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Elimination goal must be officially ended - Simon Thornley

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Government’s objective of eliminating Covid19 is at an end, due to advice from the WHO, challenges of the Auckland lockdown, and plummeting cases and deaths internationally.

There were signals this week that elimination and lockdowns are over, as the Government moved to Level 2 in Auckland despite live cases and Ashley Bloomfield said it could even go to Level 1.

WHO special envoy on Coronavirus said on radio that while New Zealand had done well, it should now follow Sweden’s model.

Scientist Michelle Dickinson said on radio that "we’re going with a different strategy now - our last strategy was elimination - now its almost learning to live with a virus."

The Covid Plan B group, which originally opposed lockdowns and elimination, says that without official clarity about a new strategy and objective, there will be more miscommunication, operational mistakes, and social discord.

Simon Thornley, group spokesperson, says the Government should front the change in objective to get the nation fully participating in protective measures, and fully back to work.

"The vagueness and inconsistency is frustrating long-standing supporters of the policies and those wanting to comply, and incensing a growing number of doubters.

"The nation needs to switch to living with, but minimising, the virus by using strong hygiene and protection measures. To get full public participation we need clarification, otherwise the threat of strict measures and lockdowns will increase complacency for some, and discord and non-compliance for others."

Covid Plan B had originally said in April, and still says, that the best approach is safe havens for those with vulnerable health conditions; robust personal hygiene; and tracing, tracking and isolation of cases, including serology tests.

Simon Thornley said the group was prepared to lend its weight to returning to ‘flatten the curve’, and to enjoin the growing dissenters to return to reasonable precautionary measures.

He said that the remaining issue would be fear-mongering. "There must be a shift in the tone of government messaging to reduce the fears that have grown. It is distressing that some school attendance has been as low as 30% and principals have mandated mask wearing for children as young as 5. This is not official advice, but is generated by the fear created by authorities.

"The approach of the political, science and commentary establishment has made many otherwise sensible people believe that this is a historically dangerous disease that will change everything forever. Covid19 is clearly not that disease."

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