Kate Hawkesby: Self isolating from coronavirus is a joke

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Fri, 7 Feb 2020, 9:23AM
Photo / Getty Images

Kate Hawkesby: Self isolating from coronavirus is a joke

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Fri, 7 Feb 2020, 9:23AM

As the Coronavirus seems to spread like wildfire, I note the Ministry of Health in this country has come to the party, albeit a week late, with a new solution.

A healthline.

This is for the people who are 'self isolating', as if that wasn't enough of a joke already.

The Ministry is starting today a healthline, where they're encouraging people to 'register' if you're in self isolation.

You don't have to, just if you want to.

They're encouraging you to.

Much like they encouraged you to self isolate.

Why they didn’t set this up BEFORE they announced self isolation is beyond me, given between then and now, how many people do you reckon have actually self isolated?

So will the new healthline even work? Well it’s voluntary so probably not.

Between the self isolating and the call up and register yourself if you want to, I think we can safely assume how many people will actually do this.

And what is this new healthline is offering, you may wonder? Well, it will register you, tick, then it will check up on your welfare.

How will it do this?

Well it will have information and support on its website, it will have a dedicated 0800 number you can call and it will have health officials who can provide advice.

It's being set up today, so as I say, it’s not really been a case of rushing these measures through.

I mean good on them for coming up with something, but really? Is this it? A healthline?

And 5 days after we decided to take Coronavirus seriously?

I mean, what’s happened to all those in the past week who may or may not have been self isolating?

To recap the self isolation expected of you, if you’ve recently arrived from China, you should keep to yourself for 14 days.

If you want. Again, no pressure.

We don’t have any confirmed cases of the virus in New Zealand, yet, there's a Kiwi on a cruise ship in Japan with a confirmed case, so it’s probably only a matter of time.

But it’s nice that the Ministry wants people to be informed and know as much as they can about it. I just wonder if they wouldn’t have been better off doing this, BEFORE we had everybody out in the community for a week ‘self isolating’?

Because let's not forget, it took them less time to build a 1000 bed hospital in Wuhan than it did for the NZ Ministry of Health to set up an 0800 number.

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