We’re supposed to believe everything form the 1pm podium of truth but how can we when there are another gaping hole between what we’re told and what’s actually happening has been exposed:
Despite weeks of telling the public that ‘everyone’ in managed isolation is being tested for Covid-19 on day three of their stay, the Health Minister has admitted he knows these tests are not compulsory and his ministry does not know how many people haven’t had them.
Health Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed in writing on August 4 that day three tests were not compulsory and the Ministry of Health did not keep records of how many people had not received them.
This is despite Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield saying on June 9 that “from today, everyone in managed isolation will be tested twice for Covid-19”. The national testing strategy also requires day three testing.
Covid-19 testing is meant to occur on days three and 12 of a 14-day stay in managed isolation.
National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says it is disappointing the Government spin machine continued to let the public think day three tests were mandatory when they weren’t.
“This is yet another hole in our border defences,” Dr Reti says.
“Recent revelations that not all border staff were being tested for Covid-19 were extremely disappointing given this is our first and most important line of defence against the virus.
“The Government’s complacent attitude to day three testing is equally disappointing. If we are truly a team of five million then we all need to take the game plan seriously.
“Day three testing is important. Dr Bloomfield has talked about how it is key to reducing the risk of someone leaving managed isolation infectious.
Someone positive but not tested on day three would have more than a week to infect others before the test results on day 12 were available.
“This is why National has reissued our request to re-convene Parliament’s Health Select Committee. We think it is important the Director-General of Health fronts up to explain the disconnect between the Government’s rhetoric on testing and what is actually happening.
“National will protect New Zealanders from Covid-19 and allow our economy to flourish with a comprehensive border plan that includes mandatory weekly testing of all border staff.”
The Minister’s answers are here.
Not only are people not being tested, border staff are waiting far too long for results when they are tested:
A senior employee in the managed isolation system says he has yet to receive the results of his coronavirus test 10 days on.
And neither have at least three of his colleagues.
The employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was tested at a pop-up centre at an Auckland isolation hotel on August 14 shortly after revelations 60 per cent of border workers had not received a Covid test.
On Monday, 10 days after his test, he was yet to receive his results.
He had also contacted his GP who said they had no record of him being tested on August 14.
As a result, he had been told to undergo another test sometime in the next week.
The man described the state of affairs as a “farce”.
“Something’s gone wrong.” . .
Several somethings have gone wrong and something keeps going wrong.
National health spokesperson Shane Reti had written – for a second time – to the Health Committee chair asking for it to be reconvened. His initial request was rejected.
Reti wanted the Health Committee to call Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield, senior ministry officials, and the Health Minister, to grill them on the Covid-19 response.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said it was logical for the committee to meet to canvass the advice of those people on the alert level decisions taken by Cabinet this week.
“Given the economic and health consequences of the Cabinet’s decision it is appropriate for the accountability function to be performed while Parliament is sitting,” he said.
Committee chair and Labour MP Louisa Wall said she was happy for the committee to be reconvened and would invite the minister and Bloomfield to appear. . .
The Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) that operated during the first lockdown hasn’t been reconvened. The Health Select Committee will be the next best way for the Opposition to question the Minister and DG of Health.