ZB

Kate Hawkesby: Covid case numbers higher than what's reported

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 23 Feb 2022, 8:08am
Cars queue at the Ōtara Covid Testing Station in Auckland. (Photo / Brett Phibbs)
Cars queue at the Ōtara Covid Testing Station in Auckland. (Photo / Brett Phibbs)

Kate Hawkesby: Covid case numbers higher than what's reported

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 23 Feb 2022, 8:08am

Case numbers yesterday were another ‘record’ of course, but given the lag in getting results notified, and the delay in having them updated, we can only assume these numbers are old. And by old, I mean, out by a few days. 

In which case, if the experts who say numbers double every 4 to 5 days are right, then you’re looking at in all reality, us sitting at about 5 and half thousand cases at this stage, not the 2 thousand 800 reported yesterday. 

And if that’s the case, then the Government’s response is dealing with outdated information, and their settings are not accurate for where we’re at. Think about it, they said at about 5 thousand cases a day we’ll move to phase 3, yet we are still in phase 2 because the reported numbers say we’re only at less than 3 thousand cases at the moment. Except that in reality, we’re probably not, due to the delays.  

So in fact, if testing was keeping up, we’d see a more accurate picture of numbers, instead of a week-late picture, and we’d be more accurately going to phase 3 now. Do you see what I mean? 

So in Phase 2, the 'transition' stage, isolation periods for cases reduced from 10 days to 7.   

But under Phase 3, the definition of contacts changes to household - so only higher risk contacts will need to isolate, not this current whack a mole approach of everyone. We'll self-manage at home, notify our own contacts, and test to return to work. 

Which is about where we should be now, and no doubt will be very soon. 

This current slow down of results and delays is of course not the fault of the lab technicians and the testers who for all intents and purposes are working their butts off here - they seemingly cannot go any faster than they already are. But they're at the behest of a system that's been created without much regard for what's actually possible. 

The classic theory versus reality strikes again. 

Government has invented a political response which you could argue at the moment is neither current nor relevant. 

It ignores, one, the mildness of the illness, and two, the actual real time data. 

It's frustrating and I don’t even have it yet. Only a matter of time surely. 

My daughter’s school mates are dropping like flies, many schools have so many teachers isolating they’ve had to shut shop. 

There's a clock ticking for those of us who’re parents of school students and it’s the waiting that’s the annoying bit, isn't it? 

The anticipation of it, and for many, the fear that goes with that. 

I hope those who’ve locked themselves up with fear will be able to relax a bit once this washes through. It’s sad how restrictive many people have made their lives, and it makes you wonder if they’ll do this during flu season too or if it’s just the name ‘Covid’ that freaks people out. 

Either way, hopefully we see a peak soon, and we can start to come out the other side of all this.