Public Health Expert

The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy

Public Health Expert Sep 24, 2020

Prof John D. Potter* This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for Aotearoa/New Zealand to persist with its successful COVID-19 elimination strategy. Read More

The smokefree policies of political parties: Do they care about people who smoke?

Public Health Expert Sep 24, 2020

George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to be smokefree would also increase the discretionary income of many … Read More

Shifting all Isolation/Quarantine Facilities to a Single Air Force Base: The Need for a Critical Analysis

Public Health Expert Sep 14, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks in NZ’s largest cities with large health and economic … Read More

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Is Euthanasia a health priority for New Zealand at present?

Public Health Expert Sep 09, 2020

Dr Ben Gray* This blog discusses what will be needed to operationalise the End of Life Choice Act in the event that it is approved at referendum. It argues that this will take significant resources. Judging by the experience in Oregon it is likely that this may only benefit a small number of older educated white people. The health … Read More

Tax policy as a key health determinant: Reform for the Covid-19 reset

Public Health Expert Sep 07, 2020

Louise Delany,* Assoc Prof George Thomson Tax provides revenue for the collective societal services that are critical for the prevention and management of Covid-19. Tax is the way we all share our resources in contributing to a healthy, decent and just society. Tax reform options should be included in pre-election party proposals. More importantly, we need to continue to talk … Read More

Upgrade of NZ’s COVID-19 Alert Levels Needed to Help Regain NZ’s Elimination Status

Public Health Expert Sep 03, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker In this blog we comment on the current COVID-19 situation globally and in NZ. We focus on potential revisions to NZ’s Alert Level system that involve improved use of mass masking, targeted internal travel restrictions, and gathering/event limits. These interventions could all help accelerate rapid progress back to elimination status … Read More

Children and young people and COVID-19: The urgent need for improved guidance in NZ

Public Health Expert Aug 27, 2020

Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Amanda D’Souza, Prof Michael Baker In this blog we consider the ‘Auckland August cluster’ in the light of the changing landscape of international evidence about COVID-19 risk for children and young people. The high proportion of Pasifika children and young people in the Auckland outbreak may be a preview of what an uncontrolled … Read More

NZ’s COVID-19 response compared to selected other jurisdictions: Australia, Taiwan and the United States

Public Health Expert Aug 26, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Andy Anglemyer, Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker Media discourse in NZ has involved comparing NZ’s COVID-19 response with a range of other jurisdictions, especially: Australia, Taiwan and the US. In this blog we update the data comparisons for these selected places. We find that Taiwan is the top performer with a … Read More

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Using a fun “Mask Day” at school to promote pandemic protection in the NZ community

Public Health Expert Aug 25, 2020

Dr Ling Chan, Dr Sophie Febery, Prof Michael Baker, Dr Amanda Klasvig, Prof Nick Wilson Whilst the New Zealand Government has recently recommended using face coverings or fabric masks as a strategy to contain COVID-19 pandemic virus transmission, the uptake of mask use in the public has been suboptimal. In this blog, we explore using “Mask Day” at school to … Read More

Using the CovidCard to enhance protection from COVID-19 at the NZ border

Public Health Expert Aug 24, 2020

Dr Tim Chambers, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker Border controls are critical in preventing future COVID-19 outbreaks in NZ. In this blog we consider the recent announcements and cross-party support for the CovidCard’s use by border control workers and guests in quarantine and isolation facilities. We discuss how this is a promising move that should facilitate further improvements in … Read More