Tagged: Pandemic

Masking the outbreak: despite New Zealand’s growing COVID-19 cases, there are more ways to get back to elimination faster - COVID-19

Guest Author Aug 14, 2020

Nick Wilson, University of Otago; Amanda Kvalsvig, University of Otago, and Michael Baker, University of Otago As New Zealand enters its third day at heightened alert levels to contain a community outbreak of COVID-19, we expect it should only be a temporary setback. Four cases with no direct links to border or quarantine facilities were confirmed late on Tuesday. Read More

Why New Zealand needs to focus on genome sequencing to trace the source of its new COVID-19 outbreak - COVID-19

Guest Author Aug 14, 2020

David Welch Genetic surveillance — a technology that uses the genetic fingerprint of a virus to track its spread — is part of the public health response to New Zealand’s new COVID-19 community outbreak and could help pinpoint its source. There are now 17 cases of community transmission, all in Auckland, and health officials are treating the group as a … Read More

How genome sequencing could crack the case of the NZ Covid comeback - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 13, 2020

The novel coronavirus mutates as it travels between people and around the world. By sequencing the genome, we can try to work out which case is linked with another. As Aotearoa confronted its first cases of Covid-19 community transmission in more than 100 days, the director general of health, Ashley Bloomfield, raised genome sequencing – something which “may help us … Read More

Don’t panic. We can do this. Together - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 12, 2020

Aotearoa surpassed 100 days without a case of community transmission of Covid-19. Last night that virus-free streak ended and we’re moving back up the alert levels.  For months now, we’ve been intercepting cases of Covid-19 at the border. But just as has happened in many other countries, somehow the sneaky bastard has got in. At a late press conference last … Read More

Victoria’s lockdown ‘an endless game of Covid-19 whack-a-mole’ - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 04, 2020

Siouxsie Wiles The restrictions in place for metropolitan Melbourne now are in some ways stricter than those that were in force during New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown. A curfew is in place and most people have to wear masks when they leave their home – neither of which happened in New Zealand. But the state of Victoria has lost valuable … Read More

Four possible scenarios for the Australian and South Korean travellers - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 01, 2020

Over the last few days, reports have emerged of people travelling from New Zealand and testing positive for Covid-19 upon arrival at their destination. First in South Korea and now in Australia. What might these positive tests mean? They’re false-positives As Toby Morris and I have explained before, there are different ways to test someone for Covid-19. The main ways … Read More

How New Zealand could keep eliminating coronavirus at its border for months to come, even as the global pandemic worsens - COVID-19

Guest Author Jul 17, 2020

Michael Plank, University of Canterbury; Alex James, University of Canterbury; Audrey Lustig, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research; Nicholas Steyn; Rachelle Binny, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, and Shaun Hendy Stringent border controls and mandatory quarantine give New Zealand a good chance to remain free of COVID-19 for months to come, according to our latest modelling. It’s been 76 … Read More

Weekly deaths declined in NZ’s lockdown – but we still don’t know exactly why - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Jul 10, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Anja Mizdrak, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker The pandemic-related lockdown is possibly the most dramatic public health intervention in NZ history. It helped achieve the elimination of community transmission of the COVID-19 virus in NZ. But it was also associated with 548 fewer total deaths than for the same period in 2019. Death rates … Read More