Michael Morrah reports:
Newshub can reveal that just one week before our current community outbreak, 63.5 percent of all border and hotel isolation workers in Auckland had never been tested for COVID-19.
The Prime Minister says all staff will now face compulsory tests, but a public health expert says it beggars belief this wasn’t already happening.
They’re part of our most high-risk group: airport staff like Customs and Immigration, hotel workers like security.
All work in the vicinity of recent returnees, yet only a fraction had been tested prior to this outbreak.
This is beyond belief.
141 days ago the Government declared Covid-19 to be a national state of emergency and closed the country down.
We spent weeks in Level 4 and Level 3 and then came out if it and the Government assured us it was doing everything it could to stop Covid-19 having community transmission.
We just all assumed they were even partially competent and that all staff who worked at the border or isolation facilities were being tested regularly. Maybe not weekly, but certainly say fortnightly.
But it turns out two thirds of them have not been tested even once, despite having regular contact with returning travellers.
“It beggars belief that in an environment where the border is your major protection against a second wave that you are not exhausting every possible opportunity to mitigate risk,” said Professor Des Gorman, Auckland University public health expert.
It is pretty much the sole point of entry.
Jacinda Ardern says all staff will now get a test.
What is the old saying – too little, too late.