Sunday 30 August 2020
Auckland needs to remain at Alert Level 3
Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā urges the Government to continue with Alert Level 3 protocols in Auckland.
Co-leaders of Te Rōpu Whakakaupapa Urutā, Professor Papaarangi Reid, Dr Rawiri Jansen, Professor Sue Crengle and Teresa Wall believe that moving Auckland to Alert Level 2 restrictions this evening is premature and dangerous.
The rōpū has been closely watching the number of cases that are emerging and are not confident that the outbreak is fully contained and its parameters clears.
The rōpū is concerned that:
Community transmission numbers are still very high
Parameters of the clusters are not clearly defined
The epidemilogical pathway in some of the cases has not been identified
More time is needed to thoroughly investigating the emmergence of the new sub-clusters
Imported cases at the border and community transmission place additional stress on the health workforce.
“Our rōpū is currently not confident that the clusters and sub-clusters are fully described and contained, and is concerned that relaxing Auckland’s regional restrictions by re-opening the use of public transport and re-opening schools, workplaces and businesses in Auckland will become a vector for further spread.”
“The current clusters are within some of Auckland’s communities made vulnerable by broader social, economic and political environments.”
“We are also concerned with allowing regional travel from Auckland to other regions for the same reasons.”
Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā recognises that the Government is under significant political and reputational pressure to re-open Auckland but urges the Government to be courageous to maintain higher alert levels and prioritise the health and safety of the country.
“The health and safety of our entire country must be paramount while COVID-19 is present in Aotearoa. Our public health response must focus on supporting those who are unwell to recover, and ensuring that those who are healthy remain healthy.”