Look I appreciate the need to get overseas experts commenting on the NZ response on telly but (a) none are experts on NZ hospital capacity or population health inequities, (b) continuing elimination while we achieve high vax rates does NOT mean we aren’t thinking about the future
I mean, here’s an actual verified Johns Hopkins expert @AmeshAA whom I do respect but who comes across as ridiculous at points simply because he doesn’t understand our extremely limited hospital capacity, need for equity, or long term planning. tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-z…
If I were starting off a TV interview and speaking to a country that has done remarkably well with few resources and stretched healthcare, I would do the decent thing and say “Bravo NZ! Great you’re moving on vaccines now! Here’s some extra things to consider…”. Y’know. Tone.
Now to balance this out, I’m going to put some links here to what some of our pandemic experts have said about our strategy /1

And this one which shows a flexibility in thinking from the Otago team /2

Lastly, I think it’s fab to hear from overseas experts on how we can improve testing strategies, adopt technologies used successfully elsewhere. But chiding the whole of NZ for sticking to a plan that’s saved lives, hospitals and kept children in schools is…not great eh.
For instance, during the interview he makes an offhand comment about our hospitals being able to cope, but, in this outbreak which was relatively quickly contained (acknowledging it’s delta), our ICUs in the Auckland region has to ask for help w staffing


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More from @DrJinRussell

13 Sep
Kia Ora to the overseas folk. For those curious, NZ’s alert level 4 has managed to successfully reduce the R value of the delta outbreak from 6 to consistently <1. In 28 days we have stopped 955 chains of transmission. The lockdown has already lifted everywhere, except Auckland/1
Auckland remains in Level 4, where a handful of “mystery” cases mean we will stay the course. We have prevented hospital overwhelm, which modelling predicted would have occurred by now, had we not effected such a successful lockdown. So far we have had zero deaths from delta /2
We are vaccinating very fast. Some days this outbreak we have vaccinated 1.5% of the population in a single day. Thanks to new shipments of vaccines from overseas, we can keep up the pace. 68% of 12y+ population have had at least 1 dose, 35% fully vaccinated and forecasts high /3
Read 10 tweets
12 Sep
Delta is airborne, schools have been impacted in this current cluster. This morning I spoke with ⁦@SusieFergusonNZ on⁩ ⁦@radionz⁩ about the need to lift our game on ventilation in schools to make an end to damp, poorly ventilated classrooms /1 rnz.co.nz/national/progr…
2013 NZ study (Wang et al) has shown that often, levels of carbon dioxide in 3 of 6 NZ classrooms exceeded recommended levels (1000 ppm) for 50% of the school day. C02 levels here are a proxy for ventilation. As C02 levels rise, students may also feel headaches, sleepy /2
Not every child can mask, and emerging evidence suggests that improving ventilation maybe as effective as masking. So in looking to the future, and wanting to prevent covid closing schools, this needs to be a priority for investment. Our piece: blogs.otago.ac.nz/pubhealthexper…
Read 4 tweets
31 Aug
Another thread for the overseas people who are fascinated by New Zealand’s response to Covid-19, Kia ora. It is Day 14, and there already positive signs that we are flattening delta. Level 4 is indeed effective, new daily cases are suppressed. /1

(Graph by @TheSpinoffTV)
Genome sequencing has shown that we are dealing with a single outbreak of delta, which has been traced to an arrival from NSW in MIQ who tested positive 8 days before the first community case was detected. We know exactly when the outbreak started, it’s a short timeframe /2
After two weeks of national Level 4, wastewater testing showed that the virus was present in the community in Auckland and Wellington. Wellington’s cases are ring-fenced, so the government is already easing lockdown restrictions in all areas except for Auckland from tonight /3
Read 16 tweets
30 Aug
Me, an asian female medical specialist, listening to Mike Hosking’s mocking treatment of fellow doc Dr Ayesha Verrall today on radio. Training an infectious diseases physician takes 13+ years, & not all have the public health and medical leadership expertise Dr Verrall does.
Personally I’m bloody grateful we have her in cabinet
You don’t have to agree with all of governments decisions, but don’t use the airtime to mock the actual experts in the room - for - get this, *pausing before speaking* (her I bang my head against the wall). We have so few of them as it is and she is super competent at her job.
Read 4 tweets
23 Aug
To the overseas folks who find watching New Zealand’s Covid-19 response encouraging, Kia Ora. It’s Day 7 of lockdown. In the past 1 week, genomic sequencing has traced the outbreak to single person who went thru MIQ on 7th August.

We have stopped 107 chains of transmission /1
Our amazing contact tracers have contacted 13,000 possible contacts. Mass testing continues. In Auckland, the heart of the outbreak, over 10% of the region’s population (representative sample of households) have been tested in the past 1 week. /2
The short timeframe: 10 days only, between 7th and 17th August when the lockdown was announced means that we caught the outbreak relatively early. The Devonport man who got himself tested (sentinel case) when he became symptomatic is publicly praised for his actions /3
Read 9 tweets
23 Aug
The National Party has set a target for vaccination of 70-75% for “opening up” our borders, whatever that means to them. I think they will lose the Asian vote over this. My parents were long-term National voters until the last election. /1 newsroom.co.nz/opening-up-sho…
Asians are hugely (for the most part) risk adverse, particularly when it comes to health. The Asian community comprises the leading group in the vaccinated proportion of the NZ population. Why does this matter? /2
It matters because if people do not feel safe, they enact their own *voluntary* lockdowns. This can impact the economic recovery, causing deeper more prolonged lockdowns than short sharp lockdowns. /3 imf.org/-/media/Files/…
Read 4 tweets

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