Covid contact tracing - Is it working?

By Te Ao - Māori News

Questions are being raised about the quality of the government's contact tracing regime in light of the recent Covid positive cases.

Maori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer spoke to Te Ao Tapatahi this morning over concerns on how the government is attempting to isolate the outbreak in Auckland.

"Is the whole testing regime working?," says Ngarewa-Packer.

"Is it right for what we are contending with today?"

"What we're hearing is 'let's keep doing this, let's keep doing that'. But if we need to recalibrate, then let's just say that. And we need to do that as a country."

Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says the government is doing all it can, and is echoing the Prime Minister's stance on people needing to be responsible and self isolate if they are in a Covid cluster or if they are possibly a 'close contact' of those who have tested positive.

"It's quite clear that we need to in some instances even look towards, section 70 in the Health Act, to detain these people, put them into quarantine, because otherwise we find that these clusters break out."

Henare says the government's calls to get tested and self isolate needs to be paramount within vulnerable communities.

Two new Covid community cases were reported at the weekend and both are a part of the Auckland February cluster.

One of the new cases is a student at the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT).

The ministry's list of contact tracing locations of interest,  said the individual had visited the Manukau campus, at the corner of Manukau Station Rd and Davies Ave, Manukau, Auckland.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed some frustration that this case went to the GP in the afternoon for a Covid test - but went to a gym after that.

Ardern has made it clear that if people do not stick to the lockdown rules, they will be getting a visit from Police.