COVID 19 Delta outbreak: National unveils MIQ and pandemic response policies

The National Party wants a nationwide lockdown to be a ‘last resort’ once 70-75% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated – and relaxes border restrictions for full vaccination when coverage reaches 85 %.

He also wants to immediately order a purpose-built 1,500-room MIQ facility near Auckland Airport, a new pandemic agency based in Manukau, and booster injections from Pfizer.

After party leader Judith Collins said fully vaccinated kiwis could be home by Christmas, the party released its COVID strategy today.

However, the plan does not specify a timeframe for all Kiwi countries to open the border.

It specifies a minimum vaccination coverage of 85 percent of the eligible population – which would represent just over 70 percent of the total population – before threshold restrictions for full vaccination are relaxed.

Modeling Te Panaha Matatini, released last week, estimated 4,314 deaths with 85% of people over 12 and fully immune, along with moderate public health measures including QR scanning and wearing masks. Simultaneously with extensive testing, case finding and isolation.

If 85 percent of people aged 5 and older were fully immunized, that would reduce to 1,411 deaths.

From abolition to the strategy of “vigorous repression”

National COVID-19 response spokesperson Chris Bishop said the death toll would be much lower as public health measures strengthen.

Studies have shown that Maori and Pacifica are more vulnerable to adverse health effects if they catch the virus, but the country does not have vaccination targets for any ethnic group.

To help ensure that no group remains vulnerable, each DHB area will need at least 80 percent coverage, while each 10-year age group will need at least 70 percent coverage. percent.

Bishop said that once the vaccine coverage of 85% is reached, it is time to move away from eradication and move to “vigorous suppression”.

“Delta is in the country now and might never leave it. Even the government thinks it’s not possible to bring cases down to zero, and if we do, Delta will come back, ”they said.

“The government is intellectually dishonest in perpetuating the fantasy that borders could reopen while New Zealand simultaneously maintains an elimination strategy. In a world with a delta, this is impossible.

Ending containment and opening the border will be based on the implementation of the first 10 steps, which include:

• Vaccination centers in universities with the idea of ​​“incentives in cash or in vouchers”, outside churches and nightclubs.

• Creation of a Rangtahi advisory group to reach Maori youth, door-to-door visits to high-risk communities and hiring of behavior specialists to determine the best incentives to lift coverage.

• Immediately order Pfizer booster shots and require health workers to be vaccinated.

• Mandatory daily saliva test for frontline workers, MIQ workers and those working in public hospitals. Rapid and ubiquitous antigen testing by the middle of next year.

• Creation of Te Korowai Kokiri, a new epidemic agency based in Manukau, and construction of specially designed quarantine facilities near Auckland Airport in early 2022.

• Accelerated construction of new hospital services to increase bed capacity.

Elimination will continue, but national lockdowns should not be required once 70-75% vaccine coverage is achieved, Bishop said – although they can still be used as a “last resort.”

Vigorous suppression will replace elimination when 85 percent is achieved.

“This is a strategy in which New Zealand aims to keep the number of COVID-19 cases very low, but not necessarily zero,” Bishop said.

“This strategy is likely to have cases of infection, but when they do occur, the goal is to respond quickly and reduce the number of people infected.”

After that, the borders can be reopened. Travelers will be classified as low, medium and high risk, with isolation requirements consistent with the government’s plan to reconnect with the world at large.

Low-risk passengers who are fully vaccinated will undergo a pre-departure test, a rapid antigen or saliva test on arrival, and will not need any isolation. Low risk areas would include Queensland, ACT, Western Australia, Cook Islands, Taiwan and most of the Pacific.

Medium-risk travelers, if fully immunized, will be isolated at home for a week. Medium risk areas would include New South Wales, Victoria, Singapore, United States, United Kingdom and several European countries.

People from high-risk countries will need an MIQ migration, which includes all uninfected kiwis.

Unvaccinated people who are not citizens or residents will not be allowed to enter the country, as is currently the case, unless they are exempted at the border.

“As part of this plan, kiwis from the green and orange routes will be able to return home by Christmas,” Bishop said.

National is also keen to prioritize residency applications for essential healthcare workers and offer residency on arrival for specialized nurses.

Collins suggested earlier today that the government fully embrace the policy so that the Kiwis can return home and people can travel again.

Collins said National was cautious in disclosing who reviewed the plan because they didn’t want them to be attacked by the government.

When asked if people could die from the policy proposed by the National, he replied that the country could not live in this state forever and “live in a hermit kingdom” – used by Sir John Key earlier this week, Gaya was a word used to describe the country in its present tense. States are living with Covid-19.

Collins went on to say that people die in car crashes, but that hasn’t stopped him from driving.

The lockdown also has other consequences such as delays in medical treatment, mental health issues and business collapse, she said.

Collins said yesterday that the plan will focus on vaccination as well as other public health measures that will support the response to COVID.

COVID-19 party spokesman Chris Bishop said the strategy would allow different limit measures for any kiwifruit that had been doubly vaccinated and wished to return home.

“I think it’s fair to say that if you’re a doubly vaccinated offshore kiwifruit or a doubly vaccinated kiwifruit in New Zealand, you’ll love our plan,” Bishop said yesterday.

Auckland Level 2 Move Outlook

The National’s big reveal comes as Aucklanders have about a week until the government announces whether the city will go to Alert Level 2 or remain in Level 3 lockdown.

University of Auckland epidemiologist Rod Jackson took a somewhat tough stance on tackling the virus – acknowledging that we were at war with COVID and therefore needed a tougher approach.

The first 90 percent immunization level will not be enough to sway the government’s decision to lower the alert level next week in the country’s largest city.

Jackson said the key was the number of unrelated Covid cases – and unrelated cases are still being reported in the community, he told Mike Hosking of Newstalk ZB this morning.

“We have to stamp them or it’s Melbourne or Sydney,” he said, referring to the current COVID situation in Tasman.

Where to get vaccinated in Auckland – without reservation

He said Auckland was unable to cope with such an outbreak.

“We need to remove all shutdowns and I want GPs to call individual patients.”

The total number of active COVID cases in New Zealand now stands at 216.

A total of 3,961 people have recovered from the virus since the start of the pandemic.

Fourteen people are fighting the virus in the hospital; There are six patients, including two at North Shore Hospital, six in Middlemore and six at Auckland City Hospital.

Kovid’s death toll remains at 27.

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