Experts say vaccination levels are still too low to prevent a major deadly outbreak. In the meantime Suppression has failed.
August 17,2021 The whole country is put into a level 4 lockdown – the highest setting – after one case is discovered in the country.
August 30, 2021 The lockdown begins working, the infection has been contained to Auckand, and the numbers of infections in Auckland are starting to fall dramatically.The government lowers the Alert level for the country, to Alert Level 3. Except for Auckland which remains at Alert Level 4
Prime Minister Ardern says Auckland will not drop down a level until the country can be confident the virus is not circulating undetected in the community.
Experts say this is ‘crunch’ time to see whether numbers will continue to fall.
September 21, Numbers continue to fall, with 22 new found cases, from an August high of 86. Twenty of these cases are considered contained. But 2 of these new cases can not be identified, or traced, evidence that covid is still circulating undetected in the community and is not fully contained.The Prime Minister had earlier said, “In order for Auckland to move down a level, the country must be confident Delta is not circulating undetected in the community”.
In spite of this earlier assurance, and against expert health advice, the government moves Auckland down a level, to Level 3.
After a long period of falling infections in Auckland, the numbers start rising again. And the infection also starts spreading into the rest of the North Island. Gangs and rule breakers are blamed.
October 5, 2021 Restrictions are again lowered for Auckand, as Prime Minister Ardern publicly announces the end of the Elimination Strategy:
“The elimination strategy has served us incredibly well, and was the right thing to do for New Zealand, and seven weeks ago entering into the elimination strategy, which is stamp out cases, was the right thing to do,” Ardern said.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Auckland, and the country, is now “transitioning” out of the elimination strategy as health officials scramble to vaccinate.
The Government had held fast to an elimination strategy – working to stamp out the virus wherever it emerged to reach zero cases ….as recently as August [the government] was firm the strategy would remain…..
Pat O’Dea is a unionist and human rights activist.