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New Zealand stands on the brink of the Covid precipice. Why aren’t we moving to red?

The lessons of our pandemic success seem to have been all but forgotten as the government sticks at the orange traffic light setting Last week cabinet made a baffling decision. As winter illnesses spike and another wave of Covid-19 threatens to overwhelm emergency departments, the government held the country at the orange traffic light setting. Large gatherings can still take place, masks are optional in most settings, and schools and workplaces can open without restrictions. In other words, all the rules that struggled to contain the first outbreak are still in force. This, as daily cases pass the 10,000 mark and experts predict that the BA.5 variant could easily push case numbers above 25,000 before the month is out. With many hospitals already operating at 100% capacity, a more than doubling in case numbers could risk the mass cancellation of procedures, ward closures, and other measures to preserve the health system’s capacity. Continue reading...

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