Stepping up to stamp out Delta

Botany-based Labour list MP Naisi Chen says the job to stamp out Covid-19 is not done yet. Times photo Wayne Martin

I want to thank everyone in east Auckland for all of your hard work over the past few weeks as we’ve stayed home to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

Our job’s not done yet, but we’ve made a great start – and I know that, together, we’re stronger than the virus.

It’s been great to see so many people following the Alert Level 4 rules over the past weeks and to see some of the creative ways you have brightened up life in your bubbles.

I know life at Alert Level 4 can be tough. It has required us all to make sacrifices, but together, we’ve stepped up and worked hard to keep everyone safe during outbreaks. If we can keep up these key health measures a bit longer, we’ll be able to stamp out Covid once more and enjoy the freedoms we’ve worked so hard for.

To shift down an alert level in Auckland, we need to be totally confident that Covid – specifically, the more infectious Delta variant that we’re now dealing with – isn’t circulating undetected in the community.

When we made the decision to move into Alert Level 4, only one case had been detected. As we’ve seen, one case quickly became hundreds: it took just one week to spread across the city. Delta is faster and more infectious than previous variants. That’s why we’re working hard to get this right – and what we’re doing is working.

This is why we’ll be staying at Alert Level 4 until at least Tuesday September 14. That will give experts time to get a clearer picture of the outbreak and to establish whether any transmission is occurring outside households.

Until that time, keep in mind that the simplest way for us to stop the spread is to stay home. If you go out for essentials like groceries, mask-up and scan in. Stick to your bubble and get tested if you have symptoms or are considered a contact.

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones, and our vaccination rollout is continuing safely at Alert Level 4. Everyone aged 12 and over is now able to book their vaccine, so head to www.bookmyvaccine.nz or call 0800 28 29 26 to make your appointment. So far, more than 1.1 million doses have been administered in the Auckland region, which is fantastic to see.

Thanks again for doing your bit. By staying home and sticking to your bubble, you’re protecting your community as well as the rest of the country.

  • Naisi Chen is a Labour List MP based in Botany