Ross: NZ needs a new strategy to combat Covid-19


Lockdowns are not a long-term solution for any country, says Jami-Lee Ross, Advance NZ co-leader. Photo supplied

Auckland will remain at Alert Level 3 until 11.59 pm on Sunday, the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced at 3pm today.

The ultimate goal, she said, is managing this cluster from Level Two as soon as we feel confident we can do that.

Restrictions were due to be lifted on Wednesday which would have marked two weeks at Alert Level 3.

Reacting to the extension of Level Three restrictions in Auckland until 11.59pm this Sunday 30 August, Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross says, “The Prime Minister’s insistence that New Zealand does not need a new Covid-19 strategy is wrong. The decision today to extend the Level 3 lockdown in Auckland, and Level 2 elsewhere shows that the Government has no other strategy than continued rolling lockdowns.

“The active case rate in New Zealand is not slowing, meaning this is unlikely to be the last of increased Covid-19 Level restrictions,” Ross, Advance NZ co-leader says.

“This strategy of lockdowns whenever there are active cases is based on the World’s understanding of Covid-19 back in March. We now have considerably more information about case fatality rates and how the virus impacts people.

“The Covid-19 Plan B group have pointed out the CDC’s data showing Covid-19 has a case fatality rate of 0.02-0.86, comparable to 0.1-0.5 for influenza.

“This shows we are making significant sacrifices to our country and our livelihoods for a virus not too dissimilar to the flu.

“Even the World Health Organisation is pointing out lockdowns are not a long-term solution for any country.

“Advance NZ released our Covid-19 Response Policy last week where we are advocating a considerably different approach.

“We are calling for an end to the lockdowns at any cost strategy, the implementation of a risk-based approach. We advocate repealing the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act that limits New Zealander’s freedoms; and allowing for optional use of alternative treatments.

The Advance NZ COVID-19 Response Policy in brief:

  • Abandon Labour’s strategy of lockdowns at any cost, and their prediction for rolling lockdowns to continue for several years.
  • Implement a risk-based approach, where vulnerable citizens are protected and supported, but all others are free to continue daily life.
  • Repeal the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act to remove powers that override the Bill of Rights.
  • Require all documents relied on for ministerial decisions during a crisis or emergency, to be released within 48 hours.
  • Mandate the optional use of alternative treatments that have been trialled successfully and found to be safe, in France and the USA.
  • Establish an advisory group of epidemiologists independent of the Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation, because MOH and WHO have too many obvious conflicts of interest.
  • Conduct an urgent study into the long term economic, social, and health impacts of lockdowns on New Zealanders.
  • Allow for prophylactic/preventative regimens to prevent infection, so our approach is not solely focussed on reactive medical treatments.

Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown said the extension of Alert Level 3 in Auckland for four days to 11:59pm on Sunday means Aucklanders must all continue to follow the advice ofhealth officials and stay home as much as possible.

“I know this won’t be the decision many of you were hoping for but unfortunately the Government’s mismanagement at the border has put us all at risk and we must again do our part to keep everyone safe,” he said.

“No-one wants to live in a world where every couple of months we yo-yo back into lockdown so it’s imperative we get this one right and then ensure the border is secure going forward so this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.”