News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Covid-19 Cases In Christchurch – Expert Reaction

Two new community cases have been detected in Christchurch last night.

The two unvaccinated people are from the same household, and neither were regular users of the Covid tracer app. More information on how the Government will respond to the new cases, such as the possibility of a snap lockdown, is expected later today.

The SMC asked experts about the news.

 

Dr Andrew Chen, Research Fellow, Koi Tū – Centre for Informed Futures, University of Auckland, comments:

“It is unfortunate that the two cases in Christchurch were not active users of the NZ COVID Tracer app, and have made the job of contact tracing that much harder, especially given that they may have been infectious in the community for as long as a week.

“Contact tracing is one of our last lines of defense against COVID-19, because when the virus is already in the community, contact tracing helps us reduce the spread of the virus and stop more people getting sick. This is why keeping records of where you have been is so important – speed is critical. Every hour or day that contact tracers are delayed in their efforts to find potentially exposed people is another hour or day where an infectious person could be unknowingly spreading the virus. It may seem like a bit of a hassle, but we’ve all done a lot more for a lot less.

“NZ COVID Tracer is one way to keep your own contact tracing records. By scanning QR codes and turning Bluetooth Tracing on, you are giving yourself the best ability to get information to contact tracers quickly if needed. Furthermore, it gives you an extra chance of being alerted if your records match those of an active case. You should still check the Locations of Interest list on the Ministry of Health website when you can, but the NZ COVID Tracer app can also alert you when the contact tracers push out notifications.

“As an independent academic, I have reviewed the privacy framework of the app and it is safe to use from that perspective. Your data stays on your device, and only if you test positive for COVID-19 are you asked to voluntarily upload that data to the contact tracers to help them. For alerts, the contact tracers send information about exposure events to all devices, and the alert is generated on your device without passing any personal information back to the contact tracers. Using NZ COVID Tracer is the safest and fastest way to collect and maintain your contact tracing records – much better than writing details down on registers at shops or keeping a paper diary (although this is still better than nothing).”

Conflict of interest statement: I have had interactions with the Ministry of Health around digital contact tracing in an academic capacity, but am not employed or paid by them.

Dr Apisalome Talemaitoga, GP in Manukau, South Auckland, and Chair of the Pasifika GP network and the Pacific Chapter of the Royal NZ College of GPs, comments:

“I just find it unbelievable that we are allowing unvaccinated people out of Auckland to travel – for whatever reason. People should be doubly vaccinated before they can do this.

“This highlights the delay and ‘dragging the chain’ with rapid antigen testing. The fact we are still relying on a negative PCR test ‘before leaving Auckland’ sounds so ‘old hat’.”

No conflicts of interest declared.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'


The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland