Covid-19: Jacinda Ardern defends settings amid wave of reported cases

‘Oku taupotu ‘i lalo ha fakamatala fakaTonga

The prime minister has defended the country’s current Covid-19 settings amid a wave of reported cases.

Ministry of Health modelling suggested daily reported cases could reach 13,000 by the end of the month.

But Jacinda Ardern said while the number of cases and hospitalisations was serious, the health system was better able to cope now than before.

“We are not seeing at the same time a number of other significant illnesses, which is causing significant pressure on hospital resources in the way it has in the past.”

She did not believe the government nor the public were complacent about Covid-19.

A Flourish data visualization

Earlier this week, officials urged people to take precautions and be prepared if they caught the virus while travelling, with the country now seeing a new dominant variant for the first time since July.

BA.2.75, which is a strain of Omicron, has surpassed BA.5, and the ministry warned it appeared to be more transmissible and could evade immunity from other variants, but more data was needed to be certain.

The Green Party said putting out a release with that information was not enough preparation for a possible summer surge.

Party Covid-19 response spokesperson Teanau Tuiono was critical of the shift in communication from a collective narrative to individual responsibility.

Teanau Tuiono

Teanau Tuiono Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

“Of course, the measures we ask people to follow will be different to what they were in 2020 but we need to get back to clear public health messaging that makes clear that we have to work together to protect those around us,” Tuiono said in a statement.

“Whatever way you look at it, Covid will be a feature of many people’s summer break. One modeller has recently predicted that as many as one in 20 New Zealanders could have Covid in the week of Christmas.”

The biggest worry was what this meant for immunocompromised and disabled whānau, Tuiono said.

“We need to make it clear and understandable again the simple steps people can take to keep others safe.”

Reported cases have likely peaked but infections may climb – Covid-19 modeller

A Covid-19 modeller said while the country had probably hit the peak of daily reported cases in the current wave, actual infections may still climb in the next few days.

There were 6124 cases reported yesterday – lower than the day before and the same day a week ago, and well below the government’s 13,000 prediction.

Covid Modelling Aotearoa programme co-leader Dion O’Neale said testing and reporting always dropped during the holidays.

“Schools are ending and people are starting to knock off from work, and that’s likely meant that there’s lower case reporting than what there would have been, this time say a week ago,” O’Neale said.

“That’s going to feed into sort of obscuring what might still be some rising infections in the background.”

More people were seen to be masking up to avoid a Covid-19 Christmas, O’Neale said.

“If you can have the very minor inconvenience of wearing a mask, say on public transport or while you’re at the shopping mall, and that keeps you safe and means you’re able to spend time with family at Christmas and do so in a safer manner, then there are people, yeah, taking those precautions.”

Modelling suggested it would take about a month for the peak to subside, he said.

