When can COVID-19 be Declared Eliminated from NZ? New Modelling Study

Monday, May 25th, 2020 | tedla55p | 4 Comments

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Matthew Parry, Dr Ayesha Verrall, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Martin Eichner (author details*)

This blog details a recent modelling study we conducted. In it we estimated that it would take between 27 and 33 days of no new detected cases of COVID-19 for there to be a 95% probability of epidemic extinction in NZ (at around current testing levels). For a 99% probability of epidemic extinction, the equivalent time-period was 37 to 44 days. So now the country urgently needs the Ministry of Health to provide an official definition of elimination and to upgrade the data on its website so that the public, the media and researchers can monitor progress towards achieving the goal.

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Why a “mouth and nose” lockdown with masks might help avoid a “full body” lockdown at home

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020 | tedla55p | 5 Comments

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Sophie Febery, Dr Ling Chan, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker

The concepts of an Alert Level system, household “bubbles”, and social event size limits are all valuable pandemic control measures. Nevertheless, better “source control” of COVID-19 at various Alert Levels by requiring masks in public indoor spaces could reduce the risk of outbreaks (should there be border control failures) and reduce the likelihood that we would need to move back to tighter restrictions and lockdowns with the associated adverse economic, social and mental health effects.

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The Strong Case for Mask Requirements in Public Transportation and Border Control Settings in NZ’s Current COVID-19 Pandemic Context

Monday, May 11th, 2020 | tedla55p | 9 Comments

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

In this blog we identify six likely benefits from requiring fabric mask use in public transportation and border control settings in the “peri-elimination” context that New Zealand is currently in. Given these likely benefits and the relatively low costs (especially if the Government provides free masks as per Hong Kong), such a policy should be given very serious consideration by health authorities in the transition to level 2.

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Covid recovery or sustainable transformation?

Friday, April 17th, 2020 | tedla55p | 2 Comments

Ralph Chapman and Paul Blaschke* 

New Zealand faces momentous choices, crystallised by the Covid pandemic. Here we consider how we can shape policies and programmes to ensure that the recovery from the Covid lockdown provides an opportunity for a sustainable transformation of our society and economy, addressing the climate crisis and wider environmental and social goals.

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We need rapid progress on digital solutions to help eliminate COVID-19 from New Zealand

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020 | tedla55p | No Comments

Dr Tim Chambers, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker

In this blog we discuss some of the emerging technologies New Zealand could adopt to support the country’s COVID-19 elimination strategy. We argue for the prioritisation of technologies to assist with contact tracing, border controls, early diagnosis and surveillance. These technologies present major benefits for the collective effort against COVID-19 and can also strengthen our preparedness for future pandemics. Nevertheless, they also present major challenges related to privacy, public acceptability and coordination that must be overcome if these innovations are to make substantial contributions to the pandemic response.

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