Heather du Plessis-Allan: How do we still have mistakes at isolation facilities?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Jul 2020, 4:32PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: How do we still have mistakes at isolation facilities?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Jul 2020, 4:32PM

We have yet another mistake at the border quarantine facilities.

This time a guy’s just walked out of the Stamford in Auckland, disappeared for 70 minutes, gone to Countdown and who knows where else, and then tested positive for Covid-19 today.

This obviously begs the question: why are these mistakes still happening?

Well, apparently, because our whole plan to keep Covid out relies on writing down some rules and hoping people follow them.

According to Air Commodore Digby Webb, individual accountability sits at the cornerstone of success here.

Does that sound to you like a good idea? Because it sounds to me a like a hell of a risk to take

We have thousands of people coming into this country every week who may or may not choose to follow the rules.

We’ve had Thelma and Louise giving friends cuddles on the side of the road. We had the fence jumper at the weekend, the people who ran away from the gang tangi in Hamilton, the reports of people ordering hookers and drugs into the hotels, people sharing smoko breaks in isolation hotels, and now the guy who just walked out of isolation and off to the supermarket carrying Covid.

We have how many examples of people not following the rules, and yet we keep crossing our fingers and hoping they will. Which means, we don’t have the controls to stop them breaking the rules.

Turns out, this guy walked out because there was no fence at the smoko area.  The fence was being replaced. The security guard didn’t know if he was someone in isolation or one of the workers replacing the fence Even if did know, he, like all the other security guards, don’t have the powers to stop someone leaving.

This is not a good enough system to stop someone hell-bent on rule-breaking from importing Covid-19 into the country.

We have been through so much to achieve this eradication of Covid: Seven weeks in lockdown, an economic hit that’s predicted to be worse than anywhere else in the world, businesses falling over, people out of jobs.

Our entire, entire response relies on keeping it out. So if we need police guards and fences then that is what we need.

But crossing our fingers and hoping people do the right thing is not a plan.

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