Mike Hosking asks MP Chris Hipkins about the government’s response to the Delta outbreak.
Bubble-busting offenders are responsible for the increasing spread of COVID-19 in Auckland, the government has confirmed.
And after the country recorded a spike in community infections yesterday, experts warn cases could rise further as the number of “mystery” cases is still unrelated to existing clusters.
COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told Newshub this morning that some of the 45 new cases of Covid-19 may have been caused by people not meeting Level 3 restrictions.
“Of course there will be people who haven’t followed the rules in this area.”
While he felt “somewhat reassured” that he had domestic or close contact in many of the 45 community cases yesterday, case investigators were still looking to find out how the remaining infected – especially the 12 cases. mysteries – hung on. He was waiting for more information on this today.
But not everyone was a rule breaker, and there were known or acceptable interactions in many instances, he said.
When asked how these new cases got infected, Hipkins said very few people caught Covid just from going to supermarkets and were unaware that none of yesterday’s cases had spread. Used to be.
Hipkins stressed that Newstalk ZB officials still wanted to get cases “below zero” and that the government was not yet waving a white flag.
Fewer cases of COVID were needed if the Kiwis were to lower the alert level and continue the freedom they already enjoyed.
Level 4 and 3 restrictions were still a “huge hammer” in the fight against COVID, but the government had other tools in its toolbox and would like to deploy them where it could.
The government will not decide whether the country can move to the alert level until Monday and it is too early to speculate before that.
It comes as experts warn Auckland will need to stay at Level 3 as the country’s vaccination rates rise.
He had said earlier that it would take seven to 10 days to feel the impact of Auckland’s easing of restrictions down to Level 3.
Epidemiologist Professor Rod Jackson said yesterday’s cases were a “wake-up call” for New Zealanders and they are likely to get worse.
“Auckland will not drop out of level 3 until we have a mystery.”
He said vaccination is the only way to win the war.
Jackson said the elimination was only a short-term strategy and that Delta made it too short-term.
Auckland was not required to revert to Tier 4 as Tier 3 was also an elimination, but some of Auckland’s high-risk suburbs would need to be cordoned off.
Covid modeler Professor Sean Hendy said he needed a few more days to get a clear picture, but the 12 mysterious cases were dangerous enough.
“Unfortunately, this is a sign that we may see more cases in the future.”
Hendy said people have lost their tolerance with level 4 and believe level 3 may also work to keep COVID-19 at bay when combined with vaccination.
Hendy said the mysterious cases could have disappeared if level 4 had been raised for an additional week.
ACT party leader David Seymour told TVNZ that the government’s strategy to eliminate COVID is no longer working and it is time to change strategy.
“People are going to die because New Zealand is going to be a poor country if we follow a nonsense model of elimination,” Seymour said.
“We cannot afford to wait.
He believed New Zealand could still meet the 90% immunization target.