Dr Siouxsie Wiles answers questions about Covid-19 lockdown

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 24 Mar 2020, 6:15PM
Dr Siouxsie Wiles. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Dr Siouxsie Wiles answers questions about Covid-19 lockdown

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 24 Mar 2020, 6:15PM

Is it OK for your cleaner to come to your house during the lockdown? Can you take your pet for a walk? Can you play golf?

Popular University of Auckland microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles has the answers to the public's questions - and warns "we will have the virus for a number of months" and the question is how to bring down the number of cases.

"We will see, for the next couple of weeks, the case numbers rise," she told Newstalk ZB's Heather Du Plessis-Allan today.

"It'll take at least two weeks to see an effect."

She reiterated Jacinda Ardern's words of seeing our household "as our bubble" and stay within that bubble.

Wiles says there are exceptions to the "one household, one bubble" guideline, such as parents with shared custody of children. Those two households can be considered one bubble.

Your pet can go outside, but Kiwis are urged not to pat other people's animals.

Asked if people could split the lockdown between home and their bach, Wiles said that was not something that can be done.

"We don't want people moving out of their home. It's not really a holiday this is about containing the virus."

Wiles said neighbours who were breaking the rules should dob each other in and households could not interact with other households with the exception of children who lived between two households.

You can help people out but "do not enter their bubble". The exception is for people who live alone, who can have a "buddy system" set up with someone else who lives alone. They can enter each other's "bubbles".

You can only go for bike rides or drives alone or "with people in your bubble".

A listener asked Wiles if they could still play golf and she advised them not to and to stay home.

People who employ cleaners for their house should not have their cleaners coming in during the lockdown, Wiles said.

The microbiologist says you should not come within two metres of people outside your bubble.

She says she is "a little bit" concerned about people who are treating the lockdown "like a holiday".

A 37-week pregnant woman booked for an elective C-section asked Wiles if her surgery would still go ahead and she says it will happen.

New Zealand now has 155 confirmed cases of Covid-19, after 40 more were confirmed today by Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

It comes after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave further details today about plans for when the country goes into lockdown at midnight on Wednesday.

Home owners and small and medium businesses whose income have been affected by Covid-19 will also be given some relief from banks offering a six-month principal and interest payment holiday, Finance Minister Grant Robertson revealed today.

And mortgage holders with incomes affected by Covid-19 can get a financial support package that includes a six-month principal and interest payment holiday.

The Government and the banks will also implement a $6.25 billion Business Finance Guarantee Scheme for small and medium businesses.