Lockdown in New Zealand – 19 August, 2021

Lockdown in New Zealand – 19 August, 2021

I have been inclined to believe that this whole lockdown was concocted by the government to follow on from Australia.

I have come across tweets that are suggesting that the “Delta variant” was a infected UN official that was flown into the country, allegedly agains the strong advice of the medical experts.

If this was so we will never find out and this will be be covered up by the Adern government.

The one thing I DO know is that I cannot believe the word of government and media.

In the meantime there are rumours of Wellington and other hospitals preparing for an influx of “Delta variant” patients.

We have 20 % of the population injected (which is possibly the only thing going for us as a country); just imagine how things will look as they roll out the vaccine.

And it was always totally unncessary!

The twitter feed can be seen HERE

Here is some of the coverage from July. Of course they will never give any details such as was this individual vaccinated (highly unlikely) or whether this was a variant they were infected with (also, highly likely in my mind)

UN staff member from Fiji medically evacuated to NZ

A staff member of the United Nations in Fiji is being medically evacuated to Auckland through the assistance of the Fijian and New Zealand Governments.

Fijivillage has received confirmation that it is a COVID-19 related medical evacuation and the person was admitted in hospital for a few days.

UN Resident Coordinator, Sanaka Samarasinha says the staff member is on the way to Auckland.

Samarasinha says this is standard practice as they do medical evacuations all the time, even pre-COVID. He says that since May 2020, the UN has conducted around 300 COVID-19 medical evacuations around the world, and this is the first one in the Pacific. Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says the Fijian Health Ministry supports anyone needing medical evacuations. He says the evacuation depends on the green light given by the Government receiving the person to be medically evacuated.

Coronavirus: Expert condemns transfer of COVID-positive UN worker from Fiji to NZ as ‘dreadful decision’

A public health expert says transferring a United Nations (UN) worker with COVID-19 from Fiji to New Zealand is a “dreadful decision”, putting the country “at unnecessary risk”. 

But the UN says it has a duty of care to its employees. 

A mercy dash from Suva to Middlemore Hospital, to help save a UN worker who their colleague, UN Resident Coordinator for Fiji Sanaka Samarasinha, describes as “a wonderful person, very committed, dedicated staff member”.

Newshub has decided not to identify the UN employee, but she’s a senior official for Fiji’s UN Development Programme (UNDP).

Evacuated Fiji UN worker in stable condition: NZ official

According to New Zealand’s Health Ministry, the patient is being treated at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland.

No caption

Photo: LDR

Initially, she was refused in because of “capacity” issues, but Auckland’s Medical Officer subsequently approved a transfer plan.

Meanwhile, a ministry spokesperson said a health worker, who was placed in a quarantine facility as a precaution following a PPE-protocol breach, has returned a negative initial test result for Covid-19 and remains asymptomatic.

“While in quarantine, this person will receive the standard testing day five and day 12 post-exposure.

“This person will isolate for 14 days and if they become Covid-19-positive, their management will depend upon any symptoms.”

The spokesperson said one else was affected as a result of the breach and “the risks associated continue to be assessed as low.

“However as is standard protocol, the incident is being reviewed.”

Fiji’s hospital system remains under massive strain, with over 30,000 cases of Covid-19 being reported in Fiji since the current outbreak began in April

More than 1100 new cases of the Delta variant and 13 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

Fiji now has over 22,000 positive people in isolation and the death toll has passed 250.

 

More rumours from today. I do not know if this has anything behind it or not.

We have a media but have to rely on secondary information and rumours.

Wellington hospitals being prepped for Delta variant?

Here is the latest from the NZ government, via the compliant media

Coronavirus: Experts worried about ‘potentially grave’ Delta outbreak, patient zero could be ‘anywhere’ in NZ

Experts are warning the current outbreak of COVID-19 in New Zealand could be “potentially grave”, with transmission perhaps going back a couple of weeks and known cases visiting high-risk locations.

