Stop non-essential domestic travel, over-70s stay at home: PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has introduced an alert system as the country fights Covid-19.

The goal was to slow down a "tidal wave" of Covid-19 and break it into smaller waves, which would reduce the impact on health and the economy.

"It does mean we have to be ready to step our action if we need to."

She said New Zealand had warning systems, and an alert system is now in place for Covid-19 that can apply to the whole country, or to certain places or towns.

She said there four alert levels to the system.

  • One was where Covid-19 is here but contained.
  • Two was where Covid-19 is contained but the risks are growing as more cases arise, and unnecessary travel should be contained and more travel restrictions are put in place.
  • Three and four are where community transmission is more widespread, and contact with people is more restricted with communities in lockdown.

Alert level two is where New Zealand currently is, she said.

The risk of transmission was growing, she said.

People over 70 or with compromised immunity should stay at home as much as possible, Ardern said.

Friends and neighbours need to support people in this group, she said, by dropping off supplied where possible.

An alert system is now in place for Covid-19 that can apply to the whole country, or to certain places or towns. Photo: Supplied
An alert system is now in place for Covid-19 that can apply to the whole country, or to certain places or towns. Photo: Supplied

Workers also needed to start working differently.

She said people would not always be able to work from home, though workers in essential services would still need to work on site.

She asked New Zealanders to stop non-essential domestic travel within New Zealand.

Physical distancing should be used, and people should limit their travel around the country, she said.

Schools will stay open unless there is a confirmed case. This will change as the alert system moves up the chain, Ardern said.

Comments

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So how long do we wait? How many confirmed cases do we document before we take action on TESTING?
Rolling waves of infections and lockdowns is hardly helpful. Get onto the nationwide TESTING. When people are told to stay at home, it becomes too late. No wonder people are panic buying, they're worried they will not be able to access food!
Even mild cases of flu like symtoms can go un-noticed, but the virus can be passed on. Stamp it out through TESTING.
Get the TESTING sorted, then at least we can all lead some sort of life until a vaccine is found.
Sitting on our hands and taking risks is not an ideal policy Jacinda.

How about we look to South Korea and their very successful testing kits. Is someone from the Ministry of Health monitoring the developments and taking notes? Could we not replicate the 'COVID-19 Ag GICA' test, which is a test that can be done at home and gives a result in 10 minutes.
Would something like this not work here? Better to pay for testing than mass stockpiling of food isn't it?

The PM has now been re-elected in the hearts of enough people to give her the next 3-10 years!

Unless her government comes up with some sort of testing, she may well see her first term as her last for acting too late.
Fact is, how are we going to know which flu is which come the winter flu season? How much panic is that going to create? How many businesses go down the tubes? All courses of action should be taken. Testing provides a very high level of detection and certainty. Don't forget, business's generate TAXES, that is what keeps an economy turning over. The handouts won't last forever folks.
Saying we don't have the swabs, reaction agent or the staff to do the testing is rubbish. Drive through testing has been implemented overseas. What is the plan for winter? Somehow I feel we're leaving things too late.

All taxpayers generate taxes (unless you are like the big corporations who weasel out of them).

I'm so glad we have the government we do at this time.
All of the measures taken to combat COVID-19 have been well informed by health professionals, well considered and executed. After this is over, our rate of infection will be shown to be one of the flattest curves be world.

Currently, as we follow the recommendations and the actions of other nations that experienced this earlier than us, our rates continue to double daily. Just as they did in other countries when they had their first cases. So I doubt very much we will have a 'flatter curve'. We have an opportunity to address this is a different way. Lockdown is excellent, we're contained, as a relatively small population. We now need testing in some form to identify where the problems are to prevent the 'doubling' effect and the very real possibility of secondary infections. Wave after wave of disruption will wear thin soon enough.

Nivaman, I think you will find that because business's employ people, those people, and the business's themselves, pay taxes. My point being, if we lose too many business's, we lose jobs, then we lose are tax paying base. If you don't have an income, you aren't paying tax. If you run out of money, you aren't buying anything, so again, no GST, which is a tax. Benefits and handouts won't last long without TAX being collected. With domestic travel restrictions, a lot less fuel is sold, so a lot less GST and exise taxes. To implement the widest testing programme possible will get many domestic business's back on their feet to some degree, thus continuing the collection of taxes, AND providing some sense security for everyone. We have tourists in our country right now who don't care, they are part of the problem, we need testing, we need our business's. Are borders are closed, we need to test everyone here and continue our lives as best we can.
It's all very well making reasons why we can't do widespread testing, but that doesn't address a very fast moving problem.

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