Call for greater sensitivity towards family at centre of Covid cluster

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Aug 2020, 6:05PM
Councillor Efeso Collins. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Call for greater sensitivity towards family at centre of Covid cluster

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Aug 2020, 6:05PM

The south Auckland family at the centre of New Zealand's resurgence of Covid-19 in the community are being supported.

Manukau Ward councillor Efeso Collins  told Heather du Plessis-Allan the family at the centre of the recent Covid-19 outbreak are feeling a bit "embarrassed" at the moment.

He said there had been some negative comments on social media and a group in South Auckland had called for greater sensitivity towards the family.

Collins said he had been speaking to the family by social media messages.

"They're feeling a little bit embarrassed at the moment. There is a sense on their part, that maybe they are responsible for this outbreak."

"There have been some comments on Facebook that have been denigrating towards the family. That's why we've come in and said, 'man, we can do better than this, we've got to show a lot more sensitivity towards this family."

Collins said the comments were not called for or needed.

He had advised the family not to look at social media.

When asked if the family were aware of comments being made about them online, Collins said they were.

"We've been encouraging them to come offline and not go to Facebook, but it is hard when they are trying to stay in touch with family ... and they get all sorts of these comments pop up from their feed."

Collins said the comments were not called for or needed.

He called for Aucklanders to band together, saying the city's residents knew how to get through it based on the last lockdown.

"And this is an outbreak we are really nervous about, especially out here where a lot of our people present with ... complex health cases, and so now again we've got to take care of each other."

He said he was worried about vulnerable members of the South Auckland community.

There was concern in the community and that could be seen in the long queues of cars that turned out to the Otara Shopping Mall testing centre.

"I'm getting calls all the time, I'm out there visiting ... (and there is) a level of anxiety at the moment."

"We want to look out for everyone but I think this could be pretty ominous for our community so we've got to be supportive of each other."

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said his priority was to make sure the virus didn't take hold in communities.

He said there was no blame on anyone who had caught Covid-19.

"There is no blame or shame in having Covid-19 - the virus is the problem ... people are the solution."

He thanked people for being tested.

It's important to note any positive case is isolated along with their families.