Nearly 1000 people were at Auckland’s Bar 101 on Friday night while an infected person was there, and 230 were potentially exposed at a church service on Sunday. Other indoor locations with large gatherings where people may have been exposed include Event Cinemas on Queen St, Avondale College, Glenfield Mall, Pak’nSave Wairau and Sky City Casino. 

The Ministry of Health has dozens of locations of interest on its list, going back to August 3. Just nine cases have been found so far – thankfully all linked, but there’s no known connection to the border. 

“It’s good news that we’re finding these cases and so far they’re all linked,” University of Canterbury disease modelling expert Michael Plank told Newshub. “But that’ because we’re testing close contacts of cases – it’s still going to be the next few days when we really start get a sense of how big this outbreak could be. 

“It’s certainly possible we could be looking for a large number of cases out there that we haven’t found yet.”

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfied said modelling suggested between 50 and 120 cases.

“My strong expectation is that we will get more cases,” he told The AM Show on Thursday.

The Delta variant appears to be better at infecting young people, overseas studies have found. New computer modelling by Canadian researchers has also found young men might be driving undetected transmission

In September last year, before Delta arrived, University of Otago epidemiologist Michael Baker warned young people might be driving the spread of COVID-19 thanks to their “few symptoms and big social networks”. 

“It’s certainly possible we could be looking at an outbreak of that scale, particularly with the news that there are a number of cases of people in young age groups, locations of interest in busy, crowded locations that are high-risk for transmission,” said Dr Plank. “We could see case numbers go up over the next few days before we’re able to start to bring this outbreak under control.” 

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic there were concerns after an infected person attended a concert by American metal band Tool. Despite that, and the fact lead singer Maynard James Keenan also had the virus at the time, no one else got infected. But the Delta strain of the virus is at least twice as infectious, and can spread more easily via the air. 

“It’s certainly looking potentially grave,” University of Otago infectious disease specialist David Murdoch told The AM Show. 

“The further back it goes, the more worrying it is. What we’re hoping is… there’s a good connection with the border. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.” 

If a connection to the border can’t be found, it will be difficult to figure out where the outbreak started, or how long it’s been bubbling away without being detected. If it remains elusive, Dr Plank said it’s likely the South Island will have to spend longer than three days at level 4.

“We don’t know yet where this man caught the virus from or what the link to the border is. We really have no idea, and the virus could be actually anywhere in the country. 

“So it’s really important that people everywhere in New Zealand actually follow the rules because it’s the actions of everyone over the coming days and weeks that will determine how this pans out in the long-term. What we really want to avoid is a situation like Sydney is in, which could absolutely happen here in New Zealand.” 

The good news, Dr Murdoch says, is that it’s likely a New South Wales-sized outbreak would have been found by now. But asked how worried he is on a scale of one to 10, he said “high”. 

“We’ve all been concerned about the complacency that has crept in… it just shows you how important it is to do the scanning, to do the tests.”

Dr Plank said the level 4 restrictions – now with added mask mandates – will “dampen down the spread”, giving contact tracers a chance to get ahead of the spread. 

“Then it’s all about just getting all of those cases in isolation as soon as possible. That’s what we need to do to get this outbreak contained.” 

COVID-19: Pak’nSave, New World to turn away customers without face masks

Foodstuffs supermarkets Pak’nSave and New World have confirmed they will turn away any customers without face masks during the COVID-19 lockdown, while Countdown will provide face coverings to customers without.

From Thursday, face masks are compulsory for all supermarket staff and customers while at alert level four.

Foodstuffs’ South Island chief executive Steve Anderson told RNZ they have a ‘no mask, no entry’ policy.

“It will be a challenge. But look, the vast majority of New Zealanders get it and realise that it’s important for everybody to behave themselves.

“There are going to be some people who are upset about it.

“We’ve just got to manage this really well and we’re really well practised at managing it from the previous lockdown.”

INSANITY: New Zealand Locks Down Over ONE Covid Case

Anyone with a mind to think and just a little reliable information would come to the same conclusion.

New Zealand’s Zero Covid trap

Attempts to eradicate the virus are doomed to failure.

