Experts say declaration of victory premature

Newshub reports:

Public health experts have told Newshub the Health Ministry’s data on COVID-19 cases is meaningless and we haven’t won the battle on community transmission. 

The concern is that in-depth, targeted community testing is still yet to begin. 

Auckland University School of Medicine Professor Des Gorman says we can’t claim to have stopped community transmission.

“Quite frankly, given the way we’ve been reporting data and given the extent of testing we’ve done, I suspect that question [of stopping community transmission is still to be answered,” he says.

Another epidemiologist, Otago University Professor Nick Wilson, also agrees we are “some way” from being able to claim we’ve stopped community transmission because the level of testing in New Zealand has not been at a high enough level for long enough.

Another epidemiologist, who asked not to be named, agreed telling Newshub “we have not won anything yet”.

It comes after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday we had won the battle against community transmission.

“There is no widespread, undetected community transmission in New Zealand. We have won that battle.”

So who do we believe?

“If they’re confident that the community prevalence is trending to zero, and if they’re confident they can track people within 48 hours, and if they’re confident they can isolate cases, we should be at level 2. If we’re not there, presumably one of those three platforms is yet to reach the stage of confidence,” he says.

I’ve read this elsewhere also. Unless one of these is missing, we would be at L2. The government should be upfront and say which component is missing.

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