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GPs "wholeheartedly Endorse" Government Ban On Mass Gatherings

The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners wholeheartedly endorse the Government’s announcement today that bans public gatherings over 500 people, held outdoors or indoors.

Dr Samantha Murton, President of the College said, "Our GP members are the front line response to COVID-19 and their safety and ability to keep their communities healthy is our top concern.

"Some of our GPs are sole-operators in rural areas without a lot of options when it comes to back-up, so we need to work hard to keep them healthy. Right now, New Zealanders can act for the greater health of their communities by staying home and thinking about ‘we’ not ‘me’."

The College has further moved to keep GPs safe by recommending events organised by its regional Faculties be postponed or cancelled, and by cancelling group events for new registrars. The College has also stopped all domestic and international travel for staff in its head office.

Dr Bryan Betty is the College’s Medical Director and says, "People shouldn’t underestimate how effective social distancing (like not going to events) can be in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

"Limiting public gatherings is a critical way to reduce the spread of COVID-19, which is what we want, especially in New Zealand where we’re also coming into winter and our normal flu season."

The College is working closely with the Ministry of Health and regularly updating its GP members with the latest information.

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