Saturday, November 27

Christchurch residents confused and angry when Covid-19 reappears

People spoken to around Ōtautahi last night expressed a mixture of confusion and anger at the news that Covid had reappeared in their community for the first time in nearly a year.

Pannell Dairy in Wainoni, Christchurch was named after a landmark.

Pannell Dairy in Wainoni, Christchurch was named after a landmark.
Photo: RNZ / Conan Young

On Thursday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the virus was contained and that there was no need for the city to move to level 3.

Part of the rationale for the decision was the high vaccination rates in Bishopdale, the suburb where the infected couple lives.

But one of them had traveled to parts of the city with a much lower absorption of the vaccine.

Dave Brown owned Pannell Dairy in Wainoni in the east of the city, which as of Thursday night was one of 13 locations of interest scattered throughout the city.

He learned that the person had visited his store through the media and when RNZ spoke to him, he had not yet heard from the health authorities.

“Well, it would be nice to know what we have to do from now on, if we can continue operating or we close.”

Although all its staff were twice vaccinated, one of them was immunosuppressed.

He was angry that someone had been allowed to travel to Auckland and return without a vaccine.

“First of all, I am fucking angry at the government, like almost everyone else who has been in the store, there are a lot of angry people in Christchurch.”

The latest figures in Wainoni showed that only 77 percent had received a first dose of the vaccine and only 55 percent the second.

On the same day, the infected person also visited a dairy in North Linwood, another area with low absorption.

A Pannell Dairy customer whom RNZ spoke with, Cherie Shipton, provided a stark reminder of how vulnerable this part of Christchurch was to an outbreak.

The courier driver said the news that a positive case had visited the same place as her made her nervous.

“[It’s] motivating me to go get vaccinated, so I might look into that now. Yes, [I’m] I’m just not even 100 percent sure if I should get it [the vaccine]. So I’m 50-50. But yeah, I want to go back to bars and restaurants, so I probably have to get it. “

Back on the other side of town in Bishopdale, where the Covid-positive couple live, business was very active at a pharmacy offering the Covid jab, right next door to another landmark, the Bishopdale New World.

Unlike Wainoni and Linwood, the rates here were much higher, 92 percent for the first doses and 71 percent for the second.

Deb Cartwright had just received her second jab that she decided to pass on, after hearing the news that there were cases in her community, and she had this message for the infected couple.

“I hope they remember all the places they’ve been seeing because they haven’t scanned. And once they’re better, I hope they get vaccinated too. I mean, apart from separating the North Island from the South Island, how do we keep it out? of the day, we all have to get vaccinated and get back to some form of freedom. “

While Christchurch remained at level two, the Canterbury DHB was nonetheless increasing precautions and detaining most of its hospital visitors to protect patients from the virus.

Meanwhile, Covid continued to move south, and their employer, Oceana Gold, named a worker at the Macraes mine in Otago as a close contact for the couple on Thursday night.

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