Health Ministry in dark on close contacts

The New Zealand National Party

David Clark has admitted he doesn’t know how many close contacts of positive Covid-19 cases the Ministry of Health cannot reach, National’s Health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says.

“In written responses to questions from my office, the Health Minister revealed his ministry doesn’t have this information to hand, raising serious questions about the Government’s readiness for level 3.

“It’s not good enough to say this information can’t be compiled quickly. This is crucial data about potential Covid-19 carriers in our communities that should be at the Minister’s fingertips.

“Not only does the Minister not know how many close contacts the Ministry of Health hasn’t been able to contact, he also can’t say what the average time for contact tracing is.

“The Prime Minister said that before we come out of level 4 we need assurance about the speed and capacity of contact tracing, yet the Minister of Health hasn’t been able to provide this with the country about to move to level 3.

“If Kiwis are to have confidence that we’re ready to come out of level 4 then the Government needs to be able to clearly state how long the average contact tracing time is and how many people they have failed to trace.

“It begs the question, why don’t we have a contact-tracing app in this country yet when Australia now has one and many Asian countries have been using them for some time. Surely this should have been a priority before moving to level 3.

“Kiwis have been doing the hard work over the last five weeks to break the chain of transmission and save lives. The Government needs to fulfil their side of the deal.”

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