JAMES BOLT

If you live are one of the 4,060 people who live in Balclutha on New Zealand’s South Island, you are forbidden from visiting friends or family, sitting down at a café, taking your child to a playground or school, or going to work (unless you are a key worker). You can’t even get vaccinated, as New Zealand has briefly suspended its vaccine rollout so it can ‘take place in a safe environment’, free of Covid. All this because, over 900 miles and a 22-hour drive away in Auckland, one case of Covid was discovered. Yes: one case was all it took to send the whole of New Zealand into a snap three-day lockdown, and the entire city of Auckland into a seven-day lockdown.

Granted, the Delta variant is extremely infectious. The new case – which is likely a Delta case – has already been linked to a number of other new cases. There will likely be more in the next few days. But to rob healthy people of their livelihoods, even when they are nearly a thousand miles away from the ‘hotspot’, is an extraordinary overreach.

To defend this lockdown, people point to New Zealand’s pitifully low vaccination rate. Less than 35 per cent of New Zealand’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and less than 20 per cent has been fully vaccinated. In comparison, the UK has fully vaccinated around 60 per cent of the population.

Much like in Australia, New Zealanders have been fed the false promise of ‘Zero Covid’ for so long that they are complacent about getting vaccinated. The new case that sparked the lockdown was New Zealand’s first case of transmission within the community in six months. Why get vaccinated if there is next to no risk of catching Covid? If a case emerges, the government will just lock the country down anyway.

A popular view is that once New Zealand is vaccinated to the same level as the UK, no national lockdown will be needed. In the meantime, the vulnerable population must be protected. But in this scenario, suspending the vaccination programme sends the signal that even government-run vaccination clinics are petri dishes of Covid. This is both counterintuitive and dangerous.

Can vaccination really chart a course out of the Zero Covid nightmare? When you decide that any number of Covid cases should lead to a nationwide lockdown, the level of vaccination becomes almost irrelevant to the enforcement of the Zero Covid policy.

Widely vaccinated Britain recorded 26,852 new cases on Tuesday. For New Zealand to experience a similar infection rate, it would need to record around 1,900 cases per day. After 18 months of being told that a single case of Covid is an existential threat to New Zealand, will even a vaccinated public accept 1,900 cases per day without locking down? As evidence emerges that even fully vaccinated people can be infected with Covid and pass it on to others, it seems unlikely.Set featured image

Here is the reality of Zero Covid laid bare. There is no escape. If eliminating Covid is the goal, there is no end to lockdowns, no end to restrictions and no end to the constant fear that, at any time, your freedoms will be taken away and your life will be put on hold. Your country can be largely free of the virus for six months, but when one person in a city you have never been to tests positive, lockdown returns. New Zealand will leave this lockdown, but the fear of the next one will remain until the government and the people shake themselves out of this Zero Covid fantasy.

Brits were told to look to Australia and New Zealand as the gold standard for dealing with Covid in 2020. In 2021, Australia and New Zealand are falling way behind. Britain has shown that even with over 26,000 cases in a single day, you can still live with the virus. Locked-down Aucklanders will be able to watch packed British football stadiums full of maskless fans on their TVs this weekend, while they are forbidden from visiting their neighbours. New Zealand is living in a Zero Covid fantasy land. Britain is living in the real world.

England’s ‘Freedom Day’ came on 19 July and, overall, the government has lived up to its end of the deal. It is time for New Zealand to set a date for its own ‘Freedom Day’. Let’s pick a date by which every New Zealand adult will have had time to get vaccinated, and when the health service will be prepared to deal with outbreaks. That’s the date when restrictions must go. New Zealanders who are not vaccinated by then will have had their chance and will have made up their own mind about the threat Covid poses to them – as should be their right. And if that date has to be a long time away due to lack of vaccine supply or an inability to build medical infrastructure, then New Zealanders will know their government has failed them. A date, at the very least, will give people some light at the end of the tunnel.

Zero Covid was always a fantasy. As long as the government tries in vain to wipe the virus out, New Zealand will continue to suffer.

James Bolt is a Research Fellow with the Institute of Public Affairs.

 

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