People Should Be Fighting Over Seeds Not Toilet Paper
With the accelerating international spread of SARS COV2, the NZ Outdoors Party calls on the Government to immediately increase the protection offered for New Zealanders.
Epidemiologists have been telling us for days that this is the start of a pandemic and we must act now to limit the spread of the disease. NZ Outdoors Party Board member and international airline pilot Brad Marsh is just back from a trip to Singapore, where awareness and preparedness was very high. “People were routinely temperature screened for infection at Singapore Airport” says Brad Marsh. “In contrast, back in New Zealand we all just walked through immigration with no testing at all.” It seemed like a hopelessly inadequate first line protection if the risk if pandemic is as serious as we are told.
Containment of the virus to geographical locations worldwide is failing. We have already had several cases of the virus in New Zealand with numerous members of the public potentially exposed before the infected even knew they were ill. “The best option is surely swift, aggressive action to limit its spread within NZ. New Zealand prides itself on its biosecurity. Surely we should have at least as strong protections against Corona virus as other states.” says Marsh. This will require restrictions on entry for visitors from infected locations, and temperature checks and personal movement records in arrivals lounges and possibly in other public places such as banks and workplaces.
The Health Department has today announced the self-isolation of 54 hospital staff in the North Shore Hospital. This makes those staff unavailable for their medical duties. It also raises serious questions about how medical staff working with infectious diseases could have been accidentally exposed.
Our health services have limited capacity to handle mass cases. If the virus gets away in NZ our hospitals and medical facilities will be overwhelmed even if their staff can work. We cant afford to have large numbers of medical staff out of action.
The NZ Outdoors Party calls on the Government to assist with faster release of information, more education and clear forward planning. Let’s ensure hand sanitiser is widely available in public areas such as transport stations, hotels, shopping centres, and lets strongly and regularly reinforce the messages about enhancing our immune systems, good hygiene, social distancing measures and limiting movement and contact as much as possible.
The corona virus could be a major test for New Zealand’s food and economic self-sufficiency. The first step is to help New Zealanders stay well by avoiding unnecessary infection. Then we need to consider how we will feed our families and community if cities are closed and our economy slows down. “People should be stocking up on to seeds, seedlings and vegetables, not just toilet paper” says Alan Simmons Co - leader. "Those with access to the outdoors can at least collect water and catch fish or hunt for food to feed families and the community. Our traditional food gathering skills could become very important."
In recent years a series of New Zealand governments have lost sight of the value of clean water and real food. Mass aerial poisoning programmes have contaminated water, fish and other wild foods. The threat of Corona virus should be a major wake up call to make us value our wild foods. The Government must urgently stop all its poison operations whether in our back country or more accessible areas in case we need the deer and pork as a source of food.
We also call on them to do the following:
Make reliable real time information available about the virus, who is at risk, and current statistics;
Educate on how to limit spread through hand and cough hygiene, social distancing, not shaking hands etc
Ensure people who are unwell call ahead before going to their Doctor;
Encourage families and communities to prepare to stay home for at least two weeks
Share information on what to do if one person in a family contracts the disease, including setting up in-home isolation and treatment.
Require immediate temperature screening of all persons entering or leaving NZ.
Provide far better protection for our frontline workers, Customs, Immigration and Emergency Services personnel.
Provide guidance on workplace temperature testing and movement recording to enable contact tracing.