ZB

Kerre McIvor: Can someone please explain why Auckland is still in Red?

Author
Kerre McIvor,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 Dec 2021, 12:37pm
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Kerre McIvor: Can someone please explain why Auckland is still in Red?

Author
Kerre McIvor,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 Dec 2021, 12:37pm

17 more days in Red for Auckland and the other Red regions. Just doesn't seem to make any sense, and I think that must be my most oft quoted phrase of the year. I get why Northland is in red and has to stay in red. But I don't really understand why Auckland is staying in red.  

Red Aucklanders can join Orange New Zealanders as of tomorrow. And indeed, they will be doing so when you look at the flight bookings from here in New Zealand and the travel plans of many Aucklanders. So Red Aucklanders can join Orange New Zealanders, and then they can come back to Red if they're coming back to Auckland before New Year's Eve.  

The reason for being in the Red traffic light system is to protect vulnerable communities and our health system from Covid-19. That's the reason for being in Red, and that applies in Northland and Tairawhiti as well.  Auckland, well, let's have a look at Auckland.   

The population is more than 90% vaxed. Since the Delta outbreak began on August 18, the vaccination rate has risen from just 24.9% of Aucklanders over the age of 12 being fully vaccinated, to 92%. So, it's pretty good. If you had just 24.9% of Aucklanders vaccinated, you’d say ooh a bit of trouble there. But no, we’re now 92%, 95% of Aucklanders have had at least one dose. I think it's fair to say anyone who has wanted to be vaccinated is. There are no vulnerable communities to protect.  

As for the health system, as of yesterday there were 61 people in hospital, 4 in intensive care. Auckland City Hospital has 1165 beds, 39 resourced ICU beds. Middlemore has 900 beds, 24 ICU beds. Waitemata DHB has 660 odd beds, 14 ICU beds. So that's more than 2600 beds. Roughly 77 ICU beds. And how many people again with Covid? 61 in hospital with Covid. Which leaves you 2540 beds. And we've got four in ICU! Which leaves 73 ICU beds, so how is the public health system under stress?  

The reason for being in Red is to protect vulnerable communities - all good done that. And not put the health system under stress. Yep, all good there too.  

So why are we still in Red? We have Aucklanders able to travel out of the Red region. We have a public health system coping with the Covid load. We have more than 92% of the Auckland region double dosed, and we're in Red. How? How? Somebody, please, a Jacinda fan boy or girl? Somebody who says oh look this all makes perfect sense Kerre, you're just being difficult and you don't like the Government. No wrong. I would love to know. I would really love to hear an explanation of how this can be.  

17 days will make all the difference to many businesses and yet this Government seems in the thrall of their modelers who haven't got a single solitary prediction right since this whole pandemic started. Slaughter a chicken, throw its end trails over an operating table, which is lying spare because people aren't dying in their droves because of the galloping Covids, and draw the patterns from there.  

When will Auckland go to Red oh mighty one? I don't know slaughter a chicken and see what pattern it falls in to.  It makes absolutely no sense, which is said time and time and time again.  

According to Jacinda Ardern the country has only been under the new traffic light system for 10 days, which is shorter than a full transmission cycle of 14 days. Therefore, Cabinet had come to the view that with an additional transmission cycle, there will be enough comfort for Auckland to move.Why not just four days then of a transmission cycle is 4 days, why not just 4 days in Red.   

Chris Bishop, who is National’s Covid spokesman says hospitalisations are low, you betcha. 

We've got very few people in ICU - check. The R rate is below one - that's the transmissibility rate. Daily case numbers are dropping on a weekly basis. The vaccination rate is now high. And the reality is, Auckland hospo businesses will go to the wall over the next two to three weeks.   

Please, fangirl/fanboy ring in and explain how this makes sense?  

As for the rest of the country. God bless you, I mean really. You should all be in Green.  You should all be cavorting. You should all be having the same spontaneity and fun we used to have.