How seriously is NZ taking covid-19?

19/03/2020

A Facebook post from a recent arrival to New Zealand:

Maree Glading

Hi All! We have arrived safely in Auckland and are now in a hotel waiting out our isolation period. I wanted to make everyone aware of what we experienced at the airport this morning.

There was no mention on the plane or information handed out explaining self isolation enforcement and what was involved.

No information was handed out at the airport arrivals. We were given a card where we had to give a contact address (not an isolation address) – no one asked us where we were staying or if we understood our obligations when isolating. No temperature checks.

A handful of staff wearing masks. Lots of people in the arrival area land side waiting to greet and pick up people from category 1 countries – are they now going to isolate too?

A man in front of me in the queue was from the UK, I heard him tell immigration that he was here for 2 weeks. He then grabs a NZ tourism brochure on his way pass – something tells me he doesn’t plan to isolate!

The whole process is a joke! We are an island we can easily stop this virus by shutting our borders down and geo targeting everyone who has to isolate and enforcing a fine if they go out of their isolation area. I’m disappointed and I’m concerned. Any ideas on how we can feed this through to the government better procedures and enforcements need to be in place.

We were supposed to be hosting a 90th birthday for around 100 people on Saturday.

I phoned a couple of friends who are doctors and both told me to cancel it.

They said cases of Covid-19 are increasing in New Zealand, a 90 year-old would be very vulnerable, as would a lot of the guests and it would be very unwise to go ahead with the party.

I took their advice seriously.

The Facebook post suggests that the government, and at least some of its agencies, are not yet taking their response to Covid-19 as seriously as they should be.


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