Dr Matt Boyd (syndicated from the blog site of “Adapt Research”)
WHO? The Emergency Committee
The international health regulations (IHR) provide for the Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in appropriate circumstances.
PHEIC is meant to be a signal to all countries that significant actions, aid and cooperation may all be needed. Critics have lambasted the late timing of PHEIC declaration for COVID-19 and also the opaque nature of the acronym.
Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Leah Grout, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Nhung Nghiem, Prof Michael Baker (author details*)
Aotearoa/NZ has achieved the lowest death rate in the OECD from the COVID-19 pandemic, equivalent to around 2000 lives saved compared to the OECD average. With regard to economic harm, NZ appears to be close to the OECD average, with the IMF predictions for GDP in 2020 overall being -6.1% for NZ and -6.3% for the OECD. Nevertheless, a fuller accounting of health, economic and equity impacts probably needs to wait until vaccination is sufficiently available and border restrictions are lifted. Despite NZ’s health success there is still a need to improve border controls (eg, with a “traffic light” system), until the population is protected by vaccination.
Dr Ben Gray*
To date New Zealand has come through the pandemic well. The role of political leadership and scientific input has been well covered. Part of this success was built upon having a clear ethical framework for managing a pandemic that had been developed in advance following the SARS outbreak. This blog considers the interaction between the science the ethics and the decision makers.
Luke Pilkinton-Ching, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson
In this photo-essay of the COVID-19 pandemic in Aotearoa/NZ, each photo is accompanied by a brief comment on the pandemic impact or response. In some instances these images reflect success factors such as the relatively early introduction of border controls and the stringent nature of the “lockdown”. But we also consider some weaknesses: the slow adoption of mandated mass mask use and the recent run of eight border control failures.
Prof Nick Wilson*, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker
With the 2020 election over and with a newly elected government, it is an excellent time for a systematic review by NZ health authorities to identify optimal methods for reducing the risk of future COVID-19 outbreaks in Aotearoa/NZ. The persisting occurrence of cross-border incursions of the pandemic virus (five since 1 August, including a large outbreak in Auckland) highlights the need for such a review. In this blog we provide a framework for this systematic assessment and specific ideas for further risk reduction.