Mike's Minute: What's the plan if case numbers don't drop?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 27 Aug 2021, 10:11AM
A Covid-19 testing centre in Wellington. (Photo / NZH)
A Covid-19 testing centre in Wellington. (Photo / NZH)

Mike's Minute: What's the plan if case numbers don't drop?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 27 Aug 2021, 10:11AM

Day 9, yesterday, did not produce the numbers they wanted. Nor did day 7 or 8. 

What will they say if day 10, today, is no better? 

I hope you're looking at New South Wales, Victoria, and the Capital Territory. No two lockdowns are the same, but the latter two are pretty close to ours and theirs aren't working. 

What this week, I think, has proved is we didn’t prepare properly, if at all, from last time. 

We are short of contact tracers, DHBs didn’t know who of their staff were jabbed, we hadn't prepared to jab in level 4 so we stopped it, and we are still arguing over butchers and coffee at service stations. 

And we are using the same thinking to deal with a variant that has changed. The R rate, I was told yesterday is down to 2.5. It was 6 but it's moving in the right direction, but it's still a mile above where it needs to be. 

That is the problem. The locations of interest are through the roof, and some go back weeks. There are not enough contact tracers to round up all that data. The testing is stretched beyond capacity. 

The sort of response and the speed of that response isn't good enough to round up the data they need to get on top of this thing, or to get to the edges, as they say. 

Could they do it? If we all stay in level 4 literally for weeks. Probably. 

But in that calculation is the conundrum. How many weeks can the bulk of the population, if not all the population, given the Christchurch wastewater news, sit in level 4 before the Government cracks? 

The race on vaccine is lost unless they get new supplies and/or change policy and rollout another product. There is no way we can wait until November when everyone has been jabbed. 

We already know at the rate of 80,000 a day we will run out of the supply we've got. 

The Government has had a shocking week, given the world has told us in no uncertain terms, elimination is hopeless and last year's response. The Government in suspending Parliament, being busted in the saline cock up, and having missed their day 7, 8 and 9 target is left scrambling. They're frantically pedalling their message of fear hoping the mass psychosis plan is still worth points in the polls. 

It feels like we are close to an inflection point. This isn't like last time. The Government still push back hoping it is. 

The question is, are they right and on top of it? Or if they're not, how long before they admit it?