Health and Medicine

Monitoring and Forecasting the COVID-19 Pandemic in New Zealand Including the Successful Impact of the Lockdown - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert May 22, 2020

Dr Jaijus Pallippadan-Johny1, Dr John McDermott2, Rodney Jones1 and Michael Duddin1 (1 Wigram Capital Advisors, Auckland; 2Motu Economic and Policy Research, Wellington) In this blog, we introduce our modelling approach to estimating the transmissibility of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic. We demonstrate the usefulness of the Wallinga model for the calculation of the effective reproduction number … Read More

Why a “mouth and nose” lockdown with masks might help avoid a “full body” lockdown at home - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert May 20, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Sophie Febery, Dr Ling Chan, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker The concepts of an Alert Level system, household “bubbles”, and social event size limits are all valuable pandemic control measures. Nevertheless, better “source control” of COVID-19 at various Alert Levels by requiring masks in public indoor spaces could reduce the risk of outbreaks (should there … Read More

COVID-19 vaccine safety – are vital steps being skipped? - Diplomatic Immunity

Helen Petousis Harris May 12, 2020

Five months into the COVID-19 pandemic the conversation is shifting to vaccines. One of the key concerns voiced by some experts and public are that in the rush to get vaccines deployed, safety will be compromised. Here I outline, in part, the COVID-19 vaccine safety landscape of activities. First, let me introduce you to some of the key entities tasked … Read More

Plandemic – effective fact-free marketing - Diplomatic Immunity

Helen Petousis Harris May 12, 2020

And now for a new professionally edited conspiracy video with scary music. Before COVID-19 emerged the world already had a problem with information overload – an infodemic. Misinformation had gained a wide forum on many social media platforms, increasing the reach, polarisation, and overall confusion of the population (a misinfodemic). In response … Read More

The Strong Case for Mask Requirements in Public Transportation and Border Control Settings in NZ’s Current COVID-19 Pandemic Context - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert May 11, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Sophie Febery, Dr Ling Chan, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker In this blog we identify six likely benefits from requiring fabric mask use in public transportation and border control settings in the “peri-elimination” context that New Zealand is currently in. Given these likely benefits and the relatively low costs (especially if the Government provides free … Read More

A stoat trappers’ guide to elimination - COVID-19

Guest Author May 08, 2020

Dave Heatley New Zealanders have a lot of experience with islands and unwanted organisms – keeping them away, learning to live with them, and – in just a few cases – eliminating them. What can that experience tell us about plans to eliminate COVID-19? I can’t claim any expertise on polio, measles, Mycoplasma bovis or thar. But I do … Read More

The need for a robust scientific definition for the elimination of COVID-19 from New Zealand - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert May 05, 2020

Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Shaun Hendy, Prof David Skegg New Zealand is making good progress towards its elimination goal for COVID-19 at the country-level. In this blog we present the case for a scientific definition of elimination to help guide our national COVID-19 response. The definition must be objectively verifiable, with appropriate levels of testing … Read More

What we would like to see on the Ministry of Health’s website to better inform progress on COVID-19 elimination - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert May 03, 2020

Gordon Purdie, Nick Wilson, Michael G Baker In this blog we analyse data from the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 website and display a key graph that we think should be routinely on that website. We also detail a potentially more useful way to categorise case data so that the public and research community can better track progress on the … Read More