The need to safeguard the health and well-being of New Zealand's frontline workers has been highlighted this week.
Since last Sunday all frontline workers on New Zealand's borders are being regularly tested for Covid-19.
The government passed a Public Health Response order that will see those on the border frontline tested once a week or once a fortnight.
And anyone who refused the test, for no good reason, could expect to be slapped with a hefty fine of up to $US700.
These workers include those at quarantine facilities and those who transport overseas arrivals to and from these facilities.
But getting tested for the deadly virus could be the least of the workers' concerns.
Pandemic exacerbates pressure on workers
Pacific health leaders warn frontliners were experiencing burnout and fatigue.
According to Amnesty International, at least 7,000 healthcare workers worldwide have died due to Covid-19.
The voice of Pasifika on New Zealand's Covid-19 Surveillance and Testing Strategy Group said the pandemic has exacerbated the pressures faced by the workforce.
Auckland-based Fijian doctor Api Talemaitoga said efforts were being made to help healthcare workers deal with the stress brought on by the pandemic.
Talemaitoga said there was an urgent need to address growing mental health concerns among frontline responders.
He said the stresses being faced by health workers, if not addressed, could be detrimental.
"Although we have been concentrating hard on getting the messages out into the community about testing, about isolation and looking after yourself at home, we haven't concentrated enough on the workforce," he said.
"The workload on the health staff have been incredible. They have done long hours work from dawn till dusk.
"And alot of it is mental because they maybe fronting the public wearing PPE and explaining to people coming through the community testing centres.
"However, there's still that level of anxiety that they're going home to their families at the end of the day.
"And in that tiredness, they have to be careful that they're following correct procedures so that they minimise the risk to their."
Talemaitoga is also chair of the Pacific Chapter at New Zealand's College of General Practitioners.
He said workers would always have that "element of concern that they might be taking the virus back home to children or to vulnerable adults like parents or grandparents.
"There is that fatigue and mental pressure on our workers that needs to be addressed.
"Too often I've heard people saying 'oh we are a resilient people'. Well that might be so if there's just one big episode of this virus.
"But this is going to be a marathon. This is going to take 18 months to two years and we need to learn to live with it and we really need to protect our workers."
He called on employers to help their workers on the frontlines who experienced burnout and fatigue.
Talemaitoga said there was a new-found appreciation for those working to keep their communities safe.
But he said there was also an urgent need to address growing mental health concerns among frontline responders.
"I appeal to our employers to look at how you can give staff time off, give staff a relief from the frontline," he said.
"Maybe work in the back office for a while. Just to help recharge those batteries."
Talemaitoga said in order to better understand how their staff are coping during the pandemic, employers need to provide psychological support for the mental well-being of their workers.
Call to share the workload
Otara's largest Pacific health provider in South Auckland agrees.
The South Seas Healthcare Clinic is calling on Pacific community and church leaders to share the workload on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Its chief executive Lemalu Silao Vaisola-Sefo said he's concerned workers are among the most at risk.
Lemalu said the clinic partnered with religious groups in Auckland to offer support to these families.
But he said more work was needed for New Zealand's Pacific communities to help their health workers deal with the stress brought on by the pandemic.
"They are risking life and limb on the job and we are going to have to ask others in the communities such as volunteers, church members for help," he said.
"We are going to have to think outside the box. How do we share the load across our community? And that's where I come back to the churches - they are already playing a big part in this.
"Yes it is the government and providers' response but we really need a more unified approach from government to our providers, to our funders and our communities."
Lemalu said while different organisations are being impacted differently, they are all suffering similar circumstances.
Talemaitoga and Lemalu both agree more work is needed for New Zealand's Pacific communities to tackle Covid-19 in Auckland.
Why? They believe the virus is going to be around for some time - so, how the health of frontline workers is managed will be critical in the next year or two.