Health and Medicine

When will we know the lockdown is working? - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 27, 2020

Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from Covid-19 that so many other countries are experiencing. Over … Read More

Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19 - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Mar 25, 2020

Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience for our health system in the face of COVID-19 … Read More

‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challenging weeks ahead - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Mar 24, 2020

Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just felt a huge sense of relief. That … Read More

Lifting our game against COVID-19 - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Mar 23, 2020

We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. [Edit: this was written before to the announcement of the Level 4 lockdown, and the National State of Emergency. The explanation of why we’re doing this, and general points should still be useful.] You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to … Read More

The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Mar 23, 2020

Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for Australia (just published in this blog) to the NZ … Read More

What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter? - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 22, 2020

For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. Those cases include two that … Read More

Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Mar 19, 2020

Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in having a brief window of opportunity to refine … Read More

The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous - Guest Work

Guest Author Mar 18, 2020

As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. The Netherlands reportedly plans to use herd immunity to … Read More