Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Leah Grout, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig
The high quality communication by the NZ Government for much of the COVID-19 pandemic has been remarked on. But given that the pandemic situation is very far from over, in this blog we consider five areas in which potential improvements could be made. Potentially the most important of these would be to further depoliticise the COVID-19 response.
Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker
In this blog we briefly consider a new Report from a European think tank that aims to identify an optimal COVID-19 response strategy. It considers mortality data, GDP impacts, and mobility data and suggests that COVID-19 elimination appears to be superior to mitigation/suppression strategies in health and economic terms. Nevertheless, more data and a longer-term perspective is needed, before we can be really certain about the relative benefits and costs of different COVID-19 control strategies.
By Professor Tony Blakely, Dr Tim Wilson, Luke Thorburn and Professor Nathan Grills, University of Melbourne
A new web tool, COVID-19 Pandemic Trade-offs, allows people to weigh the costs and benefits of different policy responses as Australia rolls out vaccines and considers opening borders.
See here for an associated explanatory video. Article reproduced with permission from Pursuit
Dr Leah Grout, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson
While succeeding very well with its elimination strategy, NZ still does not have optimal border control. We find since July 2020 there have been 13 identified border failures and at least 6 internal MIQ facility failures. The forthcoming quarantine-free “green zone” between NZ and Australia provides an opportunity for NZ to benchmark its MIQ/border management policies and practices with Australian States and Territories to identify improvements in both countries.
Nick Wilson, Matt Boyd, Osman D Mansoor, Louise Delany, Michael G Baker
With effective vaccines for COVID-19 comes the potential for disease eradication (elimination at the global level). Here we consider the advantages and the challenges, but ultimately suggest consideration of progressive expansion of “green zones” towards a target of COVID-19 eradication. Even if eradication is not achieved, establishing and maintaining “green zones” with no local spread will have many medium term benefits by liberalising travel between “green zone” countries (eg, between NZ and Australia).