 infection in schools. It is therefore critical that ventilation is improved in schools; it is often as easy as opening windows, but ultimately new standards and improved resourcing are required. Ventilation is a valuable protection that works well in combination with other pandemic control measures such as vaccination and mask use, with additional benefits for improving children’s learning and concentration.
Jennifer Summers, Leah Grout, Michael Baker, Amanda Kvalsvig, Nick Wilson* (author details*)
We previously published an assessment of Taiwan’s extremely effective response to COVID-19 during 2020. However, a recent surge of community cases in northern Taiwan from April 2021 onwards has resulted in an increasing mortality rate, with large scale restrictions imposed to bring the outbreak under control. This COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan serves as a reminder to other jurisdictions, including NZ, of the threat posed by COVID-19 and its more infectious variants. We therefore recommend a range of short-term and long-term upgrades to NZ’s pandemic defences that we believe the Government needs to consider.