FAKAMATALA FAKATONGA

Na’e taukapo’i foki ‘e he palemia ‘a e fokotu’utu’u lolotonga ko ia ‘a e fonua koe’uhi ko e toko lahi ko ia ‘o e kau puke kuo lipooti.
Ko e lau ko ē mei he mōtolo kuo fatu ‘e he Potungāue Mo’ui, ngalingali ‘e a’u ‘a e kau puke ‘e lipooti faka’aho ki he toko tahamano toluafe [13,000] ‘i he faka’osinga ‘o e māhina ni.
Ka na’e pehē ‘e Jacinda Ardern ko e lolotonga ko ia ‘a e toloto ‘a e fonua ‘i he kau puke mo e tākoto falemahaki, ko e founga ngāue ‘oku lelei ange ‘a e lolotonga ni ‘i he kamata.
‘” ‘I he taimi tatau ‘oku ‘ikai ke tau toe mamata ki ha fu’u toko lahi ‘o e kau puke faingata’a’aia, ‘a ia ke hoko ai ha fu’u tokanga lahi ki he tu’unga ‘o e ngaahi naunau fakafalemahaki ‘o hangē ko ia na’e hoko ki mu’a.”
Na’e ‘ikai tui ‘oku ‘i ai ha fu’u hoha’a ‘a e pule’nga mo e kakai fekau’aki mo e Kōviti – 19.
Na’e kolea ‘e he kau ma’u mafai ‘i he kamata’anga ‘o e uike ni ki he kakai ke nau tokanga ange telai na’a ma’u kinautolu ‘e he vailasi ‘i he’enau fe’alu’aki holo, he kuo ‘ilo ‘eni ‘i he fonua ‘oku ‘i ai ha kalasi fo’ou ‘oku mālohi ‘aupito, talu mei Siulai.
Ko e kalasi ‘eni tupu mei he Omicron, ko e BA.2.75, ‘OKU FAKALAKA ANGE IA ‘I HE ba.5, pea na’e fakatokanga ai ‘a e potungāue he ‘oku hā ke ngali lahi ange ‘ene mafola pea ‘e ala mālohi ange ia ‘i he malu’i kuo fai ki he kalasi kimu’a, ka ‘oku kei fiema’u he lahi e fakamatala kuo tānaki koe’uhi ke fakapapau’i.
Na’e pehē ‘e he Green Party ko e me’a ko ē kuo tuku mai fakataha mo e fakamatala ‘oku ‘ikai ko ha teuteu fe’unga ia ki ha tū’unga ‘e a’u ki ai ‘a e faha’i ta’u māfana.  
‘Oku ‘i ai e hoha’a ‘a e matāpule fai fakamatala ‘a e paati, Teanau Tuiono, ki he hū’u ‘a e fetu’utaki mei he fakatoko lahi ki he fatongia fakataautaha.
Na’e pehē ‘i ha fakamatala ‘a Tuiono, “kaneongo ‘eni, ko e ngaahi tu’utu’uni ‘oku nau kolea ke talangofua ki ai ‘a e kakai ‘e kehe ia mei he 2020 ka ‘oku fiema’u ke mau fki ‘o fakama’ala’ala ‘a e talanoa ko ia ki he mo’ui lelei ‘a e kakai ke fakapapau’i kuo pau ke tau ngāue fakataha ke malu’i hotau kaungāfononga.”
“Ko e taha ‘o e ngaahi fakafuofua ‘oku mahalo’i ai ‘e meimei ko e toko taha mei he toko uofulu ‘e ala ma’u ‘e he Kōviti ‘i he uike kilisimasi, ‘e hoko e Koviti ko e fakama’unga tokanga ia ‘a e kakai toko lahi ‘i he faha’i ta’u māfana ko ‘eni, ‘o tatau ai pē pe ko e fē ‘a e tafa’aki te ke sio mei ai.”
Na’e pehē ‘e Tuiono, ko e hoha’a lahi taha ‘oku ‘ia kinautolu ko ē ‘oku vaivai honau ivi malu’i mo e kau faingata’a’ia.
” ‘Oku fiema’u ke mau toe ‘ai ange ke mahino lelei ‘a e sitepu faingofua ke muimui ai ‘a e kakai ke malu ai mo e ni’ihi kehe.
‘Oku pehē mei he taha ‘o e ngaahi me’a ‘oku fai’aki ‘a e fakafuofua, ko e lolotonga ko ia ‘a e tau ki he tumjtumu ‘a e ngaahi keisi kuo lipooti faka’aho ‘i he tu’unga lolotonga, ‘e kei ala kaka pē ki ‘olunga ‘a e kau puke ‘i he ngaahi ‘aho si’i ka hoko mai.
Na’e ‘i ai ‘a e kau puke ‘e toko onoafe teau uofulu mā fā [6124] ‘aneafi – ‘o toko si’i ange ‘i he ‘aho ki mu’a pea mo e ‘aho tatau ‘i he uike kuo ‘osi, pea toko si’i ‘aupito ia mei he fakafuofua ko ē ‘a e pule’anga ki ha toko tahamano toluafe [13,000].
Na’e pehē ‘e he tokoni taki ‘o e polokalama ki he ngaahi me’a fai’anga fakafuofua Kōviti ‘Aotealoa, Dion O’Neale, ko e sivi mo e lipooti ‘oku holo ma’u pē lolotonga ‘a e ngaahi ‘aho mālōlō.
Na’e pehē ‘e O’Neale, “kuo tutuku ‘a e ngaahi ako pea kamata ke tuku mai mo e kakai mei he ngāue, pea ‘oku hangē ko e tu’unga ia ‘o e toko si’i ange ‘a e kau puke ‘oku lipooto ‘o hangē ko ia ko e taimi peheni ‘i he uike kuo ‘osi.”
” ‘Oku ‘ikai ai ke fakapapau’i pē ‘e toe ‘i ai ha nga’unu hake ‘a e pipihi ‘a e mahaki ‘i ha feitu’u.”
Na’e pehē ‘e O’Neale, ‘oku fakatokanga’i ‘a e kei tui me’a malu’i [mask] ‘a e kakai toko lahi ke malu’i e Kōviti ‘i he kilisimasi.”
” Kapau leva ‘oku ‘ikai fu’u fakafiemālie kiate koe ‘a e tui me’a malu’i mānava, pehē, ‘i he fefononga’aki pe ‘i ha’o ‘i he falekoloa, pea fai pē ho’o fakapotopoto taha ke mau’i koe pea ke kilisimasi foki mo e fāmili.”
‘Oku pehē ‘e he’ene lau, ‘oku tala ‘e he me’a fai’anga fakafuofua ‘e ala a’u ki he māhina pea toki holo ‘a e tu’unga ma’olunga ko ‘eni kuo a’u ki ai. 

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