A big u-turn on quarantine

This morning the Herald reported:

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield confirmed today a Mt Albert Grammar student in Auckland had tested positive – a person who was a close contact of the family whose members have tested positive.

He did not know if the student was one of the four probable cases announced yesterday. He said some of the original family who had tested positive were in quarantine – but not all of them.

“We don’t round up people in New Zealand, Mike,” Bloomfield told Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking this morning. “We round up sheep, we don’t round up people.”

So that was a categorical rejection of mandatory quarantine or isolation for people who test positive. In fact it was rejected as degrading and akin to rounding up sheep.

Then at 1 pm this afternoon the Government announced mandatory quarantine for all new Covid-19 cases. So this is a total u-turn in around six hours.

It doesn’t give confidence that the Government has a well developed strategy in place. It looks knee jerk. This is not to say the mandatory quarantine decision is wrong. But this morning the Government is dismissing it as ridiculous and this afternoon they are announcing it.

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