21 Apr 2020

Coronavirus: Government adviser says NZ wasn't ready for Covid-19

From Morning Report, 7:09 am on 21 April 2020

The epidemiologist who audited the country's contact tracing system says New Zealand was not ready for a pandemic like Covid-19.

Ayesha Verrall from the University of Otago found the tracing system was too slow and needs to expand three fold. The ability to trace people who've come into contact with confirmed Covid-19 cases was one of the key considerations when the Cabinet decided yesterday to keep the country in level four lockdown until next week.

Dr Verrall told Morning Report health officials hadn't realised the key role contact tracing plays in fighting Covid-19 until a World Health Organisation report on the Wuhan outbreak was published in February.