Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Government Flying Blind, New Testing Technology Needed

"The Government is flying blind with so little testing, it doesn’t know if unlinked or ‘mystery’ cases are exceptions, or the tip of a Delta iceberg,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The Government needs to rapidly roll out saliva testing and remove its absurd ban on importing self-testing immediately. With fewer than 5,000 tests in Auckland yesterday, it is otherwise flying blind.

“Today half of the new cases were unlinked. They may be found in time, but the number of unlinked cases is stubbornly persistent. A week ago there were 27 unlinked cases, today there are 34.

“The Prime Minister says that we ‘know where the majority of cases come from.’ That misses the point. To end the lockdown we need to be sure there is no community transmission. The Government clearly doesn’t know if that’s true.

“People are showing up to hospital with inexplicable cases. If there is undetected community transmission then the outbreak is not under control. The Director General says there is no widespread community transmission, but also that there are undetected chains of transmission. The truth is he cannot be sure, and he won’t be saying that tomorrow if the Government decides to continue Alert Level 4 in Auckland, which looks all but done.

“The uncertainty matters, because the Prime Minister will err on the side of caution making lockdown decisions. Her uncertainty is Aucklanders’ cost, and it’s measured in the billions.

“To avoid flying blind, the Government should be rolling out new testing, and not just saliva. It should be delivering tens of thousands of saliva tests each day, especially in areas of high risk.

“It should, as a matter of urgency, remove the absurd ban on New Zealanders importing self tests. Self testing is widely used offshore, and should be legalised in New Zealand so that Government and business alike can roll it out here. There should not be 5,000 tests in Auckland every day. There should be tens of thousands, but the Government will not achieve that sustainably if people have to drive to a centre and have a swab stuffed up their nasopharyngeal tract.

“The cost of ongoing lockdowns is too high to sustain just because the Government isn’t sure. We need to get with the program and use the same technology as the rest of the world to test more for greater certainty."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Covid-19, 17/9: 1,007 Overall Cases, 4,500,000+ Vaccine Doses Administered


11 new cases of Covid-19 have been identified in Auckland today. 535 so far have recovered from their cases in Auckland alongside 15 of 17 in Wellington... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On the moral and scientific case against Covid booster shots


A year ago, a Covid vaccine was still on humanity’s wish list. Now, we’re basing our economic planning - and the safety of opening our borders – on the ability of the new Covid vaccines to reduce infection, hospitalisation and death. Given this reliance and in the face of an evolving virus, there is a lot of anxiety about how well the vaccines protect us, and for how long. Will we need booster shots, and how soon..? More>>



 
 


Trans-Tasman: Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has been extended, given the current Delta outbreaks, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “When QFT was established with Australia, both our countries had very few recent cases of COVID-19 community transmission... More>>


Auckland: School holidays remain unchanged

School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo is the best course of action... More>>

ALSO:



Government: Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan

Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today... More>>

ALSO:


Power: Bill Changes Bring Fairness To Charges

A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced... More>>



Government: Parks expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today... More>>



Child Poverty Action Group: Highest jump in weekly benefit numbers since first lockdown

The current lockdown has triggered the largest weekly increase in benefit recipient numbers since the first lockdown last year, and Child Poverty Action Group is concerned the Government isn't doing enough to assist affected families... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels