Déjà vu

Derek Cheng writes:

How can lightning strike twice over Government failures at the border?

Yesterday the value of mandatory testing of border-facing workers was underlined by the positive result of the maintenance worker at Rydges Hotel.

Who knows how many people he might have infected – and how many they might have infected – if he hadn’t been tested?

A narrow escape, by good luck rather than good management.

This all has a horrible sense of déjà vu.

Daily health checks were also not done properly on two Covid-infected sisters, one of whom had symptoms. A thorough check might have seen their application for early leave rejected. Instead they were allowed to drive to Wellington.

In all of these cases, communities were unnecessarily put at risk.

So why is there – still – a giant chasm between what the Government says is happening and what the ministry is doing?

I think people are understanding that one can be very skillful at certain things such as holding press conferences, but very bad at other things such as implementation.

PM Jacinda Ardern repeatedly gave the impression this was being done, including last Thursday when she said workers at the Jet Park Hotel were being tested once a week, while other workers were tested on “a slightly longer rotation”.

Those comments have since been exposed as completely untrue.

And in fact Ministers signed off on a strategy which said it was not possible to regularly test frontline workers, yet they announced they would be in contradiction of their own strategy.

If border-facing workers had been regularly tested, it may well have made a difference or even prevented the enormous price that the country, and Auckland in particular, is now paying.

The 1st lockdown was not really preventable, but the second one very likely was preventable.

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