Saturday, December 4

Covid-19 wrap: 18 new cases; former prime minister criticizes the government. answer

Today there were 18 new community cases of Covid-19, while former Prime Minister Sir John Key returned to the limelight to accuse the government of relying on scare tactics.

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Photo: RNZ

All but two of the 18 new community cases reported today were epidemiologically linked to previous cases, the Health Ministry said in an emailed statement.

That brings community cases of Covid-19 to 1,165 since the mid-August outbreak began.

The Ministry said that more than 5 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had already been distributed in New Zealand. A total of 82 percent of eligible Auckland residents have already received their first dose.

“We want to reiterate our appreciation to the front-line personnel administering the vaccines, especially during the current outbreak in the community,” the Ministry wrote in its statement. “Your hard work is helping to keep New Zealanders safe.”

Health officials are finding new ways to reach out and support Pasifika and Maori families and increase vaccination rates, including extra help for those in isolation and using TikTok influencers to reach rangatahi.

Four locations of interest were also added to the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 contact tracing list this morning, all in Auckland. Among them are Mobil Glen Innes, Farro Epsom, Unichem Ōtara and Chemist Warehouse Manukau. Full details on times and dates can be found on the Ministry’s listing.

It was the first weekend of Level 3 in Auckland, and the police generally reported that compliance was good, although there were isolated instances of arrests, such as a farmer near the northern border of the city seen conducting his water race in an attempt. for dodging the checkpoint.

John Key

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

New Zealand can no longer be a ‘smug hermit kingdom’ – Sir John Key

In a series of opinion pieces and interviews today, former Prime Minister John Key said vaccination is the only way to get back to normal where New Zealanders can travel abroad and return whenever they want.

Voicing criticism of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government approach, Sir John said incentives to encourage people to receive the jab are the best way forward.

“You have to move on to a series of carrots and sticks. I don’t think fear is going to work.

“Deploying Shaun Hendy and saying 7000 people could die will not work.

“Fear works with the vaccinated in my opinion, it doesn’t work with the unvaccinated.”

Sir John wrote an editorial published in the Herald on sunday and Sunday Star-Times and other newspapers and websites today, in which he called for a “coherent plan” to share with the public and said the government must “stop ruling out of fear.”

“The goal should no longer be to continue to exist in a smug hermit kingdom,” wrote Sir John.

In his editorial, Sir John criticized MIQ’s allocation requirements, saying New Zealanders should be informed when the borders will be opened.

In TVNZ’s Q + A On Sunday morning, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins disagreed with Sir John’s comments.

“I really don’t agree with him describing New Zealand as a smug hermit kingdom,” Hipkins said.

“I think that’s an insult to New Zealanders who have actually achieved some of the highest release rates in the world by putting in the effort and doing it early when we’ve needed it.”

Auckland Central at noon on August 27.

Photo: RNZ / Robert Smith

Supported lock, for now

A new poll showed general support for the shutdowns to eliminate Covid-19, but has warning signs about the patience of the population for future restrictions and concerns about mandatory vaccines.

Research New Zealand’s poll showed that 70 percent of Kiwis say they support the closures. However, that changes when the vaccination rate reaches a high enough level.

47 percent said they would support them only until the vaccination goal has been reached. Support also varied by region, said Research NZ managing director Emanuel Kalafatelis.

Read the full Research NZ survey here (PDF)

“If you compare Auckland to the rest of the country, there is a lower level of support for the continued lockdown. In Auckland it is 66 percent, compared to Wellington, where it is 79 percent, for example.”

For mandatory vaccinations, the results varied widely depending on who you were talking about. When it comes to frontline health and quarantine workers, 85 percent said they should be required.

But when asked if companies should be able to require vaccination of employees, the figures that backed it dropped sharply to just 57 percent.

Australia has seen violent protests recently over lockdown restrictions, but Kalafatelis said he hopes New Zealanders don’t behave that way.

“I just hope New Zealanders are a little more reasonable and controlled in terms of their emotions and reactions.”

In Australia, there were another 961 cases in New South Wales and 779 in Victoria to report, and a total of 11 deaths.

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